Garmin Buying DeLorme

 

www.pressherald.com/2016/02/11/yarmouth-based-mapmaker-delor...

Yarmouth-based mapmaker DeLorme sold to Garmin

By Edward D. Murphy Staff Writer [email protected] | 207-791-6465
DeLorme, the Yarmouth-based maker of handheld satellite communications devices, is being purchased by Garmin, a Swiss-based manafacturer of GPS navigation and wireless devices.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and the transaction is expected to be completed within 30 to 60 days, Garmin said.

Garmin said that it will retain most of DeLorme’s employees and its headquarters in Yarmouth, with the site operating as a research and development facility focused on two-way satellite communications devices and new technologies. Garmin’s U.S. headquarters are in Kansas.

Kim Stiver, DeLorme’s vice president of marketing, said DeLorme has 92 full-time employees in Yarmouth. The deal with Garmin, she said, does not include the DeLorme Map Store, inside the company’s Yarmouth headquarters. Those employees will lose their jobs, but most of the remaining employees will be retained.

Stiver said only “a handful” of employees work in the store.

Walter Cary of Lewiston, who was visiting the store Thursday morning to pick up maps for an upcoming trip to the Allagash, said he was sad to learn the store will close.

“I love this place,” said Cary, who noted that he has four framed DeLorme map hanging in his house.

Kay Siedler of Oakland, also said she will miss the store.

“It’s just kind of sad becaues it’s a Maine institution,” she said when she stopped by to pick up an atlas of Arizona she will give to her cousin on an upcoming trip. “It’s always been so Maine.”

Stiver also said there were special provisions made in the deal to ensure that Eartha, the giant rotating globe in the Yarmouth building’s lobby, would remain open to public tours.

The DeLorme family, which still owns all of the stock in the company, approved the deal with Garmin, Stiver said, because it will maintain the company’s presence in Maine.

She said employees hired before 2015 have a profit-sharing deal, but Stiver said the company isn’t sure if they will share in the profits of the sale.

The company was started by David DeLorme, who published his first Maine Atlas & and Gazetter – a collection of detailed, magazine-sized paper maps of the state – in 1976. The company started transitioning to electronic maps in 1985 with CD-ROM versions of its atlases and began producing GPS devices in 1995.

DeLorme’s family controls the company board, but he hasn’t been involved in day-to-day operations for about five years, Stiver said.

Garmin indicated that it is particularly interested in getting inReach, DeLorme’s handheld satellite communications device, which was launched in 2011. The device allows users to send and receive text messages and issue an SOS in locations where cell service isn’t available. The product is popular with sailors and hikers.

A company official said last year that inReach accounts for about half of the company’s $20 million in annual revenue.

DeLorme is currently embroiled in a dispute over inReach with BriarTek, a Virginia company which alleged that inReach violated its patents. In a ruling in November, a federal appeals court upheld a $6.2 million civil penalty against DeLorme while also upholding a lower court ruling that DeLorme had not violated BriarTek’s patents.

The fine was based on an International Trade Commission finding that DeLorme had violated an agreement with BriarTek to make the devices only in the U.S. The company’s attorney said the decision that upheld both the fine and the ruling that the patents weren’t valid was “kafkesque.”

DeLorme has since asked the appeals court for a rehearing on the ruling that upheld the fine while BriarTek on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take its appeal on the patent ruling, a move which is considered unlikely.

Garmin is known for its GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications. The company is headquartered in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and has principal subsidiaries in the U.S., Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Leslie Bridgers contributed to this story.

This story will be updated.

Times Change

I've visited DeLorme headquarters in Yarmouth many times over the years. My interest in automotive GPS began with their Street Atlas products in the early 1990's.

I'm glad Garmin plans to keep "Eartha" the giant globe as an attraction. It's worth seeing if you are ever in down east Maine.

Too bad about the map store closing though. They offer interesting and unique products that are hard to find elsewhere. It isn't clear if their online store will close as well.

The old days.

Another ex Street Atlas user here. Also had their yellow box GPS. It convinced my wife that GPS was a good thing when we got lost in WV (from her directions!).

Early Street Atlas USA fan.

My first GPS was the DeLorme LT-20 GPS puck that connected to your laptop with USB and used DeLorme Street Atlas USA. It was a pretty good system with lots of features including multi-point routing and voice recognition, but navigating with a laptop was very distracting and hazardous unless you had a passenger to be the navigator. I ended up using a long USB cable so my son could operate it from the back seat. That way I wasn't tempted to try to look at the screen or enter anything on the keyboard.

Sadly, the Street Atlas USA product didn't do a very good job in later years with getting the map updated in a timely fashion. Also they didn't keep up with Garmin on advanced navigation features such as lane guidance.

