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Is Basecamp headed for extinction?

A user at GPSFileDepot called this article to my attention. I know we have discussed Garmin discontinuing Basecamp before, but this is the first official document I've seen that confirms this. But it looks like they are going to start pushing people to their Explore website in the future, and gradually crossing off the items on the list of features that are only available in Basecamp. I guess the transition could take awhile, but if they are truly ceasing Basecamp development then it may not take long to be incompatible with new operating systems.

And the current version of Basecamp/MapInstall cannot install maps on your GPS. Whether this is a bug or a "feature" is unknown, but it's been broken for 7 months now. With default settings, Basecamp/MapInstall automatically installs this update. And even if you disable auto-update, it nags you forever. So I suspect most users already have the broken version of Basecamp/MapInstall. There are endless threads from confused users about this problem over at GPSFileDepot

Here's the article from Garmin's support site:

https://support.garmin.com/en-CA/?faq=cmo7YxRdRB1DDl1JAWuEV8
___________

Benefits of Using the Explore Website Compared to BaseCamp with the GPSMAP 66 Series

The Explore website and BaseCamp* both provide valuable information and tools for the user. We are now working toward developing and improving the Explore Website. This web portal allows users multiple feature advantages. We recommend using the Explore Website for management of waypoints, locations, activities, tracks, and routes.

Explore Website advantages and features:

Web access from any internet connection
Syncing with the Explore app
Free Topo and Aerial maps
Import courses from Garmin Connect
Advanced Search


There are features that both Explore and BaseCamp offer:

Import GPX, KML, KMZ
Export GPX, KML
Organize user data in a library with collections


There are also features currently only available in BaseCamp:

Viewing maps on the Garmin device
Auto road/trail routing
Viewing a profile graph for routes and tracks
Viewing detailed statistics about tracks
Viewing a 3-D map

* BaseCamp development has been discontinued.

Comments

  • alanb 539 Points
    edited December 2018
    Wow! Thanks for posting this Boyd. We have known that Basecamp was being abandoned by Garmin for some time now, but I was not even aware that the Explore website existed. I will have to do some poking around to see what all it will do.

    I see that what they are calling the "Explore" site is an updated version of their support page which I haven't visited in a long time. It appears they have organized it in a different way and added some additional functions. But it has a long way to go if they plan to offer all the things BaseCamp can do
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    edited December 2018
    Seems like they are missing a major Basecamp feature not available on the website... you can use it without an internet connection. ;)
    alanb said:

    But it has a long way to go if they plan to offer all the things BaseCamp can do

    And yet, they "recommend using the Explore Website for management of waypoints, locations, activities, tracks, and routes".
  • alanb 539 Points
    Well, after looking around their support site for a few minutes, I don't really see anything new for the Garmin model series I own. Maybe there is some additional functionality there for the Gpsmap 66 which the article is about, but nothing new for the rest of us.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    edited December 2018
    Yeah, I think it is mostly a direction for the future. But if Basecamp no longer runs on modern operating systems, most users would be forced to use the web portal. Advanced users will figure ways to run old software in virtual machines, etc. And like I said, they have already broken MapInstall, so unless you know how to downgrade (or use Mapsource) you are just out of luck if you want to install a 3rd party map on your old GPS.

    Here's the thread at GPSFileDepot, note this post from "dwitton" about the convergenc of the InReach and Garmin handheld lines:

    forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php?topic=4592.0

    "A year or so ago I spoke with a Garmin rep who explained that the companies goal was to merge the two by providing more gps functionality in the Inreach units - that has happened in the newer units. Maps are preloaded, and additional maps can be loaded, but only by using the Explore website. I have noticed that Windows 10 does not recognize my Delorme Inreach as a volume - all mods to the device need to be made via the web portal."
  • alanb 539 Points
    If they truly incorporate the basic functions of BaseCamp into an online portal, I will welcome that. But referring to their old support search page as the "Explore" site and implying there is something new there leaves me unimpressed … sigh ...
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    alanb said:

    But referring to their old support search page as the "Explore" site and implying there is something new there leaves me unimpressed … sigh ...

