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MapSource, MetroGuide, Topo, City Navigator?


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Hello. Forgive me if this has been previously discussed. I just purchased a new Garmin Etrex Legend HCx and am looking for map software for it. I'm a little confused about the different software options and versions and what they offer. Let me tell you what I'm looking for. I'm looking for maps that will help me while geocaching to find the nearest roads or best route to the geocache. And I'm looking for software that will help me find restaurants/motels/points of interest/etc while road-tripping. I don't need auto-routing since I can do that myself and I don't need to locate specific addresses. I wouldn't mind topo information, since that might help me with the best route to a geocache, but it's really not necessary.


What software would you recommend? Let me know, thanks.



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The maps with the most current "Points of Interest" will be City Navigator, which also has the auto-routing information. The Topo maps don't have any POIs. I'm not certain how current the POIs are in the MetroGuide maps . . . :lol:


You can get the Topo maps less-expensively on eBay since they don't have "Unlock Codes." Check around for the best prices on CN maps. You might get the best deal in a combo package with the cigarette-lighter adapter and beanbag automount. :wub:

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I have tried City Navigator 2008 NT and non-NT in my Vista. NT uses less space and few segments but did seem to slow down the display refresh acting like the screen was frozen, however, the non-NT version responds quicker but I can not load as many states in the same space. The trade off between the two that I have seen so far is with NT version I can load City Navigator for the entire contiguous 48 states and load Topo 2008 everything west of the Dakotas, excluding Oklahoma and Texas. However, with the non-NT version I can only everything west of the Dakotas, excluding Oklahoma and Texas for both mapping products at the same time.

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I would wager that MG and CN POI are similar, if not identical (allowing for different release dates).


I think the choice for most folks on autorouting etrex H* models is either CN (non-NT) for ease and performance reasons, or hacked MGv8 (for portability and general frothing hatred of locked maps).

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Okay, I've been doing some research. I'm leaning towards the MetroGuide, since it also includes Canada (which I visit occasionally) and is less expensive than the City Navigator. I'm tempted by some of the deals for older software on E-bay and other sites. I don't really mind if the data is old, since roads don't change very often and I'm not interested in auto-routing.


Another question I have is about the locked/unlocked maps. Is there a good list anywhere of which garmin software requires unlock codes and which don't?



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Does the laptop have a DVD drive? I have CN installed on both my laptop and my desktop computer.

Yes, I installed it on the laptop first. It installed on the pc but says locked mapset. I tried unlock figuring same gps same code. But no luck I guess. Now I need to also figure out how to get geocaches into nroute. Seems to be much more work than when I used metro guide v5. :lol:

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