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Author Topic: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450  (Read 7616 times)

Sailaboat

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Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« on: February 14, 2012, 12:35:12 PM »
Hi there,

Sit down and grab a jo, this may be a long question.

I have a Garmin 450 with an 8 Gbyte SD card (didn't find out about the 4 Gbyte restriction until after the purchase).

I have DVD versions of Canadian Topo V4, and City Navigator North America NT 2011.1

In my testing, I format the SD card between map loads.  Interestingly enough, if you load maps onto the SD card, drop it into the 450, power the 450 on and off, remove the SD card, power the 450 up, and look at the maps, the unit will show those map sets as enabled (but I digress).

The problem at hand, was how do I flip from Topo 4 to City Navigator.

While City Navigator shows as being enabled, I just didn't see it on the unit.  You might ask why I want to do this?  Good question.  I'm an avid Geocacher, living in the Lower Mainland of BC.  About twice a year, I head into Washington state for a day of caching there.  My Canadian Topo doesn't cover Washington, but my City Navigator does.

So finally, I decided to strip everything down.  I formatted the SD card, loaded only City Navigator, dropped it into the unit, and with my profile set to "Geocaching" on the 450, I was unable to see any sort of map.

I dropped a note to Garmin's help desk.  The response I received really intrigues me.  The fellow suggested I flip to the "Automotive" profile on the 450.  I tried this, and voila, the City Navigator maps were visible.  However, too bad so sad, the "Automotive" profile doesn't recognize geocaches as destinations.  The caches show up on the map, they just aren't available as destinations.

I reformatted the SD card, and dropped both Topo & City N. onto the card, and switched back to the Geocaching profile on the 450.  Both maps show as "enabled", but it's only the Topo which appears.  If I disable the Topo, I have no maps on the map view.

Is anyone aware of how to toggle back & forth between City N. and Topo, using the Geocaching profile?

Thanks in advance.

Cheers

Boyd

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 12:48:11 PM »
You kinda lost me, but see if this helps.

1. There is no 4GB restriction, an 8GB card will work fine. I have used a 16GB card myself on both an Oregon and Montana.

2. Why are you reformatting the card? There is no reason to do this. Format it as FAT32 and leave it alone.

3. To use multiple maps, first send City Navigator, then look in the Garmin folder on your card and find the file named gmapsupp.img. Change the name to something else, like Citynav.img. Also change the name of the gmapsupp.unl and gmapsupp.gma to Citynav.unl and Citynav.gma if present (these are copy protection files only used for City Navigator). Now send your Canada topo, again find the gmapsupp.img file and change it to Topocanada.img (or whatever). Repeat as needed for as many maps as you want to load.

4. Each individual map file can be no larger than 4GB, but that isn't going to happen anyway.

5. Your unit can only support a total of 4000 map tiles - the individual tiles that make up each map. That may limit the ability to load LOTS of maps, but shouldn't be a problem with what you describe.

6. I'll leave the geocaching and profile questions to someone else.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 01:07:23 PM by Boyd »

Sailaboat

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 06:31:17 PM »
Thanks for the speedy reply!

You've distilled the essence of my issue.

Side issue (the 4 Gig thing), I was told by a Garmin rep, that the 450 will only recognize 4 Gig.  Anything over that, I was told is unusable.

Formatting the card - purely being anal here.  It surprised me, that when I had loaded the SD card with CN, Topo, and Northwest Trails, took the SD card out of the 450, the 450 still showed all three maps as enabled.

However, I digress.

I started to prepare my SD card per your instructions.  Burned City Nav onto it.  However, I don't see the 3 files you mention, to rename (see attached screen shot).  I've got 2 lengthy "GMA" file names.

Suggestions?

Thanks very much.

Boyd

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 06:47:49 PM »
That is very odd if you're seeing maps when the card isn't in the GPS. Are you certain that you haven't also installed maps in internal memory? I've never seen this issue on any of my Garmin units.

