December 12, 2007

New Vehicle Icons for your Garmin?

sleigh.jpg

Want to change your vehicle icons? Well that's easy on Garmin Nuvi and some StreetPilot models.

The Garmin website has a bunch of vehicle icons that are available, including the slick sleigh pictured here.

Go to the Garmin website, and see the directions to download the icon onto your computer; you then connect your Nuvi to your computer with the USB cable, and open up the Nuvi icon under “My Computer”. Get the vehicle icon file “*.srf” and drop it into the “vehicles” folder on the Nuvi.

Disconnect the Nuvi from the computer, start it and then go to “Tools -> Settings-> Map-> Vehicle/Change” Select the one you like and hit OK.

Also compatible on StreetPilot 500 series and Zumo units. I played with this when I had a Nuvi 760 in for review; easy to change and fun too.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 10, 2007

Garmin Colorado Handheld line

garmincolorado400.jpg
Garmin is readying the Garmin Colorado Handheld GPS unit, most likely for a CES 2008 announcement. With introductions from just about everyone else, the Garmin Colorado is expected to be a pretty big addition to the last family of handhelds to get downloadable satellite imagery. The new layout and format shows a “Rock n’ Roller” input pad on the top of the unit and a rather large 240 x 400 pixel display down low.


Like I have talked about and dreamed of before, the new Garmin Colorado will offer the ability to exchange routes and data points wirelessly with other compatible devices through their ANT technology. This is also used on the Edge 605 and 705 units, and is a result of their recent acquisition. Too bad they can’t come out with an SD memory/ANT combination card to allow those of us with SD card compatible eTrex devices to exchange data with the new big boys on the block.

I fully expect a whole line of these units, and apparently Bass Pro Shops has prematurely put the Garmin Colorado 400 up for sale.

From BassPro.com:
Make navigation simple with Garmin's Colorado 400 Bluechart GPS Unit. This full-feature, high-sensitivity Garmin GPS unit is pre-loaded with detailed, up-to-date Coastal U.S. marine charts including charts for the Great Lakes, Hawaii and Alaska.

  • Pre-loaded with detailed Coastal U.S. marine charts including Great Lakes, Hawaii and Alaska
  • Unique ''Rock 'N' Roller'' input device
  • 65K Color TFT display
  • 240 x 400 pixels
  • 16 hours on AA batteries
  • Accepts SD cards for optional downloaded maps
  • 2-axis electronic compass
  • Altimeter
  • Temperature sensor
  • Waterproof
  • ANT™ Communications to wirelessly exchange routes, tracks, waypoints, and geocaches between two units
  • Paperless Geocaching supports display of detailed geocache information


    Via GPSTracklog

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Garmin to buy Inrix?

    An analyst thinks that Garmin is going to make a play for Inrix, the often mentioned here traffic information provider to the TMC traffic service. Making the argument, the analyst for ABI assumes that Garmin wants the leverage in the market. Not so sure that’s true, as they just signed a long extension with NAVTEQ, owner of Traffic.com.

    While the theory may or may not be on the mark, the article does provide some validation on an idea that traffic services is going to be big. Specifically, this research says that traffic services could be a multi-billion dollar a year business within a decade.

    I continue to see signs that we are about to get a lot more capability not only in GPS, but online and through mobile phones. The market is ripe for a better way to beat traffic is be aware of what issues lie ahead.

    Accurate travel time estimations require better knowledge of primary and secondary road speeds. Getting that information requires reporting on that data through road sensors, GPS equipped vehicles that can report back on their travel times (think delivery trucks), and anonymous mobile phone data.

    There are three basic ways to collect traffic data:

    Road Sensors – strips or radar type guns monitor volume and speed along a highway. Oldest form of technology.

    GPS Probe Data – Vehicles equipped with GPS and two way communication can report back road speed data. Think taxi’s and delivery trucks.

    Mobile Phone Monitoring – As the millions of mobile phones travel down roads, they report back to cell towers and that information is stripped of the owner’s ID, aggregated and passed on as speed and traffic incident reporting. Newest form of data collection.

    As you would imagine it’s a numbers and technology game. If you can turn the hundreds of millions of phones out there into usable data, it will be a powerful tool.


    The big players are:

    Inrix – road sensors, and GPS “probe” data helps it report on a vast amount of roadways.

    Traffic.com – road sensors primarily and now GPS probe data; now owned by NAVTEQ

    AirSage – Sees how fast anonymous mobile phone users are traveling down a road to deliver data.

    IntelliOne – Similar to AirSage uses anonymous mobile phone data to map road speeds. See their demonstration on Tampa Florida to get an idea of how this works on a vast series of roadways.

    Want to read more? Check out all of my posts on Traffic.


    Via

    Thanks to Jim for sending in the article.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 19, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 760 in Volvos

    GarminVolvo.jpgGarmin announced that Volvo Cars Corporation has selected the Nuvi 760 (See My Full Review of the Nuvi 760) as a customized navigation solution for select Volvo cars, including the new Volvo C30 and Volvo XC70. The Volvo specific Nuvi 760 will be available at dealerships across Europe and North America.

