Garmin's City Navigator products offer users highly detailed street maps that can provide turn by turn directions and easy navigation to millions of points of interest such as; hotels, restaurants and gas stations. City Navigator maps come pre-loaded in most automotive units, or can be purchased separately in DVD or pre-loaded memory cards for those units that are not already pre-loaded. Knowing how to keep these maps up to date may influence the decision as to how they should be acquired in the first place. This short article should help you understand the update options that are available.
GPS navigators that are pre-loaded, such as Garmin's nuvi and later model StreetPilot units qualify for either of two update products; nuMaps Onetime or nuMaps Lifetime. nuMaps Onetime comes on a DVD and allows you to use your computer to update your unit's maps to the latest version available. Cost is low and the process is fairly quick and easy. nuMaps Lifetime is more costly, but allow you to update your unit up to four times each year for the life of the unit (see product page for specifics.) In our opinion, this is the best value for anyone interested in keeping their units maps current, however maps are installed via download and this may not be a good option for those without a high-speed internet connection.
Many GPS navigators that were not pre-loaded are also compatible with the City Navigator product. For example, many handheld devices provide the same turn-by-turn functionality and POI lookup functions when optional City Navigator maps are loaded. Most of these units accept City Navigator maps in one of two ways; by insertion of a pre-loaded City Navigator memory card, or by transferring the City Navigator maps from a PC or Mac that has the DVD version installed. For those who have devices that can take it either way, it is best to consider which way the original City Navigator maps should be acquired - DVD or pre-loaded memory card. Here are some points to consider:
Installing from DVD allows you to mix different map types into your devices internal memory or user supplied memory card. For example; handheld users can have both TOPO and City Navigator maps on the same card, making it easy to switch display from one to the other. As mentioned earlier, the DVD product is installed on the user's computer, and then the select maps are transferred into a single GPS unit. This DVD product is locked, such that the maps it contains can only be used on a single device. A big advantage of acquiring City Navigator this way is that it can be updated with either nuMaps Onetime or nuMaps Lifetime.
Installing City Navigator maps from Garmin's pre-loaded memory cards has the advantage of plug and play. No PC is required - you simply insert the pre-loaded card and the maps are available immediately. Another advantage, is that unlike the DVD product, the card can be moved from one compatible unit to another. It is not locked to a single unit. However, once purchased, pre-loaded City Navigator cards cannot be updated with either nuMaps Onetime or Lifetime products. When the maps become outdated, the user's only option is to obtain a new, full-version of City Navigator.
We specialize in Garmin GPS navigation and are always available to answer your questions regarding issues like these. Please call us toll-free, weekdays between 9 and 4 Pacific time.