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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 12-28-10, 05:19 PM   #1
hobkirk
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Garmin GPS Maps - Do you have them? use them? Buy DVD or micro-SD?

I have a 705 w/o maps. I always use the HR and cadence. The computer design and functions work well. I love the upload feature - I learn a lot reviewing the maps of my rides.

I had planned to use it as a GPS guide by using public domain map files. Several posts on BF caused me to think this was straight forward. [[I'm a born sucker!] I downloaded some map files and put them on a card but it didn't work.
  1. Do you have the maps?
  2. Do you use them to follow a route often?
  3. Or is it primarily as a guide to find your way home after you've gotten lost?
  4. Or something else?[
  5. If you do use the maps:
    • Did you figure out a way to download them for free?
    • If you bought them, do you recommend buying the DVD or buy the micro-SD card pre-loaded?

Yes, it's yet another Garmin thread! Sorry. But I have searched for answers to these questions without success. And several months ago I spent over ten hours trying to download map files.

As always, thanks for your help!
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Old 12-28-10, 05:46 PM   #2
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I have the bundled 705 only because I bought mine at cost. to answer your questions:
1. Yes
2. No
3. No, its extremely difficult to get lost where I live no matter how far I ride. Maps are great if you live in super congested cities, otherwise you wont need it.
4. Have maps, dont use em.
5. N/A
6.1 No, I researched this for a friend who doesnt have maps and tried to copy my card, cant seem to make it work. Garmin has their stuff protected.
6.2 If you must have maps, get the micro SD.

I originally thought I would use the maps, but in the end, I just download my ride and look at the maps thru Garmin Connect or my Garmin Training Center.
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Old 12-28-10, 06:07 PM   #3
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There are lots of free maps out there (and I don't mean illegally downloaded ones) but it's possible that not all are good/usable. I used the Colorado one from this site I think and it works fine. You do need to use the Garmin map install program to get them on the unit. Drag and drop has not worked so well for me.
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Old 12-28-10, 06:11 PM   #4
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1. Yes. The GPS I use most for cycling is a much older Garmin model - the eMap that I've had for over 10 years. Although not marketed for cycling it suits me better than most of their newer models.
2. Not often at all, but seeing my position on the map does help me see just where I am and therefore how much farther it is to the next stop, town, etc.
3. No, but sometimes as a way to find a shortcut back if the weather turns bad or something else comes up.
4. They're most helpful when touring since they include the locations of businesses like grocery stores, restaurants, motels, etc.
5/6. I purchased Garmin's streetmaps but also downloaded some free topographic maps. I use the latter mainly for hiking. When I got the Garmin maps (2001), CD was the only option. CD/DVD has the advantage that you can combine maps from various sources - so I can have both the street and topo maps in my GPS and choose which to see at any time. I also use the maps on my PC at home for trip planning purposes. OTOH, Garmin's maps on CD/DVD are protected and tied to a particular GPS serial number so they won't work (at least without some hacking) on another GPS you might buy later. The SD card maps can be transferred easily between Garmin GPS units.
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Old 12-28-10, 07:32 PM   #5
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I didn't have any luck with the importing instructions for assembling and converting Open Street Maps.

But this method does work, and is easy. There are pre-built maps available to download:

* Get a 4GB sdhc memory card. The Garmin manual says 2GB is the maximum, but it's been increased.
(You might be able to fit the 500mb map on your original 705 drive if there's enough empty space. I haven't tried it.)

* plug your 705 in as a usb device. You'll have two mapped drives. One is the Garmin itself, the other is the sdhc card. Create a folder on the 4gb drive named "GARMIN". I added a text file named "4gb card.txt" just so I know which mapped drive I'm looking at.

* determine your latitute and longitude. Google "latitude and longitude" and pick your location off a map. For instance, Ohio is about -84 west and 39 north.

* daveh generates installable maps every few months, in different sizes and areas.

* see the daveh readme on selecting which map. He says his 2000mb maps will fit on a 2gb card, but they don't quite fit. The 1000mb ones will fit on a 2gb card easily, and the 2000mb on a 4gb card.

* The 1000mb -82 to 158 covers West Virginia east to Europe. The 500mb -93 to -85 covers Kansas City to Indianapolis for example.
To locate a longitude, use itouchmap.com/latlong.html, and at the "Show Point from Latitude and Longitude" enter latitude 40, longitude -83 to see where the 1000mb -83 to +158 map starts, for instance.
The maps all have the same detail, just a larger area on the bigger maps. And they all seem to be the same speed for panning and zooming.
* download the map you want, and save it on your computer. It'll take a while. You should try the 500mb map for your area if you are in a hurry.

* copy it onto the GARMIN folder on your 705 4gb card. This is really slow for me, it takes a few hours to copy a 2000mb map. Copying files to the Garmin 705 is way, way slower than copying to a separate sd card reader.

* rename it to be gmapsupp.img. You can have other maps downloaded on the sdhc card, but only the map exactly named gmapsupp.img is usable by the 705. You can rename the current gmapsupp.img back to 1000mb--etc and rename a different map to gmapsupp.img if you want different coverage or to try a different map.

