Updated Custom Garmin Theme for DriveSmart Series

 

Hello everybody. It's been a long time since I've posted.
A long time ago I posted my custom Garmin theme that I created because I felt that none of the themes included with the device were very good.
The theme I created emphasizes better visibility. Colors have been changed and sharpened with the background, streets and borders are bigger, etc.
I bought my wife a new DriveSmart 65 for Christmas and loaded the theme I've been using forever onto it, and it did *not* translate well. I have now updated the theme. If anyone else is interested, I am sharing it here. The base color theme of the custom theme is Italia.

To download the theme tested on the nuvi 37xx/3597 the link is
http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=46927666243235190146

To download the new theme tested on the DriveSmart series the link is
http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=69666251765943889881

I don't know how to upload these files, so I used a simple file hosting service.
To load the theme, simply copy the .kmtf file into your Garmin's Themes -> Map folder. It will show up as "Custom" when you browse with the Garmin.

Let me know if you have any questions!

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Thanks I"ll check it out

Thanks I"ll check it out

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NickJr Nuvi 3597LMT

I used the theme

you posted awhile back, and loved it. DIdn't realize how much it relied on HTML and the color palette. I will try your new one.

--
"As life runs on, the road grows strange with faces new - and near the end. The milestones into headstones change, Neath every one a friend." - James Russell Lowell Garmin StreetPilot C330, Garmin NUVI 765T, Garmin DriveSmart 60LMT

Be sure to use the correct one!

Be sure to use the correct one though! The symbology used by Garmin between the different series has changed enough that the theme for the DriveSmart may not translate well to older units.

Narvick 2020

I've been using your theme for a long time. I recently bought a Garmin RV 780 and I had the "old" theme on there. Yesterday I installed the "new" theme. Both of them work?! I'm not sure what to look for as far as the differences, but I'll run the "new" version and see if I like it better.

Dumb question maybe ?

Will this work on DS 50 ?

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, DriveSmart 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

Thank you so much. I just

Thank you so much. I just downloaded both themes. I will install them in the next few days and test them..

--
Iphone XR, Drivesmart 61,Nuvicam, Nuvi3597

It should

Melaqueman wrote:

Will this work on DS 50 ?

Yes, it should work. The second custom theme should look the best.

Differences

ScrugneysGundogs wrote:

I've been using your theme for a long time. I recently bought a Garmin RV 780 and I had the "old" theme on there. Yesterday I installed the "new" theme. Both of them work?! I'm not sure what to look for as far as the differences, but I'll run the "new" version and see if I like it better.

Both themes work, but they will look different.
The DriveSmart series is different compared to the 3597 that I had. It interprets the colors and parameters in the theme file differently. Symbology is also different and required tweaking.
Here are some changes that I remember off the top of my head:

CHANGES IN NEW THEME FROM OLD THEME (Because of the DriveSmart series)
-"Urban area" was a bit too yellowish and blended in much more with the land basemap (which is different in this series). Changed it to be more gray.
-The addition of "parking lot roads" required its addition to theme. By default, you can barely see these at all, especially at night. They have been increased in size to be visible and the colors adjusted.
-Railroads have different symbology and needed to be adjusted.
-Pedestrian paths have different symbology and needed to be adjusted.
-State borders have different symbology (this is so much worse on the DriveSmart series. It used to be a checkered black/white border, and now it's just a solid border like so many other things). This was a major thing that needed to be fixed as you could barely see them using the old theme on the DriveSmart.
-Some other colors and sizes were adjusted slightly because the DriveSmart was rendering them differently than the previous models.

Also, based on the screenshots I saw of the RV780, the new theme will probably work best.
If anyone has any suggestions or requests, I can try to do something for them.

I copied new theme on my

I copied new theme on my DriveSmart today and checked the maps. Looks very nice. Thanks for your great work.

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Iphone XR, Drivesmart 61,Nuvicam, Nuvi3597

I like it

Thanks smile

--
2 DriveSmart 65's - We do not live in Igloo's and do not all ride to work on snow mobiles.

Nice!

I will update in my DS and will let you know...

--
Garmin DS55 with Traffic

Thank you for sharing! I

Thank you for sharing! I really like it and will use it over the next few weeks. So far it's been great.

Used Your Theme As A Guide

and I modified the colors on it to what I like, Water, Interstate, Side Roads, etc. Works great. Thanks.