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Future Map Updates

This makes me wonder what the future map updates will bring. I am sure Garmin will have a bit of work to adapt the DeLorme maps to their devices. Then the question is what devices will they continue to support. I always fret that my 765T will be declared "obsolete" and no longer receive the lifetime maps I purchased.

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I support the right to keep and arm bears.

DeLorme maps.

Only Garmin knows how (or even if) they will use the DeLorme mapping products. But I will be surprised if they replace the Here maps with DeLorme maps on the Garmin navigation devices. AFAIK DeLorme does not have detailed navigation maps for Europe, South America, Asia, Austrailia, etc. Street Atlas USA is a North America only product. Also, Garmin would have a long way to go to bring the DeLorme maps up to speed with lane guidance, junction views, real directions, etc.

That said, Garmin usually has a surprise or two up their sleeve.

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Have to agree

alandb wrote:

Only Garmin knows how (or even if) they will use the DeLorme mapping products. But I will be surprised if they replace the Here maps with DeLorme maps on the Garmin navigation devices. AFAIK DeLorme does not have detailed navigation maps for Europe, South America, Asia, Austrailia, etc. Street Atlas USA is a North America only product. Also, Garmin would have a long way to go to bring the DeLorme maps up to speed with lane guidance, junction views, real directions, etc.

That said, Garmin usually has a surprise or two up their sleeve.

While DeLorme cartography is much better than Here, Google and all the others for the areas they cover, they have very limited coverage outside the US, and their technology for developing their maps is very expensive.

My greatest concern is whether they continue to update and publish the Atlas and Gazaeteers. I'm fairly certain these are still updated manually, at least they were the last time I was there a few years ago. I question whether Garmin is interested in maintaining this "old" technology at all.

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New England Riders BaseCamp Tutorial: http://www.newenglandriders.org/Learn_BaseCamp.htm

Wife Lost...?

dougcutler wrote:

Another ex Street Atlas user here. Also had their yellow box GPS. It convinced my wife that GPS was a good thing when we got lost in WV (from her directions!).

Sounds like mine. She'll say "Turn Right"... yet point "left", or visa versa. rolleyes

Nuvi1300WTGPS

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I'm not really lost.... just temporarily misplaced!

WOW

Never thought that I would see the day that this would happen. I guess nothing is forever. I hope most of the other employees will be happy.

.

Perhaps this will allow the combined company to have increased longevity (over the separate companies) by utilizing the strengths of the separate companies rather than them "competing" with each other.

Did sorta did that

Nuvi1300WTGPS wrote:
dougcutler wrote:

Another ex Street Atlas user here. Also had their yellow box GPS. It convinced my wife that GPS was a good thing when we got lost in WV (from her directions!).

Sounds like mine. She'll say "Turn Right"... yet point "left", or visa versa. rolleyes

Nuvi1300WTGPS

Our nuvi said go right and I said no go left and my husband turned left down a one way the wrong way. I did hear about that for a long time.

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Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

And you said ...

mgarledge wrote:

Our nuvi said go right and I said no go left and my husband turned left down a one way the wrong way. I did hear about that for a long time.

I meant the "other" left! smile

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Could There Ever Be Other GPS Mergers On The Horizon?

For example, could Magellan and TomTom ever merge?

Personally, I generally like choices, but I also know the reality of business these days. Neither Magellan or TomTom have ever interested me, but I hope they continue to be choices into the future.

Could There Ever Be Other GPS Mergers On The Horizon?

Sure. Garmin bought Navigon a few years ago, so this is not a first for Garmin.

Companies that used to have automotive GPS Navigators like Motorola, HP, Mio, Dash, Lowrance Iway and many others are completely out of that market now.

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Maybe Nuvi users are not theprimary intended beneficiaries ...

... of this acquisition but intended for aviation, marine & off grid hikers:

From:

http://www.streetinsider.com/Corporate+News/Garmin+Ltd.+%28G...

"Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of DeLorme, a privately-held company that designs and markets consumer-based satellite tracking devices with two-way communication and navigational capabilities. The completion of the acquisition, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to occur within 30 to 60 days.

One of the most compelling products in the DeLorme portfolio is its inReach series of two-way satellite communication devices. These GPS-enabled devices allow the user to send and receive satellite text messages or trigger an SOS for emergency help, anywhere in the world. In addition to inReach, DeLorme has an extensive library of digital cartography and enterprise GIS software, as well as traditional mapping.

“DeLorme is a respected brand with exciting products and technologies that are a natural fit in the Garmin portfolio,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and CEO. “We look forward to completing the acquisition and welcoming them onto our team. We are looking forward to leveraging their expertise to further enhance the Garmin lineup of products.”

