GPS...TomTom, Garmin or Navman..or...?


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Apr 30, 2017
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looking for a car GPS...easily updatable (Linux PC)

Lifetime map updates would probably be good

I will be using it in Australia

I am clueless....I have never owned one and have never operated one.

I have noticed that Garmin charge for their updates (?).....and their pc app is only able to be downloaded to either windows or mac

Does anybody have any experience of these contraptions ?

Any brand that you have experience of is fine with me....I am not limiting this to the brands above

Hey Brian! I am not familiar with mobile GPS devices (no more than you've already said above). But how is Google Maps down under? I have my own personal love-hate relationship with Google, but their Maps app works great for me.

I have a smart phone and use the GPS on that and it works as good as the stand alone GPS devices imo. maps works as good as gold in Oz....however I want something with a bit of pizazz, a bit of flair. I mainly have it in mind for my wife, Te. She has not held a drivers licence before, and when we eventually get back to Oz, she will be doing the driving instructor bit to get herself licenced. aim is to make life as easy as possible for her to navigate wherever we happen to buy a home etc

Also....the roads around Sydney are now like a spaghetti factory.....and I could do with a little help myself in that part of the country.

I am going to buy a semi nice car when I get back, so it will have a bit of snaz on the dashboard !

I spotted this : TomTom Go 620

any comments ?

surely someone on the forum must own one ? !
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so it will have a bit of snaz on the dashboard
I don't know about Oz, but things like that are often stolen here.... after they smash your window. :mad:

My wife has a semi-nice car (Honda Accord) and it has a display built into the dash that displays.... you guessed it, Google Maps (when she connects her phone to the car system). Just something to think about! :D
The Tom Tom I have and it's an old one and if I remember it would only update using Windows although that may have changed.

I think either Garmin or Tom Tom you can't go wrong.

Most new vehicles offer a navigation package and may come equipped as a standard package although I'm sure that there will be a yearly fee for the service that keeps it updated.
Thats interesting, @atanere .....I haven't had a semi nice car for quite some time....well in excess of 15 years....(divorces have kept me poor) I have lost touch with some of the inclusions that are now regarded as 'normal'.

I have it in mind (so far) to look for a Nissan X-Trail, os I may find what I am looking for already installed. It appears to depend on the model selected.....I will figure it out. (research research)

@poorguy .....I did read a few articles that mentioned that update thing with windows etc, but then read on to find that they all update via wireless technology now....including TomTom. I have yet to talk to tiomtom's support, but an email I received back from Garmin assures me that ::

Map & Software updates are available at no cost

Now to find tomtom's support email etc and put them under the blowtorch !

quick uopdate....all I had to do was read the features shown at the link I supplied in post #4....
  • World Maps
  • Speed Cameras
  • TomTom Traffic via Smartphone
  • Hands-free calling
  • MyDrive Cloud App
  • Updates via Wi-Fi
  • Smartphone messages
  • Compatible with Siri and Google Now™
  • Active magnetic mount
The bloody thing just about does everything including making the coffee !

The bloody thing just about does everything including making the coffee !

I'd bet it doesn't make meals like Te makes :)

I know nothing about the subject but am watching to learn.

Stay close....the knowledge is about to flow....hopefully.

Interestingly that tomtom I linked above has a whopping 16GB of grunt !

Internal memory
16 GB

As long as the wifi card has similar strength etc, it should be quite a unit.
But then....I found THIS little gem

The "ethics" shown here by TomTom are not what I wish to associated with, or subjected to.

So....the search continues.
Goodmorning Here's some of my observations for GPS application in a car, of course everyones preference is different.

Yes phone GPS in a car do work great however it can be hard on the phone battery unless of course you have the phone plugged into the car aux socket. My phone heats up alot while using the navigation function so if it is also exposed to the heat of the sun then I fear it might self destruct. I liked the "Here" (Android) app best .

