Route 66 attractions guide now available for GPS

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)

28 thoughts on “Route 66 attractions guide now available for GPS

  1. If all of River’s GPS system is as thorough and accurate as I expect it is, based on my interaction with him concerning little ol’ Afton, OK, I feel it will be amazing. We had scads of phone, email, and face-to-face contact as he verified every detail of the town. I’ve rarely dealt with someone so concerned with accuracy and minute detail, so I’m sure it will be excellent.

    1. Hello Dyno Dave. Thanks for the feedback. That’s a good question and I’m pleased to let you know that it will indeed be avaialable on the Tom Tom platform. Look for it on more devices including Tom Tom in 2011. The R66 GPS is formatted and ready for many different platforms and we are rolling it out as they become available. ~ River

    1. Hello Wally. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, Dyno Dave had the same comments. Look for it on more devices in 2011. The R66 GPS is formatted and ready for many different platforms and we are rolling it out as they become available. ~ River

  2. Cool! Now I just need a GPS. This should be a great way to bring more daytrippers, weekend road warriors, vacationers, and persons bit with the travel bug onto America’s Main Street- with the right marketing plan.

    1. Hello Josh. Yes, I agree. This product was developed as I looked far and wide for a commercial grade product that would be universal in nature and could eventually be ported to multiple languages. As a tour leader I watched many guests and clients “looking” for various attractions as we progressed down the road. Now travelers in groups and individually can find an attraction, pre-view it first by picture if available, check an attractions website, make a phone call, and then confidently navigate there if they like. Thanks for the input. ~ River

  3. Looks like this guy has tried to take advantage of your traffic here. You posted that this download was $9.95 and it was when I downloaded (yes, I bought based on it being on this site).

    Then I posted your link and their link on my site so that I could direct more traffic to their site and he raises the price to $19.99. Not a cool thing to do!

    Again, nice work on the GPS file and it is what he says it is, but raising the price for no apparent reason right after announcing at a lower price is not a cool thing for that company to do.

    1. Yes, it is now $19.99. I’ve just now e-mailed River Pilot to ask him about the price change. Doubling the price of a product less than a week after you introduce it is not cool. I’m in the business with a major online retailer, and customers would rightfully raise holy hell if we did that.

    2. Hello Wally Jarratt, Yes, I agree. I’m sorry for the confusion and I appreciate the feedback. Yes, the first week has been a whirlwind. When the price went up I was concerned as well. However, it was a simple mistake and we have the price in the queue going back to $9.99 within 24-48 hours. Wally, I would like to get your feedback on the product and if there is anything that you would like to add I would be delighted to hear it. Thanks for your business. ~ River

  4. Thanks Ron…I’m kinda embarrassed because I have over 28,000 members at my site and I don’t post that many unsolicited “ads”. And posted the price that I paid for an apparently “new” product from them, only to have them jack the price up. Pretty embarrassing.

    1. Rich, thanks for the feedback. Yes, we all do don’t we. That’s exactly the reason I did this. There are so many treasures and good people on Route 66 that I thought we need to make sure everyone is recognized. I appreciate the feedback and look forward to meeting you on the road.~ River

  5. Hey – maybe the $9.99 price was a misprint. Whatever. $20 is a fair price for this addition to a very expensive GPS command center. I bought it this morning, and I’m quite pleased with it.

    1. Hello Stu. I wanted to thank you for the feedback and were pleased that you like the product. I’m especially proud of the work that went into this but even more so of the community that jumped in and offered so much help. The pictures of the locations and what they looked like back in the day was one of my favorite parts of the creation process. I hope you enjoy them too. ~ River

  6. Route 66 GPS Attractions Guide – Content Update
    The River Pilot Route 66 GPS Attractions Guide has been updated for content today (12/8/10) to add four more pictures, two descriptions, and other minor formatting changes to enhance the end user experience. Users who have already downloaded the product can obtain this update free of charge. To apply these updates first clear the internet cache, connect the Garmin GPS, follow the previous e-mail order link, and reload the product. All data will be updated with new content at no charge. The free updates are available up to 90 days from the date of purchase. – River Pilot

  7. I like to say that dealing with spot it out is a major waste of time they gladly took my money but I cant download the product I have been on the phone over 2hrs (including hold) and still no help seems nobody can do any thing. BUYER BEWARE.

    Brian Galvin

    1. Hello Brian Galvin,

      Good morning and thank you for the feedback. It looks like we need to assist and get the download on the device to get you up and running. I’ve reached out to tech support this morning and we’ll be contacting you to make sure its all taken care of. You are also welcome to contact me directly at phone#:307-222-6347 I’ll be delighted to ensure your satisfaction is a priority.
      ~ River

  8. The true spirit of Route 66 is not the turn by turn, it is the adventure of the trip, the journey which encompasses the route, the people along the way, the unprinted history of the Mother Road. There are multiple paths and what you discover along the way makes it your adventure, your own journey. It is unfortunate that you, River, cannot put this on a GPS map. See you on Route 66 River. You still ride the route right River? or are you just a couch rider collectively downloading from the internet, doing the leg work for the real Tour Guides.

    1. Dude, even though the end of your comment is a bit garbled, your sentiment is well taken.
      After all, this whole Route 66 revival is nothing more than a celebration of the past and a history that is over, not unlike the contemporary remnants of black roots music (i.e., blues & jazz, the glory of days both of which fall not-so-coincidentally within the same relative time frame as the Mother Road).
      And despite the attempts to “modernize” Route 66, you’ll note by following this blog a vastly overriding sentiment & concern towards the appreciation (and thus, preservation) of the HISTORIC structures and — inseparably and virtually by definition — the simpler times that accompanied them.

  9. Hi, When will the Route 66 GPS maps be coming out for Tom Tom devices?
    We are travelling the road in July, so hope it will be out by then.

    1. Good Day Toni Satherley,

      Thank you for your inquiry into availability for the Tom Tom platform. We are prepared for the Tom Tom devices and as soon as they are technologically supporting this type of content we will be deploying. We are hopefull that it will be soon and it’s likely that it will be ready by the second quarter.

      Please continue to monitor the website as we will be posting there once the Tom Tom version is available.

      Thanks for the post and I hope you have a fun trip this summer.

      ~ River Pilot

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