A touring company based in Oregon has just released a download for several Garmin global-positioning systems that will guide travelers to literally hundreds of attractions along the entire length of Route 66.
River Pilot (yes, that’s his name) of River Pilot Tours in Oakland, Ore., has developed a $9.99 download, “Route 66 Attractions,” for Garmin Nuvi, Zumo or StreetPilot GPS units. With a high-speed connection, it can be downloaded in less than 10 minutes.
“Route 66 Attractions” became available to the public this week.
(Disclosure: I helped Pilot track down or verify a couple of obscure Route 66 sites in Oklahoma. He consulted with many other Route 66 experts, maps, and reference books during his research.)
Here’s an animation of what “Route 66 Attractions” looks like in action:
Here are some of the features of “Route 66 Attractions”:
- More than 850 attractions on Route 66 listed.
- Descriptions, photos, websites, addresses, and phone numbers for hundreds of these locations.
- Attractions include those on obscure Route 66 alignments, including Cuervo Cut-Off and La Bajada Hill in New Mexico, Sidewalk Highway in Oklahoma, Jericho Gap in Texas, and the original Santa Fe alignment.
- Information is up-to-date, as data was gathered in late 2010. It will be updated quarterly.
Pilot said in an e-mail he began legwork for the project in March, and traveled Route 66 for 24 days in August. Another three months was spent on production.
“One of the goals of the product was to ensure accuracy as it’s ultimately being delivered on a digital platform. I choose to create the product based on historical fact and accuracy first and then add the charm of the road and all of the people on it after that.”
Next up on Pilot’s plate is to develop a companion GPS program that provides turn-by-turn directions.
“I have compiled the Route 66 main tour route that we all know, as well as some of the major old alignments, into a digital map. From there, I plan to offer Turn By Turn Directions of Route 66 that actually works. GPS accuracy on the content I have is currently +/- 10 feet . That’s sufficient to allow folks to pop that information into their GPS and get real and accurate Turn By Turn directions of the road. They can even select the old alignments if they are feeling adventurous. Finally, with the latest technology, that content can be delivered into all of the major languages from throughout the world. This can only get better as GPS accuracy is going to improve dramatically by 2014 with the deployment of new satellites and navigation equipment.”
Pilot also said he might consider other historic highways for future GPS projects.
UPDATE: For a few days, the price has been $19.99 for a download. This is a mistake, and tech folks are working to correct it.
Excerpts of an e-mail I received from Pilot:
Long story short is it’s a misprint. I just got off the phone with the distributor and that price was intended for another product. It should be changed back to the $9.99 within 24 – 48 hours. They are adding titles and updates daily and it appears that one of their IT folks updated my file instead of another.
Thank you very much for the feedback and sorry for the confusion. I appreciate your support and time.
(Graphics courtesy of River Pilot)