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Under The Awning Here is where you can carry on a conversation, just like............well, like you were sitting under your awning at the campsite.

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  #21  
Old 04-18-2022
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isp2952 isp2952 is offline
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Originally Posted by wandermore View Post
A very sad story, indeed.



Google maps routing can definitely get you into trouble. My experiences:

1. I tried it in Costa Rica a few years ago, and it took me down a STEEP hill on a road that turned into a trail with large drops that I barely was able to make it out. Luckily I had a very capable rig with large knobby tires. I was nervous for a bit since I had a 92 year old with me at the time!

2. During an interstate blockage, Google rerouted us down a dirt road in Georgia. Luckily we made it through, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone behind us in the long line of following traffic got stuck and caused another problem.

3. Google tried to send us through an 11 foot tall rock tunnel in Chattanooga one time while we were on the bus. (Ring Gold Road)

After the 3rd experience I have stopped using it from now on in the bus. I do use google earth and street view quite a bit to scout out parking lots and campgrounds ahead of time, though.

With this story in mind, I have to think that even a 10 year old device like this would have kept them out of harms way:

https://www.randmcnally.com/product/rvnd-5510

I have one I would be willing to sell if anyone is interested.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jberger View Post
Anything that uses Google Maps is not appropriate for RV Directions.
Google doesn't offer ANY heavy truck routing in any of it's products, it's strictly for Bikes, Cars, Walking or Public Transit, that's it.

It's a fundamental flaw in how the product works and about the only map sources I know that still includes Heavy Truck options in the route planning is HERE (formerly NavTeq) or TomTom and the products that use those maps (Rand McNally, etc).

Google's algorithm is almost always set as "Shortest path first" so if there is a 2 mile dirt road that saves 5 mins on the highway route, it's going to send you down that road until it gets enough negative feedback from users that avoid that path.
Is there a favorite short cut around an intersection that involves cutting through a parking lot or alley? Google Maps will see the traffic that takes that route and eventually add it as the "preferred" option. This is especially true in how it routes around heavy traffic. When you see orange or red on the path, be very careful if you take the optional route provided.

It has no idea that RV's or Semi's exist, so it treats all driving directions exactly the same.
And since there is no oversize, over weight, or hazardous option in the Google Maps API, it's never going to avoid bridges, tunnels, etc in the route it provides. There is simply no way for their system to flag and route around it in the current product.

I do use Google Maps, but if must review the route and adjust it before you take off in the Bird, otherwise it can put you in a bad spot.
Based on these posts you must have the impression that I am advocating using the routing system for Google maps. It is the furthest from the truth. Google maps or maybe I should rephrase it Google Earth (one in the same) does not tell you where to go it is a MAP. It will tell you where to go if you are fool enough to ask it, which I am not. I thought I was pretty clear on that point but I wish to set the record straight, in case I wasn't clear. There is nothing wrong with their MAP but a lot is left to be desired of their routing, if you are in a bus or truck. I used to use Microsoft Streets and Trips and you routed yourself with that system. They no longer support that program and I switched to Google but still route my own way. If you read my first post I say I "write down my own route". I will sit the night before go over the map and write down what roads I need to take the next leg of my trip on a sheet of paper. That paper is now my "map". It has worked for me for many years. I have missed a turn or two, because a sign has been knocked down or is obstructed by a tree, but I usually realize it pretty quick. The reason I do is because I have gone over that route several times with Google and gone to street view to make me feel like I have been over that route many times. I started doing this on my Wild Hogs trips for many years. I lead the group and nobody ever complained. So far with all those trips and the ones in the bus I'm close to 250K miles without any serious missteps. Happy motoring
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  #22  
Old 04-18-2022
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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I use a paper map and a yellow high lighter to outline the route.
Then Carol can follow the route at a glance and tell me where to go.
(you got that part,right?)
The high lighter works well.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2022
jberger jberger is offline
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Jim,
My reply wasn't directed at you or intended to call out anyone. If anything, it was supporting your experience of receiving less than good routes from the product.
I just wanted to make sure that people understand what they can, and cannot, expect from Google Maps and how those maps are actually built. There are lots of unintended consequences as a result of the way Google Maps is architected and updated.
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2022
Jim Brookshire Jim Brookshire is offline
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I have a different issue than you folks. I find that almost all gps systems are biased towards sending me down interstates. Ihave to work with paper maps to force the gps systems to take me off the big road.
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  #25  
Old 04-18-2022
wandermore wandermore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jberger View Post
Jim,
My reply wasn't directed at you or intended to call out anyone. If anything, it was supporting your experience of receiving less than good routes from the product.
I just wanted to make sure that people understand what they can, and cannot, expect from Google Maps and how those maps are actually built. There are lots of unintended consequences as a result of the way Google Maps is architected and updated.
+1

Same here.

Jim, I was a little too eager to state my bad experiences and not affirm what you were saying. I was in no way trying to disagree with you. My process is quite similar to yours. I spend a lot of time in street view exploring in advance and deciding on routes... especially train track crossings.

