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Garmin GPS

Tricks, Tips, Work Arounds, Hints, Secrets and Ideas

for the Garmin nüvi (nuvi) GPS (and others)

Lots Of Things You Didn't Know

[many ideas may also apply to various nüvi 200, 300, 500, 600, 700,
800, 2X5, 7X5, 8X5, 1200, 1300, 1400, 2200, 2300, 2400, 3700 series units,
the nüvi 1690, nüLink! 1695 & nüvi 5000
,
and possibly
other Garmin road GPSs.
A nüvi 650 was originally used for initial testing.
As of 12/12/08 a nüvi 755T is also being used for testing.
As of 01/27/11 a nüvi 3790LMT will be used for major testing
A smaller separate section for 7X5/8X5 devices has been established.
Other articles may be updated, where necessary, to include 7X5/8X5 instructions.]

-- a continuing helpful instructional and comment Blog --
[there are currently 34 pages containing well over 100 help articles in this project]

Presented by: Gary Hayman
[since October, 2007]


[This site has been constructed so that it can be more easly viewed with various resoloution settings, including older computers and computers where the user need a lower resolution (Ex: 800x600) in order to increase the size of the fonts (for easier viewing of tired eyes) -- as well as for better use by smart phones, netbooks and tablets.]

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ON THE WRONG TRACK
- The Responsibility Rests With You


Ramone F. Herrera started a interesting thread in a USENET GPS group by reporting a recent MSNBC story:

--snippet --

"BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. - A Global Positioning System can tell a driver a lot of things -- but apparently not when a train is coming.

A computer consultant driving a rental car drove onto train tracks Wednesday using the instructions his GPS unit gave him. A train was barreling toward him, but he escaped in time and no one was injured."


SEE:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22493399/

---------

An avalanche of serious and comical comments followed.

But the most important lesson is that your GPS is a guide. You are responsible for making the decision as to where to drive your car and you must use common sense and good judgement in making those driving decisions as well as being aware of the road, your vehicle, traffic and your surroundings.

I'm sure we are all happy that the individual who was "on (the) track" didn't get hurt or cause any other personal injuries in this instance.



THE NÜVI MEETS THE MATRIX
- nüvi Comparison Table

There is a nice little nüvi Comparison Table prepared by NAVIGADGET in which potential buyers and owners of the nüvi line might be interested. It is not complete as evidenced by all the write-in suggestions but is a good starting point. If you would like to see it -- CLICK HERE.


Of course, just in case you haven't seen it already, you could go directly to the Garmin WEB site and see the specs for all the nüvis. You can even do a side by side comparison -- make sure you also concentrate on the Spec pages in the non-comparison mode. If you would like to visit --
CLICK HERE.


Here is another comparison chart from gpstracklog.com.
CLICK HERE


Added: June 16, 08:
Here is a nice comparison chart that I just found.
CLICK HERE




Go W, NW, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW! Young Man
- Your Driving Direction

The following article was inspired by an e- mail I received from Don Avila of Ohio.

We know from observing our Map Screen when
NOT ON ROUTE, that the driving direction is indicated in the lower right hand corner of the screen in 3D, 2D Track up, and 2D North up mode.

When
ON ROUTE the direction is replaced by 'Turn in' and presents the distance to the next turn.

But just suppose you are en route and you wanted to know which direction you are driving.
EASY. Just tap the 'Arrival' button (lower left corner of the screen) and you are taken to the Trip Information Page where you can read your current direction from the compass in the top left hand corner of the screen. Touch 'Back' and you are returned to Map mode.



ADDITIONAL SECRET

On the nüvi Satellite Screen
[Officially called: the GPS (Information) Page] (on my 650, perhaps yours too) you will notice on the left side where you have the satellite geo-mapping (Sky View) and sometimes the icons for the sun and moon, there is another icon which is a small black circle with a red dot. This icon identifies the direction you are currently traveling -- even more accurately than the eight-only directions that the Map Page offers.

> You can reach the Satellite Screen from the Main Menu Page by tapping the satellite bars in the upper left corner of the screen.



CHARGE!
- Automatic Recharging of Your GPS

Most of you can skip this article for you already know that the Garmin nüvi 650 (and some of the other nüvis) automatically recharge when powered by the Vehicle Power Cable, but I did have someone who wrote me who had recently purchased the GPS and did not know that fact and was worried that while on a trip he would loose power when he didn't have a chance to recharge the unit via the USB cable connected from his computer to his GPS.

I wrote back:

Perhaps you didn't know that the Garmin 650 recharges while you are driving if you have it held by the Vehicle Suction Cup Mount and have that holder plugged into the 12v source of you car via the Vehicle Power Cable that comes with your unit. In this condition it will operate and charge at the same time.

