[maemo-users] Navigation software

From: Paul Hartman paul.hartman+maemo at gmail.com
Date: Fri Oct 8 23:19:58 EEST 2010
On Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 1:20 PM, Johann Spies <johann.spies at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am still trying free navigation software on the N900.  So far my experience:
> 1. Nokia Maps:  Since the possibility of using it offline it is good
> as a mapping instrument.  Navigation is still absent although it can
> do route-planning.
> 2. Navit: works as navigation software but the interface is difficult
> to understand and simple functions as searching for an address is not
> obvious.  I fail to understand the menu structure properly.  This is a
> common problem to many of the programs I have tried.  For
> voice-enabled navigation Navit is the best of the bunch.
> 2. Mappero: It took my quite a while to figure out how to use it, but
> I have some success now. Still primitive.  The possibility of
> recording my own voice instructions is there but I did not take time
> to do it.
> 3. Cloudgps: apart from the few keyboard shortcuts I am unable to find
> a way to use it for something useful.  I see no menu for searching,
> routing or navigation.  Nice maps.
> 4. Modrana looked promising but I fail to understand some of the menus
> e.g. the Download-menu's.  I don't know what the different options
> mean like '5up'  or '8down' .  After guessing  thte options I started
> a download process for more than 24000 tiles to carry on overnight.
> The next morning my N900 was unresponsive and I needed to switch it
> off.  After a restart Modrana would not show any map.
> A remark about all the products except maybe Nokia's Maps: I could not
> find proper documentation and it is difficult to understand the logic
> of the menus without the documentation.
> Summary: Navigation software on the N900 still has a long way to go.
> If I want to search for an address: Nokia Maps is the easiest and then
> next one is Mappero.

Nice report, I have not yet tried Navit. modRana seems like it is
powerful but I have barely touched it so far. I think the "+ x Down"
and "+ x Up" has to do with zoom level that it downloads up or down
relative to current settings. But I could be wrong about it.

It is not navigation, but you can use Google Latitude Updater to view
and search google maps in your position and to get directions

You can also try Libellule which uses Qype and Yahoo Local to search
nearby locations based on your current position.

I saw Sygic Mobile Maps in a friend's N900, it was definitely the most
"professional" of the list, and of course it costs money. I don't
think it is as good as other software available on other platforms but
for N900 it's the best you can get. As far as search/POI, others like
modRana might be better since they can query Google etc. while Sygic
is just using their own database which can be limited and outdated at
times. When I rode with him it seemed to lag behind pretty badly at
certain points (it would tell us to turn after we already passed the
street, things like that), and it does not speak street names, so if
you're in an urban area "turn right in 200 meters" could be any of
several streets. Because of that you have to read the N900 screen as
you drive, which is dangerous, and also uses battery faster since you
need to keep the backlight on.

Personally, for navigation I use a Garmin Nuvi that I keep in my
car... works great and won't kill my N900's battery, and it tells me
the street name so I don't have to watch it the whole time, just
listen. :)
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