The Next Generation of GPS Navigation

Well Garmin and Magellan had better be looking ahead or they might just get left behind. Why? Because smart-phone navigation is quickly accelerating past conventional GPS navigation units. Google is one such company pushing this new wave of capabilities.

Static Databases – What There is now is all you Have

Most GPS units today from Garmin and Magellan (two major GPS manufacturers for GPS for automobiles) use a static map database along with a static Points of Interest (POI) database. The POIs are all the addresses, business locations, restaurants etc. that you can locate using the unit. New maps along with an updated POI database are released annually and often with a charge to update. I have paid up to $75 just to update the map for a single unit. If you have more than one unit in the family, prepare to pay more.

Smart Phones with GPS

However, many smart phones can now download applications such as Google Maps that will lookup locations and obtain directions that use current information and full power of the Google databases. Many phones are now coming with built-in GPS reception too so combining this with the power of the Internet opens up a much more powerful navigation solution. Using the power of Google’s database means that you can find almost any location including all those that are not listed in the POI database of your expensive GPS unit. While this is really great, the problem up to this point has been that your dedicated GPS device could provide visual and audible navigation directions, a must for navigating while driving. However, Google is about to change that.

Navigate to Anywhere Anytime with just your Phone

Imagine if your smart-phone could provide audible, turn-by-turn navigation instructions, turn-by-turn directions on the visual, graphical map, just like your current GPS unit but also had the power of real-time Google Maps lookup. What if you could use your smart-phone to…

  • Hear and see turn-by-turn directions
  • Look up locations simply by name or related information
  • Have maps that are updated continuously
  • Lookup addresses or locations using your voice
  • See satellite views or street level views all along your route

    Well Google is about to bring this to the Android based smart phones. This means these phones will not only work like your expensive GPS units but will make finding and navigating to your destination even easier due to real-time access to Google’s massive information. And best of all its all free assuming you have an unlimited data plan on your phone which of course you do.

    Watch this informative clip from the Google developers.

    Google Maps Navigation (Beta)

    More Mobile Technologies from Google may be found here:
    http://www.google.com/mobile/maps/

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