MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It wasn’t that long ago that we had to write down directions if we didn’t know where we were headed.

It also wasn’t that long ago when you had to spend big bucks to get a GPS system. Now, good navigation devices are on the market for about $150, and similar things are free for smart phones with apps.

But what is the best option when it comes to GPS? Some of WCCO-TV’s personalities put three different kinds of GPS to the test with Minnesota’s version of The Amazing Race.

The teams were WCCO-TV anchors Frank Vascellaro and Amelia Santaniello, Sports Director Mark Rosen and Candice Wiggins of the Minnesota Lynx and Meteorologist Chris Shaffer teamed up with Traffic and Entertainment Reporter Natalie Kane.

Frank and Amelia got the TomTom, Mark and Candice got the Garmin and Chris and Natalie used a Google Maps app.

The three teams used their devices to navigate themselves around the metro area to three locations. At the end, Chris, Mark and Amelia tried to track down a mystery man and a special surprise ending. That man was former WCCO-TV anchor Don Shelby, who is now retired.

All three teams had their issues during the Amazing Race, and the three devices have their individual perks.

If you don’t have a smart phone, TomTom and Garmin are the best because you don’t have to deal with too much technology at once, or monthly data charges. If you do have a smart phone, the free map apps can save you a lot of money.

Comments (9)
  1. annoyed says:

    I know right! This is so important that I needed my news to cover it. Real news please

  2. You can do better says:

    Save the web print.

  3. MB says:

    Did the Rosen team get ticketed for no-seat-belt violations?

    Maybe the time lost due to that is the real reason they came in last.

    It’s easier to find seated images of him and Schaffer sans-seat-belt than with them buckled up.

    Poor examples for their children.

    1. MB says:

      Oops. Make that Shaffer. Guess my German heritage is showing…

  4. JamieinMN says:

    I really like the one on my phone, but we still sometimes will use our Garmin Nuvi.

  5. Dava Yana says:

    Thanks for the information, appreciated it.

  6. Randyk says:

    WCCO, what are you trying to do? News or Consumer Reports. First of all, buy your vehicles from an American car company. Second, Tell Frank to mellow out and Rosen is to old to figure out electronics.

  7. Cell phone vs standalone says:

    Most phone apps will fail if you don’t have cell coverage because they don’t have onboard maps. They’re not too bad in metro areas but for everywhere else, I insist on having my Garmin nuvi.