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Maps for Garmin Nuvi

Last year my trusty Magellan® Maestro™ 3210 died and I bought a Garmin Drive™ 50 to replace it. I quite like it, even though the system is more confusing and searching for locations is rather counter-intuitive, starting out with the house number rather than the city. Be that as it may, it's great for navigating. Since then I've been given a Nuvi 255W that I've resurrected. It's not as large as the Drive 50 I'm now used to, but great for a second vehicle. It updates all except for the maps, which it looks like I have to buy for almost as much as buying a cheap car GPS. As I recall, when a family member had a Garmin Nuvi, the maps could be updated for free. I guess I'm not eligible since this is a used GPS from years ago. So what do you do after map updates are no longer available? My old Magellan had no updates and sometimes I found myself driving through green fields when a new road had been built, but that was no problem. Is the Nuvi similar, or do I need to Off Road Navigation when there was no road at the time the map was created?


  • alanb 557 Points
    edited January 2020
    You will have to pay for Garmin's City Navigator map, and for an old nuvi 255 it is probably not worth it. Another option is Open Street Maps for Garmin ( These maps are free. In my experience, the OSM maps work OK for navigating, but address lookup is pretty crude (at best). However, if you have your destinations loaded as Favorites (waypoints) or custom POI's, the OSM maps work pretty good.

    One other option would be to buy a used City Navigator map on SD card. You might be able to find one for a reasonable price with maps that are only a couple of years old. Just make sure that any used map you buy is a legitimate Garmin product with a Garmin product number. Some of the SD card maps available on eBay and elsewhere are pirated illegal copies.
  • oldyellr 181 Points
    Thanks for that link. I'll take a look to see if there's anything I need. Meanwhile I just wondered if the Garmin Nuvi worked just like my old Magellan did, navigating across green spaces when the new road didn't show on the screen, or would it insist on steering me on a detour? As I remember, the Magellan would keep announcing it was "recalculating" whenever I deviated from the route, but the Garmin does not have that annoying feature and just goes along with any detours.
  • alanb 557 Points
    The old 255 will announce route recalculations.
  • oldyellr 181 Points
    Okay, I was going by what the Drive 50 does. I have not yet actually used the 255.
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