Can I use the GB Discoverer series maps with Garmin Mobile PC?
Hi, hope you are all well.

I'm very new to laptopgps & am in need of advise on set up. I already have a Dell Inspiron 910 with Windows XP SP3, 1GB Ram & a 1.6GHz processor. I also have (not installed yet) Garmin Mobile PC (software only version) & a non-Garmin USB GPS receiver.

I do lots of off roading in my truck so am interested in the GB Discoverer maps as they show off road trails. So the question is, can I use the GB Discoverer series maps with MobilePC or Mapsource to "live" navigate with (I'm assuming the downloadable map will come with Mapsource) or, if not, is there a way of making it work, eg. I've read some threads on reversing the map type to something called nSource?

Thanks in advance

GB Discoverer from Garmin appears to be for handheld devices only. That means it would be available only as a precompiled mapset on a microSD card. These files cannot be decompiled by normal means and are not usable by MapSource. Unfortunately, although Mobile PC uses the same type of compiled maps, you would not be able to unlock them for use with Mobile PC.

I doubt if Mobile PC is compatible with Discoverer maps.
You can browse Discoverer maps with BaseCamp, it will read your map from cardreader.
Ok... what if I were to forget about the MobilePC then.
If I got a Garmin Topo map on CD... would that work? Or would I need Mapsource for that?
Thank you
Ken in Regina
Garmin Basics 101

1. Mapsource is a program for viewing maps, managing maps, loading maps onto your Garmin handheld devices, managing waypoints ("Favorites"). routes and tracks, and planning trips. It's free.

2. Mapsource is not a navigation program, e.g. it does not do realtime navigation. You can't hook a GPS to it.

3. Mapsource comes with most of Garmin's map products. If the product is named things like Mapsource City Navigator or Mapsource Topo Canada, etc. that simply means that the Mapsource program is included on the CD/DVD with the maps so you can view them when you install them on the PC.

4. In case you haven't already figured it out from the above, it's worth stating directly that you should not get confused between the program named "Mapsource" and the map products that also have the name "Mapsource" on them. In the map products, all that means is that the Mapsource program comes with them as part of the package. But you don't need to use it. You can just as easily use Basecamp to do all the same things.

5. Basecamp does all of the things in points 1 and 2 above but it does not come with any of the map products. You normally have to download it from Garmin. It's free.

6. Basecamp works better with some of the newer Garmin navigation devices for some functions. If some feature of Mapsource doesn't seem to be working with your Garmin navigation device, you can try Baseceamp and it will often work.

7. Garmin Mobile PC is a realtime navigation program. It's kind of like stuffing a Garmin Nuvi into your PC ... very similar features, functions and user interface.

8. You can use Mapsource and MapInstall (comes with Basecamp) to install maps into Mobile PC just as if it is a Garmin navigation device.

9. Garmin delivers maps in three formats:
9a. CD or DVD - these maps can be installed on the PC and used in Mapsource or Basecamp for viewing, planning, loading to Garmin navigation devices, etc. They can actually be installed on multiple PCs, like your desktop at home and your laptop for travelling. You use either Mapsource or MapInstall (in Basecamp) to load these maps onto your Garmin navigation device.

9b. microSD cards - these maps can only be used in a Garmin handheld device. You can stick the card in any Garmin navigation device that uses a microSD card or (with adapter) SD card and they will work. They are not intended to be used on the PC. The maps on the card are stored in a different format than the ones that come on the CD/DVD. You cannot copy these maps to anything else because they are locked to the card. If the card is lost or damaged you are out of luck; you need to buy a new one.

9c. Download - these maps are in the same format as the ones on the microSD card so they also are not designed to be used on the PC. They are designed to be installed on one Garmin navigation device and that's it. They are unlocked to that single device only, by it's serial number or it's unit ID. They will not work with anything else. You can make backup copies of the downloaded file and the unlock code so that you can reload them onto the device if they ever get damaged or deleted from the device.
10. As has been stated, once the microSD maps (9b) or downloaded maps (9c) have been loaded onto a Garmin navigation device, you can connect that device to your PC and use Basecamp to view those maps. It's a little slow because of the USB link to the device but it will work. Mapsource cannot do this.

I hope that helps.

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