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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 17 Feb 2012
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Beware of problems with Garmin's Topo Morocco v2

After much deliberation I decided to purchase Garmin's topo map of Morocco, quite a bit decision as it's £129.99 including postage.

I wasn't impressed with the terms of the licence which states the maps can only be installed on one PC; I would have liked to have installed the maps both on the widescreen desktop PC I use for route planning, plus on the notebook PC I use when travelling, but I can't.

Never mind, the real problem is that many of the map segments don't display at lower resolutions. You can see the effect below.


This shows the mapset zoomed out to 70km. No map detail from TMv2 appears to be shown, all road numbers are those
from about 10 years ago (the maps are possibly from City Navigator Europe).


As you zoom in to 50km, the detail for the north of the country appears but not the tranche around Marrakech.

As you progressively zoom in on the images below (30km, 20km, 10km) some segments display fine, other parts still
show ancient road numbers and no mapping detail.







Until finally all detail is displayed at 7km and closer but it is so far zoomed in that it is useless for route planning.


I've spent a frustrating day explaining the situation with Garmin, waiting fruitlessly for responses, sending more emails, uninstalling and reinstalling the software and finally calling the "sorry we are experiencing a high volume of calls" call centre again. After listening to muzak for 23 minutes, the support person suggested that the problem is with Mapsource (which he claimed is no longer a supported product) and if I tried BaseCamp it might work. This is despite the webpage posted above stating that Mapsource would be installed on some PCs (and in any case, the situation I've read elsewhere on Garmin's web pages is that no more releases are planned of Mapsource, which is a different from not a supported product).

I said that as the product didn't work and Garmin were unable to offer any solutions, I wanted a refund. Garmin asked if the product had been activated. I said of course it had been activated otherwise I wouldn't have been able to view the maps! Garmin then said they would refuse a refund.

Obviously I will fight this and they will lose, but all the goodwill I have towards Garmin over the past ten years is being stretched by their unreasonable behaviour.

And as a final postscript, there are no problems with either Olaf's Morocco Topo mapset or the Morocco mapset from viagens4x4. Both of these work perfectly with Mapsource. Personally I think the Garmin support people were just being lazy and couldn't be bothered to sort the problem.
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Old 17 Feb 2012
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That's a crazy price for a product that doesn't work!
I also hate that business of one installation, and on that basis alone I would look elsewhere for digital mapping.
But, I am more likely to stick with paper maps

I hope you will point out to Garmin this website, your post in here and the fact that there are over 30K members.
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Old 17 Feb 2012
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Smile

Sorry if this is teaching you to suck eggs, but..

The only thing I can think of is to try and unlock the map again as it works OK on my set-up (70Km is the same as your picture). Hit Ctrl+U and make sure it says it's unlocked.

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Old 17 Feb 2012
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Your map is actually 50km, but mine has map segments missing. The software has been uninstalled and reinstalled, and yes, it's unlocked.

Interestingly, when I do Ctrl+U it shows the maps are installed in
c:\ProgramData\GARMIN\Maps\TOPO Maroc v2.gmap\Product1\

This is a hidden folder, so I went into Windows Explorer, clicked on Tools, Folder Options, Views and clicked on 'show hidden files, folders..'

I can now see that the directory above holds 1,786 files plus 302 folders, a total of 433 MB (454,185,056 bytes). Each of the folders has six files, the big ones in each folder are a .RGN file (Garmin Regional Map File) and a .DEM file (Digital Elevation Model ? file).

Not sure where this digging is leading me.

.
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Old 18 Feb 2012
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Perhaps try "CTRL+G" twice ..
doing it twice clears the map cache and forces Mapsource to reload all maps.
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Old 18 Feb 2012
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What version of Mapsource are you using.
I have 6.16.3 and it works fine for me.

Cheers,
john
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Old 18 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Perhaps try "CTRL+G" twice... doing it twice clears the map cache and forces Mapsource to reload all maps.
That's the sort of helpful suggestion I would have liked from Garmin (not that it worked, sorry)

Quote:
What version of Mapsource are you using. I have 6.16.3 and it works fine for me.
I'm on that version of Mapsource as well.

