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Streetpilot i3 and Canada Map Data
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channeler
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:17 am    Post subject: Streetpilot i3 and Canada Map Data Reply with quote

I recently bought a streetpilot i3 in the UK and would like to use it in Canada when I go for a holiday. Has anyone any experience of using the i3 with MetroGuide Canada or City Select or City Navigator North America (though the latter two will probably be beyond my budget as they seem very expensive to buy in the UK)? Will all of them give turn by turn voice prompting?
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channeler
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Canada Maps Reply with quote

Thanks for that. Is it essential to load new maps on a new transflash card? Is it not possible to upload/add them onto the existing card on the i3?
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zogman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Streetpilot i3 and Canada Map Data Reply with quote

channeler wrote:
I recently bought a streetpilot i3 in the UK and would like to use it in Canada when I go for a holiday. Has anyone any experience of using the i3 with MetroGuide Canada or City Select or City Navigator North America (though the latter two will probably be beyond my budget as they seem very expensive to buy in the UK)? Will all of them give turn by turn voice prompting?


just looked at my metroguide usa v4.01 (which autoroutes) and it does include the bottom half of canada but not at street level only main roads,so i think in theory you should be able to autoroute in canada with this version...
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channeler
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:52 pm    Post subject: Compatible Transflash Cards Reply with quote

Will transflash cards from other vendors work in the i3? The ones from Garmin seem pretty pricey. Is there anything else I would need to make it all work. I noticed on another post someone referred to a SD adapter. What is this for? Is it easy to remove the existing card? Many thanks for everyones help so far.
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zogman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

any transflash or 'micro' sd card will work in the i3...the cards are small so they need a sd adapter to fit into a card reader/writer .....you then download the maps onto the new card and stick it into the i3.....
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channeler
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:16 pm    Post subject: Transflash Cards Reply with quote

I had previously assumed I could put a new flashcard into the i3 and load the map into it. From what you say it sounds like I may be wrong over this. Do I need a separate reader/writer to put the map on the card? Does a card come with its own adaptor?
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channeler
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:35 pm    Post subject: Streetpilot i3: Maps for Canada Reply with quote

Thanks for everyone's help. I contacted Garmin yesterday as the information about Metroguide Canada on their own and other sites seemed a little ambiguous. As people have mentioned most Metroguide programmes will not provide voice prompts. The discontinued Metroguide USA apparently does. Garmin confirmed that Metroguide Canada will also autoroute and provide voice prompts with the i3.

I agonised over whether to go for Metroguide, City Select North America, or City Navigator North America, though another thing I learned from Garmin is that the City Select North America is going to be discontinued. I tried to find websites reviewing Metroguide and City Navigator. It was easier to find ones on the latter. However I did find a couple of sites that made some comparisons between Metroguide, Select v6 and Navigator and I'm giving them here in case anyone else finds them useful.

http://www.gpscentral.ca/accessories/mapsourcecanadiandifferences.htm

http://www.prairie.mb.ca/mapsource_comp_review.htm

There seemed to be pros and cons. Select and Navigator seem to provide the most accurate autorouting in the big urban areas but lack the detail given in Metroguide re water, rail, smaller towns and their residential roads, and rural area detail. Any one product seems to be a bit of a compromise. In the end because our holiday will be focused on Canada and we will be visiting some small towns/rural areas I've decided to go for the Metroguide Canada Programme and buy a 512 MB transflash card to upload map segments onto. I'm getting it from the UK.

Does anyone know will the 12 volt car adaptor work in Canadian cars?

The next step I'll have to take is to explore the possibilities for Europe as we visit France on a regular basis, though I'd be reluctant to pay out for the individual cards Garmin seem to be bringing out for different regions of Europe. I seem to remember reading somewhere in the forum that the whole europe programmes aren't readilly available here. Think I'll keep a look out while I'm in Canada to see if I can find one.
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zogman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice bit of info channeler..the 12 volt adaptors are universal mate...
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channeler
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:32 am    Post subject: MetroGuide Canada v4 and i3 Reply with quote

I've now received the MetroGuide Canada CD and have started to do some early planning for our Canada holiday.

Thought it might be useful to describe my experience to date of using it with the i3 in case anyone else is thinking of buying the CD. Some of the issues might also be relevant for other software with the i3; I'm not sure if this will be the case.

As someone said the whole pocess of uploading the maps onto the i3 was very straightforward. As the maps in total were only around 326 MB I was able to select the maps for the whole of Canada and upload them onto the new 512 MB transflash card I had bought for the i3.