“Our inReach technology is invaluable to hikers, hunters, boaters, and pilots who often find themselves in remote areas – Garmin’s core customers. We are looking forward to completing the acquisition and are excited to help leverage our expertise into enhancing their already outstanding products,” said Michael Heffron, CEO of DeLorme. “Garmin has extensive R&D capabilities and a global distribution network that will allow us to provide this technology to customers across many markets and around the world.”

Garmin will retain most of the associates of DeLorme and will continue operations at its existing location in Yarmouth, Maine following the completion of the acquisition. The Yarmouth facility will operate primarily as a research and development facility and will continue to develop two-way satellite communication devices and technologies. Financial terms of the purchase agreement and acquisition will not be released."

Great in its time

I still have the Delorme Topo USA , Version 3, box of CDs. There's the install CD and 6 map CDs. The app runs on a Windows 95 or Windows 2000 machine, which I no longer have. It was a great app back in 2001! Guess it's only useful as a collector's item now.

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Tuckahoe Mike - Nuvi 3490LMT, Nuvi 260W, iPhone X, Mazda MX-5 Nav

good maps

I've used Delorme over the years and enjoyed their maps a lot. Used both paper and electronic. Hope this merger results in good things going forward.

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___________________ Garmin 2455, 855, Oregon 550t

Sad Day Indeed

My Ex-Wife worked for David DeLorme in the mid to late 80's. At this time there were maybe 15-20 people working for DeLorme's.

DeLorme used to be in a smallish wood building. Could be wrong, but I remember the original site as in SW Freeport. And the FBI, and going to Bean's at 2a.m. when you could park just in front of the Bean store.

DeLorme employee's worked on large sheets of transparent material for layering and had to get the roads and everything to scale to match. Then this was photographed with a very large format sheet film camera. The negatives were on the foot scale, not inch. I've been inside the camera room. I was told that David either built or designed the camera himself. That part I'm unsure of. The original Gazeteers were shot on very large format negatives with vacuum platens used to keep the material flat during photography sessions.

This was all from David DeLorme's design and mind.

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Curiosity is the acquisition of knowledge. And the death of cats.

where it goes

It will be interesting to see what Garmin does with the assets of Delorme. As I mentioned in another thread, I suspect they just wanted the InReach phone.

I have used TOPO for quite a while, liked their mapping software for the Pocket PC.

how long

how much longer will independent GPS systems be around , smart phones with GPS chips built in that don't use your data keep getting better, the screens seem to be getting sharper and bigger some are as big as regular GPS's they have poi, red light camera functions, favorites and other features, the only time I use my GPS is on long trips in town I use my phone. phones are mini computers any more, I wonder if Garmin will be around in 10 years ?

.

alandb wrote:

My first GPS was the DeLorme LT-20 GPS puck that connected to your laptop with USB and used DeLorme Street Atlas USA

I almost bought this. Went instead with a standalone GPSr about the size of a thick pack of gum, which connected to cell phone. Wasn't a great system, and eventually I got a Garmin GPSr.

They will be around for a while

geo334 wrote:

how much longer will independent GPS systems be around , smart phones with GPS chips built in that don't use your data keep getting better, the screens seem to be getting sharper and bigger some are as big as regular GPS's they have poi, red light camera functions, favorites and other features, the only time I use my GPS is on long trips in town I use my phone. phones are mini computers any more, I wonder if Garmin will be around in 10 years ?

Personal navigation devices represent only about 30% of Garmin's operating revenue. The overall market has been declining,but Garmin has been increasing its market share. They'll be around for a while.

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New England Riders BaseCamp Tutorial: http://www.newenglandriders.org/Learn_BaseCamp.htm

They will be around for a while

double post

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New England Riders BaseCamp Tutorial: http://www.newenglandriders.org/Learn_BaseCamp.htm

DeLorme

I just got a promotional email from DeLorme. It is titled "DeLorme A Garmin Brand".

Quote:

DeLORME A Garmin Brand

We are truly thankful for your years of loyalty and love of the outdoors. Now that DeLorme has become a part of Garmin, the opportunities to keep doing what you love are endless. Enjoy the service you’ve come to rely on from DeLorme, and now get even more from your active lifestyle with purpose-built, innovative products. Garmin devices are designed to make everyday life—as well as your favorite outdoor pursuits—easier and more enjoyable. Take a look at a few you might like:

I guess the merger of DeLorme into Garmin is now complete.

All of the links and promotions in the DeLorme email take me directly to the Garmin site, trying to sell me a Garmin DriveLuxe, Garmin Fenix Watch and Garmin Approach Golf Watch. There is not a single mention of the former Delorme hardware, software or map products. I guess that tells us where Garmin is taking DeLorme.

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Got

Got this e-mail as well. I'd actually forgotten all about the Garmin DeLorme deal from last February. wink

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Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.

That SOS feature sounds interesting.

It would be a good way of distinguishing Garmin units from the competition.