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Comparing Vehicle Navigation Systems for your Ford F150

Aug 17, 2007
Finding your way through complex city streets and freeways has never been easier. Before you take your next trip to an unfamiliar location or try discovering new routes to shorten your trip, you should forget the maps and instead consider the GPS navigation system.

The first thing you will find is that there are a lot of choices out there. How do you know what to look for through the maze of models and price ranges?

The items that are of concern should be:

* map coverage, accuracy & detail
* Quality & speed of route calculations
* map storage capacity
* ease of use and installation

Most navigation systems sold in the United States include maps for at least the 48 contiguous states. Others also include Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Make sure maps are included for areas you are likely to drive to.

Make sure the navigation system has a large and clear screen so that you can easily read the maps.

Focus on a global positioning system that is easy to use, the ones that would not require you hours to learn how to operate. A good device should make navigation easy for you.

With several different GPS navigation devices on the market, focus on the ones that have available software that could be installed easily on your navigation system. This software should contain detailed road mapping and streets, as well as landmarks such as restaurants, hotels, and gasoline stations.

Ideally, a GPS navigation system should come with a voice-enabled system that communicates the right direction to the driver without requiring the driver to take his/her eyes from the road.

You should also consider the factor of the memory capacity of the GPS. If you want better and larger storage capacity, which lets you install all the maps you need, then you should opt to have a GPS with large memory capacity.

Maps used by navigation systems are usually at least a year or two out of date. If you travel on roads with recent changes, you should look to see if the changes are included in the navigation system's maps.

A few things to check:

* new freeway exits
* roads for new housing developments
* roads closed to reduce through traffic

Route quality can be difficult to compare, but it's one of the more important features in everyday use. Poor quality routes include unnecessary turns and detours or can take you on roads you want to avoid. Better systems allow you to choose the type of route you want.

Calculation speed is especially important in situations where you've missed a turn. Slower systems may not be able to recalculate your route in time to catch the next turn and get you back on track. Better systems take only a second or so to recalculate. Slower systems can take 10 - 20 seconds (or more) to figure out a new path. In some situations, you may pass a turn it was planning to take before it finishes recalculating the route.

Many newer navigation systems come pre-loaded with a full set of maps. Frequent travelers who visit a lot of different cities should get a system with enough capacity to load a full set of maps. People who usually stay in a particular region will probably be satisfied with 100MB - 200MB for map storage.

Other features can add up to make a system a lot easier to use:
* spoken directions guide you through turns and let you keep your eyes on the road
* choose a screen size that's easy to read, but not too large for the vehicle(s) you're planning to use it in
* a touch screen or keyboard makes it easier to enter destination addresses
* simple menus save time and frustration
* color screens make it easier to view map details

A lot of new users focus attention on accuracy values stated by the manufacturer. In practice, you'll probably find that GPS position accuracy is adequate with any newer GPS model. What usually counts more is how quickly the system processes position and map data to keep your navigation instructions up-to-date. Extra accuracy doesn't do much good if the system is too slow to make use of it.

Magellan® is the consumer brand of Thales Navigation, one of the world's leading innovators of navigation and positioning solutions with operations worldwide. Magellan was the brand that introduced the first consumer handheld GPS solution in 1989, and it has maintained its place as a leading global GPS brand for consumers.

With product lines in auto navigation and recreational handheld, Magellan's current product line up includes Magellan RoadMate portable auto navigation solutions, eXplorist handhelds, and MapSend mapping and software products.

There are many benefits for the automobile owner to have their vehicle equipped with a GPS navigation system including; saving time, fuel economy, safety, and tracking. Enjoy these benefits for your Ford F150 with an easy to install Magellan in-dash system.
About the Author
Melih ("may-lee") Oztalay, CEO
SmartFinds Internet Marketing
Web: www.brandmotion.com
EMail: melih@hsfideas.com
Tel: (248) 568-2241

Travel Brand Motion style. Brandmotion is a brand new way to bring high quality lifestyle customizing choices to consumer vehicle interiors.
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