Wednesday, April 23, 2014

tweeting delorme

let's start here: i have a big black leather satchel full of delorme street atlases, because sometimes you just need a paper map. for the state i live in, i have THREE delorme street atlases so i can have a clean copy and some with annotations.

and quite frankly, if you are trying to do outdoor activities in maine, you are stupid to go without a delorme atlas for maine, because the delorme atlas does an extra-good job of noting important things like where you can camp and where there are gates on the roads.

so i was already a fan. i wasn't buying a lot of new delorme product because the ones i have hold up pretty well, which is incidentally a thing i like about a company's product: durability.

you need to update map sets every now and again, but you should do it when YOU want to have the most up-to-date version, and not when the company that makes your mapset decides they're ready for you to open your wallet again.

it comes down to, i think, who has control over your consumer experience.

i want control over my consumer experience. i want to be able to buy stuff i like and use it how i like and shop for it how i like.

which brings me to my problems with garmin.

i have a garmin handheld GPS receiver. i have a garmin receiver because it's what my mom gave me for christmas all those years ago. i like the garmin line. i'm used to it. i like the feel of it.

but garmin wants me to use its products, all of its products and ONLY its products and it slaps some very proprietary controls on those products to keep you from using the products in ways they don't like.

my mapset has needed updating for a couple of years but i didn't want to lock myself into the punitive and restrictive garmin model so i put it off and put it off to the point that i had to do SOMETHING because my maps were far enough out of date to cause some significant navigation errors, and i had a hardware failure and couldn't get the garmin product i owned already to work on the new machine without updating to garmin products i did not like as well, but that helped garmin to control my experience more tightly.

so i was looking at the delorme mapsets and it turns out that not only do they have some very nice and reasonably priced maps, but they have a super cheap bundle that comes with a no-frills usb GPS receiver.

on top of that, once i got over the initial learning curve of how to use the software, the reasonably priced software/hardware bundle does everything that the garmin product did and a great deal more.

well, there are some things that the garmin product did that i didn't give a fig about, like the ability to use garmin's social media mapping in their very restrictive environment and let garmin track all my travels and store that information on their servers so they can sell me stuff.

the delorme mapset does not do those things.

and by "reasonably priced",  i mean at roughly an eighth of the cost.

and get this: delorme apparently does not give a wet slap if you use entirely delorme products with your delorme maps. you can import/export your data however you want and use third party equipment and applications to your little heart's desire and delorme even puts instructions in the manual about how to do it on their end.

delorme would probably like it if the receiver you were using was one of the very nice delorme receivers, but just in case you prefer something else, they're happy to let you use their product with somebody else's receiver.

there's a trend in marketing to try to get consumers to use one brand and only one brand of thing. some companies want to be your one-stop source for everything.

some companies are just happy to make a quality product and let you decide how you would like to use it.

so a couple of days ago i made my final tweet in the series of tweeting every day how many times my garmin GPS receiver froze up and had to have its batteries removed to be restarted. garmin did not take notice.

garmin does not care.

but delorme took notice.

yes. you do rock at maps. your company rocks at maps. it rocks at consumer service.

you guys just rock.

1 comment:

cookie said...

SNAP, Garmin. Three cheers for DeLorme for giving you a personal *tweet.* And cheers to you, flask, for just saying 'no' to pushy marketing.


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