Garmin Public Geodata Service

Founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao (hence the name) Garmin is a company that produces consumer, aviation and marine technologies using geographic data visualization, or sat nav to you and me. The Garmin Nuvi 250 is the model I am currently using as my in-car sat nav. It is a relatively cheap device at around £64.99 and is small and nicely compact, measuring around 10cm x 7.5cm, roughly the size of my palm.

This means that you could take it out for walkies with you without feeling like too much of a tool thanks to its discreet size. The maps are possibly some of the most accurate around and to be honest, I haven’t had any problems with it from a navigational point of view. The Garmin Nuvi uses GPS to indicate your current speed accurately, more accurately than the speedometer on your car. With this it can give accurate estimated times of arrival, so you don’t need to worry about being late.

The screen mount works off a simple pressure release catch so it easy to attach and remove, without leaving a mark on your windscreen. The software is simple to use and understand, thankfully without having an annoying voice which can be painful over long journeys. The instructions are pretty clear and the screen is fairly easy to follow with the highlighted line running through the route ahead.

How to get it started

It can, however, take some time to find the satellites for the GPS so you need to be patient and wait for the signal to align, don’t expect to fire it up straight away and get going. Also, it would be recommendable remaining stationary while the device links up to the satellites, otherwise the waiting time can be even longer.
The Garmin Nuvi has a 5 hour battery life but you can just plug the charger into your cigarette lighter for constant use. All in all, it’s a good little device for providing reliable navigation without spending too much cash.

Other items available from Garmin include the Golf GPS Watch and sonar based fish finders which detect the river or seabed and show where fish are located on the monitor.