Garmin has recently unveiled Outdoor Maps+, a premium subscription-based mapping solution for outdoor enthusiasts. Here’s everything you need to know about the new service.
If you enjoy exploring new trails, hunting wild game, or fishing in remote waters, you understand the value of having a reliable map on your wrist. Not all maps, however, are created equal. Some are out of date, incorrect, or incomplete. Others are prohibitively expensive, time-consuming, or difficult to obtain.
Garmin Outdoor Maps+ is available for download on Fenix 7 series, MARQ, Tactix, Quatix, and Enduro 2 compatible smartwatches, as well as the Montana 800 handheld hiking GPS range. This mapping solution enhances your outdoor experience by supplementing the features preloaded on these devices.
What makes Outdoor Maps+ different from other mapping services?
While there are numerous mapping solutions on the market, Garmin’s Outdoor Maps+ stands out for its comprehensive features. This includes the following:
- High-resolution satellite imagery: Photorealistic maps allow you to see a high-resolution perspective from above and find land features, mark waypoints, and do other things.
- Enhanced TOPO maps: Garmin’s elevation mapping is enhanced with premium contours.
- Landowner names and boundaries: Understand who owns the land you’re on and where public and private land types are located.
- View state-specific hunting zones for deer, elk, turkey, and other species.
- Discover thousands of fishing hotspots across lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.
For quite some time, certain Garmin devices have been able to save maps. Outdoor Maps+, on the other hand, goes a step further.
Without a computer or smartphone, you can download maps directly to your device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. So there’s no need to carry a laptop or smartphone around to transfer maps.
Outdoor Maps+ allows you to select from a variety of map types, including satellite imagery, TOPO maps, landowner boundaries, and others. You can customize your map settings such as orientation, zoom level, and color scheme.
You can also use the Garmin Explore app or web portal to plan trips, review activities, and share your experiences with others. Create and send waypoints, routes, and tracks. You can also view statistics such as distance, elevation gain, speed, and calories burned on your device or the Garmin Explore app.
Most importantly, the service is regularly updated. This is necessary to ensure that you always have up-to-date information on your device.
How to get started with Outdoor Maps+
You’ll need a compatible Garmin smartwatch or handheld to get started with Outdoor Maps+. As mentioned, the maps can then be downloaded directly to your device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
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Outdoor Maps+ subscriptions are currently available for $49.99 per year. That’s about $4 per month on top of your already expensive high-end Garmin device.
It’s worth mentioning, the Plan can only be used by one compatible Garmin device at a time. But you can sync your data across devices and access it both online and offline.
The big question is – is it worth it?
That is entirely dependent. If you frequently go off trail – hiking in the Rockies, hunting in Texas, fishing in Minnesota, you will most likely find these useful. Outdoor Maps+ will assist you in navigating safely and discovering new places. Furthermore, now that Garmin has discontinued the standalone birds-eye service, it is the only way to get such imagery on your watch. It may even be more valuable to supplement a hiking handheld than a watch due to its larger display.
Others will most likely be satisfied with the current mapping capabilities of Garmin devices. OpenStreetMaps are free to download and very useful. If you’re wanting satellite view and United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps, Garmin Explore has that for free. Between these options, maps from services such as BBBike.org, you probably won’t need anything else.
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