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# 36980 5-Jul-2009 22:04
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Hi folks,

   I am new to GPS, but I understand that essentially the unit itself is the satellite receiver which subsequently displays one's position on the map.

All GPS untis I see for sale here, in Oz and the USA come 'pre-loaded' with their country's maps, but I understand that additional maps can also be installed, so -

1.  why are additional maps so expensive, in many cases dearer than buying a brand new unit?

2. how are new maps installed?

3. is there a finite amount of maps able to be stored in a GPS, or does one back up the old country and install for whatever new country one is travlelling to next?



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  # 231360 5-Jul-2009 22:36
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1. Companies like to make a profit. Eg, your inkjet printer probably costs less than a set of new cartridges.
2. Usually by one of two methods, either A onto the devices internal storage via USB cable, or B onto a memory card.
3. Some GPS units you buy a 'map' on a memory card, load that card and you get that map.
Others you buy on CD, or download, and put onto a memory card. The memory cards size, map size, or GPS units ability to recognise certain capacities will limit the number of mas you can store.
Finally, the internal memory on some, will limit the amount of map data available at one time.


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  # 231366 5-Jul-2009 22:56
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1.  why are additional maps so expensive, in many cases dearer than buying a brand new unit?

I work for a GPS company (a commercial/industrial versus consumer company) and wondered the same thing myself. 
A background map (eg the type you see on Google Maps, Google Earth) seem to be everywhere and are relatively inexpensive to license for a product.
HOWEVER, a map that you can do auto-routing with (ie get guidance from point A to point B, with "turn left at street XXXXX" commands) is where the expense comes in.
Taking the 2-D map and encoding all of the street information for it is where the expense is.
It literally takes teams of people manually clicking on points in the map and entering the information to take a 2-D map to an auto-routing capable map. 

And thus paying these teams of people is where the cost comes in.
Reality is that GPS chips are relatively cheap these days (I got a 40 channel Bluetooth receiver landed in the country for NZ$50). But paying a team of 200 people for 6 months gets pricey very quickly.

Nigel H.


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  # 231396 5-Jul-2009 23:56
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Not all maps cost an arm and a leg. Some auto-routing maps are free, made by a community of mappers, which also have weekly updates. I am of course talking about NZ Open GPS. Which have free maps of NZ and a really good set of POI. These are for Garmin units only though.

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  # 231449 6-Jul-2009 09:23
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Thank you all for your replies, appreciated.


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