Sunday, March 18, 2012

More on Garmin BirdsEye aerial imagery

BirdsEye stadium The BirdsEye aerial / satellite imagery subscription program for the Garmin Colorado, Dakota and Oregon series is now official. EDIT: I’ve learned that Garmin decided not to support BirdsEye imagery on the Dakota 10, due to its lack of an expansion card slot. I have a few tidbits to add to my post from last week:

  • The $29.99 subscriptions will be available starting this March
  • Imagery will include “0.5 meter per pixel resolution in many areas of the United States”
  • There is no mention of world-wide imagery in today’s news release, though it was mentioned on the Garmin BirdsEye imagery product page last week, which is unavailable right now
  • Another BirdsEye web page has been announced, though it too is currently unavailable
  • Image packets will be delivered in multiple resolution levels to avoid pixilation when zooming
  • In response to a question, a Garmin PR contact told me “we have nothing to announce re: USGS maps at this time”; my take on that – it’s coming!

Click here for the full news release.

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. Very interesting! I’d love to have that imagery in my GPS unit. I’m a little disappointed that I have to download it, and then upload it into the unit, though. Hopefully it doesn’t take several hours to upload, like the maps to.

    That said, the price is more reasonable than I would have expected.

  2. Let me start by saying thank you for this site. Not sure if you answer questions, but I will ask. I am in the market for a new gps and detailed topos are important to me. If I have detailed maps already for the area I will be can I upload them through custom maps? If sow how user friendly are they, by that I mean can I use all the standard functions with said topo? I really like the Oregon, but the Delorme seems to have better topos, so I am a touch confused. If Garmins new site is going to eventually carry better topos, then it’s a no brainer for me. What would be your thoughts? Feel free to E-mail me. Thanks for your time and again thanks for the info on this site. Chad

  3. You can already add USGS topos to newer Garmins using their ability to add custom raster maps…
    If you have a digital image, it’s likely that you can convert them for use.

    And there are lots of free 24K vector topos out there. Here’s a great source…

    If you mean, can you use standard functions like waypoints, tracks and routes with these maps…yes. You cannot search for points of interest on raster maps like USFGS topos though.

    Hope this helps. I know it can be confusing. Let me know if you have more questions or need clarification.

  4. gatorguy says:

    The Birdseye pages you linked earlier are up and running if you hadn’t noticed yet.

  5. The Dirty Little Secret

    Unlimited downloads – for as long as you can stand downloading at 20KB/s.

    That’s right – downloads are throttled to about 20KB/s.

    No matter what kind of connection you may have it takes forever to download. You won’t find any mention of this when you sign up for the “unlimited” downloads. Only after you pay do you realize you’ve been had.

    Shame on Garmin for fooling us.

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