    “Garmin is delighted to work with Volvo to offer its customers a high quality satellite navigation system. Volvo and Garmin are passionate about safety, engineering and quality, and we believe customers will appreciate the design of this navigation solution,” said Roger Jollis, Garmin’s director of OEM & mobile marketing. “This transaction strengthens Garmin’s growing position as a recognized supplier to the automotive industry.”

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 760 in Volvos"

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 16, 2007

    Garmin Walks Away from TeleAtlas - Agreement through 2015 with NAVTEQ

    Garmin announced today that they have signed a 6-year extension to the agreement with NAVTEQ to obtain maps and build innovative map related services. This allows them to have access to maps through 2015, with an option to get a 4-year extension. This ends Garmin’s bid for TeleAtlas. Looks like TomTom just bought itself a mapmaker. In my mind, with this agreement sewn up, it allows Garmin to move forward in an economical way that keeps costs low: 1) No expensive acquisition costs, 2) No employee and company assimilation costs, and 3) No change over from NAVTEQ to TeleAtlas platform related costs.

    I would imagine Wall St. will love this, their stock is up almost 20% in pre-market trading activity.

    What I am excited about is the collaboration on new mapping capabilities. Garmin has scale to push through new ideas, and they certainly need an answer to MapShare.

    Finally, TomTom is going to get the mapping company that they wanted; I assume. The advantages are that they can streamline innovations like MapShare. The downside of all of this is that with this bidding war, Garmin just pushed TomTom to offer about $2 billion more for the TeleAtlas acquisition.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    November 15, 2007

    Custom POI set for E85 Stations

    e85.jpgGoing Green with an E85 vehicle? I know a lot of new cars and trucks are coming out with E85 compatible systems, burning the 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline blend. While you can still use regular gasoline, why not have a set of custom Points of Interest (POI) that will tell you where all of the E85 stations are in the US?

    Garmin has a set of E85 POI available for you.

    Find out how to load them on your Garmin.

    Via Garmin Blog

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Garmin and TomTom Settle Patent Suits

    So it looks like the big litigation battle is over, and as I suspected the lawyers got together in a big lawyerly pow-wow and hammered out a deal. The terms are not disclosed, but I would imagine a lot of bottled water was consumed and a lot of paper shredded in the process.

    The settlement resolves all of the pending intellectual property litigation including cases in the UK, Netherlands, Wisconsin, and Texas.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 8, 2007

    Garmin has 5% Stake in TeleAtlas; TomTom has 28%

    Word has it that Garmin has launched a hostile bid on TeleAtlas and has taken some distinct action steps in moving towards its takeover of TeleAtlas by taking a pretty decent stake in the company. The Dutch equivalent of the SEC has shown filings that describe a greater than 5% stake in TeleAtlas by Garmin. They only need to disclose in increments of 5% thereafter, so who knows what they might have amassed by today, but it’s probably somewhere south of 10%.

    While that may be good for Garmin, it appears that TomTom beat a pathway to TeleAtlas first and has 28% already, making it the single largest holder of TeleAtlas stock. As such, this might allows TomTom to thwart any move to get a majority for Garmin.

    Readmore on the bidding war at Money Morning.

    Thanks to Jim for sending this in.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 2, 2007

    Dashboard Friction GPS Mount

    GarminPortableFrictionMount.jpg
    Don’t want to leave “suction cup” rings on your windshield that thieves use as a telltale sign of a GPS inside? Live in Minneapolis or California where you can’t use a windshield mount? Don’t want to use that permanent adhesive disk to mount your GPS to the dash?

    The answer might just be the Dashboard Friction GPS Mount for the Garmin Nuvi series and the StreetPilot C530, C550. The mount is a beanbag type mount that uses its weight and slip resistant bottom to keep your GPS firmly mounted where you want it. More and more people I correspond with are buying these as a way to avoid one or more of the problems I highlighted above. Specs - 11 x 7.5 x 4.5 inches ; 1.5 pounds

    At Portable Friction Mount for Garmin GPS

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    October 31, 2007

    Garmin Makes offer for TeleAtlas!

    Garmin announced today that they are making an offer for TeleAtlas, which sets them up to go head to head versus TomTom for the map data provider. This is huge news, and starts a bidding war that will play out in the capital markets over the coming weeks and months. Nokia appears ready to sweep NAVTEQ off the table, and clearly the fate of TeleAtlas is now firmly in the hands of their board and their shareholders.

    If Garmin were to get TeleAtlas, it would mean big changes. Garmin currently uses NAVTEQ maps, which if they were swapped out, would significantly lower the value of NAVTEQ. It would then put TomTom and others at a significant disadvantage since they currently use TeleAtlas. TomTom would then absolutely NOT share map change data gathered with their MapShare program back with TeleAtlas, and as a result Garmin.

    More on the press release below…. Also see the Garmin Website for a lot of legal mumbo jumbo and more information about the offer.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Makes offer for TeleAtlas!"

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

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