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1:24000 TOPO Maps on a NUVI(500)? And incorrect addresses?

I downloaded and was a able to view the GPSFileDepot maps for New England, I guess I expected them to resemble the paper TOPO's I have, they dont. :? Are there any Topo maps that resemble the paper maps? That include houses and buildings? And with the correct shading?

The other issue I found is that this thing doesnt find addresses in my home town, in fact it refuses to even find my town. It knows the roads, and gives some fictitious town name when I try entering any local addresses? Even my VZ Navigator on my phone does a better job of finding addresses.

Not too impressed with this Garmin yet, thinking I should have just paid the monthly fee for the VZ Navigator and purchased a Delorme PN40 for the trails... :(

Comments

  • ya now, once I bought a shovel and was REALLY upset when it wouldn't do my swimming pool excavation fast enough :lol:

    as stated return it.... most places have 30 day return policy...
  • Well the unit has some nice features and some not execute too well, but I think with a few tweaks it will be ok. I have a couple of questions....

    1) Can we update the address information ourselves? Like change the city info for my my town, add street/number addresses?Or is this data fixed in the unit?
    2) Are there any USGS 7.5 quad maps available that can be loaded on a Garmin Nuvi?
  • Tim 1480 Points
    1) Can you give us a town/street example?

    2) Not that I've seen.
  • Tim,

    It doesnt have my home address in the unit, so here is one a few houses over...

    6 state street
    Palmer Twn, MA 01069

    Even though that City doesnt exist, its a fictitious city. The city is actually "Bondsville, MA 01009"

    The weird part is that it shows Bondsville on the screen, but the address information is incorrect.

    Like I said, poorly executed, especially if we cant make the change ourselves. Does Garmin have a place to submit incorrect map information? At least it can be updated in future releases...

    -Dave
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Well, I can't research anything for you if the city is fictitious. Can you give me an actual example of a town you can't find?
  • The city(Bondsville, MA 01009) exist, the city name in the unit is fictitous, that address(Palmer Twn, MA 01069) above is what the unit says is the correct city for that street address(6 State Street), it is wrong.
    Well, I can't research anything for you if the city is fictitious. Can you give me an actual example of a town you can't find?
  • Tim 1480 Points
    I'm still not sure I'm following. So I'll just list out what I've found and perhaps you can interpret. There is no town of "Bondsville" in Mass. Bondsville is a community (not a town) within the town of Palmer. This is according to the US Census Bureau and the US Post Office.

    Technically, Bondsville is a CDP (census designated place) and thus is not legally incorporated and thus has no legal status.

    So my expectation is that you would not find Bondsville in the GPS, but you would find Palmer.
  • LOL...so my town and I dont exist? We have a US Post Office here, and my address is registered with that post office, which is less than 1000 ft from me on the same road(Main Street). And if you use the Browse Map and view the area, or navigate by city name it finds Bondsville and the streets. It seems like whoever writes this Map/address info isnt doing their homework. So basically the map view of the area is correct, but the lookup feature for driving directions is worthless, at least in this case.
    I'm still not sure I'm following. So I'll just list out what I've found and perhaps you can interpret. There is no town of "Bondsville" in Mass. Bondsville is a community (not a town) within the town of Palmer. This is according to the US Census Bureau and the US Post Office.

    Technically, Bondsville is a CDP (census designated place) and thus is not legally incorporated and thus has no legal status.

    So my expectation is that you would not find Bondsville in the GPS, but you would find Palmer.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    LOL...so my town and I dont exist? We have a US Post Office here, and my address is registered with that post office, which is less than 1000 ft from me on the same road(Main Street).
    No, I'm saying it is not a town. While there is a Post Office, the zipcode listed for Bondsville says "PO Boxes only" meaning the US Post Office doesn't recognize any streets under that zipcode... only PO Boxes and thus the streets would fall under a different zipcode and town name.
    And if you use the Browse Map and view the area, or navigate by city name it finds Bondsville and the streets.
    Sure, it will label many CDPs, but that does not make them towns. A street belongs to a town and the streets within the community of Bondsville belong to the town of Palmer.
    It seems like whoever writes this Map/address info isnt doing their homework.
    I disagree. It looks like everything here was built just fine. Both of the major digital mapping companies handle your area the same way, and in my interpretation the correct way. You live in the community of Bondsville, which is within the town of Palmer.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    I will leave the address stuff to somebody smarter to figure out...

