Friday, April 09, 2010

Too Much Map

I have a Garmin GPS (named "Jill"), and I love it. So much so, that about a year ago, I purchased Garmin's Lifetime Map Update package, providing me with unlimited map updates for the life of the device. Sounds great, right? Well, unfortunately, each map update takes up more disk space than the last, and I have now reached the point where the map updates are now too big for Jill's hard drive. This means Jill can no longer have all of the United States and Canada loaded at once.

Come on, Garmin...what gives? It's not like my GPS is old. It was purchased in December 2007, making it less than two and a half years old. Is it outdated already? I think five years should be a minimum for this sort of thing. We're not already halfway there, and now, Garmin has already cleverly rendered my device obsolete. Garmin makes the best GPS systems, but sheesh...they don't make it easy on you. I guess you can get away with a lot of crap when you're #1.

Now...I do have a couple of options. For one, I could apparently get an SD memory card that's 2GB or larger and install the map on the memory card rather than Jill's internal hard drive. However, I already have a 4GB SD memory card, and I can't get Jill to recognize its existence when I insert it. (Yes, it is the correct size. For Christmas, James gave me a smaller memory card for my phone. Also included in the pack was a larger SD card that, at least in theory, should work with Jill.) If I can ever get the memory card to work, then that's one option.

Another option is to only install part of North America on Jill. Options include all US states except Alaska, all of Canada plus US border states, the eastern half of the continent, and the western half of the continent. Thing is, though...we're making this trip to Alaska in 11 weeks. Do any of the Garmin map installer's options include North Carolina, Alaska, and everything in between? Nope! Considering that the map update is just barely too large, I don't know why it won't let me select a custom area to install. For example, I'm sure that if I removed California, Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada (four states I'm not visiting any time soon) from the install, that it would fit. But does it let me do that? Nope.

There is a program called Garmin MapSource that might let me edit out certain states or areas to reduce the size of the maps, but I've yet to investigate that option. It's either that, get the memory card to work, or postpone the next map update until after the Alaska trip and only install the eastern half of the continent, since we probably won't make it out to the West Coast again for a while. My current maps are from last September, and that's probably good enough for the Alaska trip, especially considering where we're going. At least, I'm assuming they aren't opening a brand new four lane superhighway in the Yukon this year.

UPDATE 12:47 PM: I found a short term fix that at least got me through this update: I freed up some space by removing the Spanish and French language voices (Paulina and Julie, respectively) from the GPS. But will that be enough for the next map update? Probably not.


James Allen said...

The larger card is just a holder for the smaller card, so you can put the smaller card in devices that only support the larger card. It's not two separate cards: you need the small one in the big one for the big one to work.

Chris Allen said...

Oh. Well, that explains that :)

James Allen said...

I'm a cheap bastard; I only got you one card :)
SD cards are cheap on Newegg. If I would have known two days ago, I would have gotten you another one :)