Will Garmin Ever Go To A Live Map Updating Model To Replace The Current Method?

 

This post will hopefully stimulate some discussion on the current Garmin method of updating maps several times a year. Does anybody here think that they might eventually move to a system that updates either live, daily or weekly? It would be interesting to know what percentage of Garmin users even update their maps. I strongly suspect that some people never update them! Granted, most people that are on POI Factory probably do, but I don't think we are representative.

Considering that Garmin's competitors, like smartphone apps, be it Google Maps or others are able to update much more frequently, I think it would benefit Garmin and it's users to come up with a means of more frequent updating. Some of the newer Garmin devices do have wifi built it. I would much rather see the option of doing it wirelessly than having to use a cable.

Certainly, one of the concerns in the past is the time it takes to update. I the updates were more often, it shouldn't take that much time.

Also, although I am fine with wifi, should they add Bluetooth to more devices to allow that to tether to a smartphone and get data? If I recall correctly, Bluetooth is slower than wifi. It is possible that some people are more comfortable using Bluetooth than they are enabling wifi tethering on their smartphone or, possibly, have a plan that doesn't allow that.

Anyway, I am interested in hearing the opinions of others here. Are you fine with the current way of map updating? Or, would you rather see more frequent updates?

Update at need

The total map database is big, and it is getting bigger. For example, we expect many addresses which used to be located by interpolation between endpoints (e.g. for a city block) now to be more accurate by being individual.

So updating the whole thing, frequently, is a lot of data. Where a live connection is available, I think the much more efficient thing is just to download the most up-to-date version of whatever location(s) is of current interest to an individual user.

There are sticking points. What about someone who asks for a routing from San Francisco to Key West? Would my suggestion mean a big fraction of the country had to be updated just to do one route calculation?

To get back to the question as posed--I don't think the while-country data will get updated more frequently. If anything the most recent change has been that Garmin has offered slightly less frequent updates.

Piecemeal updates are the way forward, somehow.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

Good question..

That be awesome. I can see that some day. It will give Google Maps etc. a run for there money. I'd actually be more interested in getting a newer unit more often.

Twice a year is fine with

Twice a year is fine with me.

I'm perfectly happy downloading to a PC/Laptop and letting GE update the map or whatever else it needs to do.

I don't connect the Smartphone to the GPS.

I think downloading over Bluetooth would be painstakingly slow.

I don't think I would sit in my driveway and download a map over WiFi either.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

I wish

I would like to see a system where you had an option to insert a limited/dedicated SIM card and with a (modest) subscription from Garmin have a more detailed local view and with real time feed back offer better traffic. I realize privacy will be a concern to some so there needs to be an option to opt out. For those that want a route that is not local GE comes to the rescue to load that route.

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and uses a 2689 to find my way.

What's the hurry?

It takes two years to build a one mile stretch of highway, what's the hurry?

--
John from PA

I'm just glad Garmin hasn't

I'm just glad Garmin hasn't abandoned us yet, I don't think they care to compete with Google, smartphones and the like, they seem to have been focusing on other products lately.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

Problematic

While a self updating GPS would indeed be a convenient feature, I don't see there being a big demand for it. As you say, most people that update do so perhaps twice per year. Even if the process were streamlined, frequent updates aren't really necessary considering the relatively small number of changes involved.

Due to the time required and limited GPS battery life, automatic updates would need the unit to be powered on using an AC adapter. This defeats the "wireless" concept. It would also be inconvenient for those who keep their GPSr's in their vehicles.

Just my thoughts.

incremental updates.

I think the only way it could work is if Garmin changed the design of their map data base to enable incremental updates (changes only instead of replacing the entire map file). With the declining sales of dedicated road navigation devices, I think a major design change is unlikely. I will be happy if Garmin devices remain viable enough so they can keep providing regular map updates.

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

Agreed

alandb wrote:

With the declining sales of dedicated road navigation devices, I think a major design change is unlikely. I will be happy if Garmin devices remain viable enough so they can keep providing regular map updates.

At think point I'd also say it highly unlikely Garmin will make any further major design changes to their dedicated road nav devices.

As to whether or not they will remain viable enough so Garmin will keep providing regular map updates, I think the writing is on the wall for that and those days are numbered. Time marches on, and I think dedicated nav devices in the auto will go the way of the 8 track tape player, the cassette player and finally the CD player, which is getting harder and harder to find in newer vehicles.

Interesting to see how the Auto segment performed in 2019

soberbyker wrote:

I'm just glad Garmin hasn't abandoned us yet, I don't think they care to compete with Google, smartphones and the like, they seem to have been focusing on other products lately.

