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www.undertowsoftware.com • View topic - Map accuracy?

Map accuracy?

Discussion and information about RV Plan 'N' Go 2013, the RV Trip Planning program from UnderTow

Map accuracy?

Postby Alexguv » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:43 pm

Does anyone here know what is the accuracy of the map data in the program? It appears to be spotty travelling, for example, from Chicago to Indianapolis. At some points it's right on, while at other it appears to be off by half a mile, or so.
“If you're afraid - don't do it, - if you're doing it - don't be afraid!” ― Genghis Khan
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Re: Map accuracy?

Postby Christau99 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:14 am

Alex, what do you mean accuracy? Or, rather, how do you define and measure it? Did you compare with something else, some other source, or what? I am asking because in most instances we don't have a "real" basis to compare so we can tell the accuracy of something. Unless I am totally confused, which would not be anything new, of course :-)
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Re: Map accuracy?

Postby Alexguv » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:34 am

Like when I'm driving and I have my GPS connected, most of the time, the dot on the map is on, or very close to, the road I am currently driving. But, sometimes it is way off.
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Re: Map accuracy?

Postby artmart » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:00 pm

Now that you've posted what you are seeing, there are at least two situations that cause this. I see this all the time and I also see it in my nav system in my truck. First, maps need to change because roads are changed, sometimes ever so slightly even though it seems like they've been there forever. Then there's the accuracy and age of the map data that may have been off in the first place from it's original creation. The second thing is the GPS tracking which can be off by some percentage as documented in most user guides for the GPS unit. For example, my document for my GPS unit states the unit can be off from 15% to 20% on the average. Note the word average, this means that for every time the unit is exactly plotting where I am, that in other instances it could be off by 30% to 40% in order to have maintain the average.

Also, where I live, this is a place I live near and drive through that is always really off, besides the fact the map info might be off, and so might the GPS tracking, I've often wondered if some other interference could be making things even worse.

In any case and with all tools like this, there is often a disclaimer that while these tools strive to provide the best information and performance they should not be used as an exclusive solution, but as guides. Even the best guides have flaws, so our eyes and common sense should prevail when measuring what these tools do and how it correlates to what's reality.

Another thing to point out (look at the credits), most map data from every program or software comes from a very limited amount of sources. There is an excellent chance UnderTow bought the map data from someone else and they are adding value by designing trip planning software using this data. UnderTow might not necessarily be responsible for the exact data they use and then they would have to subscribe to get updates as they update their software with bug fixes and adding features. I'm guessing each new software release from UnderTow includes this effort, which is why for most of us, it is more than an update and why we must pay for the new version.

I'm just trying to help by stating what I know or have experienced in these regards. No tool is perfect and each tool will benefit the user as they learn to use it within its limits and advantages or even beyond. (Yes, I have been known to pull weeds with a screwdriver - works great, by the way, when done right).
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