    I'm confused by this. The link in the support page I posted doesn't seem to work, I get a 404 error when I click that. I went to the explore website, but it doesn't allow access without logging in. I was finally able to bring it up by using my old garmin e-mail address and password from years ago. Don't know if this link will work for you

    https://explore.garmin.com/Account/GarminUser

    But you ain't actually gettin' in unless you have an inReach or a GPSMap66! ;) Anyway this doesn't look like the "old support search page" to me.

    image

    Explore Website Features
    Plan a trip by creating waypoints and routes on the map
    Sync trip data to your devices and mobile app
    Set up your MapShare – a live map for friends and family to watch your trip in progress
    Manage inReach service plans and billing information
    Set up contacts, Preset messages, and Quick Text messages for your inReach device and mobile app
    Review past trips – see your track and many stats including elevation, speed, and distance
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Also see this

  • sussamb 813 Points
    edited December 2018
    Well at last they've acknowledged what we all knew, there is no BaseCamp development. I'll be sticking with it though for as long as possible as 4.6.2 does all I need :)
  • DerekW 132 Points
    Currently Basecamp is a 32bit application on the Mac, 32 bit applications will not be suported on the Mac after the next major release of MacOS due in the fall of 2019.

    This could be resolved by Garmin by hiring a programmer for a few weeks to set up the Basecamp program so that it can be compiled for use in a 64bit environment.

    How many Mac users will migrate away from Garmin if they cannot have their SatNav supported. one asks.

    When I was looking to buy a SatNav, the ability to run the support programs on a Mac was the key criteria regardless of how good the performance of the device
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Garmin did say around middle of 2018 that they were upgrading Basecamp and other programs by end of 2018 to 64 bit, so they have a few hours left but I suspect it won't happen :(
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    edited December 2018
    Good point @DerekW - More evidence that they will push people to their new web portal... ;)
  • DaveM 159 Points
    That is typical of Garmin to just abandon a product.

    I have 2 Garmin FR60 heart rate monitors one for my wife one for me. The main reason I bought them instead of a lot cheaper one from a different company is that they had an ANT+ device that plugged into a USB port. They also had software so they would wirelessly sync when in range. You could then look at your heart rate, how long in each zone, max rate etc. It had a nice graph where you could display BPM and or %. The software quit working when windows was upgraded and Garmin never upgraded their software. Emails I sent to Garmin support went unanswered. They have no USB port so no way I know of to download the information. I far as I know they are now just an overpriced watch that will show heart rate if you have a chest strap on. We now use Fitbits.

    This is one of the reasons I have a complete lack of trust in Garmin and is one reason I have not bought a new car GPS. I use my phone and can display it on the screen with Android auto. The next time I need a new GPS for my bike or hiking I will look at other brands and also look at if I can I get a phone I’d be happy with. The biggest reason I don’t like using a phone now is reading the screen in sunlight.

  • Boyd 1985 Points
    DaveM said:

    The next time I need a new GPS for my bike or hiking I will look at other brands

    There aren't very many choices for that now. Garmin is pretty much the last man standing already. What would you choose? Magellan no longer makes handhelds (and they were a joke for many years anyway). Garmin bought DeLorme and did away with their handhelds, except the inReach. TomTom never made a handheld. MemoryMap was once popular in the EU, they tried to break into the US market but never really made it. Their products were very expensive. What happened to them?

    So what would you choose? I think your only choices are probably Garmin or a phone now.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    Boyd said:

    There aren't very many choices for that now. Garmin is pretty much the last man standing already. What would you choose? Magellan no longer makes handhelds (and they were a joke for many years anyway). Garmin bought DeLorme and did away with their handhelds, except the inReach. TomTom never made a handheld. MemoryMap was once popular in the EU, they tried to break into the US market but never really made it. Their products were very expensive. What happened to them?

    So what would you choose? I think your only choices are probably Garmin or a phone now.

    For hiking I think you are correct. I hope by the time I need one someone will make something but most likely not. There is probley a better chance of finding a phone that can be seen in the sunlight. If not I don’t think a phone would be too bad I could shade it while trying to read it.

    For the bike Wahoo and Lezyne both have bike GPS units that seem to get better with each update. I know people that are happy with both of them as they are today. By the time I need a new one I think they deserve a good look. On the bike the sunlight readable screen is more important as you need to see it as you ride so to use a phone it would need a better screen then I’m aware of today.

