21 August 2010

GPS Phenomenon & New Garmin GPS 62 Handhelds Reviewed

GPS: I have one in my phone and another handheld device I take hiking, tramping and geocaching. How did people get around without these things? You can often choose rental cars with GPS built in so you can find your way around unknown territory.

Why those are not outlawed along with cell phones, I'm not sure. But then, maps in cars are dangerous. I remember Grandpa grabbing the map Granny was reading and throwing it out the window. He knew where he was going and couldn't see the side mirror for her holding the map up at full width!

Why the proliferation of GPS enabled devices? About ten years ago selective availability (SA) of GPS signals were disabled to make the super accurate technology open to everyone on Earth, rather than just the U.S. military. Thanks to that decision made by the Clinton Administration in 2000, today we’re able to find Tupperware containers in the woods (geocaching), get turn-by-turn driving directions, geotag our point and shoot photos, and a lot more.

Geek.com reviews the Garmin 62 of the new series.

"The new Garmin GPSMAP 62's features include a route planner, proximity alarm, waypoint averaging, area calculation and then general tools include a calculator, calendar, hunting calendar, alarm clock, stopwatch, and a sun/moon chart. The two higher end models add even more featuring, like an elevation plot and wireless data transfers.

Garmin’s GPSMAP 62 is a great handheld GPS. It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s one of the most competitive packages out there and, perhaps even better than that, it’s an easy pick if you want a great GPS device but you don’t feel like doing a ton of research. It’s still early on for the 62 series, especially if their lifecycle will be anything like that of the 60 series, but so far everything is looking good. I had a great experience with it and so far the general consensus in the online geo community seems to be really positive. The 62 addressed what problems people had with the 60Cx and while the latter remains a popular choice it’s clear the new buyers should opt for a newer GPSMAP 62 or Oregon device."

GPSMAP 62 series prices: the 62 ($350), the 62s ($450), and 62st ($550).

The difference between these latest models is that GPSMAP 62S adds microSD card slot, electronic compass, barometric altimeter, wireless data sharing, high speed USB to the base model whereas the 62ST tops everything off with a preloaded 100K topographic maps for the entire US.

So the Garmin 62s would be the way to go for those outside the US, I think I'll stay with my Garmin 60csx until they've tweaked this series to it's peak performance.


Sonia said...

Technology ah always improving, though I do like the capacity to hold more waypoints and wifi! Though in saying that I am happy with the gadget I do have. Thanks for sharing.

Alec said...

Hi Jill,

How are you finding the Garmin 62s 3 years on? I am thinking of Buying the Garmin STC like this http://www.aboveandbeyond.co.uk/.garmin-gpsmap-62stc-handheld-gps-with-1-50k-gb-discoverer-full-uk-map_753759979386b.htm but I hadn't realised it had been around so long. Would you still recommend it?

Thomas Venney said...