Nine fun things to do with your GPS device (photos)
We show you a few ways to have fun with your GPS device between trips from point A to point B.
Geocaching is a huge scavenger hunt played on a global scale. Players hide "caches" around the world for others to find using GPS coordinates posted in Internet forums.
You never know what you'll find in a cache. Sometimes there are small items--this one has a bunch of trinkets and a rubber chicken--and other times there are just logbooks. When you find a cache, sign the log, take an item as your prize, and leave something for the next geocacher to find.
Have you ever left a large mall or an amusement park only to realize that you've forgotten where you parked your car? The next time you leave your vehicle, use your GPS device (or GPS-enabled smartphone) to mark your parking spot, then navigate back to your car using walking directions.
Many GPS devices, such as the TomTom GO 740 Live, come preloaded with software that allows you to download custom routes and POIs. Using this software, we were able to download and follow San Francisco's 49 Mile Scenic Drive tour.
Similar driving, walking, and cycling tours are available for many different regions. User-generated and shared routes are often free, but some manufacturers offer curated tours for a small fee.
Planning on vacationing in an unfamiliar city? A little preplanning with your GPS device can help things go smoothly during your stay. Before you take off, make sure that your device is loaded with maps for your area. While you're in there, go ahead and save your hotel and any attractions you want to visit in your favorites.
Garmin even offers downloadable CityXplorer packs for major cities. These packs include the latest street and POI data and enhanced walking directions, for a small fee, of course.
The next time you find yourself bored on a long flight, pull out your GPS device. If you're lucky enough to have a window seat, you may be able to hold it up to the glass to track your progress and altitude.
Of course, airlines differ on their in-flight electronic policies, so be sure to ask your flight attendant first.
When you're not using your GPS device to get from point A to point B, that big touch screen is mostly going unused. Put it to good use the next time you want to show of your family's photos by popping in your digital camera's SD card.
You never know what you'll find when you get off of the beaten path, so go ahead and get lost. Explore the windy backroads or try an alternate route home from work with the confidence that your trusty GPS device will guide you home should you get too turned around.