Mapping With Your Mobile Computer And GPS

¬≠Remember the days of looking for a pay phone to get directions? Remember the $5 maps for every city? It’s all over now. You can get detailed maps of the entire United States and Canada for about $50, and they have every road detailed. Add your Internet connection and you can get satellite photos with quality good enough to tell what type of car is in a parking space, and in some cases you can get a street level view that is as good as if you were there!

All of this amazing technology requires little skill to use and the price for the online maps is free. What does one accident cost that was caused because you were lost? What does is an hour of time worth that you spent getting out of that residential you weren’t supposed to be in? What does that ticket cost for being there? This technology is will not save you from everything, but it is your best bet at the moment.

I use a combination of Delorme Maps, a Magellan GPS, and Google Maps. The problem with every solution is that there is no way to see truck related problems. Google has a street level view, but only in a few cities. You still should call for directions if possible.

My steps are:

  1. Put address in GPS so that I know the general area I’m heading to. I also check for the best route for safety and fuel mileage.¬≠
  2. Call for directions.
  3. Match directions in Delorme to ensure accuracy, call back of they do not appear to be correct.
  4. Check Google satellite photos if available for possible problems and routes around them. This is also good to see if there is room for overnight parking.
  5. Adjust GPS for any changes in routing.

I’ve got a dispatcher that wants to know where I’m at and how long it will be ALL the time. With the GPS, I can inform him almost exactly at every call. It’s still annoying, but at least there’s no work involved.

The links below can help you find some of the products mentioned here. These tools will pay you back many times over in fuel savings alone.

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