Joined: Feb. 2009
||Posted: Sep. 21 2010,6:00 pm
I have been doing a bit of geo-caching, as well as geo-tagging of personal photographs with my Garmin. The MetroGuide should have helped me with regards to short, easy local geo-cache treks among other things. Suffice to say it hasnt helped in much ways other than take my money.
Here is what I mean:
I will NOT be looking at Garmin ever again.
The MetroGuide can be previewed online at buy.garmin.com I believe, where you can use an interactive version of the product and zoom in to verify detail and accuracy for your area. Check your city/home location and see what is not there with this lousy, inaccurate product.
The handheld it was to go on was the reliable, rugged GPSmap 60C, which comes out of the box with virtually no Canadian map information for this half of the country. It is a good handheld only for tracking accurately WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN, not where you want to go. (For any respectable viewing, one must buy the MetroGuide).
My uses were to be many fold: geo-caching in town, geo-tagging photos, accurate location and navigation to businesses (my working customers), navigation of roads on trips in my province and nearby provinces (holiday camping, tenting, hiking, driving) and maintaining an idea where essential services are in case of need (gas stations, hospitals, grocery stores, etc.). The accessory claims to be able to do this, but fails on ALL accounts.
The story: I bought v. 4.0.1 in early 2009, since v. 5.0 was not available to yet. Regardless, one would think the information in a new $160 product would be no older than say, two years tops, right? FAIL.
Examples: In my first encounter with local problems, there is a Canadian Tire, established here over 30 years ago. Even the latest Garmin 5.0 MetroGuide omits this, and shows most of the area undeveloped. A big snub to the dozens of other smaller businesses around that area who are likewise omitted.
East from the Canadian Tire location (about .6 kms) is another huge omission. In the huge void shown by the online Garmin software, there are several businesses not accounted for including a huge Walmart that is atleast 10 or more years old. Same goes for the v.4.0 software installed on my GPS I bought.
Two massive consumer chain stores, both ignored by DMTi Spatial, data providers of the Garmin software.
Forget for a moment Garmin is selling 35 to 40 year, old out of date information for my area. In case it is an anomaly, I took it to a city of nearly 800,000.
According to MetroGuide, there is only one Domo gas station to be located (there is in fact over a dozen).
The other Canadian tire by the world famous West Edmonton Mall is not registered.
Plotting a route through to 5 key shopping destinations, I was hitting an error rate of over 70% regarding present business names, locations (decades since having moved, changed or closed down), route access (missing key common roadways and byways), or just not found at all.
Maybe its Alberta thats been marginalized, so I loaded up some other map grids and took the product to Saskatchewan and back.
To start I had to trust my eyes, not the software as the 4+ year old completion of Anthony Henday highway is not on the GPS map...
A 'road' east of Fox Valley, Sk. was in fact non existent, and for a lark I followed it as far as I could until the farmer's access path vanished in the middle of a field of wheat (the GPS says I could travel over the horizon on this wheat road). Another road had me supposedly flying through the air over the South Saskatchewan river.
Princess, AB. has not been a town for atleast 50 years from what I can see (all but erased from the earth). Same can go for small 'abandoned' air fields along the way. I was misled turn after turn in believing there were services, roads or points of interest.
In fact I was a good 3 hours southeast drive from Calgary, AB and started to worry about the lack of tanked or canned fuel. Relying on the map data was a huge mistake, as it did not show the station I did stop at. I could have easily not explored the small town by eye, and missed the gas outlet Garmin says didnt exist. They also had a Tim Horton's which helped the nerves, albeit Garmin claimed I had 3 hours to get to Calgary to get to the nearest location.
Need I provide Lat./Long. data of this massive list of errors to prove my point? No.
And yet when I wrote to both DMTi Spatial and Garmin International about my findings, I was brushed off.
First I was responded to as if I was incompetent about the nature of geo-locating, GPS operating, or the software function (I was a utility locator once; I know 'a thing or two' about GPS practice, theory, navigation, map reading and so on). Then I was disbelieved regarding my findings as if I was either mistaken or lying, as there could not have been such errors possible.
After almost a dozen exchanges, I was finally told that I should have bought version 5.0 (which was not out when I bought 4.x), followed by another exchange that concluded that if I lived in America I COULD HAVE been sent the latest version 5.0 free for my troubles (even though the website clearly shows it has all the same errors, making 5.0 equally useless to me).
Since I was in Canada, and supposedly shipping 'warantee repair/replace' was alien to Garmin, I would have been hit with customs/duties, so claims Garmin's Cartography Admin., Loy. Two 'reasons' why I could not take him up on his offer supposedly. Why he brought up the 'tempting' customer service offer, if it cant be acted upon, is beyond me, then.
This was their excuse for customer service. This was their excuse for GPS software and accuracy.
Regardless, I have been tainted with the certifiable after-taste of being ripped off and kicked to the curb as well. The money could have gone to much better things, and I am disappointed I cannot rely on this ancient software to even navigate me to an existing local customer or business, let alone plan any trip that I must risk any degree of faith in navigating.
I wasted my money and time on this company and its products, I hope you learn from my example and NOT waste yours.