Garmin is a leading name in the world of satnavs and if you have one of these devices, you will need to update the maps or acquire a new set of maps at some point. If you have an old Garmin satnav, the best option may be to get a new device that has the LMT extension in description. LMT means LifeMaps and Traffic and with this type of device, you will be able to enjoy free maps for as long as the satnav lasts. After getting the GPS device, you can register it on the official Garmin website, create an account and receive the latest updates without charge. Nuvi GPS systems with Lifetime Maps can be regularly updated as there are up to four updates for every map released on a yearly basis.
Another way in which you can get free maps if you own a Garmin satnav, as long as you have a recent model is to get maps from free sources. OSM maps (or Open Source Map) is a recommended solution that can help you to avoid spending money on a LMT gps. OSM maps offers free options that are created and maintained by a community of users and volunteers from around the world. While the maps are not professional or 100% accurate, they are a good option to save money. They are free and you can get updates that are not available on the official maps. There are free Garmin maps for North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Europe. You can follow the below steps to get the maps:
- Go to the OSM website and select the map type, in the majority of cases, you need to select generic routable. Then select the country or continent from where you want to get maps. Check the Enable manual selection box and then drag the mouse (keep holding the left button) a square over the region of your choice.
- Once you select Download map now, you will get a free Garmin map (IMG file) that can be placed on your Garmin device or memory card. Apart from OSM map, another option that you can try is Cloudmade. You can also obtain free maps from that website, following the same steps as in OSM. The free maps can be copied to your satnav and used whenever you need them.
It is possible to select any of the methods mentioned in this article. The choice will depend on your budget and also in how old your Garmin device is. If you got your device a long time ago, you may be better off buying a more recent model. This will allow you to get better support, new technology and a better selection of maps. If you have a device that is not that old and you prefer not to spend too much money on official map update, you can try free maps from open sources.