Garmin should be reporting their fiscal year 2019 results soon that ended December 31, 2019. Maybe we will get a better idea from the company concerning the future of its Auto segment.

The following is some brief information about Garmin's fiscal year 2018:

Last year about this time (on February 20, 2019) Garmin reported an increase in revenue and profits with their Aviation, Marine, Outdoor and Fitness products, and a sharp decline in Auto products.

In 2018 Garmin launched new categories of innovative wearables including a GPS smartwatch expanding the market for adventure watches, and a dive computer in a watch style design for recreational, technical and free divers. Also, there was an expansion of Garmin's music compatible devices.

In 2018 Garmin continued to expand new products for the aviation customer. The company completed the strategic acquisitions of FltPlan, a leading electronic flight planning and service provider, and Trigentic, a privately-held worldwide provider of marine electronic digital switching. Also, Garmin opened a new aviation manufacturing facility in Olathe, Kansas, more than doubling the North American manufacturing capacity.

In 2018 Garmin shipped nearly 15 million units including over one million certified aviation products.

2018 year-over-year Sales (ending December 29, 2018):
Aviation 20%
Marine 18%
Outdoor 16%
Fitness 0%
Auto -19%

A sharp decline in the Auto segment negatively affected 2018 revenue and profits. In the 4th Quarter alone the Auto segment declined 28%.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It will be interesting to see how the Auto segment performed in fiscal year 2019. And, it will be interesting to see how much longer Garmin will offer Auto products that negatively affected the company's bottom line in 2018.

It's a pretty safe bet to say that if you are still using a Garmin standalone GPS in your vehicle you are [also] likely: to still write checks to make payments, to carry pocket change, to totally ignore the latest trends, to care more about checking your mailbox than checking your email, to take naps, to not feel guilty about staying home on a Saturday night, to have a landline with an answering machine, to be obsessive about the weather, to wear a jacket even when it's not cold outside, go to the mall to walk, to eat dinner at 5 p.m., to watch movies from another century, to reminisce about the glory days, and to crave 1940s, 1950s or 1960s music you grew up listening to.

--
Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

I just don’t see it happening

I’ve no idea of how much map data is independent of other data and how much is linked. Anything linked means that multiple updates must occur simultaneously. With frequent updates in the car there are likely to be incomplete updates so some check-pointing mechanism will be required to maintain the status of the whole data base so the unfinished updates will get their time in the sun.

IIRC the 12 volt power outlets in my truck turn off after 10 (?) minutes. Of course I could sit there to keep the power on but I wouldn’t like that much in winter or actually any time at all!

As much as the idea of frequent updates is great I just don’t see it happening with the current state of our GPS map displays.

StreetPilot

Ralph6410 wrote:

I would like to see a system where you had an option to insert a limited/dedicated SIM card and with a (modest) subscription from Garmin have a more detailed local view and with real time feed back offer better traffic. I realize privacy will be a concern to some so there needs to be an option to opt out. For those that want a route that is not local GE comes to the rescue to load that route.

I don't want to think about how long ago that was, but I had one of the early monochrome StreetPilots. It was modeled after what you describe only they used proprietary memory sticks that were expensive. You could put a small region, perhaps a few states onto one. The updates came on a purchased CD/DVD that was also pricey. I had to install Garmin software on my PC and install all the maps to it from the CD. Then I had to connect the StreetPilot to the PC to install the selected region onto the stick. If I were traveling across regions, I needed more than one stick.

Thinking back on all of this, we've come a long way. I have found that the Gamin Smart Link app on my phone interfaces reliably via bluetooth to my 3597. It was problematic earlier on but now seems stable and has been good about alerting the Garmin to traffic on my route in real time.

--
"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

Nope

koot wrote:

It's a pretty safe bet to say that if you are still using a Garmin standalone GPS in your vehicle you are [also] likely: to still write checks to make payments, to carry pocket change, to totally ignore the latest trends, to care more about checking your mailbox than checking your email, to take naps, to not feel guilty about staying home on a Saturday night, to have a landline with an answering machine, to be obsessive about the weather, to wear a jacket even when it's not cold outside, go to the mall to walk, to eat dinner at 5 p.m., to watch movies from another century, to reminisce about the glory days, and to crave 1940s, 1950s or 1960s music you grew up listening to.

