What is the large Junction View file for Garmin On The Road devices and do I need or want it?
The first Garmin devices that offered Junction Views displayed a full-screen view of the junction for a few seconds, then reverted to the map view.
Later Garmin devices offered split-screen Junction Views with the map on the left side of the display and the Junction View on the right side. These Junction Views remained displayed much longer than the earlier full-screen views and also had the benefit of not losing the map view when viewing the Junction View.
Complicating matters further, as time went on and the size of the map and Junction View files grew in size, and before the Garmin devices had the ability to load maps to an SD card when internal storage was too small for the full map, Garmin dealt with this issue by offered space-limited devices that used full-screen Junction Views a much smaller Junction View file.
As a result, Garmin now offers basically three Junction View file types (xxxxxxxx.JCV file):
1) The full-screen JCV file offering the most and best quality Junction Views. This is often called, especially here at the POI Factory, the Large JCV file. This file is over 800MB in size.
2) The full-screen JCV file offering lower quality and fewer Junction Views which is supplied to older Garmin device models with limited storage space. This file is roughly 26MB in size.
3) The split-screen JCV file offering much of what the full-screen Large JCV file offers but in split-screen mode. Since the images in this file only fill half the device display, the file size is roughly half that of the Large JCV. This file is over 400MB in size.
Questions often arise regarding the Large JCV file each time a new map update comes out, especially from new users here at The Factory, such as: what is this file, do I need it for my GPS device, would I benefit by getting it, etc?
To me, there are basically two groups of people that will want to use the large JCV file, which requires manually downloading the file, copying it to the nuvi and disabling the default jcv file:
Group 1: These are folks with older nuvis that can display full-screen Junction Views but receive a very small file from Garmin during map updates and who now install map updates to an SD card rather than the limited internal memory of their device. These folks have models including the nuvi 8x5, 1390, and 14xx. (The nuvi 7x5 model, as well as the zumo 6xx series, do not need to manually add the Large JCV file because Garmin supplies it during the map update.)
Group 2: These are folks with newer nuvis who receive the split-screen Junction View images but wish to have the full-screen views fill their screen for a few seconds rather than have a longer view with a split-screen divided between map & view. The consensus I read here at The Factory is that the vast majority of split-screen nuvi owners prefer the default split-screen and therefore can ignore any Large JCV file discussions. Recent discussions of the newer nuvi models; e.g., the nuvi 2797 and DriveSmart 51, suggest they are not able to use the Large JCV. This needs further research to confirm.
If you don't fit into group 1 or 2, you can ignore all discussion of Large JCV files now and into the future. And as long as folks keep backups of their original jcv files and are familiar with file renames, copy&paste, etc., there's no harm in trying the large JCV file on your device* since it can always be removed and replaced with the original Garmin-provided file. For those going to the effort of installing the Large JCV file, remember that each City Navigator North America map update requires a JCV file intended for that map update—e.g., a JCV file from the 2016.10 map will not work with the 2016.20 map.
Please note: before tinkering with any internal device files, make a full backup of the device to a computer or hard drive so that you maintain the ability to revert to the original setup:
Finally, for those wanting to try or use the Large JCV file in their device, where does one find the file, and how is it installed?
1) For those folks with more than one device, and if one of their devices receives the Large JCV during a map update; e.g., the nuvi 7x5 or zumo 6xx series, they can simply copy the large JCV file from their nuvi 7x5 or zumo 6xx device to their other device.
2) If you need to obtain the Large JCV file from the internet, the easiest way to obtain it is to monitor the Garmin forum here at the POI Factory and someone will post it shortly after a new map update is offered. Note that this sharing of the Large JCV file is acceptable to Garmin and is not a copyright or piracy issue. I do suggest that the Large JCV be obtained from a reputable site and not from a site known for offering pirated maps. There was a time that Garmin offered the Large JCV file as a download for those who wanted to use it. Although some web sites continue to state that Garmin offers the download and even suggests the link to use to obtain it, Garmin last offered the Large JCV that was associated with the City Navigator North America 2015.30 map update. Garmin has not offered the Large JCV file for any North America map update since that time. Note:The large JCV file in the recent past is offered at a file download site very soon after a new City Navigator map update is offered. The file is available until the next map update is issued by Garmin at which point, the newer JCV file is offered and the older one(s) are gone. If you need a large JCV file for a specific version of City Navigator, download and save it when it's available as it will likely be gone in a few months. Because of the size of the large JCV file, it's unlikely for there to be an archive created of past versions for download.
If anyone has questions or wishes to correct or clarify issues discussed in this FAQ, please post your comments to this forum thread:
To further muddy the waters, the commonly stated and reasonable assumption that with the exception of the nuvi 8x5, 1390, and 14xx series, all models offer the same (maximum) number of Junction Views is incorrect. I did a test and found that the commonly stated claim that the split-screen JVC file contains the identical the number of junctions offered as the Large JCV file offers is not correct but I don't have much information on how the number of junctions with a JCV entry varies between files. Here's the thread offering examples confirming that the typically-stated understanding of JCV files and each file's number of junctions with a "view" is not always correct. Look in the thread for my reply with the Subject While We Wait and subsequent discussion. Another reason for missing Junction Views on the newer models with Active Lane Guidance is that for junctions with Active Lane Guidance the static standard junction view image may not be displayed.
*The Large JCV file is not compatible with the Essential Series nuvis (3x, 4x, and 5x) and the Drive 51 and 61 (and I expect, the earlier Drive 50 and 60) which are entry-level devices according to Garmin and cannot display photorealistic Junction Views. These are the plain Drive models, not the DriveLuxe, DriveAssist or DriveSmart. Thanks to Factory member Strephon_Alkhalikoi for this information. If you have one of these Essential Series nuvis or a Drive, do not try to use the Large JCV. If tried, no Junction Views will appear. Our user Melaqueman has also reported the inability to get the large JCV file to work with a nuvi 2797 and renegade734 reports it does not work on a DriveSmart 51:
If any other nuvi 2797 or DriveSmart 51 owner tries the large JCV file on their device, we'd appreciate hearing if it works.
CraigW - Jul 18, 2019
Added warning for DriveSmart 51
CraigW - Jul 8, 2017
Added that the Drive 51 and Drive 61 entry level devices can not use the Large JCV file
CraigW - May 23, 2016
Added a warning that past versions of the large JCV file will be gone soon after a new City Navigator map update is issued
Melaqueman - May 7, 2016
Added an indication that the large JCV file may not work with the nuvi 2797
CraigW - Jan 29, 2016
Added discussion and link to thread showing that different Garmin GPS devices offer a different number of Junction Views
alandb - Oct 21, 2015
Offered information about the zumo 6xx series