Annoyed by Garmin Zoom Level detail? - Act now!

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by MotoTex, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,934
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    Who else is annoyed when zooming out a notch or two and having their back roads disappear?

    I know it is a constant nag for me with my Zumo 660. Especially the bit where I go to the next zoom level out and it briefly shows those roads at that zoom level, then erases them. ARRRRRRG!!! :huh

    Just got off the phone with Product Support and was told how the software is written for "average" users, blah, blah, blah.

    They then began singing the praises for the new Zumo 350LM and I had them get one and go through the zoom levels for me on roads I know. The roads I like to ride disappear on it at .8 just like they do on my 660. :puke1

    Anyway, here is a link to a suggestion box at Garmin.

    Maybe if enough people send in a request to give users the ability to select zoom detail for ourselves, or, at least continue to show these small roads out one or two further zoom levels, they might sit up, take notice, and modify the code to allow this.

    Seemingly the reason for not doing this is that this level of detail will make the screen much too cluttered IN AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT.

    Maybe if the map user isn't in a dense concentration of roads the code could be written to make an exception?

    Oh well. Enough of this rant. Thanks for tuning in.

    BTW, does anyone know of a large screen, motorcycle specific GPS that will display small roads at a level where you can also see a destination that is five to ten miles away?

    I won't be holding my breath for this, but I also don't think this is really too much to ask for either.
    #1
  2. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,229
    Location:
    47°50′15.8″N, 119°56′21.9″W
    As you noted all Garmin's will drop minor roads past .8mi. You might take a look at the Montana as it's screen resolution and screen size provide for more roads on display at .8mi.

    [​IMG]

    And yes, even the Montana could show more road data on the screen and it has been requested by most owners. I don't believe that the unit teams can make this change. I believe that the Cartography group must OK this and they have been unwilling to do so over the years.

    Cheers,
    #2
  3. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains of Alberta
    Do you know what model this changed with Dan? My 478 and my 376C both show minor roads at 2 km or 1.2 miles. I think it's the hardware guys, not cartography. My theory is it's the lower resolution touch screens that caused the change.
    #3
  4. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,037
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I wrote the following to the cartography guys (cartography@garmin.com) at Garmin last Spring:

    Can you tell me who makes the choice as to how much detail shows on the screen at any given zoom scale? Perhaps there could be some way set City Nav to display the same kind of detail as the Enhanced Basemaps? That would be the ideal solution, I think. It just seems like such a waste to have such detailed maps, such a great display on the Montana, yet so little visible map detail when we zoom out past the 1.2 km scale.


    They responded:

    Thank you for the reply.

    A bit of it depends on us, but most depends on the data supplier and how they have classified the detail (collector roads, unpaved roads, arterial roads, and so forth).

    I hear what you are talking about with the NavTeq data every so often and can understand based on my own experiences out in some rural areas here in the Lower 48.

    They tend to lower classifications to “reduce clutter.”

    I’m sure you have the detail set to most (it can help a little, but like I say you know what you are doing so I’m sure you have done that already).

    I can’t do much, but I can pass that up the food chain, too. For what it is worth, I tend to (just from my own personal point of view) agree with you.
    #4
  5. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,037
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Also, there are some maps which display much more detail when zoomed farther out:

    Open Street Maps for one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And an old product called Canada Enhanced Basemap is also very detailed up to the 5km zoom level.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    #5
  6. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,934
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a hack. :ear

    Nothing has turned up in searches, but I have a feeling the setting for detail at each level is in the code, just need to figure out how to get to it and turn these roads on for the next couple of levels of zoom. :deal

    Maybe some compassionate engineer at Garmin might let slip where to find the way in to do this. :evil
    #6
  7. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,002
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Not true, using R & R on 60/76 everything shows out to <2.0.

    My bitch with CN in Nuvi is that towns don't show just a bunch of highway numbers which are meaningless to me. I want to know were towns are, I may want to go to one, dah! I could care less what the number of the highway is that goes there.

    I even load R & R in my Nuvi so I can see minor roads that don't even show in CN as I drive along highway.
    #7
  8. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,934
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    Would this then indicate that the detail at each level is defined by the map itself, not the software dictating which level displays what detail?

    I've got what CN is, but can't figure out what R&R is. Could you elaborate a little more about what "using R&R at 60/76" means, more specifically?

    If the map making the detail for each level is indeed the case, then, is the solution to my desire for more detail just a matter of using a map with the detail I want?

