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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Maybe someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong but here's my biggest beef with the NAVI. I often want to go to the nearest store of a certain name. For example, last week I wanted to go to the nearest Circuit City. I knew it was nearby - just wanted the directions. Here's what I tried: (its prompts are in mixed case, my typing is in uppercase)
Code:
Places
  Name
    CIRCUIT CITY
It then waited for more letters so I clicked List to see the choices and it showed:
Code:
       List
           CIRCUIT CITY  
           CIRCUIT CITY  CAR STEREO STORE
           CIRCUIT CITY  CENTRAL DIV
I clicked on the first one and got:
Code:
               Sub-categories
                   Appliances-household-major dealers
                   Appliances-household-major rpring
                   Auto parts
I clicked on the first one and it gave me a place that was 252 miles away. So I cancelled, when back to the list and scrolled to get the full list.
Code:
                   Cellular phone
                   Computer Software
                   Electric Contractors
                   Electronic Equipment-Rtl
                   . . . goes on for awhile . . .
The last one sounded good so I clicked on it and got a bunch of places, the first being 20 miles away. But I knew the nearest store was much closer - more like 7 miles. So I cancelled, wasted some time trying the others but they started giving places in Idaho, Texas, etc. (I'm in Maryland.) So I cancelled back all the way to the original list and finally scrolled down to see the full list of everything beginning with Circuit City. Well, it was substantial. I ended up trying all the things that sounded plausible like:
Code:
CIRCUIT CITY EXPRESS
CIRCUIT CITY ROADSHOP
CIRCUIT CITY STORE (this was to a place in Missouri)
CIRCUIT CITY STORES (Ohio and another place it simply said was 2158 miles away)
CIRCUIT CITY STORES INC (then went to Florida)
CIRCUIT CITY SUPER STORES (another in Florida)
CIRCUIT CITY SUPERSTORE
Some of these led to submenus. For examples, the CIRCUIT CITY STORES INC led to a submenu of:
Code:
  AUTO PARTS/SPLS-RTL-NEW
  ELECTRONIC EQPT/SPLS-RTL
I tried each of these individually and they simply had one entry each. (Both over 100 miles away.) And I'm skipping all the ones that sounded unlikely, such as CIRCUIT CITY NORTHEAST DIV and CIRCUIT CITY SVC DEPT.

Finally, I gave up in disgust. While typing this, it occurred to me to try search by category, so I tried:
Code:
Places
  Categories
     Advanced
         Electronics-eqpt/spls-rtl
At this point, it prompts for
Code:
             Name
            Sort by Distance
            City Region
I knew that the Name would be fruitless and I am now at home, so I knew that they would give false results, so I tried City Region. Entered "Rockville" and it claimed there were none in Rockville, instead giving me one in Bethesda a fair distance away.

Now you may say, ok, the store simply wasn't in the database. Perhaps, but it seems unlikely since the one I was looking for is a HUGE Circuit City and has been there for years. And since there were so many damn categories and variations on the name, I'm thinking I just didn't know the "right" way through the NAVI's database.

You may also say this is just a one-time thing, but to the contrary, I was looking for the nearest Home Depot last night and I went through the same thing! Lots of variations in the Home Depot name and then as I tried some of them, I would get sub-categories which made the whole task unbelievably complex.

I've run into this a number of times. I try to search by name and just get annoyed, particularly with places that have existed for years! Why is this thing so poor? (Don't get me wrong, once it has an address I love the routing capability.) But I now dread looking up things if I only have their name.

Oh, one more example, I work for NIST (part of the fed govt) so I entered National Institute of Standards ... and saw that the NAVI clearly had dozens of national institutes like NIH, etc. Very encouraging. So I went on. However for NIST, all it had was a small satellite group we have in Boulder. It didn't have our headquarters - a huge complex with dozens of building and thousands of employees. So I used the map feature to force it over there and to my surprise the map has all of our internal street names. They're not even public streets. I was quite surprised. On the other hand, it showed we had two restaurants when we don't. If you go to where the map indicates there are restaurants, the closest thing around is a pump house and a couple of acres of trees.

Do other people find the NAVI frustrating when looking things up or am I missing something?
 

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I think that with the store names, the Navi database uses the Yellow Pages data base. That means that even though the Circuit City store is nearby, if it isn't in the yellow pages data base, you won't find it on your navi system. One way to check would be to enter the telephone number of the nearest circuit city store and see if the Navi will locate the address with the phone number. I was similarly frustrated trying to find the nearest Kristy Kreme donought store in Las Vegas, gave me one somewhere in the mid-west-a little too far to drive for a Krispy Kreme!
 

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Donlibes, I share your frustration, just today I went furniture shopping with my wife about 20 miles away and we wanted to go to a Taco Bell near by. Sure enough the Navi showed one about .9 miles away, I was impressed. As we reached the 'destination' there was no taco bell in sight. It turned out to be a few blocks ahead on the same street.

