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  TomTom Navigator, never get lost again 
  Jun 15, 2004, 09:30am EDT 

GPS navigation

By: Sander Sassen

I have been using TomTom Navigator for a while now and I am still not completely comfortable with it. It has nothing to do with the software itself, but driving with GPS navigation to me still feels like driving with a blindfold. You have to trust the software to calculate the correct route and the chart data providers to have provided the correct maps. So no unfinished bridges or roads going nowhere for me, please. The drive to the hotel was pretty uneventful, just as I like them to be after 19 hours of travel. The only "surprise" was the toll gate which didn't show on TomTom but paying a few dollars to pass did nothing to upset me.

Select address

Select city

Select street

Navigating is easy, first select the option address then city and street name.

I actually started using GPS navigation years ago, when most GPS receivers only allowed you to plan your route on your pc and then upload it to the GPS receiver. It was then up to you to stay on that route, if you got lost it would not recalculate the route for you. Modern GPS navigation software such as TomTom Navigator does not need the support of a PC to do route calculations. You only use the PC to install the application once and download the appropriate maps to the PocketPC or PDA. The big advantage is that if you decide to drive another route, either on purpose or accidental, a new route will be calculated for you instantly. You can also use it to drive around without the need to remember how to get back because when you are ready to go back you just ask it to calculate a route back from your original position, which you saved when you started your trip.

Calculated time and route

Daylight view

Night view

Calculated time and route summary and the daylight and night view mode of TomTom.

Although there’s a US and European version of TomTom Navigator they are both based on the same application, all that different are the maps supplied and the companies that provide the data for these maps. TomTom buys these charts from professional charting companies and adapts them for use with their software. These maps provide detail to house number level and the possibility to select destinations by area codes. Also included are numerous POI's (Points Of Interest) ranging from embassies to swimming pools. My personal favorites are the shopping malls but if you have ever been on holiday abroad I am sure you will appreciate the inclusion of doctors, hospitals and even dentists. While driving also never worry about finding a parking spot or the nearest gas station, selecting these on the POI menu will have them show up on the map in an instant.

1. Traveling abroad
2. GPS navigation
3. Finding your way
4. Conclusion

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