Travel maps: web sites versus GPS

            For years I have been using the web sites for Mapquest and Google maps to search locations, print out maps, and directions.  I bought an iPhone last summer that has a built-in map function that has some limitations, but I also can access the Mapquest and Google sites directly from the phone.  I also bought a Magellan GPS unit for the car that speaks directions so that I don’t have to look at the screen.  It also has the option to set preferences for: shortest distance, shortest driving time, least use of freeways, and most use of freeways, and it also includes the AAA tour book information for that location.

            The curious thing is that I seem to get slightly different directions for each site or system that I use, some of which are quite peculiar.  I don’t know if that is due to the fact that they use different databases, the databases aren’t current, or the particular algorithm they use.  I really can’t say which one is right and which one is wrong although I did have one occasion where the GPS couldn’t find the facility (it sent me in the wrong direction).

            I live in a large urban area that is spread out over 30 miles, and even though I know the area well I still at times need help finding an obscure location in a new development or residential area that has lots of dead ends.    I like the GPS unit the best because I don’t have to look at a map in the dark or look for hard to read street signs.

            What has been your experience with the various sites and systems, and what do you recommend?

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