Gransnet forums

Travel

Blankety blank Google maps!

(17 Posts)
MawBroon Thu 04-Jan-18 17:15:08

Now that I am driving quite long distances on my own (and I admit I have never been great at navigating) I thought a Satnav might be a good idea. However DDs said “No Mum, use your phone and Google maps and all you have to buy is a cradle for the dashboard (at £19.99 a lot cheaper than a Satnav) “ Good advice.
So, set out to drive down to Somerset for New Year. All was fine until I was trundling along the A303 looking for the turn off for the road to Cricket St Thomas via Crewkerne. But Google maps took me sailing past where I thought I might have turned off and THEN took me down the most terrifying labyrinth of narrow country lanes, deep in mud and running with water. I swear I passed the Dinnington Docks at least TWICE as I got more and more lost and panicking that night would fall and I’d still be driving round for ever like the Flying Dutchman.
Apparently it’s a well known “rat run”(for rats, also locals and presumably those with 4- wheel drive. )
Blow me it did it again yesterday on my way to Shaftesbury, I expected the obvious instructions to turn off the A303 on to the A350 and straight to Shaftesbury, but had not counted on the “guided scenic route” via assorted narrow single track lanes, farms in the middle of nowhere, huge water splashes courtesy of Storm Eleanor and a complete waste of 45 minutes. angry
What is it with these things?
Trouble is I can’t cope with navigating or a map when I am on my own, but I can get close to panic when I seem to be going round in ever decreasing circles

Marydoll Thu 04-Jan-18 17:36:39

Maw, What a terrible experience, that is my worst nightmare. I have no spacial awareness and reading a map is a total anathema to me.
DH's new car came with a Sat Nav, and we still got lost. grin
He then asked me to use Google Maps on my phone, I couldn't interpret it, I think we passed the same place three times.

Stansgran Thu 04-Jan-18 17:41:53

DH has always refused my pleas for a sat nav since the day he was walking up a steep pedestrian cobbled street and was asked by four men packed into a lorry if this was Birmingham. He was in Durham. They blamed the sat nav.

NanaandGrampy Thu 04-Jan-18 17:43:15

We too have a satnav in our car - and I used to have a TomTom .

I have to say the TomTom is far superior to either the inbuilt satnav or google maps for a couple of reasons.

With TomTom I can pay and get a map that has all the speed cameras on it , invaluable when driving in strange places.

You can set your route choice and save all those single track roads etc.

You can again pay extra, and have traffic on it ( sometimes that comes for free) and so as you are driving along your route it will automatically give you the choice to re route if there is traffic ahead BEFORE you reach it . It will tell you the difference in staying on your original route or taking the new option.,

Very handy for motorway driving I found.

So for me having tried Garmin, TomTom, the inbuilt satnav or google maps it would be TomTom every time although it is the most expensive option if you want all the bells and whistles.

shysal Thu 04-Jan-18 19:52:27

I am a 'belt and braces kind of gal so as well as using my Tom Tom I print off an AA route, which I Blu Tac to the dashboard. Map book will also be open at the relevant page.
I am a less confident driver these days and confess to avoiding long unfamiliar journeys when possible.

Cherrytree59 Thu 04-Jan-18 20:04:26

Same here Shysal

tanith Thu 04-Jan-18 20:13:41

My in car sat nav does a really good job and hasn't taken me down any dodgy roads so far. My grandkids all use google maps though I'll stick with what suits me.

ninathenana Fri 05-Jan-18 00:10:38

I like my TomTom but I always study the road atlas before I set off so I have an idea of the route. I note down 'A' roads and junction numbers.
If 'Tommy' wants to take me off route, I just ignore him and he and I will pick up my expected route further on.

Cabbie21 Fri 05-Jan-18 20:43:31

DH is so hooked on his Satnav I swear he has lost his map reading skills, and sometimes his sense of direction.

If I am going on a new route on my own, which is not very often, I admit, I study the paper map first, jot down turns and road numbers, place names etc. I do use Google maps on my phone, which speaks the route, but I check the route through first at home to make sure I am comfortable with it.

Purpledaffodil Tue 03-Apr-18 13:10:17

Medals for enterprise Maw. I now have a built in satnav which I find easier to follow. Google maps are very small to glance at, but useful to look for traffic holdups in advance I find. I do recommend a bit of old style route planning first and so I know not to plunge down those tiny lanes when ordered to. I once ended up on one called The Chute! 😩

Welshwife Tue 03-Apr-18 13:49:36

We have a TomTom which is now getting old but still works - it is handy because as well as Western European maps we can also change it to North American ones.

I think you need to have a good idea of where you are going even with a sat nav and not rely on it totally as at times they have mad fits and take you up a dead end.

The only time I have tried google maps was with DD ‘s phone and then we lost the route when she had call come in - also after a while the screen went black so you couldn’t see the map at all. After all her saying that the phone map was fine DD now says she is considering getting a satnav!

Polly99 Tue 03-Apr-18 14:01:02

Oh they are infuriating. I think they often pick the shortest mileage rather than the most sensible or straightforward route. As Nina says if you know the main roads to take it is better to ignore any unexpected directions. It will soon re-route itself. Well done on being so brave Maw, driving long distances alone can be quite daunting.

Situpstraight Tue 03-Apr-18 15:18:56

I totally embraced the Tom Tom when we first got it, but after ending up in the bus station in Swindon, going along tram lines in Sheffield and ending up in a boggy Devon field, with the stupid woman still insisting I keep on the road I was on, I now look on the computer first and make a note of the road numbers and have it to hand, plus a road map.
But usually anywhere new DH drives and I use various methods to navigate, usually all at the same time, print offs, maps, SatNav and looking at road signs......never any time to enjoy the scenery any more

NonnaW Tue 03-Apr-18 17:23:40

Satnavs have always had a tendency to take us down narrow roads or once on a totally unnecessary detour through a housing estate, then back onto the original road at the same junction it took us off!

petra Tue 03-Apr-18 21:11:09

Oh the fall outs we've had over Satnavs. The worst was coming up to the Millau bridge in France, the highest bridge in the world.
This was some years ago and 'we' hadn't updated the satnav so the bridge wasn't on it so therefore 'she' wanted to take us down the most terrifying twisting road imaginable.
I knew this was wrong but OH believed 'her'
So be it, he was driving a 24ft motohome towing a smart car.
We didn't speak for some hours angry
Then it was my fault because I wasn't more insistent grin

Moneyboss Wed 04-Apr-18 16:59:06

We have a built in Satnav and until we had one I'd never venture far. Now I'll go anywhere but always check out the route on Google first and if I think it's taking me off at a tangent I'll go my own way knowing it'll get me there in the end.
We used to fall out when I had to map read, so many years ago I bought OH a TomTom for his birthday....for my benefit.

M0nica Thu 05-Apr-18 11:36:16

I check the map, memorise the order of the towns on the journey and print out a large scale map of the last mile. If I get lost I just wing it, read the road signs and hope for the best. If all else fails I stop at the next convenient place and check the map. I do sometimes 'fly' key parts of an unknown route on Google maps, satellite mode before a journey

My knowledge of the geography of the UK is sufficient to get me to most places just using road signs. It is the last mile I need the detail for and from experience as a passenger, this is where satnavs are of least use.

I confess, I love maps, especially OS maps, road maps are rather dull but sufficient for their purpose. Many years ago I navigated DH from Penrith to Alnwick, across the fells in the dark on minor roads. We were still engaged at the end of the journey. He trusted my map reading then and still does.