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General Category => Using The Maps/Garmin Software => Topic started by: DH7409 on March 21, 2019, 06:22:17 AM

Title: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: DH7409 on March 21, 2019, 06:22:17 AM
In November 2018 I purchased a Garmin Drivesmart 61 NA LMT-s for the purpose of the railroads. They were dark and very visible when zoomed out in 2D. In February 2019 I did the Garmin map update and they had changed all the railroads to a fine grey line that is no where near as visible as before. Their CS stated that there is no going back to the 2018 map and they do not keep them for re installations on their units, unless you use a third party. I found this site and was wondering if anyone knows where I can find the 2018 map so I can back date mine.
Thanks for any help!
Title: Re: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: Boyd on March 21, 2019, 08:26:06 AM
I wonder if the map is different, or if they changed the firmware of the device to display things differently. I am not aware of any place where you can download old versions of the City Navigator map. There was another similar thread here awhile ago, where somebody liked the rivers better on the old map.

You can download/install old versions of the device firmware however. Not sure if that would make any difference.

The appearance of Garmin maps can be customized in a couple different ways however. One of them is the map theme. You will find theme files in the ~\Garmin\Themes\Map directory on the device. They are just .xml files that you can modify in any text editor. For starters, have you tried the different built-in themes? They might help with what you want. You can choose them with the Theme menu on the device. You can make a copy of one of them and then edit to create a custom version.

There is also a little program for this. I don't know if railroads can be customized with a theme however, I have only used them for roads. This program will give you a more user-friendly way to edit themes. I have not used it myself, but the author's other software is excellent.

The other way to change the map appearance is by using custom types. This is an older system and also much more powerful than the themes feature. You should be able to make the map look like whatever you want this way. The same author has a very nice program for this

I (and others here) use this free program to create and edit custom types (.typ files). It works very well, but assumes that you already have a full understanding of making Garmin maps, so probably not a good option for a regular consumer

So, there are several options to accomplish what you want without changing the map itself. The thing is, Garmin typically does not use a .typ file with City Navigator, so you need to create a new one to use this feature. And you cannot change the zoom levels at which a feature is displayed by using a .typ file.

That is what makes me wonder if the change you are seeing is the result of new device firmwar? I have a DriveSmart 61 myself, still running the original map and firmware. It shows railroads as very conspicuous striped lines until I zoom out to 1.2 miles, where they disappear. Is this what you prefer (personally, I really dislike this, it just clutters the map and I'm not interested in railroads).

I am running firmware version 3.40. There have been quite a few firmware updates since then! If it were me, I would think back to the point when you most recently updated your map and firmware, then try to find the previous firmware version from the link I posted. For example, the most recent firmware update was 12/20/2018. Is that when the problem began?

To revert to old firmware, you need to access the hidden .System folder on the device. If using a Windows computer, you will need to change it to Mass Storage mode (not necessary on a Mac)

Go to the Volume screen
Press the upper right hand corner of screen for 10 seconds.
The Developers Screen should appear
Scroll down to MTP SETTINGS

Now do this on your computer


Copy the file named GUPDATE.GCD to your computer as a backup. Ths is the installer for the firmware (not the firmware itself). Now take the firmware file that you downloaded and change the name to GUPDATE.GCD and place it in the hidden .System folder, replacing the old file. Restart the devcie and it should ask if you want to install old firmware.

It is always a good idea to have a full backup of your device before changing anything. To do a backup, just copy everything to a folder on your computer (INCLUDING the contents of the hidden .System folder).

Also.... if you aren't comfortable with messing around with this kind of thing, DON'T DO IT. ;)
Title: Re: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: DH7409 on March 21, 2019, 03:31:17 PM
Thank you very much for the extensive and informative reply!
The change was after I did a map update in mid February. Garmin reps confirmed the update was 1/31/2019. This was the only time I connected the unit to Garmin express.
Your description of the railroads on your Drivesmart 61 is spot on with what I desired.
FWIW, I do a lot of railway photography and follow the lines. For you, yes an annoyance, but for me it's a different story. The 61 was purchased just for that. My Tomtom 600 shows the rail lines very thin, too, and they disappear when only zoomed out a little. But the 600 exceeds greatly for live traffic and diversion info to the Garmin, INHO.

The third link you provided, in the second row, "Maps with Garmin default colors & bitmaps", instructs exactly what I am looking for. The darker railroad lines are what I had, as shown in the middle photo. The photo on the left is somewhat what I have now, but I believe the lines are actually thinner. He even says what to use.
I am not sure if I am comfortable messing around with it or not.
I assume I have to connect my unit to a PC and transfer the map files to it before editing it however, you claim there are no "typ" files on the unit, so I'm not sure how I'd go about this even with the simple steps on that link.
I'm pretty sure I could do it with a start to finish step by step tutorial.
I've done a lot of things on PC's, but making/editing maps is new territory!
Thanks again!
Title: Re: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: Boyd on March 21, 2019, 03:51:54 PM
I have never messed with .typ files for City Navigator, but have used them extensively in my own maps, and even written software to manipulate them. Are you talking about the link I posted to the typwiz 5 software? I had an older version of that package, and the documentation was quite good. I believe he provides some templates for creating a .typ file from scratch. But a .typ file does not need to contain a definition for every kind of object. If you only want to change the appearance of railroads, then that is all you need to put into the file.

But I still suspect the device firmware is what has changed, and not the map. It should be simple enough to roll back to an older version of the firmware, and that really does not require any technical knowledge.
Title: Re: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: DH7409 on March 21, 2019, 05:08:35 PM
Yes, I did mean the typwiz 5 software link.
I would like to try the firmware rollback. I went to that link and see a long string of devices, Drivesmart 61 included. Just how would I go about this?
I purchased the unit in 11/2018, so I would need firmware prior to that date I suppose.
How does one get this to the unit?
Title: Re: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: Boyd on March 22, 2019, 03:16:15 AM
I explained how to roll back the firmware in great detail in my earlier post, please read it again. Impossible to say what version was originally installed on your device, since it could have been sitting in the box for a long time. But yes, you need a version from before when you purchased.

As I said, mine is running version 3.40 and apparently it does what you want and I haven't had any problems, so you might try that for starters.That would be this version
Title: Re: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: Boyd on March 22, 2019, 05:23:49 AM
I should also add.... after you have copied the GUPDATE.GCD file to the device and safely removed it from your computer, it is recommended that you connect the device to an external power supply. If it shuts down during the update process (from a low battery, for example) it could permanently "brick" it.

And also realize that there's always an element of risk when you mess with this kind of thing, so don't do it if you are concerned. Many people (including me) have downgraded firmware with no problems whatsoever, but "caveat emptor". :)
Title: Re: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: DH7409 on April 08, 2019, 08:15:26 AM
Thank you for all your help!
I have been away on a photo trip using the Garmin.
I had done some theme changes before, but none were that good. However, I did some theme changes using the night versions and did find a theme where the rail lines are a bright white on the black backgrounds making them quite visible. Now when using the Garmin I just leave the night version on even during the day. IMHO, it's much easier to see even during the day. The roads are colorful and stand out well and the darkness seems to do much better against sun glare on the screen. So, I consider myself a happy photographer!
Title: Re: Retriving older Garmin maps
Post by: Boyd on April 08, 2019, 10:07:09 AM
i am also a big fan of night mode on my Garmin devices. :)