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Old 06-14-10, 10:30 PM   #1
mtalinm
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anyone using 705 with free maps from gpsfiledepot.com?

call me cheap, but after plunking down $350 on a refurbed 705 I'm trying to avoid even more.

I found a site gpsfiledepot.com which has topo maps of most of the country. using Garmin MapSource I'm able to tag portions of these maps for download to a micro SD card.

question is, is this a legitimate alternative to the Garmin City Navigator maps? anyone used these maps successfully? I searched for gpsfiledepot but couldn't find anything.

apologies if this is in teh 605/705 tips & tricks thread - I looked through several pages but didn't see anything.
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Old 06-17-10, 02:27 PM   #2
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not sure about gpsfiledepot.com but I have a buddy who uses files from http://www.openstreetmap.org/ with his 705 and says they work well; says "if it's on google maps it's on these". my refurb just came in yesterday so I haven't had time to try any of them out for myself yet....not sure if you lose any functionality (turn by turn, etc) by not using the Garmin brand ones.
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Old 06-18-10, 10:24 AM   #3
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tbh i don't know gpsfiledeopt.com but I have used openstreetmap.org and its good although I couldn't get the routing to work (it would route using the basic Garmin basmap, giving me funny diagonal routes across roads/buildings etc).

I now use this because it allows me to use the routing function and gives me the details like openstreet does, its slightly less cluttered too and is a bit easier for me to read, slightly faster load up times/zooming times and has the major roads alphanumerical names which I'm not sure if openstreet has (if it does its not too clear)
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Old 06-19-10, 07:42 AM   #4
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I went for the Garmin map and they don't show the bike trails in NYC?
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Old 06-19-10, 10:48 AM   #5
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I went for the Garmin map and they don't show the bike trails in NYC?
My guess is they're a few years o ut of date. I thi they are actually discontinued on the gamin website.

Do the open street maps have the latest trails?
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Old 06-20-10, 07:32 PM   #6
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I wrote a post on my blog about this as well as I can't justify paying all sorts of money for the maps as well. I'm not looking for detailed POI, just a fairly accurate listing of roads. http://www.tiredofit.ca/2010/02/free...in-gps-device/

In short, It uses the OSM as mentioned above, and they work just as good as the Garmin Maps, and Open Source as well - a cool concept. Installing is simple and they will even work in Mapsource and Basecamp as well!

So far I haven't been sent down too weird of a path in 75 days of touring/relying on its data.
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Old 06-22-10, 07:38 AM   #7
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Thanks, these have been great so far!!!

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tbh i don't know gpsfiledeopt.com but I have used openstreetmap.org and its good although I couldn't get the routing to work (it would route using the basic Garmin basmap, giving me funny diagonal routes across roads/buildings etc).

I now use this because it allows me to use the routing function and gives me the details like openstreet does, its slightly less cluttered too and is a bit easier for me to read, slightly faster load up times/zooming times and has the major roads alphanumerical names which I'm not sure if openstreet has (if it does its not too clear)
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Old 06-22-10, 01:22 PM   #8
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I went for the Garmin map and they don't show the bike trails in NYC?
I don't see bike trails in any city I've been to. Are they not on the usual maps? Garmin's policy not to put them there? Need to be requested by local folks and they haven't done it? ????
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Old 06-23-10, 09:16 AM   #9
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only shortcoming of the routable openstreet maps I can find is that you can't look up an address b/c the city names are not tied to states. maybe that's enough of a reason for some people to pay for the SD card, but I might be okay without it
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Old 06-29-10, 09:10 AM   #10
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I use my Android phone with a phone holder bolted to crossbars - I added thin velcro strip for extra security and didn't have any problems yet.
Excellent free always updated maps, bike routes and GPS bike computer applications ($2 for full version - can't beat that).
I really don't understand why companies like Garmin are still in business.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:49 PM   #11
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I wonder about this myself. Does it make sense to drop $400 on a gamin edge 705 vs $200 on a droid incredible. It would be great to get google biking directions instead of the basic gamin directions. I Guess the things that keep me with the garmin include

Battery life - no phone is going to last all days with the screen on.
Cadence and heart rate - maybe those attachments are coming some day, but right now i think gamin is the only way to get that
Pre-set courses - not sure how to tell the android phone where i want to go, and then have it prompt me how to get there
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Old 06-30-10, 01:01 PM   #12
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Cool

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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
I wonder about this myself. Does it make sense to drop $400 on a gamin edge 705 vs $200 on a droid incredible. It would be great to get google biking directions instead of the basic gamin directions. I Guess the things that keep me with the garmin include

Battery life - no phone is going to last all days with the screen on.
Cadence and heart rate - maybe those attachments are coming some day, but right now i think gamin is the only way to get that
Pre-set courses - not sure how to tell the android phone where i want to go, and then have it prompt me how to get there
I've been riding with Android for about a month now and love it. Battery life does suck bananas. Velox Pro app that I'm using as my bike computer relies on GPS signal for speed and distance measurements and my poor original T-Mobile G1 can only manage about 3 hours of GPS. It's notorious for bad battery life though and I can't wait to upgrade it to newer Android toys with better battery life. I don't know what battery life is like on any other bike GPS unit.

