What is GPS and what can you do with it? Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigation tool created by (you guessed it) that terrible US government and your tax dollars. Essentially, a bunch of satellites are parked in the sky that continuously broadcast their known locations. A GPS receiver gathers this information and calculates its position on the ground or in the sky or on the water. Sort of electronic celestial navigation.
You can use the system to tell you where you are, find where you want to go, and have it give you audio directions as you drive. You can find an address, a restaurant, a hotel and more. Last February I went to Florida for a few weeks. When I was near Florence SC I decided to stop. I found a hotel, called the number on the display for a reservation, then pressed "Go!" and it took me there.
Last year we bought a GPS. Until then I really did not think they were very useful. I could not seem to anything with the old ones that a good map wouldn't do. Moreover, you had to load the maps for wherever you were going. Man, have things changed.
Go here to see my review of the top-rated (Consumer Reports) Garmin Nuvi 350. I have found the unit extremely helpful in finding the put-ins and take-outs. It has also turned up some surprising routes, especially to places in central and southern West Virginia.
Since I seem to be perpetually late to meeting people, the ETA provides a better sense of how long it will take to get there than my eternal optimism.
Here are the POIs for some Maryland Rivers:
What's a POI and why do I want them?
Garmin CSV Format Download
GPX Format Download (Can convert to anything with POI Edit)
Garmin Nuvi 350