I've decided to give Google Earth Plus ($20 USD / year) a whirl on my Mac.
I am using the BU-353 USB GPS unit (available from the mp3Car store), and it works fairly well.
I thought I might share a few of my preliminary experiences, for those who may be interested. At the moment I haven't been able to test it in my car, due to the fact that I don't have mobile data. (I live in the UAE, while it is possible to get a USB 3.5g 'aircard', it is a bit more difficult process than the US, hopefully tomorrow I will finally have it sorted out).
Here is what I've come across so far:
-When I initially loaded, it zoomed to my current location, but didn't actually show any type of marker. After a few moments tinkering, I noticed that there was a time/date slider at the top of the screen. When I advanced it to present day (was set to July 1970), tada, "position" marker.
-Because I am stationary and indoors, the GPS receiver doesn't have an adequate fix, resulting in jitters. Not a big deal, but Google Earth (hereafter referred to as GE) zooms in to such a detail level that I can't really make anything out. I can zoom out, but the next update zooms in again. I can't seem to figure out how to set a default zoom level.
-GE has a 2000mb cache limitation, which I believe will probably be more than ample (especially once I have my mobile data card), but I can't seem to find a really easy way to "pre-cache". Best I can figure is to set a simple "here" and "there" waypoint, and do a tour from one to the next at each of the zoom levels.
-At 800x600, the sidebar takes up *way* too much screen, so I will likely need to close it. However, the toolbar buttons are small enough (even at that res) that I believe I will have difficulty pushing them.
-There doesn't seem to be a way to customize the toolbar to allow toggling on/off the track overlay. Probably a minor annoyance, but it would still be nice.
- I have multiple USB-Serial devices connected, in fact three different (counting the GPS) that rely on the Prolific chipset. GE doesn't have a mechanism for "picking" which to use. Fortunately, it was able to poll the devices and choose the "correct" one.
- While the only "movement" I've done is actually GPS jitter, the "automatically follow path" option doesn't seem to center on the current position, at least not reliably.
After trying a few of the different Mac solutions (I refuse to go the Parallels/VMWare route), I think this is probably the best at the moment.
I've seen users (in the past) complain about the update speed when driving, and this will be something I will be watching. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to test this "on the go" yet.
The interface really isn't geared for this type of use, and it shows. While not a deal breaker given the price and alternatives, it would still be nice to have a little more "task-specific" UI.
I will update this thread after I've had a chance for a thorough road test (perhaps to Oman? )
Bugbyte, with all your encyclopedic knowledge...why do we still have that outdated sticky!?
Had I known about this, I could have saved $20...thanks for the heads up!
(and yes, forum search is your friend....fail)
Just to be clear:
The sticky has all this information, I fail at reading.
BugByte does have all the answers
Search is still your friend.
I updated the sticky after I replied to your post to make sure it was clear how to do this. Before that, it was buried in a thread called 'alternate nav system' or something like that. So, thanks for bringing it up. Now it will be clearer for everyone else.