Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin City Select vs. City Navigator

City_navigatorThis is a common question — which should I buy for my Garmin GPS, City Select (CS) or City Navigator (CN)? First of all, go to Garmin’s website and check to be sure that your unit is compatible and capable of auto-routing. Otherwise you’ll be paying for features that you can’t utilize.

Here’s the lowdown on the differences. CN was designed specifically for certain StreetPilot units; those units can take advantage of some sophisticated voice-prompted routing information in CN. Though CN can be ran on many handhelds, the map segments are much larger, with several exceeding the 24 MB limit of a number of units.  This is not just a problem in those areas; it makes it difficult to construct a trip along a linear route (can you say road trip?). To further complicate matters, Garmin is discontinuing CS, which has smaller map segments, replacing it with CN. This has caused quite a stir, and Garmin handheld owners aren’t happy
about it
. Apparently the company is listening though, and they seem
determined to shrink the map segments in future versions of CN.

CS is getting harder to find as a result of this phase-out. If you can
only find CS Version 6, don’t worry. As long as it is purchased (and
unlocked) after June 1, 2005, you are entitled to a free upgrade.
And there is some good news in all this; Garmin has cut upgrade pricing
for CN from $150 to $75 and on CS from $75 to $50. My advice? If you’ve
got a handheld, buy CS.


About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. I own a restaurant and want to know how do I go about having it added as a point of interest in common gps software?

  2. Most GPS map data is supplied by two companies, NAVTEQ and TeleAtlas. Both have systems for reporting deficiencies and errors. You should report this to both of them. Here are the links:
    Additionally, NAVTEQ has a system that I suspect they charge for, but it may lead to quicker integration. Here’s the link:
    Regardless, it can take 6-18 months to see an update. They won’t add you without verifying locations. Maybe they already have your locations in the works for the next round of updates.
    Hey, if you go through this process, I’d love to hear about your experience.
    You should also add your business to Google Maps at

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