--
"As life runs on, the road grows strange with faces new - and near the end. The milestones into headstones change, Neath every one a friend." - James Russell Lowell Garmin StreetPilot C330, Garmin NUVI 765T, Garmin DriveSmart 60LMT

New Theme

Thanks Works awesome

New themes

how do u modify colors

DriveLuxe 51

I use your original theme on my nuvi 3597. I am wondering if anyone is using that version or this new one on the DriveLuxe 51.

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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

It's pretty easy

josephmwipf wrote:

how do u modify colors

If you open up the kmtf file in a text editor, you can just adjust the hex values for each of the map elements. Some map elements have attributes such as width that can be altered as well.

Thanks

I'll give it a look.

I did a comparison

Narvick wrote:

Also, based on the screenshots I saw of the RV780, the new theme will probably work best.

While my wife was in the store today, I tried swapping between the old and new themes. I noticed the parking lot changes and the base background color change. I like the new version better on the RV 780.

Thanks again!

Modify Colors

Thank U

Ditto

alandb wrote:

I use your original theme on my nuvi 3597. I am wondering if anyone is using that version or this new one on the DriveLuxe 51.

I also had the original (now Custom2) on my 3597 and it was great. I just added the new (Custom3) to my DriveLuxe 51 and from inside my apartment looking at Downtown streets, all looks great. I haven't driven around with it yet to see how other features are displayed.

New Theme

Wow looks good, Thank U

Wow

I'm so glad everyone likes the theme! Thank you everyone, the theme's been downloaded 100 times now between the both of them.

If anyone has any suggestions or requests on the theme, please let me know!

Which download would you

Which download would you recommend for a Nuvi 1490LMT? I'm currently using the second one for my RV780. I do like your theme very much.
Later ...
Ray

--
-- Later... Ray

The old theme

RayJay wrote:

Which download would you recommend for a Nuvi 1490LMT? I'm currently using the second one for my RV780. I do like your theme very much.
Later ...
Ray

I would say any nuvi model prior to the 3597 should use the old theme that was tested on the 37xx series.

Nuvi 1490

I don't own a nuvi 1490, so I don't know for sure, but I will be surprised if that unit supports custom themes.

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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

DriveLuxe 51

I looked at both on my DriveLuxe 51. I think I like the original one best on that device.

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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

custom theme

Working fine on Nuvi 2598LMTHD. Thank's a lot I appreciate.

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Tourlou!

I've been using Garmin GPS

I've been using Garmin GPS units since the 330c Pilot was a new GPS, many models, versions later ... I've never strayed from the default 'themes' so I really don't know what they are or look like.

Currently I'm using a DriveSmart 61, can anyone show me a screenshot of how a different theme is different? Maybe explain exactly what changes? I'm an old dog, not always willing to learn new tricks. But the interest of others in this thread has me curious what I've been missing.

Thanks.

--
. 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. .

Give it a try

soberbyker wrote:

I've been using Garmin GPS units since the 330c Pilot was a new GPS, many models, versions later ... I've never strayed from the default 'themes' so I really don't know what they are or look like.

Currently I'm using a DriveSmart 61, can anyone show me a screenshot of how a different theme is different? Maybe explain exactly what changes? I'm an old dog, not always willing to learn new tricks. But the interest of others in this thread has me curious what I've been missing.

Thanks.

The download takes a few seconds, then the transfer to your Drivesmart. You can enable any of the stock Garmin themes or this new custom theme quickly through Settings and if you don't like it, go back to your standard Garmin theme. Unlike the Large JCV file with its long download, need to disable or remove the stock JCV file, and having to repeat the process with each map update, this theme file's installation and use are about as easy as breathing.

.

CraigW wrote:

The download takes a few seconds, then the transfer to your Drivesmart. You can enable any of the stock Garmin themes or this new custom theme quickly through Settings and if you don't like it, go back to your standard Garmin theme. Unlike the Large JCV file with its long download, need to disable or remove the stock JCV file, and having to repeat the process with each map update, this theme file's installation and use are about as easy as breathing.

Thanks for the response, but it really doesn't tell me much, unlike most of your very helpful posts. I never mess with the 'large' JCV file so that process is not familiar to me. I'd still like to know exactly what changes, see it if possible, and transfer it to where on the device, normally things need to go into a specific folder.

Maybe it's not worth the trouble. Thanks for trying though. And thanks to Narvck for the effort.

--
. 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. .

Theme

@SoberBiker ... I would say the main difference between Narvick's custom themes and the default theme is that the colors offer better contrast. For me that makes it easer to spot map details with a quick glance.