    No, you will not find any maps for Garmin units which look like USGS topo's with buildings, etc. Period. There is speculation that someday these may appear for the Oregon, Colorado and maybe Nuvi 500 because these units are capable of displaying raster imagery. In the UK Garmin has introduced a product with scanned OS maps (their equivalent of USGS topos), but they have not announced anything similar for the US. I wouldn't hold my breath.

    The PN-40 can give you this kind of map, as you note. The Magellan Triton can also do it with the addition of the National Geographic maps, but they get expensive and I'm not sure if the earlier bugs have been resolved (just got a Triton myself for some experimentation and hacking but haven't used it yet).

    Sounds to me like you will not be satisfied with the Nuvi 500, so maybe you should cut your losses and return it? There are no units which allow you to change the pre-loaded maps. TomTom has a feature which lets you remove (block) roads but not add them or change them. You can make your own Garmin maps, but that gets very time consuming and complicated.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    And actually, I need to make a tiny correction to part of what I said. Most of Bondsville is located within the town of Plamer, but a small part of it also lies within the town of Belchertown.

    Here is a map of the towns within Mass, with Palmer highlighted.

    image
  • Well my legal address hasnt changed, it does exist just like everyone else here. There is a legal zip code of 01009, and if the address and the town name are legal enough for the US Post Office, then they should show up when searching on a map. Like I said it shows Bondsville in the map, but not in the address. The legal address for the post office is as follows, why would that address not be good enough?

    3069 Main St
    Bondsville, MA 01009

    Here is a link to the USPS locating the post office....
    http://usps.whitepages.com/service/post_office/42648?p=1&service_name=post_office&z=01009

    You know what I find funny about this? That address lookup is from Microsoft Earth...LOL Everyone hates Microsoft, but they got it right!

    I disagree. It looks like everything here was built just fine. Both of the major digital mapping companies handle your area the same way, and in my interpretation the correct way. You live in the community of Bondsville, which is within the town of Palmer.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    There is a legal zip code of 01009, and if the address and the town name are legal enough for the US Post Office, then they should show up when searching on a map.
    No, I disagree. sending mail and physical street addresses are two different things. My town doesn't even have a post office. We use the services of the next town over for our Post Office services. So the town of my physical address and the town of my mailing address are different towns.

    Use the USPS Zipcode lookup feature and see what it says for Bondsville, MA:

    http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/citytown.jsp
    01009 (PO Box) PO Box Only – This ZIP Code is for a specific PO Box.
    So there are no streets within that zipcode... only PO Boxes.
    Like I said it shows Bondsville in the map, but not in the address.
    Which is the correct way. It will show CDPs. Just like it will also show Whipples, Four Corners, Three Rivers, and Palmer Center... and those are not all towns either. A street belongs to a town and Bondsville is not a town so there are no streets associated with Bondsville.
    The legal address for the post office is as follows, why would that address not be good enough?
    The zipcode listed for that Post Office is 01009. And the name associated with that zipcode is Bondsville... but that doesn't make it a legal physical address. It is PO Box.

    I think we will have to agree to disagree... but in my view the map is correct.
  • Umm....the Post office has a legal address of 3069 Main Street Bondsville MA. 01009.

    Like you said we disagree, the end result is that the unit doesnt give correct driving directions for a legal address. What good is a GPS unit designed for giving driving directions, when it cant navigate to the address? I think thousands of people in this town would rather Garmin get it right, rather than interpret things incorrectly. Even the police department wants that legal address so they can find us in an emergency and for 911.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    the Post office has a legal address of 3069 Main Street Bondsville MA. 01009.
    But that isn't a legal physical address using that zipcode. There are no streets in that zipcode, only PO boxes.