The only 4GB limit applies to individual files. That is a limit of the Windows FAT32 filesystem used on the card. I don't think there's any real limit to the size of the card, as I've said I've used a 16GB card that was full with Birdseye imagery. Others have reported that 32GB cards work on the Oregon.

Those .gma files are very strange. Does City Navigator work properly on your Oregon? The only time I've seen that was when City Navigator was not correctly installed. How did you purchase City Navigator - DVD or download? On my Montana I purchased the "lower 49" City Navigator with a download and have 3 files

Lower49_2012_10.gma
Lower49_2012_10.img
Lower49_2012_10.unl

The .gma and .unl files are used for copy protection. Normally they would all have the same name. Maybe this is different using the DVD version? I would try just renaming gmapsupp.img to Citynav.img, then send the topo map and see if everything works.

Sailaboat

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 08:13:55 PM »
Again, thanks for the speedy reply.

I don't purport to be a GPSr expert here, just an old school IT guy.

So in line with your question about installing maps in internal memory, I popped out the SD card, spun up the 450, and with the Geocaching profile, I see my Topo maps.  Switched to the Automotive profile, and sure enough I see the CN maps.  How I managed to load the "internal" memory, beats the crap outta me.  Is there a way to purge the 450 internal memory?  I'm a database guy, and one thing we always strive for is "a single version of the truth".  Seems I have many versions of the truth here.

This has been an eye opener, pls forgive me if my questions are in the "lugnut" category.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers.

Boyd

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 08:46:43 PM »
No problem... this is how we all learn (the hard way  ;)). Your Oregon has about 850MB of internal flash memory. When you connect it to your computer, it should mount as a lettered Windows drive. Look inside the Garmin folder on this drive and you will see the map files as discussed above. If you also have a memory card inserted, that will appear as a separately lettered drive, with its own Garmin folder.

On the Oregon, it doesn't matter which location the maps are installed - the menu will show all maps in both internal storage and memory card.

Sailaboat

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 09:22:37 PM »
Hi Boyd,

Starting to get clearer.

You're absolutely correct.  I checked out my flash memory on my Garmin, and sure enough I had map info there.  I deleted it, fired up the 450 and sure enuff, the only map info is the default Garmin Germany map.

Much appreciated.

So . . . .

Right now I'm going to burn CN onto my SD card, rename, burn Topo, rename, burn Northwest Trails . . .  and I should be good to go.

Oh, on the Automotive profile, where I'd reported there was no Geocaching go to . . . operator error here.  The default for the Automotive profile, has moved the Geocaching icon about 3 screens to the right.  It's there, and sure enough, with CN in play, I can navigate to a cache.

Learning lots here, and truly appreciate your guidance & patience.

Cheers

babj615

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 11:25:58 PM »
On the Oregon, it doesn't matter which location the maps are installed - the menu will show all maps in both internal storage and memory card.

Interesting... On my Oregon 300, 450, and 550t, I keep Maps I am not currently using in a separate folder from the maps I do want to use.

The only maps that show up in the [Map Setup] on all three of my Oregon GPSr's are the maps located in the \Garmin\ directory.

It  has always been my understanding that all *.img maps must be placed in the \Garmin\ directory if you want the Oregon to recognize them, and all three of my Oregons behave exactly this way.

Boyd, which Oregon model, and which firmware version are you using that allows access to all *.img maps regardless of installed directory?

 
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babj615

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 11:40:36 PM »
Right now I'm going to burn CN onto my SD card, rename, burn Topo, rename, burn Northwest Trails . . .  and I should be good to go.

Oh, on the Automotive profile, where I'd reported there was no Geocaching go to . . . operator error here.  The default for the Automotive profile, has moved the Geocaching icon about 3 screens to the right.  It's there, and sure enough, with CN in play, I can navigate to a cache.

Learning lots here, and truly appreciate your guidance & patience.

Cheers

Sailaboat,

I am glad you found Northwest Trails map. I highly recommend the Northwest Topo map from the same source. Best map available, from any source, IMHO.