    I’m not saying I won’t buy a Garmin. But I will take a good look at the options first. In the past when I needed or wanted a new GPS the only question was which Garmin that is no longer true.


  • Boyd 1985 Points
    edited December 2018
    Chris has been sharing his thoughts after switching from a Garmin Montana to a rugged smartphone here: http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/31237/rugged-smartphone-v-premium-gps
  • DaveM 159 Points
    I hope he keeps us updated as he uses it more. I'm defiantly interest interested in his thoughts on the phone. Unless he has better weather than I do I drought if it's getting much use for now.
  • Chris_Sav 126 Points
    edited January 1
    Happy New Year All.

    Will be out on the 1961 BSA Super Rocket later this morning and the Montana will be on the bars.

    Re the Mac 32 bit and 64 bit problems mentioned earlier. I am still using an extensive software system I wrote over 20 years ago on the PC by using a DOS emulator, no problems. I would hope the same would be available on the Mac but not sure about the Bluetooth side of talking to external devices. - here's hoping!
  • DaveM 159 Points
    Happy New Year.
    Are you using the Montana because you like it better than the phone or just in the process of testing which you like better?
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Of course it's possible to still run very old software in virtual machines, or have an external drive with an old operating system. But this is not something that the "average user" is going to do. So if Basecamp is no longer compatible with their computer, it will be a problem.

    Any new Macs that are introduced after the switch to 64 bit next Fall will no longer be able to boot into older operating systems. So this is potentially a big problem for Garmin. Perhaps they will offer a 64 bit update anyway, since that is more like "maintenance" than "development"?

    All the best for the New Year! :)
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Some more info on the Explore website

    https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=Pem8APOlI03qXEb3czosX6
    https://support.garmin.com/en-IN/?faq=0uDt3PZ8fM66OtVCxqytB7

    Here's a full res screenshot from the link above.

    image
  • alanb 539 Points
    Boyd said:

    alanb said:

    But referring to their old support search page as the "Explore" site and implying there is something new there leaves me unimpressed … sigh ...

    I'm confused by this. The link in the support page I posted doesn't seem to work, I get a 404 error when I click that. I went to the explore website, but it doesn't allow access without logging in. I was finally able to bring it up by using my old garmin e-mail address and password from years ago. Don't know if this link will work for you

    https://explore.garmin.com/Account/GarminUser

    But you ain't actually gettin' in unless you have an inReach or a GPSMap66! ;) Anyway this doesn't look like the "old support search page" to me.
    When I click on your link in your OP, it takes me to the article you reference. On that page, Garmin provides a link for "Explore website" and another for "BaseCamp". The "Explore website" link just takes me to their normal support portal. The "BaseCamp" link fails with a 404 error.

    I was not aware of the explore.garmin.com page until you posted it … makes more sense now.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    This would be good news.... if it's true. ;)

    https://forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php?topic=4611.0

    "I called tech suppt - their suggestion was to uninstall/reinstall the maps, but I didn't want to create a bigger problem, so I stood pat.

    I also raised the issue of terminated BaseCamp development - the tech denied that, and said they were currently working on bug fixes, including the ability to load 3rd party maps - which he said also affected some Garmin map products."
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Would be but I suspect beyond the bug fix for the map install and the upgrade to 64bit there won't be any other 'development'.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    I would be fine with that, it's up to Garmin to decide what to do with their software. But breaking a bunch of things and then walking away was unacceptable.
  • DerekW 132 Points
    Fresh off the block - great - Thanks for the update
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Didn't last long, now been pulled as there are problems with installing it on some Mac versions
  • DerekW 132 Points
    It toook me several attempts to get it to install in Mojave, but then apeared to work.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Well... nice try anyway. ;) Hopefully they will get it right eventually.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    As per the Garmin forum

    Software Version 4.8.2 has been backdated to 4.7.0 due to it having issues with some versions of OS.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Pass the popcorn! :O)
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    This is interesting.... look at my first post and notice the last line:

    * BaseCamp development has been discontinued.

    Now go back to that same link: https://support.garmin.com/en-CA/?faq=cmo7YxRdRB1DDl1JAWuEV8

    They have removed that line! Maybe they got a lot of heat over that statement? But with no update to the Windows version for about 15 months, I suspect that nothing has really changed. ;)
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Hmmm ... another Garmin mystery ;)
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