Nokia N810 nav functions

The N810 I recently purchased has a built in GPS receiver. I had a drive to do this morning and figured I’d put it to the route-finding test. There was very little route to find – directions were about as easy as can be imagined – a perfect first outing. Call me conservative, but I prefer to shake things down before I’m in desperate need of them (when possible). There are two options, as far as I can tell, on the N810:

  • Wayfinder comes preloaded on the N810 with a big caveat – to get route finding, you need to spend $$ to upgrade to the ‘full’ version. At this point it looks like a 36 month subscription is about $140 – too rich for my blood.
  • Maemo Mappper is a free open source app that’s a one-click install, To get voice directions you also need to install flite, so maybe I should characterize it as a two-clicker.

I spent 10 minutes or so yesterday with Maemo Mapper – figuring out how to ask for directions, download maps along the route, etc. First thing this morning, I fired up Mapper and set out. A note on the N810′s GPS performance – every review you read says the same thing – it takes forever for the receiver to find satellites. True fact. I think my ancient Garmin 12XL comes up faster. However, once it’s up the N810 does a great job staying connected. I drove with the little beastie on the passenger seat (the Garmin would have lost signal for sure) and it knew where I was throughout the trip. No tunnels – it would be interesting to see how quickly it re-composed itself once above ground again – but as I said, baby steps. The voice directions were just fine; standard syntho-voice, something I prefer – don’t startle me with a “who the heck is in the car?” moment. All in all, a positive experience – encouraging for the first time out.

Mapper generates a track as you move – I saved the ‘going away’ track and loaded it to my server. Right-click here, choose save link as and it’ll load into Google Earth like a charm. Some pics from the ride:

Local point of interest

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Navigator/radio operator’s station

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Got the radio on

I’m like the roadrunner

Alright

I’m in love with modern moonlight

128 when it’s dark outside

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(I’ll bet a million bucks Steve knows exactly where these antennae are.)