There is an Android app that measure Cadence but it requires strapping your phone to your thigh - no thanks.

Velox Pro also allows you to save/load tracks and shows them on a map - I haven't really used that feature yet but it's there.

Bottom line - I have my phone with me and it's a GPS unit and a pretty good GPS based bike computer for no extra money (except $10 for a phone holder from eBay)
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Old 07-08-10, 03:19 PM   #13
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I use gpsfiledepot.com maps on my 705. But I ride a mountain bike in the woods. I have no need for routing information.

Hm, why do companies like Garmin still exist?

1: there will ALWAYS be a market for purpose-built devices. not everyone wants to strap a phone to their handlebars so it can shatter when you crash and you can lose not only your GPS, but your cell phone to call for a ride (because your bike is now broken, too), your camera (to potentially take insurance pictures of the idiot who ran you over), your contacts list (so now you have to post on Facebook and Twitter for your friends to give you their numbers again).

2: cell phone companies STILL don't have a quick and easy way to preload maps of various types onto the device for occasions when you lost cell signal. many apps let you fool the phone into caching maps if you first view them while you have a signal, but that's a ridiculously inefficient system. I want to load plenty more maps than I'll need and go. I don't want to keep loading maps every time I go out. I just want to do it once and forget about it. Purpose-built GPS receivers can now take Google Earth imagery and more at the consumer price point, load them all on, and not require internet connectivity in the field for anything.

3: cell phones are still more delicate. at minimum you need to concern yourself with rain. ideally, you should concern yourself with extended vibrations on the bike and crashes, too, which forces you to invest in a quality housing (like an Otterbox or a Magellan Toughcase) and a mount. So the cost of the phone itself is not the only variable.

4: battery life. need I say more? you're lucky to get a couple hours of battery life out of a phone with the screen on constantly using GPS (and downloading maps). The Magellan Toughcase includes a supplementary battery to try to mitigate that, but my GPS receivers can last many hours all by themselves. My handheld even takes spare AA batteries and can easily be functional for days (with the screen on).

5: size. The phone already takes up more real estate on the bars/stem than an Edge. Add a protective case and it's even bigger. What about space for a light? I stopped using my handheld GPS on the handlebars because of space concerns.

There are lots of good reasons not to use your phone as a bike computer. Do phones have a place in the GPS world? Sure, I'm not arguing that. But I think their usefulness is pretty limited to use in the city (although there's legislation popping up now preventing the use of cell phone navigation in cars), geotagging photos, and the types of basic GPS functions someone might need or want while in civilization. I do not believe they are well-suited to backcountry use without extensive hardware and software modification.
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Old 07-12-10, 09:01 AM   #14
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Hm, why do companies like Garmin still exist?

1: there will ALWAYS be a market for purpose-built devices. not everyone wants to strap a phone to their handlebars so it can shatter when you crash
I have an insurance policy with my phone so even if I break it I can get a new one from my cell provider . BTW - Gamin 705 costs more than any smart phone on the market today and if you destroy it you are SOL. I dropped my phone plenty of times to no ill effect. Last time i dropped it while doing ~20mph on a road (it was my stupidity at fault). Still works like a charm. These things are built like tanks.

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2: cell phone companies STILL don't have a quick and easy way to preload maps of various types...
I stopped using Garmin GPS in my car in favor of Google GPS on my Android phone ever since Google Navigation became available (for free mind you with guarantied updated maps again for free). There are tons of apps on the Android market tailored specifically for bike riders that use all sorts of maps and cost $2 on average.

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3: cell phones are still more delicate. at minimum you need to concern yourself with rain.
Delicate? No - read above. I don't see how Garmin device that has the same electronics and display is more rugged. Let's do a test - drop your garmin while doing 20mph on a bike and lets compare results . Rain maybe - haven't tried it in a heavy rain yet but probably wouldn't ride in heavy rain anyway.