However by far my preferred is a stand alone Garmin car GPS. You can buy a Garmin car GPS with life time maps update however thats not really the winner. The winner is alternative world wide Garmin maps can be readily downloaded free or donation ware. These maps are usually more up to date than the Garmin ones as the Garmin ones are often only updated yearly. Additionally the freebie maps can have a lot more detail although too much detail can be a nuisance. I do find "Lane Assist", a feature of the Garmin proprietry maps a winner, especially in Europe. You can have more than one map stored on the device, selectable in the menu

Bear in mind the optimum screen size is very important for your situation, bigger is not necessarily better, my preferred GPS is a mid range size.

The safest way to use a car GPS is to ignore the screen until U really need it, just rely on the voice instructions then your attention is not constantly being diverted of the road.

Also car GPSs are generally a blokes gadget, my wife and daughter won't use the car GPS but will use their phone GPS, sometimes its hard to have a clear winner.
Thanks for those comments, Marcus (?), and Welcome to

have you used the alternative maps yourself....where do you access those ?....I have looked around a few torrent sites and notice a few there, they seem mostly out of date.

By mid range do you mean 5" or 6" (125mm or 150mm)....

I must admit to having similar reservations as yourself re using my phone on the dashboard.......under the Australian sun overheating is not a case of if...but when.

Under the Australian driving/road rules, even touching a phone while driving brings on a massive fine.
The latest technology allows highway patrol officers to discern whether a driver is using a phone even when they do not have actual sight of that happening

Listening to a voice should suit my dearly beloved.....she is frightened witless of the prospect of driving......this will be her first time....ever. So a sound informing her rather than having to alter the attention focus will hopefully do the job for her. She will start her driving experience in regional NSW, which will at least give her a quiet time as far as traffic is concerned. The city we are heading for has only 30,000 people.
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Re Garmin maps (.img files)
1. This is my preferred source (click link) These maps are based on "OpenStreetMap" data. As you can see the coverage is amazing.
2. My second choice (click link) These maps are based on "OpenMapChest" data.
3. Yet another source for Garmin maps.
4. If you live in NZ as I do then there are a bunch of enthusiasts here who keep their own NZ .img files for NZ up to date, very good it is too. here

So my method is to download the gmapsupp.img file from one of the above locations and put that file on a micro SD card in a folder called "Garmin" (it needs to be in that folder so the GPS will find it) You can have more than one .img file in the folder with different names (doesn't have to be called gmapssup)

Ensure that whatever car GPS you get has a micro SD slot in the side.

I generally leave the original Garmin gmapssup.img file which is on the GPS in place.

When you boot the GPS you will be able to select which .img you want to use although if there is more than one on the micro SD it can be hard to tell which one U are selecting.

I have a Nuvi40 (must be 4 inch) and a Nuvi55 which is bigger and a much later model. I prefer and use the Nuvi40 all the time because it doesn't takeover the windscreen and has a much more friendly men. The Nuvi55 boots and locates much quicker but not as friendly to use. In NZ you can buy a second hand Nuvi40 real cheap.

Don't get one with lots of bells and whistles, your phone will do those chores, get one which does the basic job (navigating) simply.

Its handy to put in a location based on lat/long, that way you will be able to find where you have buried your gold in the Australian outback ;-)

Thank you so much.

You have just given this old bloke enough to keep him busy for hours/days/weeks....!!

I am currently immersed at your first link.....I really did not ever imagine that there was this much info out there.

garmin is looking better and better what gold ? :rolleyes:
I'm taking notes on all this :)

Another welcome from another Aussie, @BlackJackMarcus , and a belated Happy Birthday to you!

Chris Turner
I use the NUVI2597LMT. The only problem I have with it is that the update software is written for Win####. I was thinking of loading reactos, just to try that for updates, but I just have not had the time, as yet.
G'day @VP9KS ,, it possible to update that via wifi ?....and therefore leave the dreaded win#### out of the equation ?
Re proprietry Garmin map updates. Garmin does not support linux with its Basecamp or Mapsource software. I think I did try it using Wine but not successfully. If U use one of the above map sources it doesn't matter. If U really need a propriety Garmin map update U will have to use a Windoze PC with MapSource on it.

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