Not in my case, but I find a standalone GPS does what I want, neither my smartphone or my built in GPS do, so for me a separate GPS is a no brainer smile

--
Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

That ain't happening...

sussamb wrote:
koot wrote:

It's a pretty safe bet to say that if you are still using a Garmin standalone GPS in your vehicle you are [also] likely: to still write checks to make payments, to carry pocket change, to totally ignore the latest trends, to care more about checking your mailbox than checking your email, to take naps, to not feel guilty about staying home on a Saturday night, to have a landline with an answering machine, to be obsessive about the weather, to wear a jacket even when it's not cold outside, go to the mall to walk, to eat dinner at 5 p.m., to watch movies from another century, to reminisce about the glory days, and to crave 1940s, 1950s or 1960s music you grew up listening to.

Not in my case, but I find a standalone GPS does what I want, neither my smartphone or my built in GPS do, so for me a separate GPS is a no brainer smile

Garmin is not looking for the few people like you, they need many tens of thousands of people buying Garmin standalone auto GPS devices every year. That ain't happening...

--
Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

Yep

I agree smile

--
Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

Not So Fast

TXRVer wrote:
Ralph6410 wrote:

I would like to see a system where you had an option to insert a limited/dedicated SIM card and with a (modest) subscription from Garmin have a more detailed local view and with real time feed back offer better traffic. I realize privacy will be a concern to some so there needs to be an option to opt out. For those that want a route that is not local GE comes to the rescue to load that route.

I don't want to think about how long ago that was, but I had one of the early monochrome StreetPilots. It was modeled after what you describe only they used proprietary memory sticks that were expensive. You could put a small region, perhaps a few states onto one. The updates came on a purchased CD/DVD that was also pricey. I had to install Garmin software on my PC and install all the maps to it from the CD. Then I had to connect the StreetPilot to the PC to install the selected region onto the stick. If I were traveling across regions, I needed more than one stick.

Thinking back on all of this, we've come a long way. I have found that the Gamin Smart Link app on my phone interfaces reliably via bluetooth to my 3597. It was problematic earlier on but now seems stable and has been good about alerting the Garmin to traffic on my route in real time.

With the 3597, I have always turned off the Phone function of the SmartLink connection. I have had problems reconnecting, from the get go. A hard restart of the unit was almost always required to make it work.

Fast Forward to this supposed fix. It worked for about a week, then it stopped Autoconnecting. Every time I disable the phone section, the next day I have to manually re-Pair the phone to the GPS. It reconnects easier. But re pairing is still necessary.

--
Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

In most cases more updates would mean little...

I use my Garmin Dezl almost exclusively and in areas where there is a lot of new building/roads I supplement with google maps or google earth. I think more updates would not help most people. If the updates don't add significant info why do them? I would be happy with 2-3 updates a year.

Will Garmin Ever Go To A Live Map Updating Model?

Thank you to everybody for replied. I always hope that Garmin will continue to innovate and add new features, but I also realize that at this point it isn't real likely.

In the meantime, I will continue to use my Garmin GPSs, but know that Google Maps on my smartphone is valuable, too.

I am still so tempted to get a nice smartphone, with a great dash mount, and pretty much dedicate it for navigation in my Ram 1500. I know that many, perhaps most, people just use one smartphone for everything, but having a second smartphone, particularly in my vehicle, has been quite handy in the past. So, really, all I need is a great dash mount for my second smartphone!

Why Not...

Jim1348 wrote:

Thank you to everybody for replied. I always hope that Garmin will continue to innovate and add new features, but I also realize that at this point it isn't real likely.

In the meantime, I will continue to use my Garmin GPSs, but know that Google Maps on my smartphone is valuable, too.

I am still so tempted to get a nice smartphone, with a great dash mount, and pretty much dedicate it for navigation in my Ram 1500. I know that many, perhaps most, people just use one smartphone for everything, but having a second smartphone, particularly in my vehicle, has been quite handy in the past. So, really, all I need is a great dash mount for my second smartphone!

Why not try an iPad Mini instead of a dedicated smartphone. The 7.5" screen is bigger than most Automotive GPSr's and works well for navigation.

I use mine occasionally with a mount from RAM
https://www.gpscity.com/ram-mount-apple-ipad-mini-cradle-ram...

If you go that route, make sure you get a cellular enabled iPad. Many on the market are WiFi only.

Garmin GPS is better than Google Maps

sussamb wrote:
koot wrote:

It's a pretty safe bet to say that if you are still using a Garmin standalone GPS in your vehicle you are [also] likely: to still write checks to make payments, to carry pocket change, to totally ignore the latest trends, to care more about checking your mailbox than checking your email, to take naps, to not feel guilty about staying home on a Saturday night, to have a landline with an answering machine, to be obsessive about the weather, to wear a jacket even when it's not cold outside, go to the mall to walk, to eat dinner at 5 p.m., to watch movies from another century, to reminisce about the glory days, and to crave 1940s, 1950s or 1960s music you grew up listening to.

