Many Navigator troubles with WinXP
  • I desperately try to set up Navigator as my standard car navigation system on an older convertible netbook with (non-adaptive) touch screen with Windows XP SP3.. Currently, I have installed the free Navigator OSM version, but due to the weaknesses of OSM maps I intend to upgrade to the commercial Navigator TeleAtlas version.

    I understood that the free and the commercial versions are the same program files, so I assume my problems with the free version would also apply to the commercial version. And problems there are many:

    1) Display:
    * It is impossible to move the map in the window on the touch screen, only with the mouse.
    * It is impossible to scroll through the menu and option lists on the touchscreen, only with the mouse. there are no scroll bars. However, it is possible to wipe between two pages of the main menu, if I chose enough entries to force a second page to be opened.

    This main problem already effectively bans the product from use on my touch screen system.

    * It is impossible to have the position centered on the navigation screen, AND to have the the map aligned towards North. When it is displayed North-oriented, the position icon will drift from the screen as soon as it reaches its boundaries, the map will not automatically reposition. When in navigation mode, the map always rotates into the driving direction and cannot be north-oriented. There is even no compass rose or North indication to inform about the current course. There should definitely be a possibility to toggle between North and driving direction for the map.

    * there is no scale bar visible on the map, so when zooming in our out, one has no idea about the distances shown on the map.

    * It is impossible to change an existing route point into start or destination point in the context menu on the screen.

    2) Menu and useability:
    * Several menus are unnecessarily complicated, for example:
    In the main menu, there is the point "Route" and - as an option "routing mode". The latter only toggles between "fastest", "shortest" etc. In the "Route" menu there is a subgroup "routing tools". This would be the logical place for the "routing mode", freeing up space on the main menu screen. "My routes" could also be grouped under the "Routes" main menu.
    * Clumsy handling of route points. In the Route points menu, it should be possible to transform any listed point into a starting or destination point. Sometimes, routing points are there accidentally, a result from tapping on the screen, or leftovers from former routings. Cleaning up would be easier if new starting and destination points could be assigned in this list already.
    * The "Travel Route" with the direction commands only lists the remaining kilometers and driving time, not the complete values of the route (this is listed only at the very beginning, after the route calculation took place. Also, for "show route on map", it would be nice to have these summary values shown on the screen.

    3) Routing:
    I do not know in how far the following issues have to be tributed to OSM only, or are also present in the TeleAtlas version.
    * I have never before experienced a navigation system clinging so desperately to a previously calculated route as it does Navigator. When I decide to deviate from the suggested route and take an alternative, the system would try to lead me back to the original route for eons, completely ignoring the alternative route. By doing this, it would lead me on bicycle paths, highway exits (AGAINST the mandatory directions!), foot bridges, barred pathways, one-way roads against the direction, and so on, denying a simple recalculation of the route. Up to now, all navigation systems and programs I used before, would recalculate the route after I passed two or three of its suggested paths back to the original route. Not Navigator. Last time, it would insist on leading me back to the original route even at a point, where the distance to the destination on my alternative route were 70 kilometers, but on Navigator's original route would have been 110 kilometers! Only after that point it recalculated the route and followed my path. This is absolutely crazy!
    * Navigator talks too much. In every tunnel, the voice informs me that it lost the GPS signal, and again tells me that it refound it after the tunnel exit. If you drive a route here in the Alps, with dozens of tunnels in a tight series, this is extremely annoying. A simple BEEP should be enough information.

    4) Feature request:
    Finally, I would like to request a feature: Alternative routes. It would be great to have navigator offering the option to calculate one or two alternative routes (for example the shortest, or one with toll-free roads only, etc.) and to display them together on the screen, with the summary of length and duration.

    If my complaint sounds overly critical, this is not intended. If I were not convinced of Navigator's quality and potential, I would simply have chosen a different system (not that there is a large list of alternatives for Windows, though). There are many features that are great, but the lack of useability with the touch screen, for example, is really a problem.

  • 2 Comments sorted by

  • 1) Display:

    * It is impossible to move the map in the window on the touch screen, only with the mouse.

    * It is impossible to scroll through the menu and option lists on
    the touchscreen, only with the mouse. there are no scroll bars. However,
    it is possible to wipe between two pages of the main menu, if I chose
    enough entries to force a second page to be opened.

    I solved this problem, since I was at fault myself: the touchscreen driver of my tablet installs itself in the "button" mode as a standard, and accepts only taps on the screen, no wipes. For this, it must be set into "Drawing mode". So I can move the screen and scroll through the menus now.

    However, the other points are still valid, and I would appreciate a comment about them:

    Especially the routing procedure is more than clumsy, and in fact makes the software barely usable. Today, I went on a highway, finding it jammed. I had quickly decided to avoid the jam by using the alternate provincial road. It is not possible to quickly tell the Navigator software to avoid the highway. I tried to set the "road blocked" icon on the highway, but this is not possible in routing mode. As a result, Navigator practically blocks itself hysterically trying to bring me back onto the highway. All I hear for the next half hour is "recalculating route - recalculating route - turn left - turn right - recalculating route - recalculating route - recalculating route ..." packed so densely, that it is impossible to abort the recalculation by tapping anywhere on the screen. Navigator simply denies the possibility that I WANT to take the alternate route.

    Additionally, in spite of being a real chatterbox, Navigator seems to lack a phrase for "make a U-turn" ("bitte wenden" in German), so it simply commands "turn left" or "turn right" when there is nothing to turn into, of course causing confusion.

    Finally, the phrase "turn right (or right) decently" is weird, especially when expressed in the face of a tight 120+ degree curve in a highway exit - I suggest to drop that phrase altogether.

    And, once again, please: If I can say: please, the software can do that as well, I am sure. the military commanding voice is not a joy to listen to.


  • My comments to marcush's suggestions

    1) Display

    - I definitively agree with the problem when the map doesn't stay centered while navigating in north orientation. It's already possible in non navigating mode, there the GPS icon stays centered already, so why not in navigating mode?

    - a scale bar would be nice to have

    - changing an existing routing point to start or destination, I don't care

     2) Menu

    - why don't you simply remove "routing mode" (Routingmodus) from the main menu, as well as "vehicle type" (Fahrzeugtyp). They are already duplicated under settings. I like to have them on the main menu, because I switch often between car and bicycle in combination with fastest and shortest. I would find it more meaningful to attach the routing mode as a property under vehicle type, like it is in the Android version already.

    - summary information for me is sufficient under "Travel route" (Reiseroute)

    3) Routing

    - If your routing leads you over footpaths, barred roads etc. there may be 2 causes for that.
      a) your vehicle's properties are set to allow these (road restrictions) or
      b) the OSM maps still have wrong information about these roads etc.

    - I like Navigator being talkative. I don't mind making it configurable but please don't remove it completely.

      Two BEEP's in tunnels because of lost GPS connectivity would drive me crazy

      - Voice: there was an additional German voice lately in the forum (Doris) which may be more agreeable to some people.

    Just my 2 cents


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