Update GPS for free – OpenStreetMap

Free GPS update | How to update your GPS for free?

Over time, you will find that your navigation system is no longer as efficient as it was at the beginning. Address not found, one-way traffic incorrectly indicated or obsolete limitations: your GPS is no longer up to date. While some models offer a free lifetime update, many other navigation assistants require a significant amount of money to update it. GPS Update gives you its best tips for downloading the new maps for free.

GPS update: what frequency for a navigation system?

Importance of the update

Nowadays, GPS no longer simply provides you with a fixed and static map of the road network. They incorporate a multitude of important criteria to ensure a successful trip: speed limits, points of interest, dangers… This tool quickly loses its value if you do not have the latest updated version.

When to update the GPS?

You have understood how important it is to update your navigation assistant. But another question arises: how often should you install the new maps?

The number of updates to be performed per year depends on your personal use. Of course, if you only use your device once a year to go on holiday with your family, a single annual update will be more than enough. On the other hand, if you drive on a daily basis and have to go to unknown addresses on a regular basis, it may be a good idea to update more frequently. Three to four per year will allow you to enjoy the latest maps and get to your destination without any unpleasant surprises.

Special cases for updates or new maps

There are other special circumstances that may prompt you to download a new map or update your GPS. For example, you plan to move abroad or go on a trip to another country. If you only had France mapping planned when you purchased your navigation system, you will need to install a new area. Some events may also cause you to update your device. For example, changing the current speed limits and changing from 90 to 80 km/h on two-way roads is a good reason to update your system. This ensures that you can drive safely.

Update your GPS system for free: how to do it?

Updating a navigation system is often not free of charge. In most cases, you must purchase the update or take out an annual subscription. However, when you have already invested in a GPS that costs a certain price, it is not always easy to systematically put your hand back in your pocket. Fortunately, there are alternatives to update your mobile GPS for free.

OpenSource maps: free update on TomTom and Garmin

To update your GPS for free, the OpenStreetMap project allows you to download maps and transfer them to your system without any cost. This Open Source software is actually a database of free maps, updated by volunteer contributors. The downloaded maps are compatible with different navigation systems. The proposed formats can be installed directly on your Garmin GPS, for example. For your TomTom assistant , there is the possibility to convert OpenStreetMap files to play them on your GPS. However, the process is longer since it requires the installation of a plug-in. In the next two paragraphs, discover the steps that must be followed to do this.

Steps for a Garmin GPS

If you have a Garmin brand GPS, good news: you can avoid the paid updates offered by their official website. The OpenStreetMap project gives you free access to all the maps you want. In addition, it should be noted that installation is quick and easy. It does not require any specific computer prerequisites. However, you should check before you start that your internal memory is sufficient or add a larger card if necessary.

  1. You must go to http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl to get started;
  2. Choose the version “Routable Générique” for your car or “OpenFietsMaps” for hiking and mountain biking;
  3. Select the map you wish to download. You can choose a complete country or a delimited area. In the second case, the preparation of the mapping can take several hours;
  4. You must make sure to download the .zip version. Unzip the file using WinZip software and install it on your GPS hard disk;
  5. Then, you just have to activate the map on your assistant by going to the settings.
gps map

How to proceed on TomTom?

You can also take advantage of the free OpenStreetMap maps on your TomTom navigation assistant. However, the downloaded maps will not be directly usable. You must first install software on your GPS, which will serve as a reader for these specific maps. This plug-in can be downloaded free of charge by following this link http://ttmaps.free.fr/install.html and installing it on your system’s SD card. You will then need to install the OSM cards following the same procedure as for Garmin. However, it will be necessary to place the maps in the “Maps” sub-folder.

Economical alternative: free applications

In recent years, free applications have become more widespread and allow you to follow a route easily and quickly from your smartphone. In addition, these applications take into account real-time traffic and alert you to possible dangers and accidents on your way. The advantage of using Waze, GoogleMaps or Maps is on the one hand, free of charge, and on the other hand, automatic updates. Indeed, as soon as you use your application in connection mode, you will benefit from an updated version.

Some GPS applications even offer free downloads of maps for offline use. Generally, you have access to a defined number of free maps and you have the option of paying an additional fee if you want to download more. This alternative is often much more economical than purchasing an update via an integrated or mobile GPS. However, it is necessary to have a smartphone and a way to recharge it in your car since this type of application consumes a lot of battery power.

car navigation

Gps Update, find out how to update all your GPS systems

Discover on GPS Update complete guides for updating your GPS systems. In our menu, you can browse our manuals per make or car model. We also regularly offer articles to keep you up to date on all the developments and innovations in the world of navigation aids.