Here's a roundup of the GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite receivers we tested, along with other GPS sources.
Keep in mind that manufacturers of hand-held units make several models in different price ranges, and software publishers who offer GPS also sell street-mapping programs without GPS capability.
Magellan GPS Pioneer. Hand-held GPS receiver. Simple and effective. Available in stores including Kmart and catalogs including L.L. Bean. $99.99. Information: 1-800-669-4477 or www.magellangps.com
Garmin GPS II Plus. Hand-held GPS receiver. Handy on the trail or in the car. $386.35. Information: 800-800-1020 or www.garmin.com
Another option: Eagle GPS receivers. Information: 1-800-324-1354 or www.eaglegps.com
For the car
TravRoute's Door-to-Door CoPilot. Routing, ttracking and mapping software with GPS receiver for use with laptop PCs. Recognizes voice commands and responds with spoken directions, $399.99. Information: 1-888-872-8688or www.travroute.com
DeLorme Tripmate. Routing and tracking software and receiver for use with Macintosh or PC (PC version has door-to-door routing and voice recognition). $159. More information: 1-800-511-2459 or www.delorme.com
Other options: Etak's SkyMap (888-275-9627 or www.etak.com) and Rand McNally's TripMaker (800-333-0136 or www.randmcnally.com)
On the Web
If you're not sure you want to buy a mapping program, start online with a Web site that does the same thing, free of charge.
MapQuest www.mapquest.com/: One of the best sources of maps and directions on the web, with tips on lodging, dining and other information from the Mobil Travel Guide.
DeLorme CyberMaps (http://atlas.delorme.com/): Maps and AAA Map'n'Go directions from the company that makes Tripmate.
EtakGuide www.etakguide.com): mapping from the software maker.
L Vicinity's MapBlast (www.mapblast.com): Directions and maps.
Maps On Us (www.mapsonus.com): directions and maps.
AutoPilot (www.freetrip.com): Directions, no maps.
Tiger Map Server Browser (http://tiger.census.gov/cgi-bin/mapbrowse-tbl): The Census Bureau offers layers of fascinating information.
! Pub date: 5/18/98