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Old 05-01-2017, 03:52 AM   #1
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GPS - Using Coordinates. vs. Physical Addresses

Curious to learn from others here,

Which directional format do you prefer when it comes to using your onboard GPS? Do you prefer to use GPS Coordinates, i.e. Lat/Lon or use Physical addresses? Is so, is there a reason why, i.e. benefits of one vs. the other?
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:37 AM   #2
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Once the destination is entered, either by address or coordinates, my GPS works the same telling me how to get there. So it makes no difference.
Steve & Nancy
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:08 AM   #3
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I use either, depending on the circumstances.

I normally just use their address which is easiest to enter into a gps, however not always accurate at the destination to where you actually need to be. Also occasionally, I don't get a match in the gps to the address, so GPS coordinates are more exact.

It's hard to make an error when putting in an address, but a small finger check on a gps entry can have you miles away.

When I'm planning an extended trip with lots of stops, I always write down the GPS coordinates as a backup in case there is a problem finding the exact spot when I get to the destination. I can just load the coordinates into my handheld GPS or phone, and I'll know exactly where to go. I geocache, so using GPS coordinates is 2nd nature to me, and I typically already have the local earthcaches and puzzles solved and loaded. There are typically caches at most great views and landmarks, so we don't miss any spectacular places or hikes.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:15 AM   #4
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GPS - Using Coordinates. vs. Physical Addresses

I usually enter the address to get to a location. Once there, and camping spot picked, and if I really like it, I'll save the location (coordinates) and name it, including spot #, for the next time. Going to the saved coordinates the next time usually gets me to the front door (address) every time. Been doing this for years.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:26 AM   #5
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I almost always use address however a couple times I had to use coordinates as it wouldn't take the address.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:47 AM   #6
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The problem with using an address is the variances in the databases.

I couldn't tell you how many times I've had a GPS tell me it can't find an address because, I found out later, it wasn't in 'the village of....' it was part of the 'Town of......' and they don't cross-reference all the little names contained within a larger municipality, or they changed the name of the road. Around here Ontario downloaded a huge amount of secondary highways to the counties they are in. Most of those counties renamed 'Highway XX' to something quant like 'Portage Road' or 'Settlers Trail' and if you have a less than current database it won't find it because that name didn't exist when the database was created.

A lat / long is the same place every time.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:54 AM   #7
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If it's available I prefer to use GPS coordinates I find they are easier to load. A set of numbers is a set of numbers. So many times when entering an address it will say address not found etc. or you spend forever trying to load it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:08 AM   #8
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Some addresses have incorrect GPS coordinates assigned to them. This has happened to a number of users that ended up approaching a destination from a closed rear entrance versus the front entrance. Or the coordinates happen to be closer to the rear of the property versus the actual entrance driveway.

I use both and verify on Google Maps before blindly accepting what the GPS thinks is correct.

Case in point - I had my RV760 GPS route me into a Cul-de-sac one day when I was attempting to get to a local Camping World to dump my tanks. I alerted both Garmin and Bob Towes of to correct the GPS coordinates for that Camping World in Boiling Green KY.

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Old 05-02-2017, 05:24 AM   #9
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Don't trust your GPS as your only source to get you there!! We use the GPS as a guide, then check the maps (old school) and follow the directions given on the campgrounds website.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:41 PM   #10
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I normally use physical address, HOWEVER, I then use Google maps to look up the address, switch to earth view to confirm what I expect to be there-is. If the address and earth view do not match, I locate the business with earth view and write down the GPS coordinates to modify the entry in my GPS unit.
I had several addresses in NE Canada that did not match earth view.
My fail-safe is a Rand McNally truckers road atlas.
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:33 AM   #11
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Now there is a smart man!

Trust BUT verify.

Works every time!

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