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Thread: Google Navigation Strange Changes

  1. Master Droid
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    Google Navigation Strange Changes

    I knew there would be some growing pains with Google Navigation. in fact, Google Maps too recently changed from purchasing their road data from Navteq and TeleAtlas to using their own data and using the US Census Tiger Database to fill in gaps.

    Areas where the street view van has been are well mapped, but areas where it hasn't been may have soem issue because the Tiger database is not nearly as good as Navteq or TeleAtlas.

    However, I strongly suspect that Google Navigation is collecting data to feed corrections to the Google maps team (the team also responds very quickly if you report an error, and since the maps are in the network, everyone instantly benefits). I think every time Google Navigation is forced to recalculate because you don't follow its directions it sets a flag to have someone review the data.

    All well and good, and I think I have seen this in action. I have been using Navigation almost everywhere I go, even when I know where I am going, just to play with it. Near me, there is a lot of road construction going on, and the first time I came to a certain intersection, GN told me to take a temporary ramp that has been gone for about six months. (My Garmin with 2009 maps makes the same error, with 2008 maps, it is even worse since they replaced a lighted intersection with a ramp and overpass). Three days later, on the same route, I got the correct instructions.

    The strange thing is what happened night before last. I went to a restaurant I have been to before. My Garmin GPS always had me go past the restaurant, make a U-turn to cross a divided road, and then come back to turn right into the parking lot. The thing is, there is a left turn light at exactly the place it has me come back to, and it has been there for many years, so there is no need to go to the next intersection and make a U-turn.

    Google Maps used to make the same error when it got its data from Navteq (same source as Garmin).

    A few weeks ago, using GN, It knew about the left turn, correctly navigated me to the restaurant, and even had a street view image at the end.

    Two nights ago, it had me make the U-turn, and didn't end with Street View showing me the restaurant. maps.google.com makes the same error (as I would expect, since it should be using the same data).

    Similarly, on the way home, a few weeks ago, it correctly took me off the highway at my exit, which goes to a service road for about a mile before the turn towards home. This exit has been in place for about 18 months.

    Two nights ago, it had me pass the exit, take the ramp into a commuter parking lot, which I can cross into a service road behind a shopping center and get to the road home. This would have worked, but is much slower having several stop signs, and a much slower speed limit.

    Since in both cases I went the correct way, rather than following GN, I am looking forward to seeing if the directions get updated based on my reroutes when I go this way again in a couple of weeks.

    Lesson though, don't rely on Google Navigation 100% in unfamiliar areas. If you have access to another GPS or even (god forbid) paper maps, you may want to bring them along in case GN gets you hopelessly lost.

    Alan
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  3. Master Droid
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    #2
    Glad to hear these things are getting worked out. You know you're not allowed to criticize these Google Apps. Some people around here don't like it when you do...
  4. Master Droid
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetRick View Post
    Glad to hear these things are getting worked out. You know you're not allowed to criticize these Google Apps. Some people around here don't like it when you do...
    I have been meaning to chime in on your thread about being let down by the maps about the recent changE from Navteq to Google's own data. It was due to Navteq's very restrictive licensing. No way Google would be able to offer a navigation app for free using Navteq data, and TomTom now owns TeleAtlas, so they too are not going to let Google give their data away.

    This is also why the EU version of the Droid doesn't have the Google Nav app available. Unlike the US that has free road and topo data available for Google to start with, every other country charges for their road data. Some a little, some astronomical amounts.

    Alan
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetRick View Post
    Glad to hear these things are getting worked out. You know you're not allowed to criticize these Google Apps. Some people around here don't like it when you do...
    Maps has given me directions (for known routes) that I find absurd... but I have noticed the same thing as the OP. Does seem to 'learn'.

    gadgetrick....some people just can't handle criticism of something they own. Don't sweat it. and I read your posts.... wasn't criticism so much as it was just pointing out an issue, which lots of users have experienced.
  6. Master Droid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin030908 View Post
    gadgetrick....some people just can't handle criticism of something they own. Don't sweat it. and I read your posts.... wasn't criticism so much as it was just pointing out an issue, which lots of users have experienced.
    Thankyew. At least someone understands.

    But, seriously, I'm glad to hear they're working on making things better. Looking forward to it.
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    #6
    My Indash Garmin, Portable Garmin and Tom Tom all give weird directions in some areas....

    So IMHO nothing works 100%
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  8. Senior Droid
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Backnblack View Post
    My Indash Garmin, Portable Garmin and Tom Tom all give weird directions in some areas....

    So IMHO nothing works 100%
    Totally agree!
  9. Master Droid
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Backnblack View Post
    My Indash Garmin, Portable Garmin and Tom Tom all give weird directions in some areas....

    So IMHO nothing works 100%
    Agreed. If it can get me "close" I can usually handle it from there. For the most part directions have been pretty solid for me.
  10. Master Droid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backnblack View Post
    My Indash Garmin, Portable Garmin and Tom Tom all give weird directions in some areas....

    So IMHO nothing works 100%
    Exactly, they all have some errors. Some worse than others, some better in some areas than others.

    In general, I think Garmin/Navteq is the best, but some really strange errors still crop up. TomTom/TeleAtlas is excellent in cities, not as good out in the countryside. Tiger (which is what Google is currently based on) is pretty poor, but Google has put a lot of work into improving the data, and as I said above, I suspect they are using all of our phones to improve their data (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch).

    As long as you know that some of the data is suspect and don't get too frustrated if the routes aren't the absolutely most efficient, or an address might be a block or so mis-placed, you'll be fine. If you are expecting perfection, you are a few years early. You'll be closer paying $70/year for updated maps from one of the big vendors, but even then, it won't be 100% accurate for a while yet. With new roads being built all the time, it will never be 100%.

    Alan
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    #10
    Someone on another forum (dog related) said they have a navigation application on their iPhone that tells them when they exceed the local speed limit. Seems like that would be a huge database for it to know what the speed limit is anywhere. I love the idea because it could save speeding tickets for one who didn't notice the sign hidden behind a bush.
    Bob
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