I have also been experimenting with mirroring a real-time satellite view from a trucker app on the big screen TV when in tight areas. It has helped me since I can see more detail than on a tiny phone or tablet screen - especially with parking lots, one ways, tight turns, etc.
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  #26  
Old 04-18-2022
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1984Lodge 1984Lodge is offline
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This is a very sad situation. Unfortunately folks sometimes just end up in bad situations. My sister in laws parents had their air conditioner break in Central Florida in the summer time, instead of calling someone to let them know they tried to tough it out, unfortunately they did not make it, they could not handle the heat. These are very sad situations and hopefully will be learning experiences for others.
As far as GPS goes, I use google maps all the time, but one thing I always try to do is preview my route. I use several tools in google maps to do this. If I am leaving a main road and I am unsure if the road will be suitable I go to the street view and literally drive down the road in street view. If it does not have street view then I just find another route. For those of you who are not familiar, street view is a continuous camera view of the road taken by google maps, they are 360 degree images of everything on the road.
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  #27  
Old 04-18-2022
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Default GPS did not cause this tragedy

It’s a sad story. However, you should NOT assume that this couple’s GPS led them down the wrong path. Despite how the YouTuber presented the story, I’m willing to bet that is NOT what happened. FYI - GPS only tells your phone where it is. It’s the mapping app and what it does with that information which causes problems and/or leads large vehicles down the wrong path. Let me explain…

This couples biggest problem of course was a lack of preparation and respect for some of the most inhospitable, remote and rugged terrain in the US. Even with a very capable Jeep that’s outfitted properly, I would not travel ALONE as far off-grid as this couple did. It appears that their primary experience with GPS before their fatal western trip, was using it in the East where cell coverage gaps are rare and brief. I believe THAT was the root cause of this horrible tragedy. Basically and like most people, they did not know that their phone’s mapping function would fail without cell phone coverage when off-grid for extended periods.

A cell phone equipped with a GPS chip and a clear view of the sky knows exactly where it is at all times. Unfortunately without cell service your phone cannot display that position on a map people can use. Unless maps for the area of planned travel are pre-downloaded BEFORE one leaves cell tower coverage, most mapping programs will only show a plain tan grid with a single red dot marking your “exact” position. This is obviously useless to us for navigation, unless we can plot Lat/Long coordinates and have a paper map on-hand. Sadly there was a way for them to obtain their lat/long position without the electronic map or cell service. Using that they might’ve used that generic map book they had in the camper to crudely estimate their position and maybe figure a way out. They could also have dropped a pin at the campers position on the plain tan grid their phone was likely displaying, BEFORE they left the camper. Then as they drove away from it, they would’ve seen the relative position of the camper and its distance from where the GPS determined their position to be. Having that relative position and distance between them might’ve saved his life.

That said, the above still might not have been enough… Not only were they in an area devoid of ground based cell antennas, it is also a well known area of military GPS jamming activity. The Nellis Range complex is just to the East and Dreamland (Area 51) isn’t far as well. The aviation community sometimes gets advance warning when this activity is going on. Unfortunately, people on the ground do not because the area is so sparsely populated and remote. Was that a factor?

When Andy and I did our wheeling around Parker AZ this past Feb, I discovered that to get my dedicated Garmin GPS dongle to provide a position signal to my phone/iPad and feed it to the OnX off-roading App, I needed: 1) A pre-downloaded map of my travel area in the OnX app. Without that (or cell data service) while on the trail, a useable map with my GPS position overlayed on that map would not be available, and 2) The phone’s cellular reception needed to be turned OFF before I could use the maps that I had previously downloaded. If it was left on, the phone would constantly try to update maps of the area (without success). In this mode the phone would basically act like it was being jammed and display the tan grid-of-nothingness with a red dot where it thought it was on that blank grid. However once the cell service was turned OFF, I could then load the OnX pre-downloaded off-road maps from the phone’s memory & the iPhone would “talk” to the Garmin GPS dongle (via Bluetooth) perfectly. Usually, that's how I used this function with my OnX off-road app and I did not turn the cell function back on until we returned to the pavement. I do not know if the generic Apple or Google Mapping programs can pre-download area maps ahead of time. It appears that some map info is automatically preloaded by both, but only along the original route that was begun while in cell coverage. And without those, neither would have worked that far off the cell networks.

Lastly a real paper map, compass (I carry both) and the knowledge of how to use them could also have prevented this tragedy. Shown below is the current Verizon coverage for the area that the couple was located. Note the complete lack of service in large areas. Other carrier coverage is even less extensive.
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  #28  
Old 04-18-2022
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isp2952 isp2952 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jberger View Post
Jim,
My reply wasn't directed at you or intended to call out anyone. If anything, it was supporting your experience of receiving less than good routes from the product.
I just wanted to make sure that people understand what they can, and cannot, expect from Google Maps and how those maps are actually built. There are lots of unintended consequences as a result of the way Google Maps is architected and updated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wandermore View Post
+1

Same here.

Jim, I was a little too eager to state my bad experiences and not affirm what you were saying. I was in no way trying to disagree with you. My process is quite similar to yours. I spend a lot of time in street view exploring in advance and deciding on routes... especially train track crossings.