    If so, how would a user go about finding the right map or overlay to provide this detail?

    Thanks!
    #8
  9. G.R.

    G.R. Swimming Upstream!

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    60
    I have the 660 as well. Good unit in general but yes it gets tricky when your secondary roads disappear...which are the exact type of roads I want to ride on my motorcycle. But like anything you get used to it, you figure out the sweet spot of where you have the best detail and you get used to scrolling up/down the map to see farther.

    But yes I would prefer better detail at larger zoom rates.
    #9
  10. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains of Alberta
    This is what makes the issue so confusing. Not only is there a difference in detail levels/zoom between different units, different mapsets work differently with the same unit. The R&R Jerry is referring to is Garmin Roads and Recreation, an old mapset, valued by many for it's increased detail in many areas. The problem with it is it doesn't autoroute and the data is going on 10 years old. I still use it though, when I'm in the US, and use an equally ancient copy of Garmin Canadian Metroguide when I'm home for the same reason. The small town and rural detail is much more complete than City Nav, even today.

    Further complicating the issue is the lost functionality of the GPS itself. On my "ancient" gpsMap 478, I can set the zoom level at which almost every map entity appears. If I want small towns to show at 25 km and never see the name and icon for large cities I can do that. I can also change the size of the label so towns are displayed in a larger font than cities. I can set my unit so it never displays divided highways or never displays unpaved roads. I can set the zoom level at which any of the roads appear but with unpaved/minor roads it doesn't matter if I specify 5 km or 10 km zoom levels they are dropped after 2 km. All this leads me to believe it's a combination of factors and the solution isn't going to be easy with the current crop of Garmin devices.
    #10
  11. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,934
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    Go to the link in my first post and let Garmin know.

    Enough squeaky wheels and we might see this changed in an update.
    #11
  12. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,934
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    Can CN and R&R be used simultaneously, with R&R detail as an overlay and CN serving routing duties?

    Any place I could find a download for R&R and play with this?
    #12
  13. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    672
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains of Alberta
    I'm afraid it's one map or the other.
    #13
  14. G.R.

    G.R. Swimming Upstream!

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    60
    Done! This is what I said to Garmin...

    Zumo 660...we need greater road detail for secondary roads on zoom out!!! I have it set on high detail but only after a couple zooms out and all the secondary roads disappear. This is a motorcycle specific waterproof GPS unit and as motorcyclist we ride secondary roads much, much more so than interstates. Please address this on your next GPS update or map update for the 660 unit.

    Thanks!
    #14
  15. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,288
    Location:
    Fulltiming in an RV! Currently NW Oregon
    On my 665, I lose backroads at 0.5. Then I lose all secondary roads at 1.2. It's a total joke. It's basically pixel-doubled compared to the car units. And it's the hardware that's doing it. I have the Topo 2008 maps loaded on it too and when I switch to those maps, they drop detail at the same zoom points. I used to think it was how the maps were rendered til I noticed that, because on my old (now dead) Nuvi 885T, all the maps had detail all the way to 0.8, and not being pixel doubled, it was like 4x the actual resolution of the Zumo.

    I bet a firmware update would fix this, but knowing Garmin, they would do it to FUTURE models to force us to upgrade.

    Rob
    #15
  16. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,229
    Location:
    47°50′15.8″N, 119°56′21.9″W
    Sorry I was talking about current maps not 10yr old ones. I'm not the expert on Garmin Cartography but having code a few Garmin compatible maps I can share with you all that the maps determine what zoom levels display what data from the map. Garmin firmware code only determines what Garmin wants to show within the constraints of the map data so that you can adjust your own zoom level filtering. Garmin licenses most of their maps and routing data from Navteq and as far as I can tell all new map data that Garmin is contracting for does not have tertiary roads coded to show past 1.2 mile zoom level. On older maps, like Roads and Rec., data was coded to various levels above 1.2 mile zoom. On older GPS and therefore the maps of their day, map clutter was not really an issue since there was considerably less map data than there is today.

    From my view point, I don't expect this condition to change any time soon.

    Cheers,
    #16
  17. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,002
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Probably why so many dirt riders only use R & R.
    #17
  18. costinell_mc

    costinell_mc adv

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Craiova, Romania
    Sorry
    What is R&R?
    Thanks
    #18
  19. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,037
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    #19
  20. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    19,591
    Location:
    SE Mass
    Gave 'em 3 ideas today, including the zoom level. :evil
    #20