So I am going to take the approach below:

How about just taking a couple of hours on a Sunday and storing the your 100 most commonly visited places. I bet you'll be able to fit in just about every where you might go and then some. It'll save you a lot of frustration and you'll never be steered wrong.

I have a couple of questions myself: I've just had my van for a week, If I go to enter a personal address, it asks me for a PIN. Well I've never set-up a PIN, so ofcourse I don't know what it is. Is there a default PIN from the factory? I didn't see anything in the Nav. Manual.
2nd Question is how do you enter a freeway or highway? Today I tried to enter the intersection of a road and a freeway and I couldn't.

Thanks

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sgoyal:
Donlibes, I share your frustration, just today I went furniture shopping with my wife about 20 miles away and we wanted to go to a Taco Bell near by. Sure enough the Navi showed one about .9 miles away, I was impressed. As we reached the 'destination' there was no taco bell in sight. It turned out to be a few blocks ahead on the same street.</font>
Reminds me of another story. When I took the car out for a test drive, the Honda salesperson said, oh, let's navigate back to the dealership using the NAVI. Needless to say, it put us a block away going in the wrong direction. Since the NAVI has a special category and icons for Honda dealerships, this was rather annoying to the dealer. I certainly wasn't impressed either.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">How about just taking a couple of hours on a Sunday and storing the your 100 most commonly visited places. I bet you'll be able to fit in just about every where you might go and then some. It'll save you a lot of frustration and you'll never be steered wrong.</font>
I've been doing that - just more slowly. As I go places, I'll record them. I like the ability to associate destinations via the map. Particularly with large malls, it's helpful to approach the mall correctly for a given store. So instead of the official store address, I'll select the lane or street I would use to approach the mall to get to that particular store. This turns out to be much more useful than the NAVI's built-in database of addresses.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I have a couple of questions myself: I've just had my van for a week, If I go to enter a personal address, it asks me for a PIN. Well I've never set-up a PIN, so ofcourse I don't know what it is. Is there a default PIN from the factory? I didn't see anything in the Nav. Manual.
2nd Question is how do you enter a freeway or highway? Today I tried to enter the intersection of a road and a freeway and I couldn't.
</font>
The dealer is supposed to give you the PIN. Most people report finding the PIN on a sticker in the glove compartment, too, along with the radio unlock code.

For highway names, read the NAVI manual. There's a page that explains all the conventions for highways, interstates, etc. I don't remember the conventions offhand - I stuck in a couple of tabs to the various pages of the NAVI manual that I know I'll have to refer to quickly in the future. The table explaining the color codes is another one I have tabbed.

[This message has been edited by donlibes (edited 02-25-2002).]
 

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I think Nemogira is the best one to answer all those questions since he has the navi for quite some times and he always recommends it. I have the navi for 3 months only and I am having similar problem, maybe we need some tips from Nemo.
Nemogira, please help !
 

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Well let me get things straightened out...I've had the NAVI for 6 months but have only recently got it working. So please bare with me - I'm not totally experienced with it yet. I do think there are some quirks you have to kind of work around to get it 100% working. But once you get use to it you can use it to it's full potential.

donlibes,

I think its more reliable searching for the STREET name rather than the business name. Because business sometimes close or move or new ones will pop up. Street name changes aren't very frequent - unless if its newly built. Also isn't there something that narrows down names by CITY or STATE? I don't know a solution for yours off hand but I'll try to check it out later tonight using my NAVI.

sgoyal,

If you have NEVER entered a personal pin before you have to go to the Setup>Others>Personal PIN menu. That's where you enter in or change a personal PIN. Check page 52 in you NAVI manual for more details.

Both of you have mentioned the cursor being backward or a block away from it's destination. Read page 66 on the Systems Limitations. As for it facing backwards there is a manual Location Correction option.

-Nestor


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2000 CCS EX-NAVI
 

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Thanks guys, apparently I didn't receive a nav. code card with my van so I called the dealer and one is on the way. He did point me to the inside of the glove-box where this number is also affixed. I entered the number and am in business.

I also agree with Nemogira about entering street names rather than business names.
 

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I have the same complaint about putting in a location, say like WalMart, and getting a list starting with the one in Florida !! I've worked around it, but don't remember the actual steps---I think you have to go by category like donlibes did in his example. My wife drives it mostly so I don't get to use it much. I guess it is frustrating because it seems so intuitive that if I ask for a store that it would give me a list starting with the one closest to my present location.

My biggest problem is getting my wife to use it---she keeps forgetting she has it! The other day my son shared how she was trying to find a school in her district and was asking people for directions or to borrow a Thomas Bros book. She eventually remembered and it worked like a champ.

