Find the right destination with a GPS map update

We’ve probably all been there once or twice – you get in your car, and try to enter your destination, only to find that your GPS unit does not know where you want to go.

In some cases, this could be as simple as a misspelled address, but in others, it means your GPS unit needs a new map database.

When you buy your unit, the maps are often at least a year old, but some units that have been on store shelves for a couple of years could try navigating you based on three or four year old maps.

In that period, new streets have been added, and map errors have been corrected. Thankfully, on most brand name GPS units, getting a new map is fairly easy, and quite affordable. The best place to start is your favorite electronics retailer or on the site of the GPS unit manufacturer.

For most units, the investment is quite modest – about $50 will get you the latest version (or one no more than 6 months old). Installing the map update varies from vendor to vendor. On Magellan GPS units, you order a physical SD card for the unit, on other brands you’ll usually need to download a large file and copy that from your PC to the device.

If you purchased your GPS unit within the last 30 days, contact the manufacturer to see whether you are eligible for a free map update, especially in those cases where your brand new GPS device comes with not so brand new maps.

GPS typo sends Swedish couple 400 miles off course

A Swedish couple screwed up their vacation when a simple typo sent them 400 miles away from their desired destination.

When entering the Italian island of Capri into their GPS, they accidentally entered Carpi. The two destinations couldn’t be more different – Capri is a lovely island off the coast of Naples, Carpi is an industrial village in the middle of nowhere,

It isn’t uncommon for someone to make a spelling mistake on their GPS, but you’d expect that most people be able to notice they are not on an island, and that the drive was about 6 hours shorter than expected.

Sadly, this couple had no idea, and when they couldn’t find the famous blue caves of Capri, they asked the local tourist office.

It was then (most likely after the laughter stopped) that they were told they were in the wrong town. The couple then popped the correct destination into their GPS and headed towards the correct Capri.


Daily gear deal – TomTom ONE XL-S GPS unit + bonus for $125

Today’s daily deal is for a TomTom navigation unit. The TomTom ONE XL-S features a widescreen display, text-to-speech directions and built in Bluetooth connectivity.

When connected to your (compatible) mobile phone, you can access the TomTom plus online services, though you do need to be sure your phone has an active data plan.

The TomTom ONE XL-S comes with a car charger, USB cable, windshield mount and a user manual and is on sale at for $124.99 (with free shipping). The added bonus is a 30 piece car emergency kit.

Daily deal – Refurbished Navigon 2100 max GPS unit for $90

My deal today is for the very highly rated Navigon 2100 max GPS unit.

This GPS unit has a 4.3″ wide screen display and features “Reality View” which is a Navigon invention that shows the actual lanes and simulated street signs on highway junctions. It works surprisingly well, and takes the guessing game out of trying to find the right exit.

The Navigon 2100 max also features text to speech with spoken street names. The unit comes with a car charger cord and a high quality windshield mount.

Everything you’d expect from a quality GPS unit is inside this device – text to speech, traffic information and more.

It is currently on sale at for $89.99, and comes with free shipping. The unit is refurbished, which means it was once returned to the manufacturer, but has been brought back to its “as new” condition.

Daily deal – Magellan Roadmate 1200 GPS unit for under $50 (after rebate)

Brand name GPS devices do not get any cheaper than this – my daily deal for today is for a $50 Magellan 1200 GPS unit.

The product is on sale for $69.99, but currently comes with a $20 mail in rebate, bringing the final price to a penny shy of $50.

The Magellan 1200 is a very basic unit – but despite the low price, you still get all the important features. Pre-loaded on the device are 1.3 million points of interest. The Magellan 1200 comes with a windshield mount and a car charger cord.

There is of course one bit of fine print involved in this deal – the unit is factory refurbished. This means it was once returned to Magellan for any number of reasons, but was returned to its “as new” condition.

According to recent reports, customers who purchase a Magellan unit, but receive it with old(er) maps, are usually eligible for a free map update after calling Magellan.

You’ll find the Magellan 1200 at, where you’ll also find the rebate form required to get your $20 back. Since the product is over $25, you are even eligible for free “super saver shipping”.