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Author Topic: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?  (Read 451 times)

Jerny

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Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« on: January 09, 2020, 03:04:40 PM »
I know Garmin has the 100k topo maps. I was wondering why there is not a free version. I have spent a little time making maps, and I know that it is pretty intensive to make them, but was wondering if there were other reasons. I am really new to all of this, but wanted to know if someone with more knowledge or info could shed some light on the subject.

Sorry if this has already been discussed, I searched and couldn't find anything.

Boyd

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Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2020, 04:22:34 AM »
Well, openstreetmap covers the whole world. ;)

popej

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Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2020, 06:01:04 AM »
Making maps for Garmin from OSM data is relatively easy. There are many, see:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin/Download

jolly47roger

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Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 12:38:02 AM »
There are technical reasons why a single Garmin map of the US cannot be made. Garmin devices vary but are limited to a few thousand map segments and, for the maps I make from USGS, each state is a few hundred although it depends on the level of detail, too.

Boyd

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Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 04:21:28 AM »
I'll have to disagree with that. :) Old Garmin handhelds had a limit of about 2000 map tiles.  Starting with the Oregon (IIRC) they increased that to about 4000 tiles. Most of their handhelds still have that limit, but a few of the premium new models have increased this to 10,000 (maybe 15,000, not sure).

However, there really isn't any limit on what the size of a tile can be. We have discussed this here before - it's a trade-off between the size of each tile vs the quantity of tiles. But to give a concrete example that I'm familiar with, the Garmin 100k topo that was originally distrubuted on DVD had a total of about 6500 tiles (I had this), so there was no Garmin GPS that could accomodate this whole map.

Then they introduced the Oregon 400t that included a pre-loaded version of that same map for the entire US - I bought one of these in 2008. The way they accomplished this was to use much large tiles for the same map. The pre-loaded 100k topo only had about 500 tiles total - quite a difference from the old 6500! This allowed you to have the whole US plus a lot of other maps on the GPS at the same time (the device had a 4000 tile limit).

Now that Garmin has stopped selling maps on DVD, the 500 tile version of that map is all they sell. They intentionally made the tiles very small in the old map, so it would be compatible with their very old devices with tiny amount of memory and no card slots. That was always the  real reason for making small tiles.

But aside from all this.... making your own map of the whole US would be a huge job (I"m talking about making an original map, not just re-packaging OSM data). And what would be the point? ;)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 04:23:45 AM by Boyd »

Red90

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Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 01:32:07 PM »
The 4 GB file limit causes a real one. You would still need more than one map.

Boyd

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Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 04:16:48 AM »
Not sure what you mean Red. As the OP noted, Garmin sells a topo map that covers the whole US.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/127633

It is pre-loaded on the "T" models of their handheld devices. I don't care for it (or any of Garmin's topo maps, for that matter), but it exists. Had it on my old Oregon 400T and the DriveTrack 71 that I got last year also had it.

The current version from the DriveTrack 71 is 3.3gb. I removed it from the device to make room for other maps and archived it on disk.

BTW... seems really ridiculous that Garmin still clings to the ancient FAT32 filesystem in 2020. The EU maps are already more than 4GB and require two files. I understand the need for compatibility with old devices, but IMO there's no excuse for still having this limit on new models.

Red90

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Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 07:42:06 PM »
The one Garmin sell is low resolution. I assume he is wanting to do a proper one.

Boyd

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Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 04:32:47 AM »
Yeah, the Garmin 100k topo isn't very good. I have had 4 different versions of it going back through the years. It used to be the only topo map that Garmin sold. At least the current version has decent roads from HERE (same as City Navigator).

But actually, if you read the OP again, he isn't asking for a better map, just a free one.  ;)

I know Garmin has the 100k topo maps. I was wondering why there is not a free version.