Keep the gmapbmap.img where it is already, on the 705 mapped drive. This base map is used if you zoom out too far, or pan off the edge of your downloaded map. And keep all your tcx and gpx files on the 705, too. The 4gb card is only for the maps.

* I like to click the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon on the Windows Tray before unplugging the 705.
Boot your 705 and see the maps!

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-02-12 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 12-28-10, 07:36 PM   #6
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I follow courses all the time. I like to go out into unknown territory.

Using the maps to follow a .gpx Route:
I've never had consistent luck using the .gpx Routes. The navigation often shortcuts or chops off the route. It's frustrating.

Instead, I always make a .tcx Course. It has to be copied to a "Courses" folder that needs to be created on the main 705 drive. Then the course is followed by selecting it from the Training button, not the Where To button. It works great.

Last edited by rm -rf; 12-28-10 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 12-28-10, 07:55 PM   #7
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Long story short. I just ditched the 705 for the 500 because I use the data for training and wanted the Firstbeat HR algorithms over the mapping (which I never used).

Honestly, I thought I would use the mapping more than I did. I have a good internal compass and realized that my iPhone has better and more current maps. If I ever get lost, I'll just use it to come up with a gameplan. No need for the extra weight of a mapping GPS. YMMV. It's for this reason I talked myself out of the 800 as well...
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Old 12-28-10, 08:14 PM   #8
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I just got the 800 with the maps on the micro SD card. I'm still learning how to use it. seeems like it will be a fun toy once I get it more wired.
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Old 12-28-10, 08:59 PM   #9
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My main use is to plan a ride on a website like MapMyRide, BikeRouteToaster, etc.. and then use the 705 to provide course guidance. I can ride hard without the distraction of trying to navigate because it alerts me ahead of a turn and alerts me at the turn. This allows me to spend all my energy and attention on riding and dealing with traffic, not on navigation. If you are going to ride multiple complicated routes, this is a huge advantage, IMO.

SD card maps are nice because you can move them between units and also sell them. You can't use Garmin CD maps on multiple units and you can't readily sell them, as they'll only work with the unit they are unlocked to. I've tried open source maps and they have their own issues that make it not worth my time to screw with.

Prior to this I used printed out maps, queue sheets, and iPhone apps. So far, the 705 is better, despite certain hiccups and issues. Check out the Garmin users' forums at https://forums.garmin.com/forumdisplay.php?f=20 for lot's of edifying info.
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Old 12-28-10, 10:52 PM   #10
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....SD card maps are nice because you can move them between units and also sell them. You can't use Garmin CD maps on multiple units and you can't readily sell them, as they'll only work with the unit they are unlocked to....
I have found the opposite to be true. I currently have the 2009 DVD and it has been successfully installed onto my 705, my nuvi 660, my dad's nuvi and my buddy's 705.

YYMV, i suppose.
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Old 12-29-10, 12:14 AM   #11
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I have the Garmin City Navigator North America 2011 map installed on SD card just replaced the older 2010 version nice to have detailed map with streets. It needs to go on an SD card the map is 1.21 gigs the internal memory is not big enough to hold it.
Handy when I want to check out new roads in the area I ride or places I'm not use to.
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Old 12-29-10, 12:38 AM   #12
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I tried a few different free maps but they lacked routing markings so that the 705 could properly find me a way home or to my destination. so I paid $60 to get the SD card (from Ireland, I think). not sure why DVD would be better...

I use them for planning complicated rides to places I haven't been before. it's amazing how much time you can waste when you get lost, esp when time is at a premium when the sun goes down early.

good luck,
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Old 12-29-10, 08:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
There are lots of free maps out there (and I don't mean illegally downloaded ones) but it's possible that not all are good/usable. I used the Colorado one from this site I think and it works fine. You do need to use the Garmin map install program to get them on the unit. Drag and drop has not worked so well for me.
Dang great site with the map I wanted. But I spent about 2 hours last night trying to get the map onto my Garmin 60csx. Mapsource says it loads it to the storage card just fine but I can't see the map on the GPS unit. I'm sure I am doing something wrong but the user manual is so poorly written I can't figure out what. Great site though!
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Old 12-29-10, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobkirk View Post
  1. Do you have the maps?
  2. Do you use them to follow a route often?
  3. Or is it primarily as a guide to find your way home after you've gotten lost?
  4. Or something else?[
  5. If you do use the maps:
    • Did you figure out a way to download them for free?
    • If you bought them, do you recommend buying the DVD or buy the micro-SD card pre-loaded?
I know the arterials pretty well, and I have a decent idea where a lot of streets are ... but I don't always pay attention to which one I'm on, and sometimes I don't know just by looking around where I am in the city. It's not the same as getting lost - I can easily find my way home over several different routes - but I want some context. How far south am I? That sort of thing.

Also, it's nice to have a map if I want to explore somewhere I haven't been, or rarely go, like on longer rides that might take me through the suburbs.
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