    I agree that GPS devices should be more flexible in how they handle CDPs like the one you live in, however what they are doing is technically correct and it would be incorrect to label those streets as being in the town of Bondsville.
  • If they want the unit to work correctly, they need to work on that flexibility. Because this unit is almost useless in a situation its more needed in, like finding an address in small towns. Kind of defeats the purpose if you ask me, I thought these GPS units were finally up to speed, seems like they have a long way to go.
    the Post office has a legal address of 3069 Main Street Bondsville MA. 01009.

    But that isn't a legal physical address using that zipcode. There are no streets in that zipcode, only PO boxes.

    I agree that GPS devices should be more flexible in how they handle CDPs like the one you live in, however what they are doing is technically correct and it would be incorrect to label those streets as being in Bondsville.
  • gatorguy 326 Points
    On a Garnin you do have the option of doing the search with only the State and street address, no city. It will find matches to choose from. Your original issue comes up on occasion in the forums when dealing with suburbs or unincorporated towns. Some devices don't even allow a lookup without a city name, making searches even more difficult.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Some devices don't even allow a lookup without a city name, making searches even more difficult.
    However those devices might also be a bit more flexible in entering CDPs and other "local" names. There is a section of Concord, NH for example locally known as "Concord Heights". You will find both "Concord" and "Concord Heights" listed in TomTom devices even though "Concord Heights" is not a real town.
  • Hmmm,
    Did I get the wrong impression that Garmin (or any other GPS Mrg) only passes along what the mpaaing companies do ???

    Much like Google, Yahoo, Mapquest, etc....

    Don't they use the goverment public domain supplied mapping ?

    If so, that exlpains it, you know how well they handle Taxes and Medicare :lol:
  • I'm debating on keeping this for the car, or returning it and paying the $10 a month fee for the Verizon VZ Navigator on the my cell phone. I could then purchase the Delorme PN40 and have USGS 7.5 Quad maps with satellite imagery overlays. I really wanted one unit that did both Vehicle(Text to Speech)and the USGS 7.5 Quads. This was the closest unit in that regard, maybe the next generation of this model will incorporate that, or GPSFileDepot will make these maps available. I actually thought the Maps they were providing were the USGS ones.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Did I get the wrong impression that Garmin (or any other GPS Mrg) only passes along what the mpaaing companies do ???
    There are two major digital mapping companies in North America, NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas. The GPS companies and the online mapping services get their data from one of those two companies. Garmin uses data from NAVTEQ.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    The PN-40 is certainly a fine device, and it does support the DeLorme topo maps, USGS topo maps, and satellite imagery.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    maybe GPSFileDepot will make these maps available. I actually thought the Maps they were providing were the USGS ones.
    Aint gonna happen. There are no tools for making raster maps on Garmin units. There's Mapwel and MOAGU which are (basically) hacks which let you create small scanned maps but they have lots of limitations.

    All the tools for making Garmin maps have been reverse-engineered by users. Garmin does not publish information on their map formats which are proprietary.
  • I called up Delorme and they ran my address in the unit while I was on the phone, guess what? It found it without a problem! Now the Delorme PN40 might not have text-to-speech and all the pretty views of the Garmin, but it knows how to find an address! I got some thinking to do, however they did say downloading all the USGS, TOPO, Aerial maps for New England would be quite a chore. Personally I am thinking its worth the time to get it right, I just wish they sold it preloaded.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Well, not only would it be quite a chore, but it would also not even come close to fitting on the device.
  • The PN40 can take up to 32GB SDHC cards, so I would assume that it would be enough. Like I said, got some thinking to do, plus I want to test one out this time, if I can find one.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    It probably won't be enough. :) I've got four towns covered with aerial photography and USGS quads that take up about 7 GB.
  • Holy Cow! I guess these GPS units have a long way to go before they accomplish the ultimate goal. I would be much happier with address correction on this Garmin, and maybe the ability to add USGS maps. The aerial thing is just a nice bonus, not really needed, though very helpful when hiking. I think my head is going to explode! LOL
    It probably won't be enough. :) I've got four towns covered with aerial photography and USGS quads that take up about 7 GB.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Somebody did some calculations of file sizes for Nevada... Granted Nevada is just about 10x the size of Mass, but here are the file sizes:

    USGS Topos : 23 GB
    Color Aerial Imagery: 362 GB
    B&W Imagery: 124 GB
    Topo 7 (topo): 2 GB
    10 Meter (low res) satellite imagery: 2 GB

    Someone tried to download and "cut" all of the data for Arizona and it came out to 390 GB.

