Garmin Connect Brings Back Google Maps

Almost a year ago, I wrote about Garmin Connect switching to Bing maps. Well, it’s been a long time coming, but Garmin now allows users the option to choose between Bing or Google maps.

Garmin plays that up as, “This upgrade gives users more mapping options than ever before.” Really, this is how they should have implemented it from the beginning. And other services offer quite a few more maps. GMap4 and GPS Visualizer offer the most, and Garmin has much farther to go if they ever want to catch up to their competitors in this regard. Trimble Outdoors offers a decent selection of maps, also.

I am actually suspicious that Garmin signed an exclusivity deal with Microsoft to provide ONLY Bing Maps on Garmin Connect. It’s been almost a year since Garmin announced the switch to Bing Maps and I’m not sure if the timing of this update would work with any sort of exclusivity deal they might have signed. Still, users have been upset about the change for so long, why else would Garmin have waited so long to add Google Maps availability back?

It’s a long time coming, really. Although, an update that’s even longer coming would be a way to add Tanita bc-1000 (or any other body monitor, for that matter) data into Garmin Connect without needing a compatible Forerunner. Even a manual entry for ALL metrics would be better than what they offer now.

9 thoughts on “Garmin Connect Brings Back Google Maps”

  1. Honestly, I wish would let me have the option to switch back and forth from Google and Bing maps. The trails here in Augusta, GA are much easier mapped on Bing Maps. All of Google satellite images are during the spring and summer when the trees are really thick and the trails are covered. Bing however has most of their images from the winter and it shows many more trails.

    1. For my area, Bing Maps are pretty much useless. The detail is so poor that I can barely identify the parking lot for my local trails, let alone identify the actual trails passing through the forest. Not to mention Bing Maps are much older than Google’s and so even if they did have the detail, Bing’s maps would be showing the old trail network that were completely redesigned. Your case is a prime example of why having basemap options is so important. When different providers source their data differently, it winds up being that different people prefer different providers. And it certainly seems to be the case that with Bing Maps, people in more densely populated North American cities see some advantages while people in rural areas and many people overseas get crap. And those are the people who were completely shafted by Garmin when they dumped Google Maps entirely. I recognize there were browser plugins that offered fixes for most people within weeks, but those browser plugins didn’t work on embedded map content, which I use more than any other aspect of GPS data sharing sites.

  2. Good for Garmin. Actually I don’t know of any other widely used online mapping tool that lets you switch between Google and Bing. GPSVisualizer does something related since it lets you switch between Google and Yahoo aerials.

    And speaking of change, recently I learned that Trimble has purchased the MyTopo Company which serves up the very nice topographic maps that are displayed by Gmap4, GPSVisualizer and various other websites. Trimble runs an active forum supporting Trimble Outdoors and has phone apps that can display the MyTopo maps.

    Joseph Elfelt, the Gmap4 guy

    1. Thanks for the clarification. I didn’t necessarily mean that the other services I mentioned offered Bing Maps as an option. I just meant that they offer a wide variety of maps from other sources. Gmap4 and GPS Visualizer are the clear winners in that regard, even though you don’t show Bing Maps.

  3. I am having trouble whith my Garmin 60csx and Garmin Connect. Is there a simple way to get my files off the 60csx and into Connect? I downloaded GPS Bable which Garmin reccomended, but I could not figure it out. Any help getting my 60Csx files onto Garmin Connect would be most aprechiated. I would hate to start thinking about getting a new GPS for mountian biking just to log my rides into Garmin Connect. Thanks Peter

    1. you don’t need GPS Babel for anything. You just need to download the data from the GPS onto your computer first. You can do this so many different ways, that I cannot cover them in detail here. It depends on the operating system of your computer, the program you choose, and that program’s interface. You may not even need to use a separate program. If you plug the GPS into your computer, you should be able to navigate it like a USB drive. You can simply find the track file there and copy it to your computer. If you choose to use a program to do this, once the program recognizes your GPS, you can download the tracks using that program’s interface for doing so. Once you get the track onto your computer, you can simply do a manual upload onto Garmin Connect.

  4. First off thanks for the quick reply. I wish that my 60csx would show in win 7, but I have updated the drivers and still can not see the GPS.

  5. for that issue, I don’t have a solution. But you should still be able to access your GPS through some other program. Should be a command like “download from GPS” or “transfer from GPS” or something along those lines.

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