Sometimes Two GPS Devices Are Better Than One

One of my blog readers asked me why I use two GPS devices – the Garmin GPS device and Google Maps on my iPhone.

In India Garmin’s maps are accurate mainly in cities. In fact, the map that Garmin sells is called “City Navigator India NT“. I have found the free maps from OpenStreet Maps to be more detailed than Garmin’s maps. But there have been times when my Garmin GPS has taken me on a wild goose chase in rural parts of India.

I like to use Google Maps as a sanity check for my Garmin GPS. If the distance to destination on both devices varies significantly, I zoom into the routes and try to figure out which device is planning to take me a shorter way and why. Sometimes, in rural India, a shorter route could mean that you end up at a dead end or in someone’s field. The road exists on paper only. The contractor most probably pocketed the money and didn’t build the road.

A longer route could mean that certain sections of road are missing in the map, which is why you are being asked to go around. Either way, its best to inspect the route before starting the journey. Don’t blindly follow a GPS.

When riding along state and national highways in India, you don’t really need a GPS. The highway signs are enough to guide you. But in rural India, sometimes two GPS devices are better than one.