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Question re. Garmin GPS units: when new roads are built...

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Lord Vader, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I've had a Garmin Nuvi for about 18 months and was wondering about something. In late 2007 a new tollway was completed in the Chicago metro area. As of summer 2008, 9 months after its completion, the I-355 extension still wasn't in most GPS units. When I called Garmin to inquire about this, they told me that when new expressways and tollways are built, it takes time to be added to the GPS satellites. The tech support person with whom I spoke said that they add such info to their database and it is then that it is reflected in the units when we drive.

    I asked him at that time why this major tollway wasn't yet available, and the guy tells me that it was because it wasn't considered a high enough priority and that not enough Garmin customers had contacted them to add it. Well, here it is even 9 months later and I-355 still isn't appearing in my Garmin Nuvi. So, I'm wondering if the Garmin support person was full of it. Doesn't one simply have to connect the Garmin to a PC and update the software that way in order to have the new tollway and other info available?

    I have yet to do this in the time I've owned it; hence my question.
     
  2. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    The satellites do not have any road data. They only allow a GPS unit to compute a position. The unit has all the road data. In airplane and boat units they have different data.

    Road data is provided by a company called NAVTEQ. Garmin and all other brands buy the data from NAVTEQ. Once a year, Garmin makes upgrade data available. They also provide operating software upgrades from time to time as necessary.

    I don't know about your Nuvi model, but traditionally Garmin has charged $75 for new road data and the software upgrades are free.

    Your toll road will first have to get into the NAVTEQ data and then Garmin will have to transfer that to the next upgrade.
     
  3. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I suppose that I can always grab my unit and see what happens when I try to update it.
     
  4. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    At the end of January, Garmin launched a new map update option: you pay a one-time fee of $129, and you get free map updates for the life of that device. Also, they are now pulling an update from Navteq once per quarter instead of only once a year, so as Navteq adds the information, you'll be able to get it into your device more quickly. You can still do a one-time update for around $75 if you want.

    I bought my Nuvi just after the 2007 maps were released, so they badly needed an update. Only recently did Navteq add a freeway extention that had been in use for a year. I went ahead and bought the lifetime updates and updated my Nuvi. You have to download a 3GB or so file, and then it takes a good hour to do the update (the USB transfer to the device takes a long time; I think the device is only USB 1.1). But now my Nuvi is freshly updated and much nicer to use since that freeway extension is often part of my route.
     
  5. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    So you mean I have to pay a frickin' fee of $75 or $129 just to get updated mapping information? That's asinine.
     
  6. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    When I purchased my handheld unit, I had to purchase the street maps seperately. And I have to purchase the updates as a seperate package.

    Anyone know which road units accept GPX files, like from EasyGPS?
     
  7. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Well, there's a web site to which I belong where I'll be able to get all the Garmin stuff at no cost. I'm going to try there.
     
  8. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Welcome to the information age! Content, data, information, TV programing, music, video, etc all as a value and price. Keeping the aviation data current on a Garmin airplane unit is several hundred a year or more depending on what features you use.
     
  9. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Fortunately, I was able to download the Garmin stuff at no cost from the aforementioned site and save a bunch of money. And no, I can't share the files. :D
     
  10. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Good luck. Garmin has been pretty clever and careful to make sure their copywrited NAVTEC data is not distrubuted freely.
     
  11. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I'm sure, but it's done, and I've got it.
     
  12. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    No GPS companies give map updates for free, because they have to purchase licenses for them from Navteq.

    And the street map updates are locked to the serial number of your unit. You can pirate some of the other map types, but you won't get any street info to work on your unit unless you buy it.
     
  13. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Uh, that's not completely true. Let's just leave it at that. It's unlocked on my unit. ;)
     
  14. gfrang

    gfrang Hall Of Fame

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    I never buy maps,whenever i run into problems like new constrution,road repair or whatever i just keep heading in the compass direction until it is safe to let it take over.It is cheaper and better to buy a new unit every few years.
     

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