Wednesday, June 11, 2014

!@#$ navigation!!!

May I take this moment to interrupt your calm with "Why doesn't navigation work properly in North(ern New) Jersey?

I complained back in 2006 when Telenav kept telling me to turn around, even though I was very close to where I needed to be.

I've been staying at a motel in Manasquan, NJ and I've been up and down the state, mostly using Apple's Maps app.  It doesn't know what a jughandle is, but that's okay.  I can adapt.

I took it to Little Falls on Sunday and it got me to a downtown area, and freaked out a little and I shut it off, and parked.  After my meal, I went to Fairfield, and since I knew the way back to the main road, it didn't really have a problem.

A couple of times, it has stuttered because I did not do what was expected.  Sorry!  Sometime, I've been through the route too many times and know a better way and don't want to go down every side street to get there.

Now today, I went back to the camera store in Fairfield, and it was mostly agreeable.  (Seriously, I don't use the Express lanes of the Garden State Parkway because there is no cash lane at the toll plazas on that side.)

As I was leaving, it was 4:45 p.m./16:45, and I know how difficult traffic can be.  I thought to go to a certain pizza place I was missing that is in the next county, in Rutherford.  It's mostly a very straight path.  SR 3 east and SR 21 North.  The only problem is that there doesn't seem to be a direct way to get to SR 21 going North.  Usually, you have to go to the next exit, cross over, and go north, which is what I did, while the Maps app displayed "Rerouting..." and reminded me to "proceed to the route" many, many times.

After eating, it was no easier.  It had picked an odd route that made no sense.  Once I remembered how to get back to SR 21, it was catching up, still telling me to turn.  I finally turned it off.  I tried Waze, which had me down every side street possible, and instead of taking me directly to the Garden State Parkway, which was straight ahead, it wanted me to take a county road off SR 3.  I quit that also.

I would have tried Google Maps, but it couldn't even find where I was.

Thank goodness my memory wasn't completely gone.  I'd still be down some side street in Rutherford.

Update 2014.06.15: I was travelling to the Orlando, Florida area--to Oviedo in particular, an area where I lived for 10 years.  Waze had wanted me to traipse down every side street from the Florida state line until the center of Oviedo.

When I selected my motel in Yelp and got to Maps, and asked for directions, rather than take me on a direct route to International Drive via Kirkman Road, Apple's Maps wanted me to go to a toll road further along the way, and apparently backtrack.  When it finally re-routed me, it still picked an odd route, taking me into more traffic than was necessary.

Thankfully, I generally know where I'm going, so I can't be confused quite that easily, but what are they (Waze, Apple, Google) thinking?

Update 2014.07.04: I was trying to use Apple's Maps two days ago around San Jose, California.  It did okay most of the time, but requested U-turns where there was a turn lane into a shopping center already.  Perhaps, their information is old?  I'm not sure but I didn't have the problem last August with one of the locations.

In one case, I was trying to get to Westfield Valley Fair mall, and I wasn't on the correct part of the exit, twice.  I didn't understand, and it was a complex juncture, but the navigation tried to loop me around twice when the answer was much more simple--turn left, follow the road, turn left at the appropriate road, and drive straight until the mall.  I found it when I followed my own path, but for some reason, navigation wanted me to avoid city streets.  I've had situations where one of the navigation apps put me into freeway traffic jams to avoid those crowd city streets, which were moving fairly well.

You'd think that the maps could get around the San Francisco Bay Area with great ease and accuracy.

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