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TOMTOM in France - not brilliant

 
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hegedusa
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Joined: Mar 27, 2004
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:20 am    Post subject: TOMTOM in France - not brilliant Reply with quote

I've been using the TT3 European maps database in France, specifically, the "South of france" map and the area surrounding Ales, Nimes, Montpellier etc. I'm not too impressed. Here's why:

1. Numerous map errors - big roundabouts announced about 200m too late, for a start. But most odd is a problem at the end of the D437, where it insists that the only way to turn left onto the next road is to turn right and then do a U-turn.

Another problem is the "chemin des 4 vents" off the D437. Half of it is a not very desirable dirt track that the navigator keeps insisting I drive down. If I used the avoid area feature, it cannot route to any locations at all on that road, or on the D437 at the bottom of it.

Consequently any route involving getting to that road is always wrong, wanting to take me down the dirt track end (also by doing a U turn just before).

2. Strange problem if I don't take the route it requests. The problem is that many urban roads are divided by a sort of central reservation with gaps in it every 50m or so. When tomtom tries to navigate me back to the original route, every 10 seconds it asks me to do a U-turn!

3. Many roads that are in fact dirt tracks (or in on case a gap at the side of a vineyard!) are in the database as roads. Consequently I run the risk of getting stuck on some track somewhere if I follow all of tomtom's instructions. It's far safer to stick to the main roads, but tomtom will often find what it thinks is a slightly quicker route, and several times I've been caught out and the short cut ends up being a precarious drive over rocky terrain at 10km/h!

Has anybody else go experience of tomtom in france? Was I just unlucky? I'm still here for another 10 days.....
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andrewh
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Joined: Jun 18, 2004
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Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found a couple of cases in Europe where small lanes are marked as navigable roads. I think that the issue is that the country map makers do mark them as roads, even with road names and numbers. However, nothing other than a tractor has a hope in h..l of navigating them.

I expect that TeleAtlas just do not check these tiny routes and believe the maps they get from the Ornance Survey equivalent. In Belgium, where I live, if you buy a street map of my region, it is impossible to tell the difference between farm tracks and made up roads. It is much worse than Tomtom maps.

I have such a road only 50 metres from my home. If it were navigable, it would be a great shortcut to many places south. I dread somebody with TT coming to visit me and taking the road (the first 20 metres look OK). Stuck is not the word for their fate Mr. Green

Andrew
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Steve999
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Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are in Meditteranean France and if the French use these 'tracks' as navigable roads, then that's what they are and French people would expect Tom tom to give them the option.

You could try altering your speed settings for this type of road (possibly connecting roads or local roads??) in properties so that TT chooses a more major road. Try a little experimentation to see.

I am taking my motorhome down there soon and expect that i'll have the same situation to work around.

Steve
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delboy0754
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:38 am    Post subject: Re: TOMTOM in France - not brilliant Reply with quote

hegedusa wrote:
I've been using the TT3 European maps database in France, specifically, the "South of france" map and the area surrounding Ales, Nimes, Montpellier etc. I'm not too impressed. Here's why:

1. Numerous map errors - big roundabouts announced about 200m too late, for a start. But most odd is a problem at the end of the D437, where it insists that the only way to turn left onto the next road is to turn right and then do a U-turn.

..


I have driven the continent for a few years, and you have to remember that their driving laws, and roads are different to ours.

There are some instances where you have to turn right, to turn left, and doing a u turn to come back on yourself. Silly i know, but they have done it for years.
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BrummyGit
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Joined: May 19, 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:20 am    Post subject: I agree Reply with quote

I've just returned from the South of France in the area around Perpignan and have to agree with your comments. I found the map data poor and some of the routes planned were crazy. I also suffered from some very late or non-existant warnings of junctions.

Being so close to the Spanish border I found the need to switch between the French and Iberian maps a pain as MRE didn't know many roads around there.

I also realised a major failling of TomTom compared to my older, but trusty StreetPilot 3. On a number of occaisions we would decide to got to a nearby town or village that someone had suggested was worth a visit but couldn't remember the correct spelling etc. On my SPIII I can simply list towns or POIs in locality order (ie nearest first) but a couple of times a found myself planning a 700 mile journey when all I wanted was to pop to the simillary named village a couple of miles away.

