Laptop GPS setup in New Zealand
I have a HP TC1100 tablet PC and I recently bought a USB GPS receiver. Can somebody recommend me a good navigation software and updated maps for New Zealand / Auckland. I am using Win XP Pro Sp2. I am not fussy about graphics , all I want is a reliable, fast, friendly software which will allow easy auto routing, voice turn by turn guidance and updated maps especially for Auckland. Thank you very much for helping me.
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Kenzo,

Welcome to Laptop GPS World.

If I lived in New Zealand, I would really look into the possibility of getting the new Garmin Mobile PC. It currently sells only with North American and European map data, but it may be possible to either buy additional Garmin map for various parts of the world - likely even New Zealand (check website), or there may even be 3rd party map data (Garmin-compatible) available.

The question is: Will the Garmin map, or 3rd party map, work with your Garmin Mobile PC? I'm not 100% sure (yet) as I'm hearing contradictory answers to this question. But several people have reported no problem. The last person I heard was a fellow in Singapore, who had no problem using 3rd party Garmin-compatible map data (from, in his Garmin Mobile PC.

Anyone else from New Zealand around here? What GPS software do you use? Any other recommendations?
Ken in Regina
Hi Kenzo,

Availability of decent map data is usually the most significant factor in your decision. Garmin has a New Zealand product, City Navigator New Zealand 2008. It appears to contain fairly recent data. If you click on the link in the upper right corner of this page you can look at it in the online map viewer. The online viewer does not show you everything that you will see in the actual map set. It's just there to give you an idea what the coverage is like. If you zoom in tight enough you can see that there are lots of Points Of Interest (stores, gas stations, municipal buildings, etc.). It shows a golf course in Christchurch (probably more than one but there was only one in the section I zoomed in on). That's usually a good sign that someone has mapped the parks and other green spaces in.

I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work in Garmin's Mobile PC. I am playing with the free trial version of Mobile PC and I'm able to use some older Garmin maps (Topo Canada and Metroguide Canada). They display beautifully. If the older map products work that's usually a good indicator that it will tolerate pretty much any of their newer maps.

Hi guys,

Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. Now if I understand correctly, do i need to install Garmin Mobile PC and than Garmin city navigator ( maps ) or the second one is stand alone and doesn't require the first one? I also went online and noticed this product is for sale in US, can not find it anywhere in NZ. Cheers,

Ken in Regina
Hi Ken,

You can buy and use the City Navigator map products standalone. The DVD comes with a program called MapSource so you can install the maps and MapSource on your PC and use the maps for trip planning. MapSource has a lot of interesting features, like searching, calculating routes, etc. It has pretty much all the same sorts of features for non-GPS use that programs like Streets&Trips and Street Atlas have, although the interface and map display aren't quite as rich.

There is a program called nroute that is available for free download from Garmin that can be used on a laptop, tablet or whatever (Windows XP or Vista) with a GPS receiver for navigation purposes. It has a similar interface for the non-GPS features as MapSource. The navigation functions are a lot like some of Garmin's older GPS units .. a sparse interface but lots of excellent features.

nroute will only work with GPS data in Garmin's proprietary format. There are two ways to get that. One is to buy a Garmin GPS receiver (USB or Bluetooth). The other is to buy a third-party receiver that outputs the data in NMEA format and use Franson's GPSGate utility to convert it to Garmin format for nroute. I'm using the Streets&Trips USB receiver with Franson's GPSGate to feed nroute on my laptop and it works great.

I have used Mapsource to compile maps that I already have installed on my PC for use with Mobile PC. I have already created another thread in the Garmin nroute/Mobile PC forum comparing nroute and Mobile PC.

I hope this all helps.

Ive tested Garmin Mobile PC with the open source maps from here for New Zealand, and they work fine. I'm working on trying to mirror the NZ maps on my server, too.
I've got mine up and running with some open source NZ maps and the software you guys recommended. It's working fine but sometimes the map is not very accurate. Thanks for the help, much appreciated. About