Gadgets 89

Published on December 21st, 2005 | by Greg


Who Needs To Ask For Directions?

Some have questioned our abilities before: do we really know where we’re going? Are we sure that’s the right way? Are we really, really certain that the road is supposed to end like this?

It’s our little secret- carry a pocket GPS. Sure, you could just buy maps or ask for directions. But, face it, who wants to use paper these days, much less stop and lose pride. Suck it up- use a Brunton GPS. We tried out their Atlas model, and though there were a few issues, GPS technology has come a long way.

Formerly, you needed to wait about 5 minutes for your unit to find satellites. You had a tiny screen, and were lucky if you could identify the county you were in, much less the exact spot. Software was unfriendly to use, and confusing. The Atlas fixes the first two problems handily, synchronizing within a minute usually- it still doesn’t work indoors though, for those who think everything should work like a cell phone. It also features a large screen, nicely lit, and plenty of battery life. It’s not very heavy at all, and perfectly sized to fit into a pocket.

Unfortunately, the software can still be annoying. Some people we had try out the unit were frustrated by the lack of many roads, and the cumbersome process to input directions. Granted, the unit comes with only highways, interstates, and major roads- you need extra software (and a memory card) to get the full maps. Most everyone was impressed though by the fairly large buttons, and accuracy- it keeps track of which direction you are facing, and can zoom in through dozens of levels.

This model (which appears to be the same as the Lowrance iFinder) does not come with a way to hook it up to a computer- a shame, since it might’ve made the unit far more useful out of the box. Ultimately though, for a decent, sturdy, accurate GPS for around $200, the Brunton Atlas will help you find your way without any silly maps. Just don’t get lost inside your house.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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