If you are using your computer's USB outlet and USB cable to recharge the Garmin then you
cannot use it while it is recharging.



CHARGE 2!
- What a nüvi 750 (Maybe More) Can Do

Most have already discovered that if their nüvi has a USB plug and they have the special USB Vehicle Power Cable for their GPS they can connect their unit to their computer and have it charge the rechargeable batteries while away from their vehicle. I mentioned in the preceding article 'CHARGE.'
"If you are using your computer's USB outlet and USB cable to recharge the Garmin then you cannot use it while it is recharging."

But wait .......

Richard Chapin writes, "... Normally if you plug in the USB Vehicle Power Cable to the nüvi and connect the other end to your computer, your nüvi does not operate as a GPS unit - it goes into some sort of charging mode. However, if you FIRST turn on the nüvi in the battery mode then go into the test mode (press the battery icon for about 8-9 seconds) from the main screen, THEN PLUG in the USB cable, and finally exit the test screen, your nüvi will restart (reboot) and it will operate just like it was plugged into the cradle connection in your vehicle.

> This mode will charge the battery
AND operate as a GPS.

It works with my computer USB cable, my cell phone charger and my car charger for my cell phone.

Don't forget to turn off the nüvi before unplugging."


Richard owns a nüvi 750 with which the above works. The method doesn't work with my nüvi 650. My nüvi shows slightly different screens.

So I suggest that you try it with your nüvi model to see if you can put the procedure to use.

Thanks Richard for the contribution and to others who are discovering techniques for their nüvi's -- and writing so they can be shared.


12/29/08 - Keith Underwood writes that although the technique worked with his 360, it doesn't work with his 760 unit connected to his laptop. Charles Loewe tells me that the technique doesn't work with his 760 (software v. 4.6).



HERE'S THE SKINNY
- A Screen Protector For Your Garmin

Are you like me? I arrive at a destination and for security of my nüvi GPS I remove it from the windshield holder and place it in my pocket as I leave the car. Unfortunately my pocket is full of hard metal objects such as keys, American Eagle and Krugerrand gold coins, and paper clip chains -- all of which might scratch the screen of my nüvi.

Or maybe you [cough] place your GPS in the glove compartment, center console storage box, hide-away container, or just on the floor of your car -- each place which might have sharp edges which might scratch your screen.

Well I've read raves about self-sticking plastic sheets (skins) that fit your GPS's screen that will protect it from accidental contacts -- that seem cheap enough.

> There are blogs and reviews on the Internet on this subject. Google 'screen protectors' and read a few. There are a number of varing opinions as to quality -- so investigate of that you can choose wisely.

Here are a couple of links to providers. I am sure that there are more.

[Click]
Invisible Shield

Radio Shack

Clarivue
[Search Term: Garmin]


ADDED MARCH 8, 2008

A name withheld friend to this web site wrote that she had found that the Nintendo DS Lite case fits the nüvi 650 perfectly ... there's a plastic casing inside that holds it in place and a wrist strap and clip ... the soft nylon case is nicely padded and costs only about $11 ... you do have to remove the unit to extend the antenna...."



NÜVI NEWBEE PROBLEMS
- Maybe It's Your Settings


Occasionally a new nüvi owner complains on a GPS forum that their instrument is guiding them in strange ways -- taking them down roads they wouldn't choose or exiting freeways taking side roads and re-entering the same freeway. A big contention is being directed way off route or in strange ways.

Experienced users remind the new owners that their settings in the Wrench (nüvi settings) area might be causing some of their problems and suggest, at least for a starting point they experiment with the following:

WRENCH (nüvi settings)

Navigation


Route Preference: Faster Time. Selecting Shorter Distance may be the culprit that will take you off a freeway when you shouldn't exit or take you on a secondary slow road.

Vehicle: Choose Car/Motorcycle (if that's what you are driving.) Pedestrian, Bicycle, Truck and Bus all use different algorithms in determining the route. For example your nüvi might suggest a different route if you are driving a truck as to what it would suggest if you were driving your car.

Avoidances: Be careful what you select from the list. If you have Traffic selected and your nüvi is traffic capable it may be what's ahead that is causing an un-expected deviation.

You may be better off
NOT SELECTING Avoiding U-Turns. Although I have not seen any technical specifications for this, some writers opine that if Avoiding U-Turns is selected your Garmin might see and interpret some road 'sharp turns' as U-Turns and attempt to keep you from making them, when you really should make them, taking you far out of your way. I have always kept my avoiding U-Turns OFF and have not had any trouble. At least try it that way if you have been having direction difficulties.



REPORTING MAP ERRORS
- Do Your Bit

I've yet to meet one GPS owner (all brands) who hasn't noticed a 'map error' on their instrument. Perhaps it's a new street, a dead end street that is mapped as thru, the existence of a street that has long been gone, a highway exit that doesn't exist, a miss-named street, a street that is mapped 1/4 mile from where it is supposed to be, and on and on.

