With urban sprawl, maintenance causes detours and calls for alternate routes, new roads are built, interchanges occasionally change, and of course, businesses come and go which could affect your POIs (Points of Interest). You could be in a new city heading for what your GPS tells you is the world’s greatest cup of coffee only to find a muffler shop took over at those coordinates. Incidentally, when you are travelling to new places, you’ll want to make sure you have the maps and the POI databases for those places; so check the Garmin site or the other resources sited in this series to verify or acquire that data, whatever the case may be.
New products are always in the works and every June their flagship software offering; Garmin City Navigator, gets an upgrade and users of the previous editions are allowed a free update. It would be nice if that was the policy for all the products that get discontinued or need updating. Garmin often charges for updates although arguably an updated product is a new product. You just need to know your products serial number to go on their site and check for updates.
There are some tips and tricks that are borders on the act of hacking which you can find on the net. I won’t provide them here, but for some legitimate advice on frequently encountered problems when downloading, a quick search describing the bug will land you on a forum with helpful instruction to solve your problem.
Also, if you’ve misplaced your DVD Rom or had any other situation where you have to reinstall, type “free download Garmin MapSource" into your search engine and you’ll get some results with instruction on how to download the program with some sort of bypass technique laid out in some easy steps. I haven’t personally tried it but apparently it’s worked for many users. I can’t imagine it will be too long before Garmin developers somehow put the kibosh on that.