It is kind of hard to describe the differences, but as CraigW said, it is really easy to install the custom themes and only takes a few seconds to switch between the custom theme and the default theme. I don't have your device model so posting a screen shot wouldn't help. The themes do look somewhat different on different models.

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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

Custom Theme

Looks good; can't wait to "give it a spin"

Thanks

--
DougJ - Ottawa, ON, CA

Custom Theme Drive 65

Just d/l'ed. Can't wait to try it out.

For Narvick

Narvick, have you considered contacting JM or GlobeTurtle to see if they'd agree to have you host a FAQ on themes and where your two custom files would be available for download—sort of like the sox.exe FAQ which includes a file download?

Good idea.

CraigW wrote:

Narvick, have you considered contacting JM or GlobeTurtle to see if they'd agree to have you host a FAQ on themes and where your two custom files would be available for download—sort of like the sox.exe FAQ which includes a file download?

I agree CraigW. It should be a FAQ.

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

I have not

CraigW wrote:

Narvick, have you considered contacting JM or GlobeTurtle to see if they'd agree to have you host a FAQ on themes and where your two custom files would be available for download—sort of like the sox.exe FAQ which includes a file download?

No, I have not. I've never contacted the admins about anything about this.

Thanks, I like trying new

Thanks, I like trying new things.
Now to find my 3597s

Give it a try

Narvick wrote:
CraigW wrote:

Narvick, have you considered contacting JM or GlobeTurtle to see if they'd agree to have you host a FAQ on themes and where your two custom files would be available for download—sort of like the sox.exe FAQ which includes a file download?

No, I have not. I've never contacted the admins about anything about this.

I remember how much prodding from a certain user happened before I wrote my first FAQ so I'm not surprised at your answer. You've already done the hard part so creating a FAQ is the easy task and will save you added effort in the future. From the number of downloads that have occurred, you have a great product that many would enjoy using or at least, trying. Here's how to start:

http://www.poi-factory.com/contact

A FAQ will be so much easier to find a year or more from now. You can link it to this thread so that folks with questions or observations can report here. Our user gjermann who updates the Index of FAQs would quickly add it to the Index.

I know the sox.exe FAQ has a download link for the file. Also, some FAQs and POI files include a photo, multiple instructional "how-to" images, etc. so a request to The Powers That Be won't be a first for them asking for help that they can only provide. The FAQ could also include a couple of Garmin screenshots for comparison of the default theme for a device and your custom theme.

It's just a thought so ponder it a while.

Thank you

CraigW wrote:
Narvick wrote:
CraigW wrote:

Narvick, have you considered contacting JM or GlobeTurtle to see if they'd agree to have you host a FAQ on themes and where your two custom files would be available for download—sort of like the sox.exe FAQ which includes a file download?

No, I have not. I've never contacted the admins about anything about this.

I remember how much prodding from a certain user happened before I wrote my first FAQ so I'm not surprised at your answer. You've already done the hard part so creating a FAQ is the easy task and will save you added effort in the future. From the number of downloads that have occurred, you have a great product that many would enjoy using or at least, trying. Here's how to start:

http://www.poi-factory.com/contact

A FAQ will be so much easier to find a year or more from now. You can link it to this thread so that folks with questions or observations can report here. Our user gjermann who updates the Index of FAQs would quickly add it to the Index.

I know the sox.exe FAQ has a download link for the file. Also, some FAQs and POI files include a photo, multiple instructional "how-to" images, etc. so a request to The Powers That Be won't be a first for them asking for help that they can only provide. The FAQ could also include a couple of Garmin screenshots for comparison of the default theme for a device and your custom theme.

It's just a thought so ponder it a while.

Thank you for your insight. I will think about it right now and try to follow up when I have more time!

I tried...

I tried but for me it's too bright or am I missing something?

--
Garmin DS55 with Traffic

Everything or some things?

dontelother wrote:

I tried but for me it's too bright or am I missing something?

If the entire screen is too bright, turn down the brightness in Settings of your DS55. But if the issue is that the contrast is too much for you, then either return to the Garmin theme (or try some others provided by Garmin) rather than use these from Narvick. From reading Narvick's intent and the positive results from others here who have tried it, the increase in contrast was intentional and is preferred by many here.

One last thought. Narvick suggests the custom3 theme for the Drive Smart, not the original, now called custom2. Did you try the one designed for the DS?

custom3 and DriveLuxe51

I finally got out with my DriveLuxe 51 with Narvick's new custom3 theme yesterday.

