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I've been looking for a GPS for Christmas and I'm trying to work it out through the feature lists and the lingo, and I find myself puzzled by some of them.
I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions about some of the features as you guys seem so knowledgeable about it all. Also this is mainly in regards to Garmin 27xx, 28xx, and Zumo systems.

1. Routing
a. Is the routing performed on the device itself (enter start, enter end, then route) or does one need to do it on a computer and then upload the route to the device? It seems they can do both but I'm not sure
b. Garmin comes with MapSource - right? Can you make the device work with other software (e.g. Microsoft Streets & Trips)? Do you have to pay for MapSource updates?
c. If you do a route on the device, can you make it detour on interesting roads? In MS S&T you set the start and the end, then you start adding "Stop" points on roads you want to take, causing the routing to make i
d. In case you missed a turn, is the device capable of rerouting you?
e. What are waypoints? Is routing affected by them and their number?

2. POI
a. It seems the devices themselves come with a list of POIs. Can you upload your own list? How many POIs can you upload? Can you remove built-in POIs to make more room for your own?
b. Can you organize POIs by category so that you can tell the device: find me all nearby restaurants?

3. Data Points
I'm a bit confused about what exactly Data Points are but they seem important to a lot of you guys. Is this tracking and storing various GPS coordinates you've been at? If yes how often does the GPS take these snapshots.

4. Updates
Does Garmin offer updates to maps? If so, are they free?


Thank you very much for any insight you can offer.
 

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1. Routing

Routing can be done (usually) on both the GPS and PC. Simple routes are fairly easy to do on the unit but more complex routes are best done on the PC then downloaded to the unit. Most units default to either a "faster" or "shorter" route if you don't select your own route.

You can use other software but normally not with out some other conversion software.

"Auto routing" units will re-route should you go off course.

Waypoints are lat and lon points used for navigation.

2. POI

Points of Interest. Most units come with a pretty good data base. There are other files available should you find them and have the knowledge of how to download them.

3. Data Points

I'll let someone else touch on that one.

4. Updates

Yes and no. Firmware updates are normally free. Mapping updates "may" cost...depends on when you acquired the last version
 

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Routing
a. Is the routing performed on the device itself (enter start, enter end, then route) or does one need to do it on a computer and then upload the route to the device? It seems they can do both but I'm not sure
Both, you can make a complex route on the PC and download it to the GPS, or, you can make a request "take me to XXX" and the unit will plan a route based on some of the selections you enter ( fastest route, avoid uturns, etc)

Garmin comes with Map Source - right? Can you make the device work with other software (e.g. Microsoft Streets & Trips)? Do you have to pay for Map Source updates?
If you buy a new unit it will come either preinstalled with mapsource and you can request a copy to install on your PC, most of the time Garmin will give you a copy for free with e new purchase ( they did me)

In case you missed a turn, is the device capable of rerouting you?
Yes

What are waypoints? Is routing affected by them and their number?
Waypoints are places you want to save, as in your home, a favorite place you want to come back to or route to, a friends residence etc, you select to save the waypoint, rename it and it will store it in the units database, most will allow up to 10,000 waypoints. routing is not effected by their number, if I understand your question correctly.


POI
a. It seems the devices themselves come with a list of POIs. Can you upload your own list? How many POIs can you upload? Can you remove built-in POIs to make more room for your own?
b. Can you organize POIs by category so that you can tell the device: find me all nearby restaurants
POIs are built into the database, as restaurants, service stations, businesses, public service, etc...you can add POIs on some models ( my 2720 will allow this) as for category's for added POIs, I don't think so, they'll be added in the database and you can ask for them by name or nearest your location..

Data Points
I'm a bit confused about what exactly Data Points are but they seem important to a lot of you guys. Is this tracking and storing various GPS coordinates you've been at? If yes how often does the GPS take these snapshots
Have no idea....

Updates
Does Garmin offer updates to maps? If so, are they free?
Yes they do, no they're not
Hope this helps
 
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