Not in my case, but I find a standalone GPS does what I want, neither my smartphone or my built in GPS do, so for me a separate GPS is a no brainer smile

Google Maps wins because it's "free". The current generation thinks everything should be free and an app that is 99¢ ought to do everything and then some because it's 99¢!!! I see this in my daughters.

The thing is, outside of getting you from point A to point B, Google Maps kind of sucks. There is a lot of functionality built into the Garmin GPSes that is simply missed in Google Maps. Also, your phone is a horrible interface for driving which is why it's often illegal to touch your phone while driving, outside of text messages.

One thing I'd REALLY like Garmin to do, and they're already most of the way there: Get my phone out of the role of being the middleman for communications. At least make it an option to use in-car WiFi vs BT-paired phone. Most other devices have picked up on this and have moved away from requiring your phone be paired with them. I really hate that I have to have an app running on my phone or, more importantly, make sure it's running on my phone to have the functionality especially when I have WiFi in my car AND my Garmin GPS connects to it. Why bother needing my phone at that point for Traffic, Weather, FourSquare, etc. updates???

In-car WIFI is only

In-car WIFI is only available in higher end cars. In-car wifi requires a built in cell phone as well as a contract with a cell provider. And, once the free introductory period runs out, requires another $30 dollar a month cell contract.

I'll stick to my thrice a year update, and a very unobtrusive app that gets the traffic for me.

--
Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

Agree completely

Agree completely

--
2017 VW CC w Discover Media, nüvi 3597LTMHD x 2, 1450, 205w retired, iQue first and possibly the best

i'll agree

phranc wrote:

In-car WIFI is only available in higher end cars. In-car wifi requires a built in cell phone as well as a contract with a cell provider. And, once the free introductory period runs out, requires another $30 dollar a month cell contract.

I'll stick to my thrice a year update, and a very unobtrusive app that gets the traffic for me.

I'll agree to a point. In car WiFi is often included as standard on many different models at al price levels except for the lowest tiers. My unlimited data plan is only $15 per month though.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

It's $10/mo

For T-Mobile users you can get in-car WiFi for $10/month (hot spot - I think it's 2GB/mo), and maybe even less with their ODBII connector.. Hotspot works in any car. ODBII connector requires a car from 1996 or later.

I know AT&T offers built-in WiFi for some cars for $20/month unlimited. I'd bet you could get $10/mo hotspots from AT&T or Verizon. You don't need much data.

I use the hotspot for my Escort Radar Detector because having to futz with the app is a PITA. Having it "just work" and connect to the hotspot in my car is really nice. Having the GPS work with it would be a bonus and I can't see why they can't give you the option of: 1) using your phone (you're happy) 2) using a hotspot (I'm happy) - especially when they're so close to having it both ways. The data their getting from their servers wouldn't need to be different - just go get it straight from the server.

I'm just not a fan of some app needing to be running all the time on my phone for each little thing especially when the thing has the smarts to do it on its own.

In-car GPS for phones, which is what I think the original intention was, makes no sense to me. Just buy a better plan for your phone.

Live Map Updates

I've wondered why Garmin has not gone to some sort of live, or weekly, updates via a subscription.

Many companies have been doing that.

Garmin Queries FourSquare

pratzert wrote:

I've wondered why Garmin has not gone to some sort of live, or weekly, updates via a subscription.

Many companies have been doing that.

I think they're sort-of there with Four Square (granted, this doesn't relate to map data): From what I can tell when you do a search you'll get the normal Garmin (in GPS memory) hits and then, after a moment, FourSquare results will pop up which can be useful.

A nice compromise might be: Do a search, get built-in results, and then your GPS queries Garmin for that same location and any new results past the map publication date. That'd be a step in the right direction. (again, this doesn't solve the map issue).

For the map issue: I think quarterly / bi-yearly updates work pretty well. Yes, new streets are being created each day but 99.999% of them are the same and in 3-6 months you'll see those few new streets.

i get

I get monthly updates for my vehicle from Here. The point is streets may not change that much but other information does. My updates include not only businesses but construction and speed limit changes. The monthly download for North America is around 13 GB and includes everything from Central America to Alaska including Hawaii. It's a lot more data than Garmin provides in their updates but then the cost of those updates is not exactly cheap either.

I keep my 3597 updated wih the Garmin updates but The only time I use it is when I have another vehicle that doesn't have built-in GPS.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

13GB would be impractical for most of us

Box Car wrote:

The monthly download for North America is around 13 GB and includes everything from Central America to Alaska including Hawaii. It's a lot more data than Garmin provides in their updates but then the cost of those updates is not exactly cheap either.

