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Garmin Map questions

Started by CJ60, July 27, 2015, 07:14:11 PM

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Hey folks,
New to site, very impressed. I have a Montana 600T and want 24k topo on it. I read that the maps they are selling (for $100) is from 2008??
Can anyone confirm this? I've checked on maps here, free so can't complain but the area I'm looking for (Idaho) seems to also be from 2007 except for specialty maps.
I'm needing for basically camping and backcountry 4 wheeling. Can't hike due to spinal injury, so just need road/trail info for that.
Looking at OnXMaps "Hunt Idaho", I think it's more detailed than Garmin. I can get just idaho from garmin for $79, but again, they charge for updates and I'd assume that being 2015, an update is in the works or out there, but they don't say on site what date the map is, and have to have map to "check for updates"
Thanks so much, again. Great site!


I don't believe Garmin discloses the dates their topo maps were created and I don't think there is any regular schedule for updates. How much do you think the land itself has changed since 2008? Personally I think this is a non-issue. Why not just try the free topo map from here? Then if you don't like it, you can look for alternatives.

You might also consider purchasing a Birdseye Satellite Imagery subscription from Garmin. It should show everything and should only be a year or two old. And you get unlimited downloads for only $30.


I read Garmin was intending to release a 2nd edition of their 24k topos.  I think this was around 2012/13. In checking their website for about a year after that, I never could confirm that this ever occurred.  If they used USGS elevation data to create contours, it was not until early 2014, that USGS brought all the data up to what is now minimum standard for the 48 states (which was only an issue for some eastern states).

Very few people care to use their time to create maps and free source data is scarce.  Position corrected data from Census (our usual source of road data) was not available for all counties until 2008.  As with all free data available to us, it was created and funded for the needs of the agency (streets and roads where people live) and not for other uses.

Garmin's City Navigator uses road data acquired by companies who periodically drive 'all' the streets with vehicle mounted cameras; of course it is not freely available.  No contours and only major hydro is included.  On one 4x4 trip I was on, the leader had CN which was more complete than the digital files I had download from US Forest Service a few days earlier.

I have never looked at OnXMaps.

I do not know if Garmin's website still allows you to look at an area of your choice.


City Navigator is also quite complete for numbered forest roads in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.


Quote from: maps4gps on July 28, 2015, 05:47:32 AMGarmin's City Navigator uses road data acquired by companies who periodically drive 'all' the streets with vehicle mounted cameras; of course it is not freely available.

Garmin switched to routable Navteq (now called "Here") road data and POI's for the 24k map series a number of years ago, my copy of the Garmin NE 24k topo has it. Then about a year or two ago, they also switched to the Navteq data for their 100k topo map, however it is not routable.


Sorry, should have been more specific. Garmin has the Huntview maps, OnXMaps has the Hunt maps. Garmin $20 cheaper. But if they don't update their maps, especially since 2008 as I was told, the landowner info could be way off. People I've spoken to about the OnXMaps say they are updated frequently, just for that reason.
As for the original post, the land may not change geographically much, but the roads/trails are ever changing. Just came back from 4 days up in the Boise Nat'l Forest, and several road/trails that showed on my Topo 100k that came loaded on my 600t (and when "updating" loaded the latest map set) it showed were obviously abandoned long ago, impassable even on ATV. There were also several named/signed roads that didn't show on the 100k map. So, roads do change a lot in 7 yrs, which I was told was the latest Garmin base map. They did say that they were supposidly going out with a new 2015 Topo map, but that would mean paying another full price for the update?
I downloaded the highest rated Idaho 24k map from here, it's nice but also from 2008? At least it said "last updated". Haven't been back up to see if those new roads show or not yet.
I'll go back and re-read the map details, but I thought I'd read it showed shaded areas for private/public land. The only thing it shows is Forest service land (in green shaded), but no BLM, etc. not complaining, it's free and way more detailed than the Garmin 100k.
I was pleasantly surprised that it loaded right on the unit, I bought a 32 GB micro sd to load it too.
Thanks again for the help, and appreciate any and all advice you can give!


I doubt Garmin updates all their map products at the same time.  Best you ask Garmin;  we do not get any more information on their products then everyone can see on their website.

Garmin's huntview maps are a fairly recent addition.  There website lists only 4 states.  The 24k topo may be new, or the same as their 24k topo products.  Unless someone sees this your posts and has Garmin products to compare, you should ask Garmin.

I have obtained 'current' BLM data from different BLM sources and for some locations the data are 'somewhat' different. 

A few of us create maps as a 'labor of love'; some include 'specialized' and the most current data and want a small remuneration for their efforts; and commercial companies need money to pay their employees and cover other expenses. 

If the 24k Idaho map was Oz's - it clearly states the road data was from 2007.  '•Roads - Interstates, highways, roads, limited unpaved roads (Tiger 2007)'

You will likely find 32GB is way larger than what you will actually use.  Garmin has limits on how much their GPSr will recognize and the more there is the longer it will take the unit to 'start'.  For an 8GB map I was testing it would take about 80 seconds on my OR300 and also about 10sec per GB for small maps.  This might depend on .img file size and number - I have not heard of anyone building and testing various combinations.

I would suggest going with a map product that specializes in the data you require and updates frequently changing data.  From what you posted, the OnXMaps would likely be the ones.  Why worry about $20 more when your many be spending $1000's on the trip/activity?