Sounds like you have figured out how to change profiles on your Oregon GPSr.

What I do with my Oregon is:

Keep my Automotive profile set with all my favorite settings such as [Map View = Automotive] and the city navigator map only enabled, with routing set to automotive.

In my Geocaching profile, I disable city navigator, enable Northwest Topos, and use the Geocaching dashboards, with routing set to direct.

When I am navigating to a geocache, I can select it from either profile via the Geocache application.

I use the Automotive profile while driving to the area of the geocache, and swap to the Geocaching profile once I have parked and am on foot for the rest of the journey.

Simply switching from one profile to another also changes all the settings, as they are profile dependent, while your destination will be retained.



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Boyd

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 06:51:04 AM »
Interesting... On my Oregon 300, 450, and 550t, I keep Maps I am not currently using in a separate folder from the maps I do want to use.

I didn't say that it doesn't matter which directory the maps are in. I said it didn't matter whether the maps were on the card or internal memory. Of course, they must be in a folder named Garmin in either place. I think Sailaboat understood this... sorry if it wasn't clear.

Sailaboat, the whole idea with profiles is that they can be customized to your own preferences. Create a new profile while you're in automotive mode, then you can rearrange the menu items anyway you like.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 06:57:18 AM by Boyd »

babj615

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 09:24:56 AM »
Interesting... On my Oregon 300, 450, and 550t, I keep Maps I am not currently using in a separate folder from the maps I do want to use.

I didn't say that it doesn't matter which directory the maps are in. I said it didn't matter whether the maps were on the card or internal memory. Of course, they must be in a folder named Garmin in either place. I think Sailaboat understood this... sorry if it wasn't clear.

Ahh, it was late when I read that.

Re-reading it this morning, after sleeping and having coffee, I can see you were referring to it not mattering if the maps were on the SDcard or Internal memory.

My apologies! I just wanted to be sure SailaBoat was not mislead :-)

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Sailaboat

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 09:11:17 PM »
Hi Boyd,

MANY, MANY, Thanks for your help, in blowing the fog off the playing field here.

So what I've learned:

- through lack of experience, I not only loaded my maps onto my SD card, I loaded same onto my 450.  This explains why when I popped out the SD card, I was still showing maps available on my 450, as they were in fact there.

- I've deleted these maps from my 450

- I've loaded my SD card with, Washington State topo, TopoCanada V4 for BC & Alberta, Nortwest Trails, and City Navigator.

- I loaded each map one at a time, renaming the gmapsupp.img each time to a more meaningful name.

- it was only when I loaded CityNavigator (a CD I had to activate) when the two errant ".gma" files appeared.  It seems these are required for the pairing between the CD and my 450.

- I learned a ton about profiles.  My friend has a Montana, and he uses profiles extensively.  I've been completely blind to them, and it's only in the last 2 days, with this thread that I've understood them.

- I can see all my maps (excluding CityNavigator) using my Geocaching profile.  I cannot see CityNavigator using the Geocaching profile.

- When I switch to the Automotive profile, the only map I see is the CityNavigator profile.  Contrary to what I'd reported out previously, all the geocaches are there, when using the Automotive profile.

- A note on this thread suggests using Automotive while in the car.  Upon parking, and seeking the cache, switch to the Geocaching profile.

Thanks to everyone who has responded so quickly and with such great info, I now know a whole lot more!

Cheers,
SAB

Indrid Cold

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 09:53:09 PM »
- it was only when I loaded CityNavigator (a CD I had to activate) when the two errant ".gma" files appeared.  It seems these are required for the pairing between the CD and my 450.
you have 2 .gma files because you have unlocked City Navigator to two different GPS units. You should be able to use that datacard in either of your GPS units.

Boyd

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Re: Viewing different map series on a Garmin 450
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 06:01:34 AM »
Glad you're getting up to speed. The issue with City Navigator only working in automotive mode seems odd to me, but I have never used it on an Oregon. I use City Navigator on my Montana and it works in any profile.