The main thing I wanted to do at this point was to start to enter some locations that we will want to visit as favourites. There may have been other ways to go about this by creating waypoints or routes using the software in my pc. I'm not sure if such information would have been accessible to the i3 once uploaded. Anyhow the simplest option for me was to create favourites and as Zogman said I found the i3 stores them in internal memory.

There is no postcode search with MetroGuide Canada so the process of setting locations in the i3 is not as simple. When I first started to create favourites I selected the relevant province, then the city and started searching for roads. I soon found myself in difficulty. I was using postal addresses but I discovered that the software index for the maps splits cities up into districts for searching. So for instance you could look for a road in Victoria as that was the given address, but the road would not show up because the index was treating the road as not being in Victoria but within a particular city subdistrict. If you don't have an intimate knowledge of Canadian administrative districts it becomes difficult to find the relevant one. As I could look at the maps on my pc this meant I could look at some district names and take a guess at which might be the right one and then sometimes I was able to find the road.

The other workaround I found was that even if I couldn't find a road I could often find a "city" looking at the maps on my pc which would bring me close enough to my destination. Finding this city in an i3 search however was something different altogether, as many small "cities" will not show up in a general search. You can only find them through searching for nearby cities starting from a bigger city. So for one city I was looking for I had to start at Calgary look for nearby cities and then select one in the general direction of the one I wanted, then searching nearby cities from this new location.

After struggling a bit with all this I contacted Garmin for support and received some helpful advice. The main thing I was advised to do was to start with a province but instead of then selecting a city to do a "Search All" instead. This has made things much easier. Although the i3 then gives you a list of similar addresses throughout Canada the list is usually short enough to find the address you want.

One puzzling thing is that I can't seem to find ferry terminals in poi. Lots of other things show up. I have managed to get around this by selecting nearby roads. Overall map detail seems good for my purposes, but I have come across comments that it is a little inaccurate/out of date (2003?) for some areas. Calgary has been mentioned in particular. However, some of the roads I wanted just aren't there on City Navigator North America. MetroGuide has much more residential detail especially away from the big cities. It also documents rivers and lakes better and I can imagine that this will be useful in some situations where you are trying to get a clear fix on your location. We'll see.
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channeler
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:48 am    Post subject: MetroGuide Canada v4 and i3 Reply with quote

In the last but one paragraph in my post above I meant to say that you get a list of similar addresses throughout a Canadian province, not "throughout Canada".
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channeler
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: MetroGuide Canada v4 and streetpilot i3 Reply with quote

Now back from our two weeks holiday in Canada. Metroguide got us from Victoria to Calgary with turn by turn voice commands. It was particularly valuable of course in getting us to locations in the cities and urban areas. As some people on other sites had commented that the maps around Calgary were out of date I was expecting some problems there but in actual fact I found it accurate for the roads we travelled. As an example I wanted to visit the GPS Central while in Calgary and it took us straight to their door.

The main area we experienced some map inaccuracies was around the Kelowna area which is hardly surprising as there is a lot of residential development going on there and there were some new roads or changes to road layouts. However, even if we found ourselves off the map temporarilly it wasn't too much of a problem. One quirk was when we were driving to Calgary airport. I used the poi to locate the airport and the i3 took us to the perimeter road but not the access road. This was a bit of a nuisance as the airport was not particularly well signed either so it took us a little time to find the road in. It would obviously have been better if the poi had located the access road. I'll be watching for that issue in future. The other issue was that the i3 decided to take us cross country from Calgary through a first nations reservation to get us back to the b&b where we were staying. As it had been raining heavy and the road was unpaved, we found ourselves negotiating the car through a lot of mud, though it got us home. I would want to make sure it was going to stick to highways in the future.

I had decided to buy an external aerial before going mainly in case the rental car had a heated screen. It didn't. I did use the aerial once to speed up satellite acquisition, but didn't bother after that; reception was good. One thing I did find was that it was best not to start the route calculation process too soon when leaving ferries or multi storey car parks as the i3 couldn't acquire satellites and then that would cause the process to hang.

I'm really glad we had Metroguide Canada. overall it guided us around with great accuracy and saved a lot of the usual stress of navigating.

Paul
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zogman
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: MetroGuide Canada v4 and streetpilot i3 Reply with quote

channeler wrote:

I'm really glad we had Metroguide Canada. overall it guided us around with great accuracy and saved a lot of the usual stress of navigating.

Paul


nice one mate ..i to found a satnav invalueble whilst in the states on two occasions doing 2500 miles on each trip..even finding the nearest walmart/kmart so easily kept the wife happy....
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portman
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for all the info, i'm off to Toronto in May.
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