    Keep in mind these things too. The PN-40 is a fabulous device. But for street use it is very poor compared to a Nuvi. Despite being able to find your street, overall the street data doesn't come close to the data provided by NAVTEQ or Tele Atlas.
  • So if I got this right the PN40 is a unit you use for small planned areas for hiking? That would make sense I guess, oh well, it was a thought. Might still be an option for hiking, just an expensive one trick pony. I guess I'll keep the Nuvi for the street use, but I really hope they do something about the inaccurate address finds.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    It comes down to how often would you use the device for street use versus "outdoors" hiking use. The PN-40 is fantastic for hiking and outdoor use-- not so much for street use. (Tiny screen, no voice prompts, terribly slow route calculation, poor route choices, weaker maps.) The Nuvi is great for auto use, and to some degree with the 500 you have is good for some light offroad use as well.

    My advice would be this... If your gripe with the Nuvi 500 is that it won't find your address-- don't you know where you live? While annoying, the town (ha-ha) you live in is a bit of an odd-ball in that it has a widely known CDP. That isn't normal. If you will use it more often for street use, keep the Nuvi 500 you have now.
  • Keep the Nuvi 500 and move to a "real" town. Problem solved.

    (No need to thank me. LOL)
  • I guess the Nuvi 500 was the better fit, or I wouldnt have bought it. The only real thing missing is some of the data in the USGS, basically the small black buildings to identify areas more easily. This way you have a better idea of where you are while hiking out of the woods and not into someones backyard. I never go on any extended hikes without printed copies of the USGS 7.5 Quad maps, they are the most important part of every hike I take.
  • Well the weird part is there is no town called "Palmer Twn" there is a "Palmer", so basically they decided to use "Palmer Twn" in place of "Bondsville", why not just call it Bondsville instead of creating a fictitious town name? They have literally broken their own rules and created a town out of thin air!
    Keep the Nuvi 500 and move to a "real" town. Problem solved.

    (No need to thank me. LOL)
  • efranzen 0 Points
    I just checked my Garmin 765 and it shows the town name for 6 State Street as Palmer Twn.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Well this is an interesting topic for me personally, since I'm also a fan of "real" USGS maps. To that end, I started using OziExplorer CE about 18 months ago. OziExplorer is a Windows program which (among other things) lets you make your own maps from raster imagery. These can be any kind of images you want - satellite photos or USGS maps which you can download for free at many government websites, or even scans of historical maps, something drawn on a napkin... whatever. If you can turn it into a JPEG, TIFF or other image file, you can turn it into a map.

    Now this takes some work because you have to make the maps yourself. But you get exactly what YOU want. Heh, from what I'm reading, it may not be much more trouble than downloading the PN-40 imagery, but requires a deeper understanding of computers and software.

    Anyway, a companion program named OziExplorer CE runs on Windows CE and Windows Mobile devices. It will run on many off-the-shelp GPS'es if they are Win CE based. I've used it on a Mio c520 and iPAQ 310 and the maps look great. Just today I got it running on a Magellan Triton 1500 (see: http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/12646/x/p1/

    I am not seeing file sizes anywhere near what you report for the PN-40! For example, a 24k USGS topo image file that covers an area perhaps 20 miles wide by 15 miles high is about 16,000x12,000 pixels and takes up 43MB in the source version on the PC. The handheld version is a bit larger because it contains several different zoom levels to make rendering faster at different view scales. Even so, it's a 65MB file. A satellite image of the same area, at the same resolution (24k) would be the same size, more or less.

