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Storage Space Question - 2D and 3D maps

I know the difference between the 2D and 3D views, so my question is related to storage on the device.

I've always found my Garmin devices to be very stingy on storage space...Running out of room for updated maps well within the device's usable lifetime. My Nuvi 550 is still working, but I don't bother updating it because it's internal storage is well past capacity and I'm just tired of playing around with cloning and SD cards and such.
It's been relegated to the backup shelf anyway. Semi-retired. :-)

As of the last update, my Zumo 660 looks like it's now just a hair away from the same problem...Just a scant amount of storage left. I think I may end up having to fall back to USA only and ditch Canada soon.


There are two maps showing:
CN North Americcan NT 2019.20 Basic 3D [1] US & Canada
CN North America NT 2019.20 [1] US & Canada

If storage becomes an issue in the future, are both these maps interdependent?
Can one of them be deleted (The 3D) without affecting the anything but the view?

With several long trips soon coming up I don't wan't to actually play with the device and make any changes at this point to avoid screwing things up, but I'm curious.


  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited June 2018
    Not very familiar with the Zumo series, but the screenshots appear similar to my Nuvi 5000 which is a ten year old device.

    Have never seen the term “Basic 3d” used before. Does it really say that? My guess is that this is the 3d basemap, which is a feature Garmin introduced around that same time. You can easily tell by just looking at the file names, the basemap is called gmapbmap.img. This should actually be a very small file, maybe 60mb?

    So if this is correct, you would save virtually nothing by deleting it, and it might even brick the device if it is missing at startup. I seem to recall this being an issue on some older devices, but I could be wrong.

    The basemap is used as a map for other regions that aren’t part of City Navigator North America, and it is also what you see on the GPS when you zoom way out (can’t remember, IIRC the basemap kicks in around the 20 mile zoom range).

    Anyway, that Zumo sounds like a very old device and it’s no wonder that memory is tight. I think the North America map was less than 2gb back then. :)

    BTW - some newer devices have a “3d map” called gmap3d.img. That file contains 3d buildings in some selected downtown areas. Coverage is very sparse and I’ll bet there are many people who have never seen a 3d building. I don’t think this feature existed 10 years ago however.
  • alanb 556 Points
    edited June 2018
    The Basic 3D is the gmap3D.img file. Garmin added the "Basic" designation two or three map updates ago. I am not sure why, as I don't see any difference in the way it displays 3d buildings. Maybe they did it to better distinguish it from the 3D terrain (gmapdem.img) file. Interestingly, Garmin has removed both of these features on the newest Drive series.

    @menhir ... as for handling the shortage of internal storage on the newer devices, it is pretty easy to just keep a 8 GB or larger SD card in the unit, and let Garmin Express manage the space for map updates. Unlike some of the older devices, on the new models, Express will automatically use the SD card when necessary for a map update. There is no need for user intervention like manually deleting files or cloning.
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited June 2018
    OK, thanks Alan - I've got my timeline straight now - the Nuvi 7x5 was the first series to feature 3d buildings and it introduced in August 2008. The Zumo 660 launched eight months later, in April 2009. I remember playing with a Nuvi 755 and thinking it was way underpowered for this feature, the map scrolled and zoomed very slowly in browse mode.

    So, like Alan says, this must be the 3d buildings file. I would just dump that. You won't see it unless you drive in major downtown areas, it's not required and is only going to slow the device down.

    @alanb - I don't follow you here, "Unlike some of the older devices, on the new models, Express will automatically use the SD card when necessary for a map update. " His Zumo is almost 10 years old... Are you saying that isn't an "older device"? Otherwise, it seems like this confirms why he doesn't like messing with SD cards.
  • alanb 556 Points
    edited June 2018
    @Boyd ... I am not sure about the zumo 660, but on devices like my nuvi 855, Garmin Express will not use the SD card. The only way to get the full map installed is to use cloning or install a partial map to the device and use MapInstall to get the rest of the map on the SD card. On the other hand my 755 (older than the 855) is supported by Garmin Express for SD card map update. Somewhere there is a Garmin FAQ that identifies which Garmin devices are not supported by Garmin Express for map update to SD. Maybe sussamb has that link?
  • menhir 113 Points
    You know, with the Zumo I never even gave the SD card thing a thought. I didn't know the new express would manage the installation of the maps to the SD card on it's own...I was used to the more arcane method I had to use for my old Nuvi. That method worked well the 1st time, but later updates were problematic and not worth dealing with.

    Well lookee here, I just happen to have a spare 8GB one in my desk. I'll probably get a larger one anyway. I'm still good for the moment.

    I know the Zumo 660 is an older device. It's still newer than my Nuvi 550 of course. I bought the Zumo reconditioned from GPS City only a year or so ago specifically because of the trouble I had keeping the Nuvi up to date.
    And now I find myself in the same situation again...long on trip planning...short on memory. @-)

    The Zumo, for my purposes, a does nice job. Actually, It does far more than I actually need. Spending hundreds of dollars on a newer device that even does far far more than I need, especially when my current device is still functioning very well, wouldn't be my first choice.

    This is what happens when one is raised in a household with people who lived through the great depression: We tend to want to make do with what we have, even if we don't have to. :-D

    Thanks for the help.
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