All in all, the StreetPilot, whilst old and clunky and only taken as a spare, came out a few times for this holiday.
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mark1968
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also had a similar issue while in Cornwall!!
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark1968 wrote:
I also had a similar issue while in Cornwall!!


Me too. My GPS took me down a series of country lanes and farm tracks, even fording a river at one stage. 8O

This is using a Garmin GPS with NavTech maps, so the routing down unclassified roads problem is not unique to TomTom. Confused
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mark1968
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Location: Northampton

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CoPolit 5 has a RV option that is supposed to avoid thease types of roads.

I have just placed an order for a copy as I requlary tow a caravan and am hoping that this is a safer option.

I will let you know if this works.
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Pete2
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm off to La rochelle on thurs night and having read these posts am now getting a bit twitchy (first time abroad with a caravan).
I was pretty much relying on tomtom to get me there but i'll now print off a route plan from micthelin as well.
I'm assuming that you've all been using the french map as opposed to the major roads of europe. Is it worth using major roads to get close to your destination then switch to French map for final leg? (I've got room on my card for both thou i've only got uk and france at the mo).
Any more thoughts appreciated.
Ta
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Steve999
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete,

As a motorhomer (and former 'tugger'), might I suggest that you take a look at MRE and see how many of the D roads are on it as these can often provide good routes at high average speeds for a caravanner. If there are plenty of them on MRE, then this may prove adequate for you - unless you use the Autoroutes that is, in which case you hardly even need a map.

The French have always taken pride in their detailed mapping and this is certainly true of the full French TT map. A caravanner may not need that amount of detail unless you are going to tour around once at your destination.

Steve
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markd
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just returned from Italy - North and Central Tuscany - and also noted that TTN3 has an excessive predilection for very narrow or unsurfaced roads as short cuts. Once you get used to this, it's usually possible just to ignore suggestions to turn onto unlikely tracks and eventually the voice we learn to love comes up with a more sensible and conservative instruction and route. I have previously noted the same thing in France. The routing algorithms just seem too tuned to take very small roads. Also for some of the mountainous roads, TTN3 with default settings is far too optimistic over predicted speeds. The road category takes no account of the many twists and turns. This in turn can lead to inappropriate routing avoiding longer but much straighter and faster Autostrada.

Mark
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SteveW
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete2 wrote:
I was pretty much relying on tomtom to get me there but i'll now print off a route plan from micthelin as well.
I'm assuming that you've all been using the french map as opposed to the major roads of europe. Is it worth using major roads to get close to your destination then switch to French map for final leg? (I've got room on my card for both thou i've only got uk and france at the mo).
Any more thoughts appreciated.
Ta
Pete2


Dont forget you can use the Itinerary function in conjuction with ViaMitchelin/autoroute to plan and save your route. MRE is excellent until you get diverted - then you are lost, as the road you are diverted on will probably not be in the MRE database. This happened to me twice while travelling to CH this year. So be prepared to switch to the French maps if necessary.

Steve
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Fuego
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Joined: 07/06/2003 16:45:14
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Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: TOMTOM in France - not brilliant Reply with quote

delboy0754 wrote:
I have driven the continent for a few years, and you have to remember that their driving laws, and roads are different to ours.

There are some instances where you have to turn right, to turn left, and doing a u turn to come back on yourself. Silly i know, but they have done it for years.


What's "silly" about avoiding a situation where traffic behind you, has to stop, or swerve around you, because you want to turn left onto a minor road? Not to mention the peace of mind that you have with not having to worry about someone rear-ending you.

I personally think that "cambio de direccion"s are a pretty good idea. You rightfully risk a large fine if you fail to use these, where provided, for left turns.
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Pete2
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Joined: Feb 19, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info / suggestions.
Loaded MRE on last night and planned A to B route. It produced the same route as mitchelin, so I'll use that to get me there.
Thanks again folks, will let you know if i have any problems.
Pete2
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JohnJ
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Joined: Dec 20, 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just returned from a motorcaravan tour of Holland,Germany,Austria and Hungary. TTN3 behaved well throughout (not Hungary of course - no map available) until the penultimate day back in Holland - when giving me directions to a camp site near Roosendaal it insisted on sending me across fields along very rough cart tracks. Next time I'll take the advice above and adjust the speed values for the minor roads !
JohnJ
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