China recently launched the state-sponsored Tianditu.cn or "Map World," the country's homegrown answer to Google Maps. While it's an impressive initial effort, the mapping system does resemble Google's a little too much, and it also performs poorly once you navigate outside of Chinese borders.
has announced its first foray into the U.S. in-dash car navigation system market which sees it teaming up with TomTom
. Joining Sony’s existing line of Xplod in-dash A/V units, the XNV-660BT boasts a 6.1-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, while the XNV-770BT ups the screen real estate to 7-inches. In addition to car navigation duties, both units feature CD/DVD playback, integrated Bluetooth, rear USB 1-wire connectivity for portable music players and support for multi-channel audio playback with virtual 5.1 channel surround sound capabilities.
Custom GPS voice packs are a bit like mobile phone ring tones. They let you add a "uniquely personal touch" to your device by shelling out cash for something that will also be used by countless others who share your refined taste. Now you can get truly
unique voice directions by listening to your own dulcet tones thanks to Nokia’s new Own Voice for Ovi Maps
. The app lets users record their own driving instructions and share them with family, friends and soon to be former friends.
Faced with increasingly strict regulations
on public smoking, Japanese smokers are left with few designated smoking areas where they light one up. In order to help these people locate assigned smoking areas, Katabami Crafts has created a free "Smoking Map" iPhone application.
Google has ripped the camera rig off one of its Street View
cars and slung it on a snowmobile to bring slope view to Google Maps. Now web skiers will be able to experience some of the runs the world’s best skiers will be racing down when the Winter Olympics kicks off this week. The slope-level imagery complements new aerial imagery of the Vancouver-Whistler area to give sports fans a different perspective of competition venues and courses.
TomTom's EASE is the latest addition to its satellite navigation family and brings all the functionality, ease of use and practicality of its siblings at a fraction of the cost. Launched at CES in Las Vegas this week, the EASE blends a simple two icon interface menu, an integrated fold-away mount and the company's proprietary Map Share and IQ Routes - all for around a hundred US dollars.
JVC and Kenwood has produced its first in-car navigation system since last years merger and it certainly offers more than directions for getting from A to B. As well as boasting virtual 3D maps and fast response times, the AVENUE MDV-313 features a 6.1” touchscreen LED backlit display, integrated DVD player and TV tuner, as well as USB and SD card slots and optional iPod connectivity.
Every platform needs a killer app and for the Android OS
the early contender for that title has to be the just announced Google Maps Navigation for mobile. Only available for Android 2.0 phones, the new application takes the current Google Maps for mobile
and gives it a hefty shot of steroids. Most of the new features that set the app apart from most in-car turn-by-turn navigation systems come courtesy of its Internet connectivity, which makes it possible to access a wealth of relevant information residing on Google’s servers while out and about.
For the intrepid urban explorers out there, Navigon has unveiled a new 24 series of personal navigation
systems featuring a “Last Mile” function that continues guiding the user on foot – as well as remembering where the car is parked.
As GPS navigation systems
increase in popularity, the world’s fuel supplies simultaneously are in decline
. However, the Vexia Econav 435 GPS is attempting to do its bit for the environment by offering a system that gives drivers information on the most economical route, which gear to use and when - even how firmly to accelerate. The manufacturers say the aim of the unit is to reduce drivers' fuel consumption by up to one third.