Using a printed road map vs. using a GPS
With advances and widespread availability of smartphones, you may already own a GPS unit without knowing. Check your phone specs and verify that it can provide offline (non-3G reliant) location services. If so, it’s only a matter of choosing the correct offline navigation app to install (we do emphasise ‘offline’). Although mobile data-roaming charges are being standardised across Europe, they’re still an expense best avoided!
UPDATE: MEP’s have voted to scrap roaming charges accross europe! Good news for regular travellers 🙂
Using a Gps on our way across Georgia
Printed Map or GPS ? What do you pack?
2016 has been an exciting year for offline GPS apps, as many of the big brand names are now offering their product completely free of charge. Whilst apps like Sygic rely on the support of navigation giants TomTom to provide their base maps, other apps like Maps.me use widely available opensource maps which rely on progressive user feedback for updates. Both apps offer their offline services for free, whilst Sygic offers some additional features at a (very affordable) premium. These may turn out to be handy if you are particularly interested in live traffic features and speed camera updates.A handy item whilst planning a roadtrip
Google Maps is also offering an option of saving some area maps for offline use, however this is yet to gain momentum in favour of the more specific app packages. Although its online capabilities are very valuable, we do not yet recommend it for offline navigation.
When searching for a specific address, particularly in a town or village, there is no question that GPS software and voice guided navigation provide important assistance. I do however find that use of GPS to travel between cities through highways and main roads is somewhat impersonal and almost distracting. Printed maps give a better perception of the distances expected, help visualise travel routes and compose the driver’s sense of direction.
That Adventurous feeling!
A message to people of my generation – let’s face it, printed maps also give that ‘Adventurous Four’ feel to the journey that the silicon units just fail to deliver! Back to this century. I do have to point out that all electronics come with an undeniable reality, they sometimes break down, and they somehow manage to do so at the worst possible moment! My experience of driving blindly and getting completely lost on my first trip to Bosnia, after my GPS failed was rather annoying (and mind you, I had a backup GPS too that day which also broke down!).Some off-road fun in our trip to Armenia
Printed maps should not only be considered as backup, of course. Passengers are more likely to enjoy the journey if they can visualise the entire length of a road-trip on the map, without disturbing the driver who would otherwise be concentrating on his drive ahead.