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Discussion Starter #1
I've just started using my garmin zumo the last 3 days and came on some interesting map quirkiness. The map software was updated to 2009 specs in June 2008... (yes, it sat on the shelf for a while) kind of make you wonder what you actually get in a map update.

Three observations: 1)Ronald Reagan Blvd. extension was displayed as text at the top of the display but motorcycle icon was traveling off road. No ronald Reagan Blvd on the map.

2) Yesterday, we were riding in the hill country and were following a Farm road that was dead on until we came to a divergance where the motorcycle icon was riding off to the left of the road. Again, off in a field. The Garmin was telling me to proceed 200 yards to the right to get back on the road! After a time the the motorcycle icon rejoined the road on the map. The only thing I could see was that the road was improved with a shoulder and when we merged back onto the original road, it didn't have a shoulder. This would indicate that sometime back, the county moved the road from it's original track. Garmin hasn't updated that in its mapping program.

3) When i was coming home from a friends house, I decided to let the garmin direct me. On the way to the friends house everything was perfect, but on the way home, it was telling me about an exit that was moved farther south probably 5 years ago. It still was telling me that I had 1.9 miles to go when I reached the exit. it was not updated to show the moved exit location.

4) My wife and I started looking at the fast food listings on the Garmin and noticed that they were showing a Long John silvers restaraunt where a Churches chicken restaurant has existed for at least 3 years.

What this all boils down to is - How accurate are Garmin GPS's? On three different days, I came across 3 different anomolies. How many years out of date are the maps used? When you buy a 2009 update, what year version of reality are you actually getting? 2004?
 

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I would say 3 to 4 years out. Any GPS is just a guide not to be taken as a true fact. I just ignore the glitches and don't worry about them. My Zumo has been pretty accurate so far in the last year and a half I have used it. Way more accurate than the Honda Navi on the bike that suppose to have the same maps.
 

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I don't know if I am right, but I think it all depends on the location. Different areas do a better job of updating their data and furnishing it to the map vendors. Locally they have updated new roads, including where I live, within 2-3 years. I have found mistakes as I have traveled that have to have been wrong for quite some time. There is bound to be a lag from the time a road is built to when the local maps and data are updated and made available to the map vendors and then for the map vendors to distribute the data to GPS companies for providing updates to users.
 

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The problem originates with the data that NavTeq supplies Garmin. They have been notorious for having errors in their data. Some of the other brand GPS units use data from TeleAtlas, and it is reported to have a lot less errors in it, and is generally more accurate.

When you find an error, you need to report it to NavTeq directly. Reporting it to Garmin is generally a waste of time. You need to go back to the source.

http://www.navteq.com/
 

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While in Memphis this week, noticed that hwy 304 to hwy 72 is not on the maps , (2008 ) this road has been opened for 3 years..

Have also noticed accuracy off on other roads too..

Not fail safe, but better then nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The problem originates with the data that NavTeq supplies Garmin. They have been notorious for having errors in their data. Some of the other brand GPS units use data from TeleAtlas, and it is reported to have a lot less errors in it, and is generally more accurate.

When you find an error, you need to report it to NavTeq directly. Reporting it to Garmin is generally a waste of time. You need to go back to the source.

http://www.navteq.com/

Lordy! They expect us to tell them about errors in their maps, so they can sell us a new update?

http://mapreporter.navteq.com/dur-web-external/secured/submitDur.do?userType=CONSUMER&language=en

I suppose that this is all part of the learning curve. I still carry a current State and Road Atlas in the trunk. I guess if I got really lost, I could consult those.
 

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Center street in Madisonville, KY has been a one way street since the late 70's and Garmin will try to send you down it the wrong way. I like my Garmin, but it has way too many errors in the mapping program.
 

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As others have said, it all depends on the area. When I had my Quest, it had roads that had only existed for a bit over a year. It was missing other changes that were years old. I think the worst I heard about was something like 20 years out of date.

It really only becomes a problem when you're in an unfamiliar area and using the GPS to route to an address. Even then it usually isn't too much of a problem as long as the GPS knows the address itself. Common sense says that if there's no road to turn on, you continue until there IS a road and that when the GPS recalculates it sends you on a new path where the roads are older and DO exist.

Another option is to hit the detour button.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It really only becomes a problem when you're in an unfamiliar area and using the GPS to route to an address. Even then it usually isn't too much of a problem as long as the GPS knows the address itself. Common sense says that if there's no road to turn on, you continue until there IS a road and that when the GPS recalculates it sends you on a new path where the roads are older and DO exist.

Another option is to hit the detour button.

Yes, I'm figuring that out. The GPS was purchased for use in unfamiliar areas, trips across country etc... If it was 90% accurate, I think that would be ok, I was hoping for something a little more reliable with changes incorporated up to say 5 years ago? I guess I'm suffering from overzealous expectations!
 

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Like Fred said it's nothng to do with Garmin they distribute what they are given by NavTeq it's there fault, my old subdivision wasn't on the maps for years I contacted navtec they said to tell my city to submit there was a new subdivision built, the city had not submitted updates for years , they did the subdivision was added the next year, when I was in Illinois there were lots of errors even with many interstates that were years old
 

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Lordy! They expect us to tell them about errors in their maps, so they can sell us a new update?...
Do you get free updated versions of your street atlas and road maps, too? :lol:

If everyone reported these types of errors to NavTeq when they find them, the updates might be worth the purchase price. Since most people either just ignore the errors or come here and complain without doing anything to correct it, they stay in the database year after year.

GPS users have to take some responsibility for this - no map vendor can keep on top of all of the changes.
 

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When it comes to map data, I don't think you can say that a certain update is X amount of years out of date. I'm sure that when an update is released, it contains all of the updated data that is available to them. I have seen many streets and POIs that didn't exist a year earlier, but yet they were correct on my 550 when I bought it. But in contrast, I have one major street near me that was re-routed over 10 years ago, and it is still wrong on the maps.

They are still better than they were 5 years ago, and 5 years from now, they will probably be even better.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do you get free updated versions of your street atlas and road maps, too? :lol:

If everyone reported these types of errors to NavTeq when they find them, the updates might be worth the purchase price. Since most people either just ignore the errors or come here and complain without doing anything to correct it, they stay in the database year after year.

GPS users have to take some responsibility for this - no map vendor can keep on top of all of the changes.
You are of course correct. I'm wining because of what I paid for the GPS unit, and a 1 year map update. Try comparing that to the price of a current state map and road atlas for 1 year. I think you get the idea...
 

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You are of course correct. I'm wining because of what I paid for the GPS unit, and a 1 year map update. Try comparing that to the price of a current state map and road atlas for 1 year. I think you get the idea...
If a paper map or road atlas had even 10% of the data that it takes to make a GPS database, you wouldn't be able to get it for anywhere near the price you pay for it now. In fact, there is nothing accurate about paper maps. They only give a general idea of where a road is at.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Based on my comments in my original posting (#3 item) I did zoom in on the map as close as it would go on the zumo and it did show the exit ramp in the correct location but the voice command and the distance reading were still saying 1.3 miles to exit. So...

The map was updated but the voice and distance weren't?

How does that disconnect happen?
 

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If a paper map or road atlas had even 10% of the data that it takes to make a GPS database, you wouldn't be able to get it for anywhere near the price you pay for it now. In fact, there is nothing accurate about paper maps. They only give a general idea of where a road is at.
I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a $500 gps to be more accurate than a 5 dollar atlas. :shrug:
 
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