Not only that, the map that you are using in your instrument, even though it was just downloaded, is probably outdated by a year or more anyway.

The GPS maps put together by NavTeq (formerly NavTech), TeleAtlas and others rely on county planning agencies who in turn rely on other inputs -- not all of which are accurate.

NavTeq maps, used by Garmin, are updated quarterly by the NavTeq company, but Garmin and other manufacturers don't update their maps that often.

[In the future (don't know when) maps will be updated wirelessly -- as you drive -- provided you have an appropriate GPS unit.]

Garmin has established a 'Reporting Form' for it's users to furnish updated information.

From Garmin

"Due to the extremely large amounts of information our maps hold, there will invariably be errors and inconsistencies. However, you can help us make our maps much more accurate in the future. Please notify us of any errors you find using our error report form at the following link:

We are grateful when our customers take the time to report these inaccuracies to us. Not only does it help us improve the functionality of our units, but it also ensures that you will be as satisfied as possible when future map updates are released."

http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/errorForm.html

NavTeq also invites you to report errors at:

http://mapreporter.navteq.com/dur-web-external/

From NavTeq:

"NAVTEQ Map Reporter™
Travelers, businesses and leading device manufacturers choose NAVTEQ maps for their accuracy and reliability. You can help us maintain and improve that accuracy by reporting changes whenever you see them.

Submit your map update as a Guest. Or login. As a member, you can return anytime to check the status of the updates you submit."

"NAVTEQ’s Map Reporter allows you to tell us where an update to a map may be necessary."


[Ed.: I like the NavTeq system of making a report.]

So give them a try, either or both, and report errors that YOU are eye balling.



SHOW ME THE ROUTE
- Seeing The Whole Route

Once you’ve located a Favorite, Address, City etc. and executed a 'Go To' your nüvi takes over and plans your route then activates the Map Screen at the zoom in/out that has been previously set or which is appropriate.

But what if you would like to see the whole route on the map.

Let’s say it’s early October and you are parked at the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
[This is a fantasy story for they won’t let you do that anymore.] You have been told, by the late night TV comedians that there is a lot of ‘hot air’ emanating from the building. This gives you an idea and you immediately program your nüvi to guide you to Albuquerque, New Mexico (some 1900+ miles away) to see the famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and observe some more interesting accomplishments of ‘hot air.’ [Since this is a fantasy story we will pretend that you have lots of time, oil has dropped to $25 a barrel and gas has returned to $1.25 a gallon -- yes, a fantasy.]

Now before you pull away from Capitol Hill, you would like to see your complete route, map-wise, on your nüvi.

You could:

1) touch your screen and drag the map with your finger pulling or pushing the marked route across the country. This would give you lots of detail but take some time for the 1900+ miles.

2) hold down the ‘-’ (zoom out) button watching the map change as if you were rising in altitude above the earth. This would be faster but it still takes some time as the nüvi re-draws the various screens.

OR YOU COULD USE THIS TECHNIQUE

3)
Tap the bar on the very top of the Map Screen (this opens the Turn List Page) > Tap ‘Show Map’

Your nüvi will conveniently prepare a map that will show both your present point and your destination point and the route through the States through which you will be traveling. You can even zoom in or out viewing particular areas of interest -- sliding the map as appropriate.


The beauty part is that your first screen covers your start to finish points using the entire screen in the best possible way.

On your trip -- please also enjoy Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.




I'DE WALK A MILLION MILES ....
- Your nüvi as a Pedometer

You nüvi certainly wasn't designed as a pedometer -- but that doesn't mean that you can't use it as such.

Yes, there are better GPSs on the market, including Garmin, that are more appropriate. There are even mechanical pedometers, sometimes given free at banks and sporting good stores that can do the job, albeit not quite as accurate.

But if you own a nüvi -- why not use it?

With the nüvi 650 you first want to reset your Trip Data. This is accomplished from your Map Screen by:

WITH ANTENNA UP (other no-flip antenna models: GPS 'On')

1) pressing the Speed Indicator in the lower left corner (this opens the Trip Information Page.)

> 2) pressing 'Reset Trip' > Yes


The mileage indicator will 'zero' out and begin recording in hundredths of a mile (or kilometer depending upon how you have your system preferences chosen) giving you a very accurate 'pedometer' reading as you take your walk or jog.

Comments:

With the nüvi 650 and other similar nüvis, having the antenna up makes for a more bulky instrument and you will want to figure out some way to carry it so as not to put the antenna under stress.

With other nüvi models, where there is no antenna to raise, carrying the nüvi is easier. Please make sure that your 'satellite seeking' is on. You need the satellites to feed your instrument the varying position information as you move.