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4: battery life. need I say more?
Yes - you got me there. I'm the first to admit that battery life sucks bananas at least on my phone T-Mobile G1 (HTC). I carry a spare battery just in case because full GPS mode only lasts for about 3 hours on my phone.

Bottom Line: I don't have to drop another $350 on a dedicated GPS when my phone does it better already for no extra cost to me.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:20 AM   #15
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only 3 hours? wow, that sucks. so you have to do a battery pull and then reload everything - i assume it stops recording your route at the battery pull. no thanks.

also, does it do
* accurate elevation
* heart rate
* cadence
and other stuff that serious cyclists care about? can it still tell your speed if it loses the GPS signal? can you use it on a trainer at home with GPS shut off? (I do this all the time)

if so, I'd be impressed. if not, pls don't say that it works "better" than a Garmin (though I give you that Google Biking Directions make me salivate)

I don't disagree that an android phone is a great solution for many people. but at least for now, a Garmin 705 offers a ton of features.

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I have an insurance policy with my phone so even if I break it I can get a new one from my cell provider . BTW - Gamin 705 costs more than any smart phone on the market today and if you destroy it you are SOL. I dropped my phone plenty of times to no ill effect. Last time i dropped it while doing ~20mph on a road (it was my stupidity at fault). Still works like a charm. These things are built like tanks.



I stopped using Garmin GPS in my car in favor of Google GPS on my Android phone ever since Google Navigation became available (for free mind you with guarantied updated maps again for free). There are tons of apps on the Android market tailored specifically for bike riders that use all sorts of maps and cost $2 on average.

Delicate? No - read above. I don't see how Garmin device that has the same electronics and display is more rugged. Let's do a test - drop your garmin while doing 20mph on a bike and lets compare results . Rain maybe - haven't tried it in a heavy rain yet but probably wouldn't ride in heavy rain anyway.


Yes - you got me there. I'm the first to admit that battery life sucks bananas at least on my phone T-Mobile G1 (HTC). I carry a spare battery just in case because full GPS mode only lasts for about 3 hours on my phone.

Bottom Line: I don't have to drop another $350 on a dedicated GPS when my phone does it better already for no extra cost to me.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:11 PM   #16
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It amazes me that I am apparently so inept technically, but loading maps on my Garmin 705 is another example of something "easy" that has thrown me for a loop.
  1. I downloaded a Garmin map image file (GarminMap_4000MB-lon_-165.45_to_154.60.gmapsupp.img) for the US (2.8 GB).
  2. I copied that file to an 4GB Micro SD card. I wasn't sure if I needed to rename the file, dropping the "prefix") so I left it as it was - I figured I could rename it under Windows Explorer, if necessary.
  3. I did not put it in a folder.
  4. The file does not show up when I look at the Garmin 705 (I see gmapbmap.img and 5 other files plus the 5 folders [Courses, GPX, History, Profile, & RemoteSW).
Any help (including links) would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-15-10, 06:57 PM   #17
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Personally speaking, my mobile phone is my emergency lifeline. If it's dead, in a worst case scenario, I could end up like it. I'm not doing a lot of rides in the wilderness of Long Island , but I still want to have two separate devices for my bike computer and my phone. A phone with a dead battery is essentially a brick...and of very little use.

Charles
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Old 07-16-10, 06:46 PM   #18
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Personally speaking, my mobile phone is my emergency lifeline. If it's dead, in a worst case scenario, I could end up like it. I'm not doing a lot of rides in the wilderness of Long Island , but I still want to have two separate devices for my bike computer and my phone. A phone with a dead battery is essentially a brick...and of very little use.

Charles
Precisely the point of issue #1 with there ALWAYS being a market for a purpose-built device.

The vast majority of phones don't have waterproof seals on the ports. Gotta get a big waterproof case.

The screens are absolutely the weak points when dealing with shock from drops and crashes. I've seen cracked Garmins, but VERY few shattered to the point they're unusable anymore. I've seen lots of smartphones damaged that badly.

I frequently go where cell reception does not exist. If I can't quickly and easily load my maps before I get into the field, then the GPS is not really useful to me. And for that matter, few phone GPSes work half as well as modern dedicated GPS receivers when they're outside cell range. Most cell phone companies put cheap, antiquated GPS receivers in there that lose accuracy or signal altogether under canopy when they're out of cell range.

The Magellan Toughcase addresses some of those issues for the i-users, but there's still the map caching problem to deal with. I hear on the grapevine that that's being worked on, but even with all those solutions in place, it doesn't make the smartphone "better" than a dedicated GPS receiver. It just makes it a more viable option than it was.
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