I downloaded the latest free maps from “OpenStreetMaps” for Garmin-PC and gave them a try.
Some major upgrades to roads were completed in December 2009 in my area. The 2011 map update from Garmin (really, it’s late 2010) still shows the old construction. The free OS maps I just installed correctly show all major road upgrades and most of the minor changes as well. The latest Maps that came with Odyssey are also pretty much up to date.
With that in mind I compared Navigator11-free to Garmin-PC using the same maps, Garmin-PC still has the best display but in reality I’d happily use either.
What is interesting is that for the areas I looked at, the latest NATVEQ.010330 dated 2011/08/24 Odyssey maps are in some cases not as detailed or as up to date as OSM’s. OS maps running in Garmin show shopping centre car park layout and area outlines with most parking areas indicated correctly. I’m really impressed with these OSM Maps, especially running in Garmin.
If it weren’t for Garmin Map POI data base I think I would be happy to use OSM and save myself a lot of money, actually if further testing proves OSM’s to be as good as they appear then I think I’ll dump Garmin Maps anyway and see if I can contribute to OSM in some way to help keep it viable.
To those already using the latest OS maps, if you feel inclined, please let the rest of us know what you think of them.
Only thing I would say about the OSM site is that for someone not familiar with mapping it can be a little confusing at first to find what you want. Yes, I know there is lots of how to info there but I guess it's such a complex subject when dealing with Maps from everywhere for various types of GPS device's and SW.
UPDATE: Major problems with POI and OSM.
No matter what I do I cannot get Navigator11 with OS maps to find the Major Domestic and International Airport, and its POI layout IMHO just s****. Garmin with OS maps will find them but one is incorrect as it’s not the departure terminal.
Odyssey has no problems, just a few clicks and it’s on its way correctly. Garmin with its own maps has more specific exact terminal locations but really Odyssey and Garmin-PC (with own maps) are similar for these locations.
So for me the sticking point with OS maps is still the POI. If POI is of no concern to you then OSM map data looks great so far.