Handy navigation tool, with a few glitches | AspenTimes.com

Handy navigation tool, with a few glitches

Paul Conrad
Aspen Times Weekly

My work as a newspaper photographer takes me all over the place, but even after living in the Roaring Fork Valley for nearly seven years, I still don’t know every road. So when a friend asked if I wanted a navigation tool for my Jeep, I jumped on it. He said simply, “You’d use it more than me.”

The Garmin StreetPilot c330 is easy to use. Simply turn it on and you’re good to go. The unit mounts either on the windshield or the dashboard. There is a power cord that uses electricity from your cigarette lighter. It can operate on battery power if you like, but it doesn’t last long. It has easy-to-use menus to find certain businesses and buildings; you can also input an address. Or just use the map feature.

If you enter a destination, it will only tell you how far you need to drive before your next turn. It has an option to show a list of turns and movements on your route. One feature that would be nice would be a way to view your proposed route and zoom to a location you haven’t reached yet (or one you’ve already passed).

The unit can take a few minutes to find the GPS satellites; on cloudy days it may not find them at all. It also loses the satellite signals when driving through canyons, tunnels and under bridges.

Also, I have noticed a few flaws and gaps in the maps and locations. When attempting to find certain roads in Snowmass Village, for example, the device told me ” incorrectly ” that the roads didn’t exist. Some restaurants seem to be unavailable.

Here’s another anomaly: When driving from Aspen to Glenwood, it steers you through Basalt on Two Rivers Road. Overall, however, the unit is fairly accurate when finding addresses.

I called the Garmin support line, and they said their maps come from local governments and updated maps of the U.S. will be available for $69.99 at the end of April. The representative did say roads with seasonal closures are not in their mapping systems, nor are private roads. He also stated only hard-surface roads are included, so Jeep trails and the like are unavailable.

Overall, the unit is a good tool and a handy addition for the average driver.


See more