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Garmin and OpenStreetMap

 
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ega95jch
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Joined: Jan 29, 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:17 pm    Post subject: Garmin and OpenStreetMap Reply with quote

I've been using OSM on Garmin devices very successfully for many years now. One thing that's always puzzled me is what Garmin's position is on people using OSM in their receivers.

They're notoriously protective of their proprietary maps and firmware (I read on another forum that they've even brought legal action against individual people pirating their intellectual property).

As a fairly non-technical person, I understand that back in the day some enterprising hackers reverse engineered some Garmin code in order that non-Garmin maps could be used. Why didn't/couldn't Garmin stop that?

I also understand that Garmin now even uses OSM in some of its map products. So is there a somewhat fraught and uneasy relationship between the two, or is it a good example of real world cooperation?

I'd be very interested in other people's takes on this!
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Dabri
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Joined: Aug 30, 2006
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ega95jch, I have a Talky Toaster OSM (1.18 GB) installed on my 3598; it's on an SD card, in a folder named 'Map'. It appears as an option in MyMaps and works well as a detailed UK map, although it may not give the same routes as Garmin if used as a routable map, i.e. use Garmin map to plan route, then use OSM; that way the speed limits also show. A few years ago, circa 2015, Garmin units would use OSM maps, but issued a 'not charging battery' type warning, but not now, it seems.
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Dabri.
Navman iCN530T; Garmin 760T v4.80; Garmin 765T v4.00; Garmin 2460LMT v3.60; Samsung S3;
Garmin 3598LMT-D v5.50; Samsung J6.
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ega95jch
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Joined: Jan 29, 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dabri

I've used Talky Toaster's maps, as well as those from lots of other providers. My favourite at the moment is the UK and Ireland map from OpenMapChest. I've been using OSM for maybe six or seven years.

I use an SP2720 and an SP2610 and I've not noticed any conflicts or warnings with OSM compared with City Navigator maps. I love the way they look and are rendered, especially the OpenMapChest on the 2720 - lovely rendering of forests and a really nice night mode. If there's a downside, it's that there's so much detail and consequently the coverage is small. I've got an OSM map of all Europe on MapSource and it's almost 14GB in size! Of course, you can peel off around 1.8GB worth at a time and make up your own mapsets!

What I'm curious about is why Garmin allowed this (or maybe they couldn't do anything about it at a practical level?) I'm not complaining, of course, as I'm a fan of both Garmin (or more accurately, used to be) and OSM. I actively contribute and map for OSM, and I think it's an awesome project. I'm not aware of other manufacturers' units where you can use OSM - indeed, I know it's not possible with TomTom, because of the code they use.

Why would Garmin then use code that was 'vulnerable', so to speak? Why would a company that is very protective of its maps and firmware use code that was possible to hack?

I'm really curious!
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MaFt
Pocket GPS Staff
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 14702
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the end of the day if you're using OSM on a Garmin device then you're not 'hacking' anything. Their maps (Here Maps (formerly Nokia Maps, formerly NavTeq)) are still intact and you're not editing them in anyway. You've paid for access to the maps and for the device. They have their money and, so long as you're not pirating the official maps, then you're not doing anything wrong. The fact the OSM maps work and are detected as valid maps implies they're happy for people to use alternative map sources.
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