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Hands-On Comparison

Route Planning with TomTom GO & Garmin StreetPilot

Updated: May 24, 2006

GO 510 and StreetPilot 2610 both have built-in route planning features. I recently spent some time working with them side-by-side so I could better understand their differences.

Hardware / Firmware:
Garmin "Saved Routes" & TomTom "Itineraries"

Both units let you create and save routes with multiple via points. On the Garmin, they're called "Saved Routes". On the TomTom, they're called "Itineraries".

Routes for the StreetPilot 2610 are created on the unit using the "new route" and "add via" features. They can also be created on a PC using the MapSource software and later saved to the SP 2610.

Here's what a route looks like on StreetPilot 2610 (click to enlarge):

edit vias screen shows via points and the destination

Routes for GO 510 can be created on the unit using the "Itinerary Planning" feature. They can also be created on a PC using the "TomTom HOME" software, but the GO 510 must be attached during this process.

Here's what an itinerary looks like on GO 510 (click to enlarge):

itinerary screen shows via points and destinations

Creating a route on Garmin StreetPilot 2610

StreetPilot "saved routes" include one destination and any number of via points. On the 2610, you first use "new route" to select a starting point and destination. Then you use "add via" to insert any additional points you want to pass along the way. There's also an "auto arrange" feature you can use to plan an efficient route.

Here are some of the StreetPilot 2610 screens for creating a new route with additional via points (click to enlarge):

  • add starting point for a new route
  • add ending point for a new route
  • route menu (where you'll find the add vias option)
  • add via points to a route
  • edit vias screen shows via points and the destination
Creating a route on TomTom GO 510

TomTom "Itineraries" include one or more destinations and any number of via points. Destinations are places you plan to stop, and via points are places you want to include in the route to a destination. As you follow an itinerary, TomTom creates a route to the first destination (using any associated via points). After you arrive at a destination, it creates a route to the next destination (and so-on). The net effect is like having a group of “saved routes” arranged together in the "Itinerary".

Here are some of the GO 510 screens for creating an itinerary (click to enlarge):

  • itinerary options
  • new itinerary screen
  • itinerary screen with several via ponts and destinations
  • options for each location in the itinerary
Creating Routes on a PC

For route planning on the PC, TomTom takes a different approach than Garmin. Garmin's route planning tool in MapSource is nothing like the tools that are built-into SP 2610. In MapSource, you build a route by clicking on points on a map in the order you want to visit them. In the "TomTom HOME" software, the process for building an Itinerary is exactly the same as it is on the unit. The only difference is that you're probably using a mouse instead of a touch screen to interact with the user interface.

Screen captures from MapSource and TomTom HOME (click to enlarge):

  • MapSource with route properties dialogue
  • TomTom HOME planning itinerary

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