Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin BirdsEye Select brings raster topos to Europe; US to follow?

BirdsEye-Select-DeutschlandWell, well. I think I missed the story in Waypoints when I said BirdsEye goes international. What’s new is not the international coverage; it’s the BirdsEye Select products that bring detailed raster topo imagery to Garmin handhelds.

The UK has had such imagery for awhile, and I’m not sure what all the differences are between the Garmin GB Discoverer series (which offers both 1:50K and 1:25K scale maps) and the Garmin Select product at 1:25K. Perhaps some of our friends across the pond can chime in.

What’s interesting to me though, is this bringing us closer to seeing a quality USGS topo product from Garmin. At least I’m hoping that’s the plan.

The image above is from BirdsEye Select Deutschland.

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. Idred Cold says:

    I think that the Garmin GB Discoverer series is a vector/raster combo and this would be a raster only product that can be used with existing vector maps.

  2. There is a whole story behind this release from Garmin. The Garmin 62s custom maps are limited to 100 tiles and there have been programs written to get around the copyright issues of the British Ordinance Survey mapping issues. Plus calls to Garmin to allow full 25K mapping on handhelds of over 100 tiles. Garmin already have limited 25k maps of the UK, but there were demands for 100% coverage as you get from Anquet maps.
    If you need more just ask me… I will be experimenting with the new mapping later this week or earlier if time allows.

    • Yep, and the 100 tile limit gives us an incentive to subscribe to raster imagery now, doesn’t it?!

      • The 100 tile limit always was crazy, but Garmin have seen the sense in a more open standard I believe with this Garmin Select mapping. In the British Isles a regular printed map of 600 square kilometers will cost you between 14 to 16 pounds or 22 to 25 USD. Garmin select is 19.99 pounds or 29.99 USD which is not a great increase AND you can then download to your shiny new 62s..!! Mapping always has to be an individual choice and the extra costs do not seem excessive to me.
        Compare for example an HP printer and the costs for the ink cartridge refills..!!

  3. Garmin GB Discoverer is available in 50k and also some popular locations in 25k.
    The GB Discoverer 50K can be the whole of the UK or just the Southern part or just the Northern part. The GB Discoverer 25k covers all the popular walking and hiking areas with strong coverage of Welsh and Scottish mountains and the ever popular Lake District. Also covered are some long distance paths.
    BUT Birdseye Select covers the whole of the UK, plus most of Europe, so you can detail the exact areas you wish to cover at 25k. It’s a simple process, you pay and then get a years access to your mapping when entering the Garmin server via BaseCamp. The UK maps are the standard Ordinance Survey 25K. The payment covers 600 sq Km of any area and you can add more areas at any time by paying another £19.99. The systems works perfectly and put the maps on my Garmin 62s. No problems and a good service.

  4. I don’t know. That’s only 231 sq. mi. I’d have to be pretty selective. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is 781 sq. mi.!

    • Don’t forget you can buy from Garmin Birdseye Select two or three or more map downlaods. I suspect the limit is the memory of the GPS. They do not, or I have not yet found a way to, download to a micro SD card. Plus I suspect the US pricing will be different and lower, since in the UK there are hefty licence fees to be paid to the Ordinance Survey Mapping Dept.
      Now what I need is a full manual for the latest BaseCamp version 3.1.1.
      Anyone got the time or inclination for this task..??

  5. Richard Griffiths says:

    Looks like someone is working on opening the birdseye jnx file format. That would be nice. Large custom maps without the 100k limit

    check it out here

  6. Looks like you had it right, US & Canada released:

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