Montana/City Navigator/Topo Question

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by ABHooligan, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. ABHooligan

    ABHooligan The Flying Mythos

    Oct 2, 2008
    After my zumo died I recently bought a Montana, thinking I could also use this unit for other outdoor pursuits. It came preloaded with Topo 100k.

    I drew routes on Mapsource (I have Basecamp but haven't really learned it), loaded them to my Zumo, and it calculated routes I could follow on my bike. All good. If I needed to find food/lodging, etc, it directed me turn by turn.

    I have read a lot of the Montana thread here, and my understanding is that I need another program, either City Navigator or Topo 24k, to calculate routes from my waypoints. I have an old City Navigator CD that the PO gave me with my first ZUMO, but I don't have an unlock code for it. It looks like I need CN to calculate routes on Basecamp.

    I have a few questions. I appreciate the help I always get on here.

    1. Is CN good enough to route on dirt and FS roads?
    2. If I buy CN on MicroSD, can I install it on my laptop, or should I buy a CD and install it on the laptop and MicroSD myself?
    3. Or would you recommend Topo 24k, which appears to be a regional map? Can this Topo calculate routes?

    Thanks so much!
  2. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

    Dec 10, 2005
    It may be. In my area, Open Street Map has more dirt roads than City Navigator. In my area, OSM also has more road errors, but I read here on ADV that it's because I'm out in nowhere and that more populated areas have fewer errors on OSM maps. Free, Garmin routable OSM maps here: so if you don't like it you've not lost much.

    I have and like the Topo 24k for my area. It does support routing on Garmin devices. It's the Montana (or other) that does the routing but the map needs the info to allow it.

    The good news for anyone else looking at these is that Garmin has expanded each 24k topo region. Covering several states may take fewer maps than before.
  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Dec 18, 2007
    Albuquerque NM
    You do need a map like City Navigator or Topo 24k to create road following routes from waypoints/via points. I almost always use City Navigator to plan trips out west. It has >95% of the roads I want to use, including some incredibly obscure dirt roads.

    In the past I have always bought CD/DVDs from Garmin. But they don't support that anymore. IMHO the next best thing is to buy the download version. You can install this on your computer and then install maps on the Montana.

    The big advantage of the SD is that you can move the card between multiple Garmin GPS devices. And I think some guys have found a way of copying the SD maps to a thumb drive so you can view the maps in Basecamp or Mapsource without having the Montana connected to your computer.

    I don't know much about OSM maps. But I have started using them on my SmartPhone. The best thing is that they are free, but as noted above coverage can be spotty and erroneous.

    A lot of us create routes using CN and then convert the routes to tracks and navigate by following tracks. A lot can go wrong with navigating using routes. I have had several trips severely negatively impacted trying to use routes and have pretty much given up on them except for ad hoc bailouts. But many people like them because of the turn by turn directions and audio.