One last story. My wife is going to play in Los Angeles with my kids and classmates. There is a caravan of cars with kids that is being led by someone who "thinks" they know how to get there. My wife told me how the person kept getting lost until they finally get there. I asked why the person with GPS wasn't leading and she said she turned it on at one point, but the "lost leader" did not agree with GPS directions so they went another way---you guessed it, she got lost again!

Welcome to my world. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by nemogira:
I think its more reliable searching for the STREET name rather than the business name. Because business sometimes close or move or new ones will pop up. Street name changes aren't very frequent - unless if its newly built. Also isn't there something that narrows down names by CITY or STATE?</font>
Yes, I used it in my last example of searching for a Circuit City.... which ended with the NAVI telling me there was no Circuit City in the area.

I agree with your comment about street names. However, none of the examples I gave involved stores that had moved. The problem was the stores weren't in the NAVI to begin with! (And the listings were so complex that it was painful to figure out that the stores weren't listed.)
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As for it facing backwards there is a manual Location Correction option.</font>
Location correction is only a dynamic thing - to accomodate temporary GPS error. Location correction doesn't allow you to correct the location of a store. (The DVD is write-only after all!)
 

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I never got to check out the Ody Navi as we decided to purchase the Kenwood aftermarket navi.

Our navigation has a section where you can just look in certain areas (say so. cal) etc. Does the Ody Navi not have that feature? We were getting info on places in Las Vegas (etc) until we selected a region to look in via a little map we clicked on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by OddGrinch:
I never got to check out the Ody Navi as we decided to purchase the Kenwood aftermarket navi.

Our navigation has a section where you can just look in certain areas (say so. cal) etc. Does the Ody Navi not have that feature? We were getting info on places in Las Vegas (etc) until we selected a region to look in via a little map we clicked on.
</font>
Sort of. You can't start by indicating the area. That's a question you can enter only after you've entered a place name or category first. Anyway, that's unrelated to the problem we're all encountering which is that 1) the database simply doesn't have some listings that we think it should have and 2) the place names aren't normalized. Let us know if your Kenwood has better coverage. Can you easily get it to (correctly) answer a question like "where is the nearest Home Depot?"

I happened to see a Kenwood last month and there was one feature on it that I really liked - it labels large things on the map such as golf courses, malls, schools, etc. I wish the Honda NAVI did that. Sometimes, I move the cursor over to the middle of a big colored area that is obviously a park or school or something like that. And instead of telling me what it is, it tells me the address. It's annoying that, unless it's a restaurant, the NAVI can't tell me the name, only the street address.

[This message has been edited by donlibes (edited 02-25-2002).]
 

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Donlibes, just wondering what area you in? I’m near San Francisco so my map coverage should be pretty good. Although my navigation disc is pretty old (version 1.09). Places that I chose to use in the Name Searches where places that I knew have been there for a while. Like our local Target, Toys R Us, Yardbirds, and Grand Auto. Had no problems with those. I then tried 2 of the nearby malls…Sun Valley and Hilltop Mall. No problems either. I then try something more difficult with specific names like the local Church that I go to, a city tours company that I went to a couple of months ago, and even the elementary I went to in San Francisco. I was able to find them but I had to be very specific with the name of the place. For example:

Place: Napa Valley Wine Train
NAVI Name Search (first attempt): Napa Wine Train

This does not find the place I was looking for. I remember I had to add “Valley” in the search.

I then tried local amusement parks like Paramount’s Great America. I tried both with “Paramount” and “Great America” for searching. Could not find that particular park for some reason. And I know it’s been there for a while. This may or may not have been fix in the later versions. I also did a search for Waterworld. Our local one is in Concord but all I found was Sacramento. But I was able to find Marine World Africa USA.

So I guess my tips when using the NAVI are:

- Search for Street Address for best results
- When doing Name Searches try to input the ‘exact’ name
- This is somewhat of a cheat but if you know of place close by search for that instead. I had to do this when searching for a newly built Barns & Noble which was not in my database.

As for Donlibes problem I guess its just that it’s not in the database. Could also be the disc version he has, where he lives or something else.

-Nestor


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2000 CCS EX-NAVI
 

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Discussion Starter #13
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by nemogira:
Donlibes, just wondering what area you in? I’m near San Francisco so my map coverage should be pretty good.</font>
I'm near Washington DC so the street coverage is excellent. I'm also extremely impressed by the level of detail. Every bend in the road is there. Washington DC is such a mess - I can't begin to tell you how awful it is here. The NAVI is a must-have for any DC driver. I used to dread going into DC; now I enjoy it.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As for Donlibes problem I guess its just that it’s not in the database. Could also be the disc version he has, where he lives or something else.</font>
It's completeness, yes, but it's "something else" too: inconsistency in the store names. In my example, I pointed out that different Circuit City stores were listed as:

CIRCUIT CITY
CIRCUIT CITY STORE
CIRCUIT CITY STORES
CIRCUIT CITY STORES INC
CIRCUIT CITY SUPER STORES
CIRCUIT CITY SUPERSTORE
and about a dozen more variations of that

This makes if difficult to find a store even if you do know the "correct" name and makes it impossible to use the "where is the nearest" function in the NAVI even if the store is in the database. (And yes, I have the latest release.) Most of these stores have multiple subcategories under them making the whole thing a mess to exhaustively search.