Some series of nüvis may have a slightly different procedure for accessing the Trip Information Page but you will find the principle used here will still work.

From this point on just take your walk or jog, even ride your bike or skateboard and measure your distance traveled.

Please note that the use of your nüvi for keeping track of your distance as you take swimming laps in a pool or even attempting swimming the English Channel is not recommended. [The Lawyers made me say that.]



WHEN YOU GOT TO GO YOU GOT TO GO
- Finding a Rest Area

There you are; driving on a long stretch of turnpike, highway, inter-state, freeway, parkway, etc., away from 'major' civilization -- and someone in your car -- has the urge.

Looking at your Garmin nüvi you would like to see little icons for roadside Rest Areas -- but they are not there. Perhaps you are zoomed out too far. After all Garmin POI don't seem to appear until the zoom setting is at about 200 or 300 feet, on your instrument. That's not in advance enough for you. By the time you see it you might not have enough time to react. Besides you really want to know where the nearest one is and go there and then be on your way again. You want to be able to tell the '
kvetching' person in the back seat that 'we are almost there.'

Your Garmin CAN find the nearest rest area, but some have reported that the method is slightly convoluted. Here is the technique:

Go to the Main Menu > tap 'Where To?' > select 'Food Lodging' > select 'Auto Services' (you will probably have to scroll a screen down before selecting) > select 'Rest Area/Tourist Info (after scrolling a screen)

The appearing list will present the nearby Garmin identified Rest Areas which you may have to cull from the Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Offices, Information Centers, etc. (all of which, incidently, if close, may have facilities.) It will also tell you how many straight line miles (off road miles -- not the same of road miles [always less]) and the approximate direction you would have to travel.

Now that you've located the nearest Rest Area:

select it then select 'Go' > select choice 'Insert in Route as Via Point'

and your nüvi will take you right to it. Not only that, it will tell you the approximate time of arrival -- which should ease the pangs of your passenger.

BE CAREFUL

Choose your Rest Area wisely -- you will not know, from the menu, if the selected Rest Area is on your route or not. When offering the listing, Garmin doesn't pay attention to the road you are on -- only straight line distance. Thus a selection might take you off-route, when another selection, albeit further away may be on your route and will take less time to get to.

You might also select a Rest Area that you have passed and Garmin will want you to turn around via a point that is many miles ahead of you -- but would turn out to be closer to the next Rest Area choice ahead of you.

[I believe, the further away from civilization you are the easier for you to make the appropriate selection from the Garmin menu, and the closer you are to civilization the more alternate facilities will be available for you to make a wiser judgement for an off-route detour for a few minutes to seek relief. So when comparing the two it may be a 'wash ----- room.' Of course, your Garmin will get you back on the proper route with little difficulty when you are finished.]

All this, just to go to the bathroom. You have my sympathy.

AFTERWARDS

You may just continue to your final destination following Garmin's directions. If, at a later point in your route, you need to select a different 'via point', Garmin lets you replace the old one (which is probably behind you by now) with a new one.

Go to the Main Menu > tap 'Where To?' > select the appropriate choice to find your next via point > select 'Go' > instead of 'Insert in Route as Via Point' Garmin will now present you with 'Replace Current Via Point' as one of the choices, select it.

Rest Areas used to be identified (as POIs) with my older Garmin Street Pilot 2610 and I could see where they were, on my route, miles in advance.

Perhaps importing Rest Area POIs using POI Loader and storing them on my SD card is what I should do -- but that's the subject of another article.

If you want a jump on the procedure take a look at:

Garmin POI Loader
http://www8.garmin.com/products/poiloader/

POI Factory (you will have to register to obtain free files)
http://www.poi-factory.com/

Rest Areas Combined File
http://www.poi-factory.com/node/6643



WHAT'Z YA PHONE #
- While Driving to Your Garmin POI

Reader and previous contributor,
Rob Egelink of The Netherlands writes: ...

Let's say you're on your way to a hotel which you found in Garmin's POIs but while you're driving there you would like to contact the hotel by phone to ask a question. On my nüvi 250 my solution has been to:

go to the Main Menu > select 'Where to?' > and select the 'Recently Found' menu.

My current destination should be the first one on the list (or close to it) and when selected will reveal the needed contact details.



WAYS TO VIEW FUTURE TRIP TURNS
- Your Garmin Offers Several Ways

Your Garmin nüvi presents you with a close up view of your next turn as you approach it. The closer you get, the more exploded is the graphic. However, if you are some distance from the turn, depending upon the zoom setting, you might not see it on the screen.

There are two other methods to instantly see approaching turns on your device.

Method 1 (Probably most used with some models)

The most common technique involves tapping your 'Turn in' area on your Map Screen (lower right).
[Not all units are equipped with this feature. If yours doesn't have it, then go to Method 2).]


