NTU or NT map? Garmin City Navigator Europe Maps Demystified

 

Note: I originally sent this information to member jgermann because I thought it might be helpful to him in maintaining his "Release Date History For Garmin Maps" FAQ. I decided it may be of interest to the general membership, so I am adding this thread for discussion.

The version designations and release dates for the City Navigator Europe maps are are very confusing because of the NT and NTU version and release date discrepancies. Currently, the Europe NTU map updates are being released three times per year while the NT version is only being updated twice per year. Consequently, there are some CN EU map releases that have both NTU and NT versions. Other map releases have the NTU version only. To make matters worse, Garmin has recently been releasing the NT version several weeks later than the same numbered NTU version.

So what is “NTU” anyway? The “U” stands Unicode, and the NTU maps include Unicode text encoding for enhanced language support. However only newer Garmin devices have support for Unicode, so Garmin continues to provide NT maps with standard text encoding for the older devices. I am not sure when Garmin added Unicode support in their device lineup, but I think it was about the time the 3xx0 nuvi's were released, approximately in the 2011 time frame. The older devices like the nuvi 7xx, 8xx and 1xxx series do not have Unicode support and must use NT map versions. Perhaps one of our members has more accurate information and will enlighten us about which Garmin models support NTU maps and which models must use NT maps.

Incidentally, the CN North America map still only comes in a NT version, presumably because most North America customers speak English, Spanish or French which can use standard text encoding. It wouldn't surprise me however if Garmin some day adds a CN NA NTU map version.

So here is a brief history of the CN EU NT/NTU maps along with the release dates of the NT versions of the Europe maps. Please refer to jgermann's FAQ "Release Date History For Garmin Maps" for a complete listing of map release dates.

Up through version 2011.30, CN EU came only in the NT version. Garmin introduced the NTU map with version 2011.40. Both NTU and NT versions were released on the same date for CN EU 2011.40 through 2014.40. After 2014.40 Garmin announced they would release only two CN EU NT versions per year. Here are the NT release dates starting with 2015.20:

8/20/2014 2015.20 (same date as the NTU release)
3/11/2015 2015.40 (same date as the NTU release)
5/24/2015 2016.10
10/29/2015 2016.20
5/11/2016 2017.10
11/3/2016 2017.20
5/27/2017 2018.10
11/8/2017 2018.20

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

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Good info

Thanks for sharing & to prevent it from getting lost or forgotten I would suggest that you submit this as a FAQ.

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Nüvi 255WT with nüMaps Lifetime North America born on 602117815 / Nüvi 3597LMTHD born on 805972514 / I love Friday’s except when I’m on holidays ~ canuk

Thanks Canuk.

I think I will wait to see if John decides to add the missing NT dates to his map release date history FAQ. It probably makes more sense to include the information there rather than to make a separate FAQ.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

FAQ

The release dates are good to know but what I found interesting was the explanation & differences between the NT and NTU version which I didn't know up to now.

I've always asked myself what the difference was between the two & now that you've clearly expained it I thought that a FAQ would be beneficial.

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Nüvi 255WT with nüMaps Lifetime North America born on 602117815 / Nüvi 3597LMTHD born on 805972514 / I love Friday’s except when I’m on holidays ~ canuk

Thanks John!

jgermann has done a nice job of adding this information to the map release date history FAQ.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Thanks to alan

I really appreciated alan sending me information to include in the FAQ. He exemplifies the cooperative spirit that makes the site a go-to place for gps information.