    Anyway, if you don't mind "rolling your own" you might want to investigate running Ozi CE on a Windows CE based unit, such as Mio, HP, Navigon or Magellan.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    I never go on any extended hikes without printed copies of the USGS 7.5 Quad maps, they are the most important part of every hike I take.
    Not the solution you want, but there are a couple inexpensive applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch which let you download and store real USGS Quads. They do not rely on streaming the data so they will work without a cell or wifi connection once downloaded. On the iPhone your position is tracked using the internal GPS but on the iPod you can only browse the maps (no GPS).
  • Boyd,

    If you have done any hiking, and I assume you have, then you know the value of those USGS maps. I wouldnt want to rely on anything else, especially when you are trying to identify your next spot to filter water. I may buy the PN40 anyway, it seems like a very valuable tool, its either that or I keep carrying the printouts when I go.

    -David
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    The Magellan Triton can use USGS quads too. They are installed from the National Geographic Topo series (both 100k and 24k). Initially users reported a lot of problems with these. I gather that they *may* have been resolved but have not purchased any myself yet. More info available here:

    http://wiki.natgeomaps.com/wiki/Magellan_Triton
    Q: Which maps can I transfer to my Triton?
    A: Using TOPO! State Series or TOPO! Weekend Explorer you can transfer the level 4 (USGS 1:100k topo) and level 5 (USGS 1:24k topo) maps to your Triton. You can choose to transfer just the 1:100k maps, or both the 1:100k and 1:24k levels. With TOPO Explorer you can choose to transfer the USGS 100k and 24k topographic maps or either the aerial or hybrid map style.


    Q: How large an area of map can I transfer?
    A: This depends on the Triton unit you have as the internal memory or SD Card slot option is not the same on all models. Triton 200 and 300 models can accept maps no larger than 8MB. Triton 400, 500, 1500, and 2000 with SD Cards can accept maps up to the size of the SD Card capacity.
    This looks pretty good "on paper", but at this point I'm not inclined to spend money on these maps. I got the Triton to make my own maps. But there is also a freeware program available now which lets you create your own Magellan maps directly from OziExplorer files. I plan to try this soon.
  • It probably won't be enough. :) I've got four towns covered with aerial photography and USGS quads that take up about 7 GB.
    Tim, how much area does that 4 towns make up? I am trying to get an idea as to how much data can fit on a 32GB card.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    The bigger question becomes what type of data you are including, at what zoom levels, etc. It takes a long time to cut a ton of data for the device. Most people will just cut slivers of the data from what they know they will need. In other words, even if you can fill 32 GB, it will take on the order of days to download and cut all of that data.

    I think I've got about 24 squares, 5 minutes each filling just over 7 GB, but I'll have to double check.
  • Thats about 1000 sq miles, right? I think MA is only 900 sq miles, hmmm...

    I guess I could wait for the PN60 to arrive, maybe by then they will have larger cheaper storage options and faster GPS units for hiking. I wish I knew the specs on it :wink:
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Thats about 1000 sq miles, right? I think MA is only 900 sq miles, hmmm...
    Mass is about 10,550 square miles.
  • Oops...dropped a zero in my approximation ....yeah that might not work....LOL
  • Tim 1480 Points
    What you need to consider is if you really need every inch of Mass loaded on the GPS without any notice.

    I keep a bunch of maps of my local area I frequently use in the internal memory, about 7 GB worth on the SE model. Then I keep "one off" trips on SD card, building them ahead of time as I take trips. It is rare that I find myself needing a GPS with aerial photography of an area without having any advance planning/notice.
  • I understand what you are saying, I guess it would be nice to have all available maps on one device, but it sounds like we are quite a few years away from that. I guess the Nuvi 500 will suffice for now, I'll use the USGS printouts for now, doesnt make much sense to spend at least another $400+ just for a hiking only GPS. Unless of course you have an opinion on using the VZ navigator at $10 a month, and then purchasing the PN40 to supplement it?
    What you need to consider is if you really need every inch of Mass loaded on the GPS without any notice.

    I keep a bunch of maps of my local area I frequently use in the internal memory, about 7 GB worth on the SE model. Then I keep "one off" trips on SD card, building them ahead of time as I take trips. It is rare that I find myself needing a GPS with aerial photography of an area without having any advance planning/notice.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Keep in mind too that my file size estimates are based on having color aerial photography, USGS quads, and DeLorme topos. If you just wanted the DeLorme Topos and the USGS quads, you might fit everything on the SD card as the aerial photos are the largest.
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