When you do, text for the next turn and a turn graphic will appear on a split screen. If you have TTS you will also receive voice directions.


Also indicated will be how many miles/km
would be traveled to reach that point and the estimated time it will take to reach that point.

If you missed what the voice has said and act before the screen disappears by
re-touching the screen, the voice will repeat.

The screen will return to the original Map Screen in about 5 or 6 seconds, However, if you touch the 'down arrow' (lower right) a similar turn information screen, as mentioned above, will appear
for the following turn. If you continue to tap the down arrow the next and next, etc. graphics of turns will appear still telling you the distance to that turn and the time it will take you to get there. The down arrow operation can continue until you reach your destination -- if you desire. The pressing of the 'Back' button, at any time, will take you back to your active Map Screen.

The use of this technique is handy for preparing for your next or distant turns ahead of time, seeing what they will look like, and, by full scrolling to your destination, how much estimated time (not what clock time) it will take to reach your destination. I have discussed some of this in my previous article: 'ARE WE THERE YET? - How Long Will it Take Me to Get There? (Not What Time Will I Arrive?)' on page 2 of this article/blog series.

Method 2 (Used less often but with certain nüvis you have to start here)

The second technique, available on some Garmins, but probably not used as much, involves tapping the 'Info Bar' on the Map Screen (at the very top of the screen.)


This time you are presented with a list of three next turns with a direction arrow (of the turn), how many miles/km to travel from one turn to the next, and some text telling 'How To Turn.'


Again, you can scroll to the next three listings by tapping the 'down arrow' (lower right.) The down arrow operation can continue until you reach your destination -- if you desire. The pressing of the 'Back' button, at any time, will take you back to your active Map Screen.

In my mind, the
major value of this method for me is to show the distances between each turn.

UNDOCUMENTED TECHNIQUE: You can, however, tap any one of the listings and the aforementioned Method 1 split screen will appear presenting you with a full turn graphic plus the distance traveled and the estimated time to that point -- BUT NO VOICE.

TRICK: Tap the screen again and the voice will speak [Not all models].

Tapping the Back button will take you back to the turn listing. Tapping it twice will take you back to the Map Screen.



IMPORTING FAVORITES FROM GOOGLE/MAPQUEST INTO YOUR NÜVI
- 'How To' Techniques For On-Line Imports

August 2, 2010 -- Be advised that MapQuest has recently revised their programs and CURRENTLY they do not permit sending locations or routes directly to your nüvi. In the meantime, you can still use Google Maps and Bing Maps. Hopefully the technique will be re-instated in the future. See my article of explanation HERE.

Your Garmin device lets you save 'Favorites'. These are locations that you place in a special device data bank for easy retrieval. You place them there through a variety of address, categories, intersection and city searches and even by browse techniques performed on your nüvi. When you find a particular location, by any of many ways, that you want to send to your Favorites area you press the 'Save' button and that place gets sent there. With my device, I can have 500 entries in my Favorites area.

The above is nothing new. It is something you are familiar with and have been using since day one of your nüvi ownership.

BUT DID YOU KNOW...

There is a
NEW, not very well promoted, technique that allows you to establish Favorites on your device directly from two (for now) Internet map services -- Google Maps and MapQuest.

            

Both companies have created, with Garmin, a technique for selecting locations via their free map service and transferring them to your device's Favorites area.

The Garmin Communicator Plugin

Garmin is offering a free Browser plugin named the Garmin Communicator Plugin, housed in an almost secret area of the Garmin WEB site. It is in one of those 'you can't get there from here' locations -- unless you know the URL.

Go here:
http://www8.garmin.com/products/communicator/ to read about it. First see if it is compatible with your computer, read the FAQ's http://www8.garmin.com/products/communicator/faq.jsp If determine that you have a 'green light' then download it to your computer (does not go into the Garmin device) and run the Test Page to see if everything is working.

NOW YOU ARE READY TO USE THE INTERNET SERVICES

Connect your nüvi to your computer via the Garmin USB cable making it ready for data receipt.

Google Maps:

Lets go to Google Maps first to see how to use the technique.

With your Browser, go to
http://maps.google.com/

Let's play with an example so you can get an idea of the technique.
Type in 'Epcot Center Parking' and press 'Search Maps.'

This is fairly close to the parking lot entrance.

[Before Google changed their system earlier this year ('08) one could type just 'Epcot Center' and then choose 'B' which was at the parking lot not in the center of the park. Also, now you have to use results of Google searches for this technique to work. See yellow box September 8, 2008 below for an explanation.]

You may find the word 'Send' a couple of times on the page. For example in the 'balloon comment' and also on the 'Print/Send/Link' line near the top of the page. Click the word 'Send'.


