Navigation with system
We do it like carrier pigeons
We are asked again and again how we navigate. Quite simply – we do it like the carrier pigeons. 🙂 Built-in navigation.
No, it’s not that easy for us either. We tried some apps and a navigation system. But we didn’t really find the non-plus ultra tool. We would like to explain our experiences with the various apps to you here. It is our experience and of course our preferences are also included. These preferences do not match yours.
The experiment with a navigation system
At the beginning we had the navigation system Snooper Ventura S6900. This system is designed for motorhomes. A very big advantage is that you can enter the vehicle data – length, width, height, weight – and the route is calculated on the basis of this data. The route guidance is brilliant. Simple symbols show you at an early stage, on multi-lane motorways, which lane or lanes you should drive. Volume can be easily adjusted on the touch screen. But this system has two major disadvantages. The power consumption is enormous and the battery could not be charged while driving, so that after about 45 to 60 minutes the navigation system said goodbye. This is especially great when you’re in the middle of a city, right on a multi-lane-in-all-directions intersection, and since the sat nav gets out because of an empty battery. The first time you think you’ve made an operating error.
As a former computer scientist, I know from experience that every system is only as intelligent as the one sitting in front of the keyboard. So I first looked for the error in myself and the operator. But if the situation is repeated and this is either on the highway shortly before the lane change or the exit, then that annoys. If necessary, you have to continue for a few kilometers, take the next exit and drive back the whole way. Or, as mentioned above, you’re back on one of those multi-lane-in-all-direction-leading intersections and the battery is all. Then explosive words like ☠︎⚡︎fall 💣🧨🪓🦨💥. To be fair, the snooper can be connected to the 12 or 24 volts of the vehicle. Then the battery would probably never have been sucked out. I had only hung the navigation system on the 5Volt USB socket. So my mistake.
The second disadvantage is that there are only maps for Europe. Since we as overlanders and world travelers also drive outside of Europe, this does not help us much. And that’s the crucial thing. Routes to be found outside Europe. In addition, our older model was not MAC compatible. So unsuitable to install OSM cards.
A sea of navigation apps
We tried a lot of apps for navigating. By OSM AND, Waze, Here WeGo, Navmii, MapsMe, TomTom Go, Sygic, Google Maps, GPS Navigation, Magic Earth.
None of the apps offers us the optimal solution. They are all compromises. While at OSM AND you can enter the vehicle data to find the best route choice for our vehicle, you can only download a maximum of 5 maps for offline navigation free of charge. Otherwise, the variety of functions is overwhelming. For our purposes, however, not very suitable.
From my point of view, Sygic is the best app. However, you pay pretty much for everything. The first 7 days run as a trial version and all features are available. After these 7 days, almost everything has to be paid for.
Navmii offers super features such as search via a postcode, driver statistics or real-time traffic messages. But the app keeps crashing.To be fair, I only used the app for the first year. It may be that the developers have fixed this crash problem in the meantime.
We have been using MapsMe for a long time. Especially Claudia has saved the entire long-term planning with night places, campsites, sights etc. The backup function was active. Nevertheless, after an update, we could no longer load all POI points onto the app and thus had hundreds of laboriously earned points only just under 70. Also the support of MapsMe could not help which brought us another disappointment despite data backup on the servers of MapsMe.
The navigation app of our choice
Since this data loss at MapsMe, we are now using the navigation app Magic Earth. The guideline function is excellent. Traffic jams are displayed on the display and alternative routes are suggested. 3D maps provide a very good overview and the selection of maps to download is top. It is possible to download only certain regions, or the whole country. Speed and radar warnings can be switched on and the app is even suitable for public transport. A dashcam is also built-in, so that the camera of the mobile phone is used to prevent rear-end collisions or unintentional lane changes. Even pedestrians are detected and warn the driver.
For us, Magic Earth is the best navigation app yet. It is easy to use, has a clear, clean route guidance and the maps for download are updated again and again.
Features of Magic Earth at a glance:
- PRIVACY FIRST!
– Magic Earth does not collect any data
– Offline maps from OpenStreetMap. Download from 233 countries and regions
– 2D, 3D and satellite map views.
– Detail of the route such as surface, difficulty, distance and altitude profile.
– Link to Wikipedia articles more about the sights
– Find parking nearby
– Regular free map updates.
- AI DASHCAM
– Warnings about possible problems on the road
– Record ride
– Driver assistance warnings and dash cam functionality.
– Distance Warning, Collision Warning, Pedestrian Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Stop & Go Assist.
– fastest or shortest route to the destination (car, bike, on foot or public transport)
– Route with several waypoints.
– Head-up display (HUD), which projects the most important navigation information onto the windshield of your vehicle.
– Turn-by-turn navigation and lane assistance you know in advance which lane to take.
– Traffic information, public transport, weather
Image Credit: www.magicearth.com