FollowupID: 710873 Submitted:
Thursday, Dec 16, 2010 at 12:44
You have the basics correct. The GPS and internet are independent systems (although modern phones are integrating the two, but that's another story/option).
Most people who go the laptop route seem to use OziExplorer
software. Don't use it myself so hopefully others who do will weigh in but I'd suggest that if you want turn by turn navigation (ie you enter your destination, let the software work out the route and it speaks directions for you as you go) then a stand alone GPS unit is a far simpler/better option (as well as being less bulky, and extremely useful in the city). If you read the many threads on here you will find there are cheap options (a few hundred $) or very expensive ones (high end Hema, Garmin, TomTom with a decent mapset $500++).
There are free digital maps for dedicated GPSs, but again if you want routing (turn by turn, spoken guidance) rather than navigating by looking at the screen and seeing your position overlayed on a map you will need to purchase some map data. Many people run both commercial map products and freebies (swap in and out on a small/cheap SD card if you wish).
Some advantages of a dedicated GPS unit: small, easy to handle; can loan to family and friends if necessary; spoken word navigation means you can concentrate on the scenery; no hot, bulky laptop bouncing around on your lap on rough tracks. In the city a dedicated 'road' GPS will warn you when you are speeding (depending on the mapset and quality of the GPS unit), when speed/redlight cameras are coming up, and can show you a range of useful details like 'where is the nearest petrol station' (you can download a heap of useful POIs - points of interest - free from a number of websites, or enter your own simply).