In the next window you will find, on the left side, 'GPS'. Click it. In the pull-down window under 'Brand', select 'Garmin' (do not choose Native American Drums.) Now press the 'Send' button.


You will be transported to the Garmin WEB site where you will see a small map of your selection, a comment that your nüvi was found (remember you plugged it in previously.)
Click 'Send to GPS'. The new Favorite will be saved to your device, a confirmation note will be presented, and, via link, you can return to your Google Map to continue selecting additional Favorites if you desire.


The entire process is very speedy and you can
search, find and add to your 'Favorites' much faster than if you were to use your Garmin device alone.

[Sepember, 08: Currently you must use the results of a standard Google search. For example, Google can search for businesses, addresses, ss and places of interest. Only when Google does those types of searches will the Send to GPS choice be presented in the 'Send' link. The above example does just that.

Although Google can also search for latitude and longitude coordinates, it does not presently (it previously did) include a way of sending those to your nüvi - you'll now have to do it by hand. [See article 'ARE YOU COORDINATED? - Obtaining and Using Coordinates in Your GPS']

Also not available in the Send to GPS, at the time of this writing, are the results of the new very useful
Developer's Tool - Position Finder. With those results you will have to enter the coordinates into your nüvi by hand and then save them as Favorites.]

October, 08 -- the above two statements, in green, are NO LONGER TRUE if you utilize the Work Around Method suggested by Kevin White in the article THE WHITE SOLUTION FOR THE GOOGLE per-PLEX - Another Technique For Sending Google Locations To Your nüvi presented on page 5.

Please remember, you are working with Favorite, NOT Custom POIs (they are something different even though they can be the same location.)

Also you can use some of the above technique to help you prepare Custom POIs, but that is another article in the
Custom POI section of this WEB site.

MapQuest Maps:

Using MapQuest the procedure is slightly different.

First I am assuming that you have the Garmin Communicator Plugin installed on your computer and that you have connected your nüvi to your computer via the Garmin USB cable making it ready for data receipt.

Go to
http://www.mapquest.com/

Type in
Mount Rushmore > Search

Oops, MapQuest places you on the mountain near the famous mountain heads. Not where your car can go. You want to be in the parking lot (lower right) but MapQuest does not provide any technique to identify that area as a 'Transferable to Favorite . So, lets say that unless you can identify a location by name or address that is exactly on a road, MapQuest has no way to adjust. So let's drop this and find something that works.

Go back to MapQuest's 'Map Page' and type in
'Empire State Building' > Search. MapQuest will present you with a map. Since '2' will be your choice, click the 'Map button' beside the entry; a map will appear with the Empire State Building identified as 'A'.

      


Now this part is even easier than the Google technique. Find the small box 'Send' near the top of the page on the left. Click the down arrow and select 'Send to GPS'. Check box 'nüvi with your unit ID', then check 'Send'.

             


You didn't even have to go through the Garmin WEB site this time.

That was pretty fast. This location has been added to your 'Favorites'.

If you want to send more 'Favorites' then use your Back button and enter addresses, business names, places, etc. in the appropriate boxes, then when your map appears and you select the single place to be added to your Favorites, follow the above directions.



MOVING A GOOGLE MAP FIND TO A BETTER PLACE
- Putting That Favorite On The Road For Your Garmin

October, 08

This article has been revised somewhat to make use of Kevin White's suggested technique for sending Google coordinates for latitude/logitude through the Garmin Communicator to the Favorites on your device.

Early in 2008 you could automatically do this but in the middle of the year Google changed their program so that one must FIRST do a Google search by business, address, or place of interest. If one developed a different point from the search by moving a marker not on a normal search Google search, the option to send the information to the GPS device was withdrawn.

The Work Around Method suggested by Kevin White in the article THE WHITE SOLUTION FOR THE GOOGLE per-PLEX - Another Technique For Sending Google Locations To Your nüvi is presented on page 5. With Kevin's interesting technique you can send latitude/longitude coordinates from Google, through the Garmin Communicator, directly to the Favorites area of your device. For greater details see the above article.

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It is still highly valuable for you to adjust waypoints, as in this case. If Google is pointing at the Mt. Rushmore mountain and you need your Favorite to be ON THE ROAD at the entrance to the parking lot you will still need to use the technique (or some similar techniques) to ascertain the longitude and latitude coordinates so that you can hand-enter them into your Garmin (as I am sure your vehicle won't drive up the side of the mountain to reach the original Google location.)

Probably the more common case is that sometimes Navteq maps, used by Garmin, have house addresses at a distance, small and large, from where they are supposed to be -- have you run into this?. In those cases it is highly necessary to find the correct coordinates and adjust them if you plan to use them as a Favorite or a Custom POI. Obtaining better coordinates from a combination of street and satellite maps from Google, Google Earth and Mapquest, to name a few, is of necessity.

