Regular ole' road maps change, so why shouldn't your GPS maps be upgraded? Using an outdated database of Magellan or Garmin maps is just asking for trouble when you're looking up directions.
Update maps can give you access to the latest "way-points" ( GPS locations of importance ), new roads, or other new features.
So how can you make sure all of your GPS mapping software is up to date?
Garmin Mapsource is the best location for upgrading the maps in your Garmin brand GPS receiver. These models include the StreetPilot ( III, 2610, 2650 ), eTrex, Geko, GPSMAP, and Rino. Currently, you can order a CD based on the updates you request. Upon receiving the CD, you'll be able to "unlock" it for a modest fee of $75 - $150, depending on the data you request.
Magellan Mapsend, naturally, is the source of map software for Magellan receivers. The Magellan models that are supported include the Roadmate ( 500, 700 ), FX 324 MAP, Meridian, & SporTrak. A Mapsend DirectRoute package can run from $99 to $150.
For other popular brands, such as Rayming and Navman, contact the individual manufacturers for details on how they offer map updates for your receiver.
Also, many third parties are offering software and maps for all popular brands of GPS handhelds, including the brands mentioned above. These cost effective alternatives may even be of better quality.
Generally, upgrading your maps will also upgrade the software your GPS device uses, but not always. Periodically (once every couple months is plenty) check the manufacturer's site for upgraded software. These rarely include new maps, but rather bug fixes and improvements to the navigation menu.
Why would I need new maps if what I have already works?That's a question every person must answer on their own, but many new software and map editions role out with new features such as:
- Voice commands so you can focus your eyes on the road
- Automatic re-routing if you miss a turn to your destination
- Better route calculating based on past traffic patterns and user recommendations
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