[maemo-users] Navigation software

From: Jan Knutar jknutar at nic.fi
Date: Sun Oct 10 00:18:42 EEST 2010
On Friday 08 October 2010, Paul Hartman wrote:

> 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  be limited and outdated at times.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

Ovi Maps has the better search IMO, even if you have to use it online. 
You can just enter a street name, and it'll find the closest one to your 
position or view, or you can get a list of closest matches.

With sygic you have to enter very detailed information, and if you leave 
something blank, it doesn't mean "don't care", it means "use the first 
option available in the list". I sometimes have to use Ovi Maps to find 
some place, and then copy the location into Sygic for navigation. In 
some instances, not even the locals who live at the destination know the 
correct details sygic wants for the search..

>  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

Outside cities it speaks road numbers for me, slightly distorted. For 
example it might call road 7430 "five t seventy-four thirty", and it 
took awhile before I realized the "five t" part was some nonsense not on 
actual road signs anywhere. The "prefix" seems to vary between different 

>  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.

In general with version 10, the lag issues have mostly gone away for me, 
except for when I have bad GPS signal, which I often have in the 
location I like to keep my N900 in.

I tried to solve it using an external bluetooth gps unit, but Location 
has so many bugs in N900 that actually introduces huge amounts of lag to 
sygic when you use an external bluetooth gps, it also reduced the fps to 
1 and pegged the CPU. I managed to fix some of that in gypsy-daemon, 
though the response on bugs.maemo.org says my fix is wrong. Works for me 
in terms of eliminating lag and pegged cpu. I still have a timing issue, 
in that satellites will only sometimes be reported, and sygic and others 
seem to rely on satellites used to determine whether they're getting a 
good gps fix or some useless network based position. If they don't get 
the satellites, they don't ever do anything. Switching the bluetooth gps 
on/off and then tapping yes when maemo asks if you want to reconnect 
fixes it most of the time. I think the issue is that if I connect to the 
gps unit at the wrong time, it's sending the second part of a 3 part 
satellites message, and gypsy-daemon is unable to collect the 3 messages 
into complete satellite status if it doesn't start from the first 
message right away...

More serious issue for me with sygic is its focus-stealing behaviour. It 
takes focus, even if it's not in view, every second. Even if 
conversations is on screen, all keypresses go into sygic.

Sometimes after a long drive, it just crashes, or the voice guiding 
stops working. The latter also prevents sygic from shutting down 
cleanly, and it doesn't start again unless I kill the rogue 
process/thread left behind.

Sometimes the keep-screen-alive thing also stops working, and I have to 
start tapping screen repeatedly or fiddle with the lock button.

Despite all this I'm happier with Sygic MM10 than with Nokia Maps on my 
Symbian phone, which I'm now stuck with as my N900 is in for repairs.
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