TomTom Destination Left / Right
A common question (or complaint) about TomTom devices is that they don’t know their left from right when it comes to street addresses. In most cases it isn’t that they don’t know, it is just that the information isn’t where the user expects it to be– and the TomTom devices are not “vocal” about left/right. So here is how to figure out, in most cases at least, what side of the road your destination is on.
Finding Street Numbers
First, let’s start by just proving that your TomTom does know which side of the street which numbers are on. There are some streets you will find where address numbering isn’t known, but those are by far the minority. Tap the map to go into the menu, and select ‘Browse Map’. Zoom down on the map, then tap on one of the streets. You will see a something similar to the map pictured below and to the right.
I’ve tapped on a street named ‘Yawkey Way’ and where I tapped was near street number 26. Next, notice that there are two pairs of numbers displayed on the street at the nearest intersections. The top pair is “1|2″ while the bottom pair is “41|40″. This means that from the perspective that you are looking on the map, the street numbers go from 1 to 41 down the left side of the street and from 2 to 40 down the right side of the street. Street number 26, where I tapped, is therefore on the right side of the street. (And you can see from the cursor position that it is somewhat to the right side of the street.
Now that street is very short, so the range goes from one end of the street to the other. However for streets that are longer, it will show the address range between street segments.
While Following a Route
When you are following a route, how do you know if the destination is on the left or right? Well, you need to look at the map as you get close to the destination. Consider the screenshot on the right. As you follow the red highlighted route, notice how the red line at the destination ends by sweeping off the road to the right side with a final arrow. Also notice how the final destination “checkerboard flag” is offset to the right of the street. This means that the destination is on the right side of the road.
Room for Improvement
A few notes about this feature. It certainly isn’t as good as it could be. I mean, come on– if the device knows which side of the street the destination is on, why can’t it be added to the voice instruction. Currently the voice will simply say “In 250 feet, you have arrived at your destination”. Why could it not simply say “In 250 feet, your destination is on the right”?
The “final destination arrow” also doesn’t work with POIs. I’m not certain of the reason why, but I suspect it has something to do with the way the POIs are geocoded then put into the database and while the location is known, perhaps the street number information is no longer retained and thus the side of the street is ambiguous.
So while other devices on the market are much more elegant and speak the side of the road, you can tell for most addresses which side of the street your destination should be on. TomTom certainly has some room for improvement with this feature, but for many routes the TomTom does know its left from its right.