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Old 11-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
River Pilot
"Razor Six"
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Oddometer: 62
Garmin Montana vs. 350LM - Application Extension

Hello Dan,

Delighted to see your reply and will enjoy sharing some information regarding your points. You're a trusted GPS expert and all courtesies will be extended. Although the scope of our conversation will most likely be outside the use of the average GPS user, it may offer a glimpse into the "inner workings" of the units.

Let's remove Tom Tom from the conversation as no one has brought that up so far and the units aren't typically used by the community here.

Applications - Definition: While most past and current PND's allow for a custom .GPI to be created via the mildly simple and free Garmin POI Loader and then deployed to the units as "Tour Guides" with pictures, voices and other information, I am referring instead to the Garmin Content Toolkit. It is the next evolution beyond POI Loader and one must pay an annual fee to be an authorized GCT developer. On the index page for Garmin Content Toolkit it states, "The Garmin Content Toolkit consists of two applications:" and then goes on to list them. Additionally, on the Garmin Device SDK page it states, " For advanced users desiring to develop their own custom software applications for communicating with GarminŽ GPS products," and it to goes on to describe them as "Applications".

These are truly "API's" that originate out of SDK's. While they may not extend the devices potential as far yet for user customization on par with Android or IOS, they are indeed the beginning of that concept and go as far as Garmin will allow at this time. The River Pilot applications created by using the Garmin Content Toolkit go beyond what an average user at their desktop or POI loader can do. Examples are:

1. Unlimited amount of Waypoints. There are no known limits yet.

2. No Track point limits. I routinely exceed 10,000 points. There are no known limits yet.

3. Ability to create a route that follows roads with full bilingual TTS and no "flags" or via points as usual and without the device calling out the next via point. Furthermore, as you know a track has no TTS triggers for audible navigation abilities and of course a Route with multiple via's will call them as the next destination in general while intermittently offering road designation. We have none of the problems and all of the "exactly what we were looking for" goodness. I would suggest watching a demo video of how it works here: We are staying on a defined road (recalculate set to "off") and not using a route but the device is behaving like it. Can only achieved with GCT and techniques.

4. Route over dirt or street with similar behaviors.

5. The software route runs in separate memory space and can be turned "Off" or "On". Same for the alerts. Looks like an application and behaves like an application. I would assert it is an application.

Dan, think of the possibilities. A user like yourself could go wild having some fun. Some of the limitations encountered by the average user melt away. Content Toolkit allows for encrypted .GPI's to protect I.P. and distribution. Content is delivered via Garmin Communicator. Your work with OSM is similar in some ways but we stay within the "mothership" and are guaranteed functionality.

Mapsource Product Creator (MPC) - This is rarified air and there are only a handful of authorized companies in geographic regions in the world who are allowed to create from it. Again, annual fee for development access. MPC allows for creation of entire maps and content, let alone applications. In essence, one could create a CNNT equivalent with all the capabilities. Routable segments over water, air, dirt, or even defy gravity. Whatever a creator wants to do. Have worked with samples and they are truly interesting.

I hope that satiates your interest and I encourage you to bring your skill set and enthusiasm to the table and investigate more about these products.

Dan, it's a treat to chat with you and have a great day.

@ jondirt - Thanks for the platform and allowing a discussion outside of scope.


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