Magellan (Thales Navigation) is adding
and Magellan's new 512meg SD memory capability
by Joe Mehaffey

As of April 2003, Magellan tells us that they are moving toward having all of their Meridian (and future) mapping GPS units able to be loaded with USER SELECTABLE basemaps from a World Map CD.  Basically,  the GPS will come with a regional basemap as today,  but the user can buy a copy of the Magellan World Map CD system and use sections from this CD as basemaps as he moves about the world.  The user can select sections (areas) of the World Map and have these loaded into his GPS map memory to be used by the GPS as a basemap.  These maps from WorldMap will NOT replace the permanent basemap. They will however, be displayed on the screen IN PREFERENCE to the built in basemap for any areas where World Map is loaded.  Then,  the user can further install any additional maps he wishes into the same memory cartridge (with the basemap).  The automatic display priority will be a) high detail maps,  b) World Map sections and c) original basemap.

While this is not REPLACING the built in basemap,  it functions the same for practical purposes and gives Magellan users a flexibility not available in any other brand of GPS receiver.


1) NOW!  Which Magellan units have (or will have) this capability?

    For the moment,  only the Magellan Meridian Units with latest software version have this capability and THEN currently ONLY for Magellan Streets + World Map.  Magellan says they are moving toward having all of their map offerings work with WorldMap in this way,  but currently only Magellan Streets operates as stated above.  Currently,  I am not sure EXACTLY  how all this works but I should be getting a package in the mail shortly that will allow us to test all this out and report further.

2) How large a map memory module can I use in my Magellan Meridian Mapping Unit (Gold or Platinum)?
    With the latest Magellan Software, Meridian users can use the 512meg SD memory cards.  This is 4 times more than the largest Garmin memory card.  It works like this:  a) You can still only select and load FOUR 16meg map sections at a time using the Magellan MapSend PC program.  b) So what you do is select and load a 64meg user selected map region,  go to Windows Explorer or DOS and rename the map file,  go back to MapSend,  select another 64meg map region,  go rename the file and continue this process until you have slightly less than 512megs of map files.  Then c) you load the files up to your 512meg SD card and plug the card into your Meridian.  

The one drawback that I know of for this system is that when you move from one 64meg map region to another,  you must go to the map selection menu and manually select the next 64meg map section for use by the GPS.  There is no automatic roaming from one 64meg map section to the next.  The user will also have to maintain a knowledge of what map section maintains the map data for the "next" area he is moving into so as to be able to make the proper selection of the next section.  Not as neat as we would like,  but it is a workable scheme.