Lake County Motorist

Suburban Chicagoland commuter and motorist weblog

Track that route!

Drivers do it, thanks to traffic reports delivered by radio, text message, GPS device and desktop. Airlines do it for those anticipating a passenger. Tracking your transit and estimating arrival time is part of getting around.

Resources are growing to allow mass transit users to do the same.

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Filed under: Mass Transit, , , , , , ,

A road by many other names

As the owner of an automobile GPS unit, I’ve taken notice of route numbers during my trips about town. I first noticed that the route numbers on the Lake County signs did not match the route numbers in my GPS unit.

Notably, my GPS refers to Gilmer Road as County Route (CR) 26, yet the signs I see along the road refer to it as CR-V76.

I initially viewed this as the GPS unit’s error. Disappointed with this apparent inaccuracy, I blamed the computer, as blame is the heritage bestowed upon all computers worldwide (it is always the computer’s fault, after all).

I then checked the Gilmer Road map on a different GPS unit for verification and, alas, Gilmer was again numbered as CR-26. Whaaaa? Are these the markings of a conspiracy of confusion?

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Filed under: Roads, , , ,

Dear Magellan Maestro 3200: I think I love you

O Magellan Maestro 3200, sweet GPS, you are a friend indeed.

You were easy on the wallet. You aren’t bloated with features that I don’t need. Sure, you don’t know how to route me back to the Best Buy that I purchased you from, but that is but a mere quibble when so many POIs can be manually loaded onto your SD card (not included).

Your screen is bright and your maps are easy to read. You seem to know when it is dark outside, because you automatically switch the screen colors to night mode. We think alike, because we both select the same optimal routes. At first I thought you had a little issue with route numbers, but I’ve since deduced that it may not entirely be your fault – in which case I would rescind the blame.

I love the little chime that you make when it’s time for me to turn. You even make a different tone for left turn, right turn, and keep right or left at the fork. And you thoughtfully tell me whether my destination is on the left or the right side of the road – usually. You don’t speak the street name, but for me that is not essential. I can read the street name clearly displayed on your screen.

Panning! How I love panning your maps! I can anticipate future moves, see what’s over there, and add a POI to my route with a mere touch.

So far, you haven’t steered me wrong. As long as you know it exists, you can get me to it.

You’re not perfect, but you’re perfect for me and you’re my GPS.

More Magellan Maestro 3200 reviews are available at Amazon.com.

Filed under: Technology, , , ,

Gadget offers "real-time" traffic – and not much else

Eric Benderoff of the Chicago Tribune discusses the TrafficGauge, a $50 device whose sole purpose is to show current Chicagoland expressway traffic conditions. The device’s vendor claims that their customers appreciate having frequently updated traffic data. Well, who doesn’t? I just don’t think this device is the best way to access that data.

Here’s why I think this device is pointless:

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Filed under: Technology, , ,

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