GPS updates and improvements are coming faster and faster. Portable and dashboard-mounted GPS navigators are currently standard in many new cars, and the uses of GPS in daily life are expanding. A GPS now not only shows you a route from point A to point B, but it can change the route based on changing traffic situations and show you gas stations, shops, and restaurants along the way.
GPS Map Updates
Drivers who invest in expensive GPS navigators are now demanding better and more up-to-date maps and information. Unfortunately, the release of new navigation DVD updates for specific brands and models is sometimes erratic. You may buy a new unit with pre-installed mapping software, only to see new software released soon after. This constant evolution together with the cost of the mapping updates is a familiar source of irritation for GPS users.
To understand why this occurs it’s helpful to know something about the process of GPS data collection. GPS makers like Garmin contract with mapping companies, to provide their geographic information.
The mapping companies regularly survey and re-survey areas, and update their databases with any changes. Once the information is collected, the GPS makers convert it into their specific software system formats and produce GPS updates for distribution.
However, like everything else within the world of GPS, this extended process of data collection and production is improving. Progressively, mapping companies and GPS makers are prioritizing areas for updating based on client feedback.
GPS updates for Garmin, Magellan, TomTom, and alternative brands currently contain additional new information and are presently issued quarterly. Each update includes improved map coverage of over 60 major metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada and six million updated points of interest.
Other companies are experimenting with new strategies for keeping their GPS maps software and databases as current as possible. TomTom recently introduced MapShare technology in its GO 720 GPS receiver. Mapshare allows TomTom users to submit and share their GPS updates immediately when route changes or mapping errors are noted. Other TomTom owners can then choose whether or not they want to download the customer-generated changes or wait for official updates that are verified by the company.
In the coming years, it seems inevitable that some GPS navigators on the road will continue to expand, and new approaches to geographic information sharing will be developed. As these processes unfold, the cost of GPS map updates will likely go down even as the quantity and quality of information continue to rise.
Installing GPS updates is simple as long as you have some time and a computer. Check out Navigation Updates for the latest edition of your car’s updated navigation DVD.