calibrate compass for Google Maps

calibrate Google Maps compass
When you are using Google Maps you might be first asked to calibrate your compass by moving your phone back and forth on three axis before you can get directions to your destination. It’s quite annoying (i do admit it’s a first world problem) and I wanted to calibrate it once and for all proactively and see it working before I was in a rush to get directions to some place. There’s no setting for this or an option to choose within the app. Apparently all you have to do is start Google Maps and then move your hand (the one holding the phone :) in a figure eight pattern. The blue beam coming out of your blue dot on the map should hopefully narrow and point in the right direction. I tried it it went from about 130 degrees to about 70-80 degrees. Some improvement! Google support has this nice little animation on their page.

Garmin Forerunner 630

Garmin has shifted their focus from automotive GPS navigation systems to wearable technologies in the recent years. If you care more about your fitness than just the number of steps you take each day you might find their Forerunner 630 quite useful. Though we should mention that it starts at $400.

The battery claims it can track your workout for 16 hours and last 4 weeks as a watch alone. It tracks both GPS and GLONASS satellites and provides some pretty sweet features for runners alone. It can estimate your VO2 max, give you tips on your recovery, predict your race outcomes based on your speed and has an accelerometer to calculate distance indoors when you’re stuck on a treadmill.

back for GPS navigation

It’s been three and a half years since we’ve updated our site. We stopped when things got boring. But we had started way before that (in 2005) when GPS navigation systems were just becoming easily accessible for everyone. The hardware got cheaper, more capable and more accurate. Brands like Garmin and TomTom sold lots and lots of units in the U.S. and Europe. But then the smartphones started taking over. The same components that went into a standalone GPS navigation system on your dashboard could easily fit into your smartphones. Naturally at some point people didn’t want a separate device for GPS navigation when they already had the same thing (or better) in their smartphones. A new GPS navigation system meant refreshing your app on your phone. Not much to talk about. So we stopped updating Navigadget. But.. but.. maybe there are other things we can talk about here. Let us know what you think. How has this space changed? Who are the big players? Google and Facebook? Who still invests in map making? Maybe we’re back. Maybe not. We shall see.

Cobra 8000 and 6000 Pro HD GPS Navigation System

Cobra also just announced two new GPS navigation system targeting professional drivers. Cobra 8000 and 6000 Pro HD differ in size more than anything else. Former has a bigger 7″ screen whereas 6000 has a 5″ screen.

Some of the features of these two GPS navigation systems include full-color, high-definition touch screen display,
free Lifetime map updates, junction view with lane assist, multi-point routing to reduce fuel cost and more.

They both include over 33,000 trucker-friendly POIs for information on fueling stations, restaurants, rest stops, heavy duty towing services, truck and trailer repair shops, truck-friendly hotels, weigh stations, certified scales, and more coming from ProMiles and TruckDown
Database partner TomTom which provides more than 1 million additional miles of road coverage in the U.S. than the competing map.

Other features include hours-of-Service timers and more.

Garmin dezl 760 Truck Navigator

Garmin today announced dezl 760, another truck gps navigation system from the company with a 7″ screen. A new feature on the new Dezl 760 is the Active Lane Guidance feature which tries to help truckers with intersections and lanes. Other features include the ability to log hours of service, and a loud speaker so you can hear over the engine.

Other features of the new Garmin dezl760lmt include truck-specific routes and turn-by-turn directions based on vehicle’s size and weight. Another logging feature on this new Garmin is the fuel usage and it also has fleet management interface.

Garmin’s new truck GPS navigation system dēzl 760 will be available end of this year and will cost $400.

Tomtom’s new car kit makes GPS navigation and phone calls easier

Tomtom came out with a new smartphone mounting kit for your windshield that works with iPhones or any other smartphones. The main features is that it includes bluetooth connectivity making phone calls easier. It has an embedded 2W speaker for a much needed audio boost and an extendable microphone so the other side can hear you clearly as well. It supports both portrait and landscape mode, charges your device while you’re on the go and also makes navigation a lot easier with their own GPS navigation app.

Standard default version will cost £80 while the iPhone version will cost £130 which also includes the navigation app.

new press release on GPS market forecast

According to a press release that came out yesterday shipment of GPS and location based services will grow at a compound annual rate of 15% during the next three years which will add up to 1 billion units by 2015.

Since countries other than US are deploying their own satellite based navigation systems such as Japan, China, and India GPS technology is expected to be embraced at a higher rate in these regions.

The study suggests most of the boost in this segment will come from smartphone based GPS systems as it was established within the past years.

Uses of GPS technology is very wide which includes academic, business, aviation, maritime, construction, scientific, weather and various other fields.

Garmin Fenix

Garmin came out with a new GPS watch called Garmin Fenix. It’s expected to hit the market this coming August and cost somewhere around $400. Some of the highlights of Garmin Fenix, in addition to the GPS receiver of course, is the compass, altimeter, barometer, and the optional external ANT connected temperature sensor. Some other features include the ability to plan trips and create routes, record waypoints, and record GPS bread crumb trails. You can also navigate to coordinates if you wish. You also get a 3-axis electronic compass to get your heading even when you’re stationary.

Fenix, which is water proof to 50 meters can last 50 hours in GPS mode and up to 6 weeks in plain watch mode.

See Garmin’s mini site here.


A new system have been developed to protect military vehicles from GPS jamming by using already existing radio waves to locate rather than relying on GPS satellite signals. The system uses cell phone, Wifi, and TV signals to locate a person or a vehicle but can even use GPS jamming signals to correctly get a position fix.

The system is developed by BAE Systems and it intends to keep military drones safe from GPS spoofing attacks which we recently mentioned here on Navigadget.

Known as NAVSOP, this technology scavenges radio signals from the air and can work indoors or even underground where wimpy GPS satellite signals can’t reach. This technology could replace GPS in the future.

TomTom Mapshare now open to all TomTom owners

TomTom just announced that they’re enabling all of its 60 million GPS navigation systems to receive daily map changes via the TomTom Map Share community. If you haven’t heard of Map Share before; it is a crowd sourced system that allows drivers to update TomTom map on their own device, but also receive changes from other TomTom users.

With Map Share drivers can quickly share frequent road changes. Some longer term changes such as new roads or roundabouts are validated via TomTom and made available quarterly.