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Aerial imagery on the Nuvi?

Here's a screenshot from my Nuvi 3550...

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It's actually landcover and road data with colors sampled from aerial imagery, so as you zoom out it has a photographic look. I spent quite awhile creating this several years ago, then lost interest when I started making maps for smartphones. Working on my new website, I thought it might provide a little amusement for some advanced users so it's now available for download. It's technically compatible with any Garmin device, but only looks good on certain models (such as the Nuvi Prestige series). It's fully compatible with Basecamp and Mapsource, with versions for Windows, MacOS and Linux. If you give it a try, let me know if it works properly on your device (especially the new "Drive" models). More info here:

boydsmaps.com/boyds-landscape-of-new-jersey-2007/


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Comments

  • t923347 413 Points
    edited February 12
    Works fine on my 3597 and DriveLuxe 50. That being said, the graphics on the 50 are terrific compared to the 3597.

    Will post screen shots later for comparison.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    edited February 12
    Cool! I was looking at the new Garmin models at Best Buy yesterday, really have not played with any of their automotive devices for a couple years now. That screen with almost no bezel on the 7" DriveSmart 61 is very nice. I was thinking the map rendering looked a little coarse compared to my Dezl 760, but it was hard to tell there in the store.

    Sounds like they have improved render quality across the line, which is great. Too bad they have done away with the 3d map browser (or at least that's how it appeared to me). One interesting little thing... I noticed you could actually turn off autozoom on the Drivesmart 50, without doing crazy stuff like setting it for Australia! :)
  • t923347 413 Points
    That's correct. Autozoom off and on is now a setting on the Drive model I have.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    When I see what these new models sell for, I shudder to remember what I paid for a device like the Nuvi 3550 or Dezl 760 (not to mention old models like the StreetPilot 2620 which cost $1000!)...
  • t923347 413 Points
    edited February 12
    t923347 said:

    Works fine on my 3597 and DriveLuxe 50. That being said, the graphics on the 50 are terrific compared to the 3597.

    Will post screen shots later for comparison.

    Sorry Boyd but I just noticed that I got bitten by the "auto correct" bug using my phone. My post should have read:

    Works fine on my 3597 and DriveLuxe 50. That being said, the graphics on the 50 are TERRIBLE compared to the 3597.

  • Boyd 1853 Points
    edited February 12
    Well I'll admit I was very surprised to hear that the 50 was better than the 3597. I think the 3597 is essentially the same as my 3550 in that respect, and it would be hard to do any better on a 800x480 screen.

    The fact that the 50 actually looks worse than the 3597 sounds right. Nice bright screens on the new devices I looked at, but the rendering looked a bit coarse. I suppose it improves performance to render at lower quality, and with City Navigator it doesn't matter all that much.
  • t923347 413 Points
    I read through your instructions about using Basecamp and/or MapInstall to get your map file on to the GPS and wanted to point out a couple of things:

    1. I keep my map files on an SD card and not the GPS internal storage and although I can use Basecamp etc. to install your maps on the card it involves some fooling around with GarminDevice.xml or other things. I found it easier to just extract the .img file from the downloaded .zip file and copy/move it into the Map folder on the SD card directly.

    2. I found on both the DriveLuxe 50 and the 3597 having the map file on the SD card was a fair bit slower to draw the screen than if the map file was in a Map folder on the device itself. This seemed particularly evident on the 3597.

    Note - in using your map file I left the City Navigator maps active which may well account for some, if not all, of the slow screen drawing. I'll try it with CN deactivated and see.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. I actually was going to mention the SD card issue in the docs, but it was getting pretty long and I just wanted to finish it. But we have often discussed whether SD cards are slower than internal memory, and I have always insisted they were - just because of my experience with the really detailed maps that I make.

    I remember driving around with one of my Nuvi's, testing the map on the card the GPS just couldn't keep up. After a couple minutes the Nuvi claimed it had lost the satellites and it crashed a minute later.

    Thanks for confirming that you also see a difference - but of course you can't actually road test unless you're in NJ. :) I think it may work OK in simulation mode where it would actually crash in the field, since processing the data from the GPS puts more load on the device.

    Curious exactly what problems you had with MapInstall that required fooling with garmindevice.xml. I never liked MapInstall and don't use it much, but tried to put it through its paces on both the Mac and Windows just to write this tutorial. I haven't tried installing on a card that is actually inserted in the GPS, but it seems to work fine using the card alone in a USB reader. I suppose it could get more complicated if you have City Navigator installed on a card on a device that doesn't have enough internal memory. Will have to check this out and update my docs when I get a chance.

    BTW, Mapsource still works great with this map, and that is what I primarily use for testing. Very easy to send the map anywhere you want with Mapsource with just one click. Of course, it will always be named gmapsupp.img but that is easy to change after sending the map.

    When you say you "extracted the .img file", do you mean you used the .gmap file included in the Windows or Mac download? If so, how did you get that to work? There's a separate download that just gives you a gmapsupp.img file for direct installation on a device and it has its own documentation.

    boydsmaps.com/boyds-landscape-new-jersey-2007-file-only-license-agreement/
  • t923347 413 Points
    The issue I had with Basecamp and MapInstall was that I had to copy the garmindevice.xml from the GPS to the SD card, unhook the GPS from the computer, remove the card from the GPS, put the card in a Card Reader, insert the reader in to my computer and then run Basecamp or Mapinstall. All of this just to get the new map file to install on the card.

    Sorry, I was doing a butch of stuff last night involving extracting files and yours wasn't one of them. What I actually did was once I had the .img file on the SD card for one of my devices (using Basecamp) and tested it , I moved it to my desktop and then copied it to the Map Folder on either device or the SD card on the second GPS as needed.

    Having the .img file from "boydsmaps.com/boyds-landscape-new-jersey-2007-file-only-license-agreement/ " would have saved a few steps there. :)
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    edited April 10
    So when I started this thread in February I titled it "Aerial imagery on the Nuvi?" Now I'm ready to remove the question mark - this is "real" aerial imagery for Garmin automotive devices. :) It covers over 25,000 square miles in 7 states, including New York City, Long Island and Philadelphia.

    boydsmaps.com/boyds-visual-map-of-the-mid-atlantic/

    But don't expect to see any small details, I used a resolution of 96 feet per pixel because it's about all that current devices can handle. I developed my own system that is conceptually very simple: each pixel in the original imagery was converted to a 96ft x 74 ft rectangle - a total of more than 80 million! The map is compatible with most Garmin devices, but you will want a pretty recent model. It worked well on my Dezl 760 but I was surprised that my Nuvi 3550 was unacceptably slow. My new DriveSmart 61 was by far the best (and most stable).

    image
  • alanb 419 Points
    Really impressive Boyd! Nice work.
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