I have a lot of experience with the DL51 and the current map in my city with Garmin's standard theme (called Garmin, I think). The current City Navigator North America map has a lot of specialized information that I never really noticed in real-life driving around when using the Garmin theme. By swapping to the custom3 theme and driving through town, I now see very clearly the land area that is a university and I clearly can see bike paths and footpaths that I missed with the Garmin theme.

I expect that as I continue using the custom3 theme on my drives in 2021, I will observe other types of land/property/road&path-varieties/features that are part of Garmin's map but appear only very indistinctly with the Garmin theme but are clearly shown with custom3.

Thanks again, narvick!

If the features better visualized with narvick's themes are of little use to some users and seem too "in-your-face" displayed on their device's screen, then don't use the theme and go back to the stock Garmin theme.

Narvick stated that the custom themes are based on Garmin's Italia theme so folks may get a taste of what these new custom themes offer by switching their Drive model to the Italia theme which is already available on their device. If Italia looks interesting, then they may want to download and install the custom3 theme and check it out since I imagine it is the Italia theme on steroids, tweaked for use in North America.

DriveLuxe 51.

Thanks for your write-up CraigW. I had taken a quick look at the custom3 theme on my DriveLuxe, but just sitting at my kitchen table. I concluded that I preferred the custom2 theme. But with your write-up I am inspired to take a second more detailed look at custom3.

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

It'll take time

alandb wrote:

Thanks for your write-up CraigW. I had taken a quick look at the custom3 theme on my DriveLuxe, but just sitting at my kitchen table. I concluded that I preferred the custom2 theme. But with your write-up I am inspired to take a second more detailed look at custom3.

It'll take time to really see what custom2 and custom3 do compared to the default theme as well as between 2 and 3 for anyone trying them out on their Drive, nuvi or whatever Garmin device they have as long as the device accepts themes.

Narvick's earlier reply with the subject Differences suggests that for us just using our GPS for regular driving (and not trying to quickly discover each feature of the various themes), it'll take a long time to experience some of the special features that he tweaked for each depending upon the GPS model we have and how the latest map update uses new additions like "parking lot roads," etc.

I will say that the custom3 on a DriveLuxe51 is not subtle in displaying some of the built in features of City Nav NA! cool

Thank you

CraigW wrote:
alandb wrote:

Thanks for your write-up CraigW. I had taken a quick look at the custom3 theme on my DriveLuxe, but just sitting at my kitchen table. I concluded that I preferred the custom2 theme. But with your write-up I am inspired to take a second more detailed look at custom3.

It'll take time to really see what custom2 and custom3 do compared to the default theme as well as between 2 and 3 for anyone trying them out on their Drive, nuvi or whatever Garmin device they have as long as the device accepts themes.

Narvick's earlier reply with the subject Differences suggests that for us just using our GPS for regular driving (and not trying to quickly discover each feature of the various themes), it'll take a long time to experience some of the special features that he tweaked for each depending upon the GPS model we have and how the latest map update uses new additions like "parking lot roads," etc.

I will say that the custom3 on a DriveLuxe51 is not subtle in displaying some of the built in features of City Nav NA! cool

Thank you for your analysis Craig. That is consistent with how I felt about the default themes. It is difficult to make out many features the map has.
As far as the two themes go: Both themes aim to have the same level of visibility. Custom3 for the DriveSmart will look the same as Custom2 on a 37xx/3597. The newer models interpret the kmtf files a little differently and some symbology changed. So the aim was to update the theme for the newer models. If you are using Custom2 on a DriveSmart, you will be missing several features and enhancements that were intended.

Next week's COW? I'd vote for Narvick.

Narvick wrote:

That is consistent with how I felt about the default themes. It is difficult to make out many features the map has.
As far as the two themes go: Both themes aim to have the same level of visibility. Custom3 for the DriveSmart will look the same as Custom2 on a 37xx/3597. The newer models interpret the kmtf files a little differently and some symbology changed. So the aim was to update the theme for the newer models. If you are using Custom2 on a DriveSmart, you will be missing several features and enhancements that were intended.

Thanks for the work creating and explaining the files.

Plus One!

Good thought CraigW. Like in that 1960's hit with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ..."I second that emotion".

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

.

alandb wrote:

Good thought CraigW. Like in that 1960's hit with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ..."I second that emotion".

Although I haven't tried the new theme, I always appreciate those who make this forum the great place it is, so I'd be happy to third that thought, and show Narvick where the greener pastures are when it's time for me to pass on the COW award.

--
. 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. .

Stupid question, how does

Stupid question, how does one install custom themes? Is there a specific theme directory on the device?

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