Ostia 7 mini-review

Ostia 7 mini-review

Postby beakmyn » Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:41 am

I'm evaluating navigation programs for my iPaq. The folks over at Pharos actually provide a 30-day demo but it only took me 2 hours to figure out it's not worth it.

Equipment:
Ipaq 5450
Ram Mount cradle with power and 9-pin serial (recommended)
Etrex Legend with Serial cable

Pros:
Pretty graphics
Large buttons
GPS was dead on (when it worked)
3D 'bird's eye' view

Cons:
Zoom -
click on a tiny icon to pop-up a slider to zoom in or out
or wait 3 seconds and it will zoom out one notch
Routing - Horrid unless you like the highways.
A 13 mile trip took 7 stop points to force the quickest route. Mappoint did it right the first time. My other choices were to take a toll road or the fastest route it thought which was 20 plus turns on surface streets. The real quickest route it 3 turns.

Errors in map. It put my house at the wrong end of the street. A street which has been there since 1989. It put my work at the wrong end of the street also, there for over 15 years.


major oops
So, I decided to go the Post Office which is 5 miles away from me. I put the Ipaq in the cradle and fired up Otsia. It complained about the GPS signal not being there until the Etrex got a fix. Then each second the GPS icon would go from Red to Green which apparently means it's loosing the signal. Impossible as I had a lock on 10 satellites and was accurate to 12 feet.

So, it then put up a pop-up about the previous stops. I told it to go away it came back. I told it to go away. It came back again and again and again. I told it clear all stops and then it spent the next 3 minutes "recalculating route". A soft reset fixed it.

After rebooting I started it up again. The GPS was already locked in so no complaints but the icon still flashed. So, I started driving. The map looks really nice and the position on the map was right. Then 3 miles into the trip all the roads dissappeared! It still kept tracking my position on a blank screen but no amount of fiddling could get the road back. I arrive at the Post-Office and turn it off.

Finishing my postal errands I get back in the car and the roads are still gone so I perform a soft reset. Yeah the roads are back. The ride back was uneventful and it worked fine.


For a 30 day trial of ostia go to:
http://pharosgps.ws/dlst.htm
For the maps and registration go to:
http://www.pharosgps.com/mobile2market

I'm thinking of trying CoPilot next. If you have it let me know how you like it. PM me.
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Postby lincomatic » Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:33 am

BTW, if you are truly interested in navigation, you should get yourself a different GPS. The eTrex outputs NMEA only once every 2 sec, which causes unacceptable delay for realtime navigation. Perhaps this is why Ostia was showing a lost GPS signal once/second... maybe it expects data once/second like most NMEA GPS's put out.
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Postby beakmyn » Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:55 am

lincomatic wrote:BTW, if you are truly interested in navigation, you should get yourself a different GPS. The eTrex outputs NMEA only once every 2 sec, which causes unacceptable delay for realtime navigation. Perhaps this is why Ostia was showing a lost GPS signal once/second... maybe it expects data once/second like most NMEA GPS's put out.


Thanks for the info. The 2 seconds wasn't too bad it Ostia was more accurate then Pocket streets was. Then again I was traveling on familiar roads.

The map disappearing was a major bummer along with relentess dialog. I've been reading some more reviews and I'm starting to lean towards TomTom 5 packaged with it's Bluetooth GPS. That way I can still wardrive with my laptop and the Etrex.
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Postby lincomatic » Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:15 am

The problems w/ a 2 second delay are: 1) the moving map display has too much delay and 2) you can cover a large distance in 1 second ... software cannot give you accurate voice prompts w/ so much delay.

If you want read reviews for GPS hardware & software, there is a wealth of information available at
http://www.gpspassion.com
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Postby beakmyn » Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:55 pm

lincomatic wrote:The problems w/ a 2 second delay are: 1) the moving map display has too much delay and 2) you can cover a large distance in 1 second ... software cannot give you accurate voice prompts w/ so much delay.

If you want read reviews for GPS hardware & software, there is a wealth of information available at
http://www.gpspassion.com


Exactly, and you miss a turn! Then again, the route it picked to go from my work to home was very odd.
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Postby lincomatic » Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:05 pm

I'm not defending Ostia... previous reviews I've read about it were not particularly good... but it's really not fair to test a nav program w/ an eTrex. Personally, I favor the SiRF-based GPS's. SiRF-IIe is quite good, and they just came out w/ SiRF-III, which is supposed to be even better, though I have not personally tried it. There are tons of reviews on gpspassion to help you pick the right one.
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Postby beakmyn » Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:27 pm

lincomatic wrote:I'm not defending Ostia... previous reviews I've read about it were not particularly good... but it's really not fair to test a nav program w/ an eTrex. Personally, I favor the SiRF-based GPS's. SiRF-IIe is quite good, and they just came out w/ SiRF-III, which is supposed to be even better, though I have not personally tried it. There are tons of reviews on gpspassion to help you pick the right one.



As far showing were I was on the map it was dead on. And if I drove at 30mph to compensate for the 2 second update of my GPS it did really well. My concerns rest in the way it chooses to route and the fact that two points I picked were both mapped to the wrong end (not side) of the road.

I've been looking at GPSPassion and the forums and found that the reviews were good and the forums better.
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Postby lincomatic » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:11 pm

beakmyn wrote:I've been looking at GPSPassion and the forums and found that the reviews were good and the forums better.


Yes, they go far beyond the typical surface-grazing butt-licking review which tries not to offend the manufacturer who supplied the test unit (lest they cut off the flow of precious freebies to the reviewers). The gpspassion reviewers are generally enthusiasts have a lot of experience using different packages, so they find the weak points pretty quickly.
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I personally like Mapopolis

Postby ronklo » Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:55 am

Software is free, demo maps last 9 days. Good voice prompting.
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Postby beakmyn » Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:10 am

Yes it is however if you're traveling in an unknown region it doesn't help that Mapopolis requires you to know the counties of the areas you'll be traveling in. It's also not as refined as the program below. Decent if you can't afford a payfor solution.


IMHO, although not free the best PocketPC software is OnCourseNavigator
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Postby imike » Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:10 am

Yes, it too me longer than 2 hours to figure out and I think it is not worth it at all. Although there is the 30 days free demo...
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Postby Behemoth » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:26 pm

I use iNav's iGuidance, works superbly, though I haven't tried v. 3 yet.
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