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Looking for laptop GPS software for Mexico
KROD
I am looking for GPS receiver and software for my laptop that has good street level mapping for Mexico. I am thinking that Garmin, MS S&T or Delorme Street Atlas would be the best place to start.

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated

Ken
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Ken,

Welcome to Laptop GPS World.

Yes, the programs you've mentioned would be a good starting point. I think they all contain the main roads and highways, but street level coverage may be limited to only a couple of most important cities.

Which locations do you need the coverage for?
KROD
I will be driving from Nogales to Manzanillo so the main cities of interest would be Colima and Guadalajara. I thought that seeing as there are good detail city maps on Mapquest, somebody would have used these maps for a GPS program.

I am leaning toward Delorme Street Atlas because it appears that the Mexican Atlas adds some detail.

Thaks for your reply
Ken
Marvin Hlavac
KROD, in the new Garmin Mobile PC I only see major roads and highways in Mexico. I see no local coverage even in major cities. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 has major roads and highways across the country, and street-lever map data for Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara. I haven't been able to check DeLorme Street Atlas 2009. I'll look later, and I'll let you know. It for sure has major roads and highways, I'm just not sure about street-lever map data, but I'll let you know - unless someone with DeLorme Street Atlas 2009 is kind enough to check it for you earlier.
KROD
Thanks for the reply Marvin. I sent a message off to Mapquest to see if they supplied maps for any GPS programs that I could load on to my lap top, as they have very good street level maps in Mexico. Mapquest advised that they have nothing available at this time. It seems that Delorme Street Atlas is about as good as it gets for now. Too bad because Mapquest has very good coverage!

Ken
Ken in Regina
Hi Ken,

I just took a fast look at Street Atlas USA 2008+. It shows lots of roads and highways in those cities but there are no names on any of the streets so I'm not sure how much good it would be. If they have a separate atlas for Mexico that might be worth looking at.

Another option is just buy any package that strikes your fancy as long as it has a good GPS receiver with it. Everyone seems to really like the new LT40 that comes with the DeLorme package. I have the one from Streets&Trips and it works well also. Then subscribe to Google Earth Plus. It will hold up to 2GB in its disk cache so all you have to do is connect online with it, explore the areas you plan to visit so that the details will be in the cache and then you can use it offline when you are there.

There is a thread about Google Earth Plus in this same forum if you want to see a little more about it.

...ken... (the other one!)
KROD
Thanks Ken,

I think I will do as you suggest and go with Delorme. There seems to be some options for step two.

Ken
Ken in Regina
Ken,

If you're interested in looking at a product like Garmin's Mobile PC, which so far looks to be yards ahead of the others, I just discovered they have a new Mexico map product.

If you look up in the upper righthand corner of that page you will see a small box that says "MapSource Map Viewer". There's a link in there to City Navigator Mexico NT. You can use that to browse the map online and see if it's what you need.

It looks like they've got that map linked to their older map viewer server so it doesn't always display the map when you zoom or pan so you have to refresh it once or twice to persuade it to display the next view. If you run into the problem please do take a moment to email tech support and bitch about it. They're probably tired of hearing about it from me.

The performance of the online viewer, and also the quality of the display, shouldn't deter you. Mobile PC looks absolutely gorgeous, even with my old Metroguide Canada maps from 2003 data. The online viewer is just to give you a way to check out the usefulness of the data it contains. When I zoomed in fairly tight in Guadalajara I could even see a whole bunch of Points Of Interest, like stores, restaurants, motels, gas stations, ATMs and so on.

For what it's worth, I have a bit of a bias towards Garmin and they have confirmed it again with Mobile PC. Right now I have DeLorme's Street Atlas USA 2008+ and Microsoft's Streets&Trips USA 2008 on my laptop. I also have Garmin's nroute and Garmin's Mobile PC plus a bunch of Garmin's map products (for my Garmin iQue 3600 integrated GPS/Palm PDA). As I mentioned above, I think Mobile PC is better than the others for nav use. That's no surprise. The others have generally been trip planning products that have had navigation sort of tacked on. At least that's the way they feel. Garmin has been focussed on navigation - on land, sea and air - from the beginning, and it shows.

I hope this helps.

...ken...
KROD
Ken,

Your reply was timely, I was looking at suppliers for Street Atlas and came across Garmins Mexico maps. They look as good or better than Delorme Street Atlas. Now the question is, what is the best way to use Garmin maps.

Ken
Ken in Regina
The beauty of Garmin's maps is that there are so many ways to use them. If you want to use a Laptop or UMPC, their Mobile PC product would be the way to go.

If you want just an in-car nav system that is easy to mount and large enough but not too large, their Street Pilot line gets good reviews. If you want something that also adds a little more portable use, the GPSMap 3xx series would be a good choice.

If you want something more in the personal nav line that still works well in a car, their Nuvi line is good. My friend has had one for a couple of years. He's used it in the UK and in Mexico, as well as all over the US and Canada. In his car, on his motorcycle and in his pocket. He is still satisfied it was the right choice for him.

If you want personal nav that's more rugged than the Nuvi the GPSmap 6x or 7x series are good choices. If you want really rugged and waterproof then look at the Colorado series.

All of the ones I've mentioned allow use of any Garmin map products on them. Most of them have at least one model that allows loading on an SD or micro-SD card for even more flexibility and ease of switching maps.

So many choices, so little money...

...ken...
KROD
Thanks for the positive feed back because I just ordered Mobile PC. I am looking forward to trying it with the local maps and if I like it I will get the Mexico maps later. I order4ed it from GPSmart in Toronto. Their price was $104.45 plus $12 shipping. It was cheaper from the US but if they start adding on customs and tax the price becomes very close.

Ken
Ken in Regina
Make sure you can install the City Navigator North America on your PC with Mapsource.

Mapsource is a planning and map compilation program that comes with all Garmin's map products. It allows you to compile mapsets from multiple different map products. In my case I have a combo mapset that includes Metroguide Canada for Canadian coverage, a slice of the northern half of the continental US taken from City Navigator North America and a few choice segments of Topo Canada from southwest Alberta and southern BC for when I'm tooling around in the Rockies.

In your case, when you get City Navigator Mexico you can use Mapsource to create a combo mapset with City Navigator North America for the US coverage and City Navigator Mexico for the Mexican coverage. That's in a single mapset so you don't need to monkey around changing maps on the road.

...ken...
KROD
Ken,

Thanks for the heads up. Of course the obvious question is how, but I expect that will be answered when I get my pkge. If I can't figure it out you will be the third one to know!!! Garmin will be second!!

Ken
tcassidy
Be warned!
Ensure the copy of NT maps you order is compatible with Mobile PC. Contact Garmin before you order the Mexico maps to find the appropriate part number for the Mobile PC.

They have changed the format of the product and the standard CNNA NT 2009 update is not compatible with Mobile PC or Mobile 10.

This probably applies to the Mexico map product as well. Garmin can give you the right part number. Then its up to you to find who will carry it as Garmin does not ship to Canada.

Terry
tcassidy
If it is the right part number (010-10744-00), GpsCity.ca has the best price for the Mexico map (and no PST). As it is the 2008 version, it is probably ok but I would confirm that with Garmin (1-866-429-9296).

Terry
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