A quick read of the following article will reveal the need for changing coordinate location sometimes. The last two paragraphs will also be of high interest.

Google is also offereing another technique to find coordinates. See article here:

NEW GOOGLE MAPS WAY OF GETTING LAT/LON COORDINATES
-
Developer Tools or Mapplets of Great Aid

March 2010

Google has put two more 'tools' into play that will easly present latitude and longitude coordinate information -- LatLng Tooltip and LatLng Marker. See complete details in new article 'NEW GOOGLE FEATURES FOR LATITUDE & LONGITUDE -  LatLng Tooltip And Marker Can Be Of Great Aid'.

Did I leave you, in the last article, running across the Presidents' faces on Mount Rushmore á la Cary Grant in 'North by Northwest' -- not placing your location at the entrance to the parking lot -- where it is more usable?

You are going to use a little
TRICK to move a 'location' to a more desired place.

  • OK, fire up Google Maps at http://maps.google.com
  • Type in 'mount rushmore' in the box and click 'Search Maps'. Oops, even Google puts you on the mountain carving

  • Using the Satellite mode, zoom-in as appropriate and place the hand cursor on route SD 244 (Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway) at the entrance to the parking lots (see below photo)
  • Right click your mouse and select 'Directions From Here'

  • The latitude and longitude of that place will appear in a box. It will be something close to 43.874610, -103.452458

Please note that the coordinates presented by Google are in the convention of latitude first then longitude. This is OK for hand entering coordinates into your nuvi but if later you plan to use Custom POIs you must use the convention longitude first then latitude when preparing them. But, when you use the technique, having the 'Send' transfer the information to your nuvi's Favorites, they get automatically reversed.


Now for the TRICK

  • Highlight the latitude/longitude combinations of numbers and copy to your clipboard [If there are additional characters there still copy only the latitude/longitude numbers, excluding the rest.]
  • Now paste those numbers in the Google Maps 'Search' box at the top of the page. You may have to replace what may already be there

  • Press 'Search Map'

[What you've done is to force the coordinates of the location where you placed the hand cursor to appear in the 'seeking directions page'. Then by copying those coordinates and pasting them back into the Google Maps 'Search' box and clicking 'Search' you caused the program to re-identify the focus point to the entrance of the parking lot (rather than on the mountain top) causing your search point to be WHERE YOU WANTED IT.]

Now you are ready to let this point become a 'Favorite'

  • Select 'Send' (it has a little envelope next to it)

  • Select 'GPS' (left side)
  • Change the Name to what you want. Ex. Mount Rushmore Parking
  • Select 'Garmin' from the drop down 'Brand' menu

  • Click the button 'Send'
  • When the Garmin WEB page opens, select 'Send to GPS'

You've done it !!! Congratulations.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO USE THIS TRICK/TECHNIQUE?

Suppose you plan to visit a very large shopping center, stadium, fairgrounds, monument, etc. where all the buildings are set back from the roads and there are multiple entrances. Doing a normal search either via your Garmin device or Google Maps will probably bring up
one location. But this is a big site with lots of ingress/egress and you might want to choose a location that is a mile or more away. Use the above technique to place your Google Map marker WHERE YOU WANT and then have it sent to your Garmin as a Favorite.

Some have reported that when they do a search on an address using a map program the result is a block away from where it is supposed to be. No matter, with the above technique you can move the result to where it should be by looking at the satellite photos and making that location a Favorite.



NEW GOOGLE MAPS WAY OF GETTING LAT/LON COORDINATES
- Developer Tools or Mapplets of Great Aid

THERE ALWAYS ARE ADVANCES -- The below article was presented in July 2008. Recently, in 2009, Google has introduced an additional 'mapplet'; "GPS Location" which I find a 'speck' easier to use than the "Position Finder" that I discuss below. Both work well. I am including information re: GPS Location in the yellow box at the close of this article.

November 2009

There is now an even easier way to determine coordinates without the use of a mapplet. Google has incorporated the "What's Here?" into the right click at any location on the map -- even in satellite view. When chosen, Google will send the map coordinates to the search box. From there you can use the 'Send' as described below to send the location to your GPS unit to become a Favorite. So instead of using 'Position Finder' or 'GPS Location' mapplets, you can use a right click and select the "What's Here?" to reveal your coordinates.

March 2010

Google has put two more 'tools' into play that will easily present latitude and longitude coordinate information -- LatLng Tooltip and LatLng Marker. See complete details in new article 'NEW GOOGLE FEATURES FOR LATITUDE & LONGITUDE -  LatLng Tooltip And Marker Can Be Of Great Aid'.

In previous articles I wrote about obtaining longitude and latitude coordinates from Google Maps. Well now there is another technique for getting those exact coordinates from Google Maps that you might want to consider.