Just how long does a 13GB download take, and is it a process that occurs in the background that the user may not be fully aware of?

--
John from PA

I have to download the

I have to download the updates to a thumb drive and then take it to the car. The initial download depends on my provider ut it was about 40 minutes before the stay-at-home order and schools being closed. I imagine it will take several hours now with the reduced bandwidth.

The flash drive to car takes about 10 to 15 minutes and I can do that while driving.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

Garmin updates

It would be nice if they updated their POI files-I see dead businesses on my Garmin all the time and it even has 2 addresses for the local Costco listed as the same street address but about 2 miles apart.

POIs are supplied en masse

POIs are supplied en masse by commercial aggregators. Garmin only programs in the Data base.

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Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

Agree 100% on the POIs

I rarely have issues with roads on my Garmin, but Google Maps is SOOO much better with the locations of restaurants or stores - both from out of business locations being removed and new locations being added. I would really love to see Garmin get this updated much more frequently and being kept more accurate.

In the interim, I'd like to

In the interim, I'd like to see the newer Garmins utilizing their connection to your phone via Drive to search Google, or Hear for certain types of POIs. Things like Vehicle services, Lodging, Food, etc.

Drive is already pushing info, (traffic, weather) to it. Garmin could just as easily query Drive for further info.

--
Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

Judgement call...

koot wrote:
soberbyker wrote:

I'm just glad Garmin hasn't abandoned us yet, I don't think they care to compete with Google, smartphones and the like, they seem to have been focusing on other products lately.

Garmin should be reporting their fiscal year 2019 results soon that ended December 31, 2019. Maybe we will get a better idea from the company concerning the future of its Auto segment.

The following is some brief information about Garmin's fiscal year 2018:

...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
...

It's a pretty safe bet to say that if you are still using a Garmin standalone GPS in your vehicle you are [also] likely: to still write checks to make payments, to carry pocket change, to totally ignore the latest trends, to care more about checking your mailbox than checking your email, to take naps, to not feel guilty about staying home on a Saturday night, to have a landline with an answering machine, to be obsessive about the weather, to wear a jacket even when it's not cold outside, go to the mall to walk, to eat dinner at 5 p.m., to watch movies from another century, to reminisce about the glory days, and to crave 1940s, 1950s or 1960s music you grew up listening to.

You were doing pretty good until that last paragraph judging those who still choose to use a standalone dedicated navigation device. You can be none of those things you described and still have excellent reasons to use one.

Let's start with screen readability. Those who are lucky enough to have excellent vision can perhaps use a smartphone. My experience is that the combination of light pastel colors, minimal contrast and highly reflective screens makes it nearly impossible to count on smartphone navigation, even though I use one of the latest near high end phones.

I've test driven a number of newer model cars over the past 5 years and the user interface on all of the in-car navigation/entertainment/climate control installations suck. Hugely. Without exception. And as far as keeping the maps current at a reasonable price - or any price at all in many cases - or adding your own POIs, just take a peek through the threads in here on those subjects.

The only thing that is usable and will survive on a motorcycle is a dedicated nav device. Period.

Etc.

I've never been able to figure out why some folks feel compelled to judge others and try to fit them into nice neat pigeon holes. We human beans is a messy bunch. Vive la difference!!

...ken...

Avoiding Reflections

Ken in Regina wrote:

...
My experience is that the combination of light pastel colors, minimal contrast and highly reflective screens makes it nearly impossible to count on smartphone navigation,
...

I use a Niteize mount and it's adjustability permits avoidance (most of the time) of reflections.

https://www.niteize.com/product/Steelie-Dash-Mount-Kit-Plus....

Short answer!

Nope!

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

Lack of contrast

minke wrote:
Ken in Regina wrote:

...
My experience is that the combination of light pastel colors, minimal contrast and highly reflective screens makes it nearly impossible to count on smartphone navigation,
...

I use a Niteize mount and it's adjustability permits avoidance (most of the time) of reflections.

https://www.niteize.com/product/Steelie-Dash-Mount-Kit-Plus....

Thanks. Probably quite helpful if your only problem is screen reflections. I have all of the problems I listed and reflections are the least of the three for me.

The only nav program I have found that I can use on my phone that I can actually see reasonably well is CoPilot. I can select a theme with good contrast that lets me see it in most lighting conditions. But I don't like the interface as much as the Garmin interface.

...ken...

Smartphone Link App

Smartphone Link is easy to search on your phone and can push the result to many Nuvis.

--
2017 VW CC w Discover Media, nüvi 3597LTMHD x 2, 1450, 205w retired, iQue first and possibly the best