I suggested to Garmin that I load the Topo Morocco v2 software onto a different PC but they didn't respond to that. Not that I really wanted to take my 17-inch laptop with me!

I'm off to Morocco on Tuesday, so it looks like the Garmin Topo option is dead in the water. I will do my route planning over this weekend with Olaf's Maroc Topo which has served me well until now. I will look also at the Viagens maps.

.
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Old 18 Feb 2012
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Sorry to hear of your woes Tim.
Have you thought about installing Basecamp? that (free) software is designed for topo maps. (works on Nroute too)
If your installation was done OK, Basecamp will find it automatically.
Topo maps, whilst used by bikers etc, I am guessing ( I am not a software designer!!) are made with the hill walker in mind and used to display terrain at much shorter distances and in great detail.
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Old 19 Feb 2012
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Thanks for the suggestion.

I have Basecamp installed and I've played with it in the past. My understanding is that Mapsource couldn't be ported to the Mac, so Basecamp was developed initially as a Mac product but designed to also run on PCs. After playing with the software for ten or so hours my thoughts were that the learning curve from Mapsource was very steep with everything stored in one huge file. And as far as I am aware that file can't be on a network drive.

This is a show stopper, as depending where I am and what I'm doing I might be using one of several machines, and I gave up on sneakernet three decades ago.
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Old 19 Feb 2012
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Lightbulb

Tim I know you said you have installed and uninstalled but I'm just wondering (if you are using a PC with windows that is) if there is still something jamming in your cache.
CCleaner- used (carefully) has resolved many issues for me in the past.
It cleans up your PC and checks your registry for coq-au-vins' (make sure you back up registry before letting make any changes.)

Shut down afterwards and reboot then try to re-install Maroc

One advantage of Basecamp is that IF you have successfully uploaded maps into your gps brain / or SD/micro SD card, by installing basecamp on another computer you will see the maps from your gps in the basecamp on this second computer.

You must make sure the GPS is 'on' and linked to PC (and recognised) before launching Basecamp.
Basecamp will then read whatever maps are on your GPS and display them in Basecamp.
As soon as you disconnect the GPS from the PC the maps will 'disappear' from Basecamp. You do not need another installation.

Hope this helps you somehow.
(this does not work with map source btw)
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  #11  
Old 19 Feb 2012
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Thanks Bert

I've been using a mix of Olaf and Viagens maps today to plan next week's trip.

Now that you've reminded me, I do remember the rather nifty feature of Basecamp allowing the software to read the maps off the connected GPS. It gets around some of the drawback of not allowing the software to be installed on multiple PCs. You'd think Garmin would mention that in their restrictive licence agreement.

What's really piqued me about Garmin's Support (apart from the fact they didn't seem interested in helping solve the problem) was their willingness to blame Mapsource, but I pointed out:

"I totally reject the proposition that the reason for the map display problem is due to Mapsource not being a supported product. Your product page at buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=37276 specifically states that Mapsource will be installed together with Topo Morocco v2 as the product of choice for certain PC configurations.

You claim that Mapsource has been discontinued. I find no reference to this on the Garmin Mapsource download page at www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=209.

Topo Morocco v2 was released in July 2009. The version of Mapsource I am running is 6.16.3 which was released in October 2010. If the problem really was one with Mapsource, the Topo Morocco maps would never have run under Mapsource."


Another of the comments I made to Garmin Support was, "I have been a speaker at HU (Horizons Unlimited) meetings in Spain, Germany and the UK lecturing on the subject of Garmin GPS systems and route planning. At last July's UK meeting I broached the subject of Garmin Basecamp as an alternative to Mapsource and not a single PC user in the audience had heard of it."

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But yes, the writing is on the wall. Looks like I will be 'dragged screaming and kicking' over to Basecamp eventually.

In fact, I can see that as being the title of a talk for Ripley this summer.

.
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Old 19 Feb 2012
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Life , as I have found out, is seldom perfect!
Hopefully Basecamp feature will help you on your travels..Buena suerte!
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