On updating a Garmin Nuvi

How to update your Garmin GPS Units


As an owner of Garmin Nuvi GPS units for well over a decade I have wanted to update the maps on the devices a couple of times. In the past I updated the maps installed on the Nuvi 200W and 250W units at least twice, the last being in 2010.

Installing the Garmin Express application on a PC shows I have the option to purchase either a one-time map update for $50, or a “lifetime” update for $90. Being that I also have both a Android and iPhone with free mapping and navigation software on the devices the prospect of paying for something I can have for free does not endear me to Garmin’s update path.

So after cruising the Web for a while I discovered that it is possible to update the maps on my Nuvi’s – for free – easily.

The Nuvi’s have two storage elements, the internal flash drive, and an add-inĀ  SD card slot, limited to 4Gb on the 205W.

We are fortunate to have programmers on the Web who have adapted the OSM maps for use on the Nuvi’s.

The one I settled on is the one provided by “Lambertus” which is available at: : https://daveh.dev.openstreetmap.org/garmin/Lambertus/2019-01-14/

A user will note there are several versions of the maps on the site, conveniently listed by date, and size. Since I had a spare 2Gb SD card, I downloaded the one
shown above, formatted the SD card with a Fat 32 partition, created a directory called: Garmin, renamed the downloaded file to: gmapsupp.img,
and copied it to the Garmin directory.

Putting the SD card in the GPS device, and powering it on, automatically switched the ‘in use’ map to the downloaded OSM map instead of the previous
Garmin version. Add back the previously installed map by clicking to make both maps active.

The Garmin Express application opened and suggested I update the installed free system software, not the maps; but based on my experience with Microsoft I
decided not to do that.

All of my ‘favorites’ were still available, and the new map data on the OSM version showed some roads that had been added since my 2010 map had been

So, in short, yes, you can obtain a free update for Garmin maps, online.





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