The use of small on WEB developer tools, or mapplets, opens up Google Maps to a multitude of features.

This one maybe highly valuable for you:


Position Finder

Shows latitude/longitude coordinates of position clicked on map.
NOTE: Shows coordinates to 14 decimal places. You cannot 'move' coordinate but you can just simply replace it with another by clicking in a different place.


WHY NECESSARY

Your Garmin nüvi unit, when in the car/motorcycle setting, is paying attention to
roads. Many have found, when searching for addresses or places, that the resulting coordinates may NOT be on a road. Under normal circumstances your nüvi is preparing your route based upon roads (not off roads.) For example, what is the correct coordinates for a National Park? There could be a million+.

If you are using your nüvi as a driving tool, the coordinates selected should mainly be on a Garmin recognized road, not in the woods somewhere. In fact, you will find (or have found) that even being on the correct side of a road or highway WILL make a difference in the driving directions offered. So selecting your coordinates for your Favorites or Custom POIs, precisely, will make a big difference. You can use the satellite views to place your points very accurately.


HOW TO SET UP GOOGLE MAPS WITH THE MAPPLETS

This is quite easy.

  • Go to http://maps.google.com
  • Click on Tab 'My Maps' then 'Browse the directory'

  • Find 'Position Finder' (first page) and click on 'Add it to Maps'

  • Click on 'Back to Google Maps' (top left of page)


You will now find in your 'My Maps' area (on left) a category named
'Created by others' in which your mapplets will appear.

Box check it and then proceed normally with a search, zooming in on your target in the satellite mode, then click your selected position. Your coordinates will appear.

Please note that the coordinates presented by Google are in the convention of latitude first then longitude. This is OK for hand entering coordinates into your nuvi but if later you plan to use Custom POIs you must use the convention longitude first then latitude when preparing them. But, when you use the above technique, having the 'Send' transfer the information to your nuvi's Favorites, they get automatically reversed.

The coordinates of this particular point can be hand entered to your nüvi and later made as a Favorite [See article ARE YOU COORDINATED? - Obtaining and Using Coordinates in Your GPS] or copied for use in preparing a Custom POI using your .csv or .gpx techniques [See Custom POI section (many articles) on this WEB site starting HERE.]

NEW: One can also send these coordinates directly to your nüvi device from Google by using the Kevin White Work Around Method discussed in THE WHITE SOLUTION FOR THE GOOGLE per-PLEX - Another Technique For Sending Google Locations To Your nüvi presented later on page 5.


You will also find using this Position Finder technique highly useful when verifying other people's Custom POI lists, making sure that the coordinates are correctly entered for a
road position (many aren't) that your Garmin software can use correctly.


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

INFORMATION ON GOOGLE MAPPLET "GPS LOCATION"

[I am borrowing most of the following description from a GPS/Golf article that appears on page 7. I will ask you to just think of "Hole 1" as being a road location to which you can drive (no pun intended.)]

  • First center your desired location in Google Maps. You accomplish this with a right click and then choose "center" from menu. Remember to zoom in first to make your choice more accurate.

  • Now utilize the 'GPS Location' technique, a Google Maps application, previously set up. This will allow you to accurately pin point any spot on a Google Map to provide accurate coordinates. GPS Location is a handy app (mapplet) that you may want to employ.

    • To quickly add 'GPS Location', at Google Maps, click on 'My Maps', 'Browse the Directory', find 'GPS Location' (currently 2nd row down on right side - but it may move position), click 'Add to Maps', Back Button out;

  • To activate 'GPS Location' (while showing your map of interest), click on My Maps (left side of page under Google icon) and check 'GPS Location' box. A flag will immediately appear at the location which you previously centered;

  • You now highlight and copy the lat/long coordinates that appears in the balloon, in this experimental case it is 39.193218, -77.144494.

  • You then paste these coordinates into the Google Maps search box and press 'Search Maps.' This is an important step that must be done before you press the 'Send' button. [Remember for the purpose of this information you are pretending that this "golf spot" is acutally a street location]

You can use the newer Google technique of "What's Here?" [instead of the discussed mapplet, 'GPS Location'] to send the coordinates of a location to the seach box as pictured above. See yellow box at the beginning of this article. Then, continue with the rest of this article.

  • You NOW press 'Send' (either in the appearing balloon or at the top of the map)

  • You make sure your nüvi is connected to my computer through the USB port.

  • In the new window click 'GPS', then make sure the 'Name' is correct (Hole #1 -- actually, your choice of the name of the Favorite), Garmin is selected, write any notes you want such as hazards or hints phone numbers, house colors, etc., and then click 'Send';

  • Garmin Communicator (currently v 2.7.1 -- you need to have this installed on your hard drive) will now open. You check the nüvi box, put your cursor over the 'Send to GPS', and click;

You will be informed that you were successful.




  

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