I have also been experimenting with mirroring a real-time satellite view from a trucker app on the big screen TV when in tight areas. It has helped me since I can see more detail than on a tiny phone or tablet screen - especially with parking lots, one ways, tight turns, etc.
Sorry guys if I came across that I thought I was being picked on. I thought maybe I misstated myself, which does happen and didn't want anyone thinking I was advocating Google Maps. That's the reason I thought I needed to restate my point and end it with a smiley face to let you know I was not pissed. So all is good and the beer is on me the next time we meet.
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  #29  
Old 04-18-2022
isp2952's Avatar
isp2952 isp2952 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
It’s a sad story. However, you should NOT assume that this couple’s GPS led them down the wrong path. Despite how the YouTuber presented the story, I’m willing to bet that is NOT what happened. FYI - GPS only tells your phone where it is. It’s the mapping app and what it does with that information which causes problems and/or leads large vehicles down the wrong path. Let me explain…

This couples biggest problem of course was a lack of preparation and respect for some of the most inhospitable, remote and rugged terrain in the US. Even with a very capable Jeep that’s outfitted properly, I would not travel ALONE as far off-grid as this couple did. It appears that their primary experience with GPS before their fatal western trip, was using it in the East where cell coverage gaps are rare and brief. I believe THAT was the root cause of this horrible tragedy. Basically and like most people, they did not know that their phone’s mapping function would fail without cell phone coverage when off-grid for extended periods.

A cell phone equipped with a GPS chip and a clear view of the sky knows exactly where it is at all times. Unfortunately without cell service your phone cannot display that position on a map people can use. Unless maps for the area of planned travel are pre-downloaded BEFORE one leaves cell tower coverage, most mapping programs will only show a plain tan grid with a single red dot marking your “exact” position. This is obviously useless to us for navigation, unless we can plot Lat/Long coordinates and have a paper map on-hand. Sadly there was a way for them to obtain their lat/long position without the electronic map or cell service. Using that they might’ve used that generic map book they had in the camper to crudely estimate their position and maybe figure a way out. They could also have dropped a pin at the campers position on the plain tan grid their phone was likely displaying, BEFORE they left the camper. Then as they drove away from it, they would’ve seen the relative position of the camper and its distance from where the GPS determined their position to be. Having that relative position and distance between them might’ve saved his life.

That said, the above still might not have been enough… Not only were they in an area devoid of ground based cell antennas, it is also a well known area of military GPS jamming activity. The Nellis Range complex is just to the East and Dreamland (Area 51) isn’t far as well. The aviation community sometimes gets advance warning when this activity is going on. Unfortunately, people on the ground do not because the area is so sparsely populated and remote. Was that a factor?

When Andy and I did our wheeling around Parker AZ this past Feb, I discovered that to get my dedicated Garmin GPS dongle to provide a position signal to my phone/iPad and feed it to the OnX off-roading App, I needed: 1) A pre-downloaded map of my travel area in the OnX app. Without that (or cell data service) while on the trail, a useable map with my GPS position overlayed on that map would not be available, and 2) The phone’s cellular reception needed to be turned OFF before I could use the maps that I had previously downloaded. If it was left on, the phone would constantly try to update maps of the area (without success). In this mode the phone would basically act like it was being jammed and display the tan grid-of-nothingness with a red dot where it thought it was on that blank grid. However once the cell service was turned OFF, I could then load the OnX pre-downloaded off-road maps from the phone’s memory & the iPhone would “talk” to the Garmin GPS dongle (via Bluetooth) perfectly. Usually, that's how I used this function with my OnX off-road app and I did not turn the cell function back on until we returned to the pavement. I do not know if the generic Apple or Google Mapping programs can pre-download area maps ahead of time. It appears that some map info is automatically preloaded by both, but only along the original route that was begun while in cell coverage. And without those, neither would have worked that far off the cell networks.

Lastly a real paper map, compass (I carry both) and the knowledge of how to use them could also have prevented this tragedy. Shown below is the current Verizon coverage for the area that the couple was located. Note the complete lack of service in large areas. Other carrier coverage is even less extensive.
.
Well stated Van. I have been all over out west but only on "real roads" and never off the beaten path like these folks were. Not sure what they were thinking. Clearly a loss of good common sense was their main issue.
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  #30  
Old 04-18-2022
Joatha Joatha is offline
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Originally Posted by Mallie Lennon View Post
Coming north from the Santa Rosa Isle to Pensacola across the 3 mile bridge routed to I-10 it turns us right, 1/4 of a mile there is railroad bride about 10 ft.
That is Graffiti Bridge on 17th Street.. It is well-known for the number of trucks and RV's it destroys. There's even a Facebook page for it and they regularly show the carnage. Of course the main thing its known for is some of the unbelievable graffiti (as in stunning pieces of art many times) that gets painted on it (its legal to do).

Also, that bridge is an easy walk from my house.

Anytime you come in to Pensacola to head to Pensacola Beach, just take I-110 down to Gregory and then to Bayfront Pkwy. Coming the other way, just take Gregory back to I-110 and out.
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