GPS in Chiapas?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Feb 24, 2013 11:25 AM Last Post By: MarkkuTapio
Feb 23, 2013 6:38 AM
GPS in Chiapas?We will be renting a car in Chiapas (Palenque, San Cristobal, Chiapa de Corzo), and are wondering whether a GPS would be useful or advisable. We like to explore a bit.
Also would be interested to hear from anyone who has driven to the top of Canon del Sumidero, and can tell me where to depart from and how much time to devote to the drive.
Feb 23, 2013 7:34 AM
1I haven't driven anywhere in Mexico, but just checked Google maps, and it provides a couple of routes from Tuxtla Gutierrez: a longer (one hour) route to the village of Osumacinta, at the dammed end of the lake, and; another shorter route to the canyon edge just north of town. You can even use the "streetview" application to see road conditions.
I don't know if Google considers topes in their calculation of enroute times, and I doubt if any GPS will tell you whether you would be welcome on any particular road, or might face roadblocks, for example.
Feb 23, 2013 7:47 AM
We will be renting a car in Chiapas (Palenque, San Cristobal, Chiapa de Corzo), and are wondering whether a GPS would be useful or advisable. We like to explore a bit.
However, Google Maps, and the Navteq based maps will do the work decently for Mexico. Street grids are depicted and the road network as well.
I have a GPS chip built in my phone as well. A typical way to utilize it aside cruising and visiting sights:
1. I am approaching a town in which I want to spend the next night or perhaps already in town sipping coffee in shade of a parasol provides.
2. I start listing hotels around a big online broker compiles
3. I pick up one and set it's location (probably already in the database) as a favourite spot on the GPS map I use.
4. I will drive sometime later to the hotel while the active GPS map is giving instructions for the following turning points.
Feb 23, 2013 4:51 PM
3Unless TomTom has drastically improved their Mexican maps, then Garmin is the only way to go.
Garmin has detailed mapping for all North American (including Mexico) highways and towns including the streetnames for any but the very smallest villages or towns.
A Garmin GPS with these letters behind the model number such as 3790 LM indicates it includes lifetime updates, as often as 4 times per year. The letter 3790 LMT indicates it has a traffic receiver. Unfortunately the traffic receiver only works in the USA and Canada.
Feb 24, 2013 2:39 AM
4For a dedicated plotter Garmin is a good choice for Mexico. Garmin is a client to Navteq. I am not sure whether it is the only decent choice in this category though. There are mainly three large corporations who are mapping the globe for the household market: Google, Navteq and TeleAtlas. TeleAtlas mapping for Mexico has had a very poor covering. For instance TomTom Mexico maps are based on this mapping.
The other two companies provide quite decent mapping all over Mexico (naturally inaccuracies do occur). Even Microsoft built Route 66 will do (I don't know on which mapping their product relies).
I have used Garmin Oregon 200 (a discontinued product for a few last years) for Mexico and it has worked fine. Small hand held gear don't drain batteries too fast. With a pair of AA size NiMh batteries the plotter remains alive for about 24 hours. Even if a cord to the 12V system is available, one can live just fine without one. The true benefit is that due to low consumption, one can get the device along when he leaves the car.
Phones with a GPS circuit will do in Mexico. Garmin provides software linking phones to their products. Nokia provides free Navteq based maps for Mexico too. Naturally Google Maps too - and Route 66 and......
Power consumption of phones is many fold to small hand held plotters because of a complex operating system and environment.
Google Maps can be a bit tricky to operate in phones. A user can choose any pair of origin and destination and the Google mapping tool will draw the generated route on map. However, only in some countries the voice line works (one can manage without this property). I believe Mexico is today one of those countries.
Feb 24, 2013 10:25 AM
5I am currently in Guadalajara using the latest and greatest Garmin maps of Mexico on a dedicated GPS. They work well for city to city but are lousy within cities. The big issue being that the GPS constantly routes you the wrong way on one-way streets. You end up driving in circles to get anywhere.
Feb 24, 2013 11:25 AM
6It is true that even today GPS mapping stumbles on one way streets. Colonial towns in Mexico are built very densely and hence streets are narrow and street parking a norm. Therefore streets so often come as one way ones. Typically no problemo though. When routing is invalid (turning to a one way street upstream), you just drive straight ahead as long as turning to that direction is allowed (we assume a street grid plan is in order) and then you turn to the correct direction letting the plotter recalculate a new route. Perhaps not the most efficient routing but also not the most inefficient one.
It is true that today mapping should be implemented throughout the world by one more parameter to deal with one way streets. Even if GPS navigation is paramount and far superior to navigation by hard copy maps they are far from perfect. Paper maps are still good for planning when they come in large scale. For actual navigation they are a thing in past.
Actually in 2011 I drove in and around Guadalajara without difficulties (well parking was a minor issue).
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