I think the database design could add some smarts to the system to accommodate these variations in names. Like I said, it happens with other stores too. I gave Home Depot as another example. I was unsuccessful finding the right "Marriott" yesterday, too. (Yet another winner in the "how-many-different-variations can we name a Marriott hotel.")
 

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Another questions: Is there anyway to avoid having to enter a PIN everytime you want to go to one of your personal places. Whats Honda thinking? or what am I missing? 99% of the times, the actual owner of the vehicle is driving so why the need for a PIN. I think its 5 unnecessary key strokes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sgoyal:
Another questions: Is there anyway to avoid having to enter a PIN everytime you want to go to one of your personal places. Whats Honda thinking? or what am I missing? 99% of the times, the actual owner of the vehicle is driving so why the need for a PIN. I think its 5 unnecessary key strokes.</font>
I asked this identical question a month or so ago. As I recall, there were no good answers (damn that broken search function).

But I've finally come up with a use. In fact, it was inspired by your earlier reply - which suggested driving around and entering all your favorite places.

I've kinda been doing that but in a on-demand manner: As I drive to or by a place that I'm likely to want to revisit, I'll save it to the NAVI. So what, you ask?

Well, in a feeble attempt to reduce scrolling and bring a little order to my list of personal destinations, I am putting all the commercial places (restaurants and stores) in User 2. Everything else goes in User 1 - that is everything non-commercial such as friends addresses, doctors, parks, etc. I'm guessing that this split pretty much balances them out.

Now when I want to go to a personal destination, it still pops up the stupid prompt for PIN but I just ignore it and think of it as a prompt to choose between commercial or non-commercial places (because the user 1 vs 2 prompt is on that same menu). Ok, you still need to enter the PIN but I have both PINs set to nothing, so I just press DONE and I'm done. In fact, half the time I just press DONE because I'm already at the right user. And half the time I press the Switch User and then DONE.

This little bit of adaptation (and brainwashing) has made me happy. In fact, you can also see it as adding the benefit of 100 additional places. Oh, and there's one other benefit - before I used to think for awhile before saving a destination because 100 seemed so limited, I didn't want to fill it up. But having doubled it, I don't think too much any more - if there's ANY chance I'll be returning to a restauant, I'll save it. I just can't conceive that I go to more than 100 stores and restaurants!

Anyway, try using the PIN as just a selector for different groups of destinations and you may find it more palatable. (And set your password to zero length.)
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BadAngler:
Dang thing couldn't find Disney World in Orlando last weekend.

I had to do the unthinkable....follow
signs.
</font>
It is under:
DISNEY-MGM STUDIOS
DISNEY-MGM STUDIOS/THEME PARK
DISNEY-MGM STUDIOS/MAIN ENTRANCE

Hey, it only took me 20 minutes to find it! Listing under DISNEY WORLD would be too easy and would not be adventurous! It can be frustrating at times. Was happy to finally get a listing, any listing.
 

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I received an invitation via mail a few days ago to participate in an online survey regarding factory installed navigation systems. Thinking it was a scam to harvest email addresses and phone numbers, I checked out the company on the web. Sure enough, they're a reputable, major international research firm. I went ahead and filled out the survey online; it was very specific to the Honda nav system (even had many screen shots of the system layout; buttons; etc.). Stated purpose of the survey was to determine what actual users of the systems thought - what they liked and didn't like about the system; what else they'd like to see it do. There were several questions such as "Would you like to receive email and internet access via your onboard nav system", and "Would you like to be able to view video/TV signals on your nav system". Also, "Would you like the ability to use voice commands to operate the nav system". So, at least the auto makers are thinking about changes and upgrades - if and when we see them is another point.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If anyone else fills out this survey and there's a spot for "other comments", please enter the URL of this topic!

But I suspect they see email/internet access as more fertile ground for further development and income. Just like Microsoft: bugs and usability are not important, what counts are the number of features and how much they can charge.
 

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Actually there were many more questions concerning the layout of the screens and buttons and how you navigate through them (e.g.; using addresses; map input; favorite places; etc.) than there were on the geegaws and add-ons. I was actually impressed with the detailed questions on the survey and the fact that they were taking it very seriously. At the least, I think it will lead to more user-friendly systems.
 
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