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October 03, 2008

Garmin Intros New Devices for U.S Market and International Boaters

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Garmin (News - Alert) International has released the GPSMAP 640, a portable and rugged touch-screen navigator that comes preloaded with a comprehensive set of street maps and marine charts. Also, the company also introduced the GPSMAP 620, which shares the same intuitive interface and is designed for markets outside the United States.

Introduced for international boaters, GPSMAP 620 provides a worldwide base map with shaded relief. And through an SD card slot, it supports optional street map and marine chart data.
The GPSMAP 640 comes preloaded with street maps of North America and worldwide shaded relief mapping. Additional features include detailed U.S. coastal BlueChart g2 charts. According to company officials, when placed in its included marine mount, these new portables will automatically start up in marine mode.
The marine mode presents chart features such as shaded depth contours, port plans, wrecks, restricted areas and more.
Officials said that with optional BlueChart g2 Vision technology, the GPSMAP 640 provides a t3-D “mariner’s eye view,” for a navigation perspective above the waterline, and a “fish eye view” for an underwater 3D bathymetric contour perspective.
Moreover, mariners will also benefit from the auto guidance technology the g2 Vision data card, suggesting best navigational route. Also, photo references give detailed aerial views of points of interest (POI) such as ports, marinas, waterways and landmarks.
On the road, GPSMAP 640 gives voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions, advising users to “Turn right on Main Street.”
In planning a route, users can search for a local bait shop or the best resorts around town and the GPSMAP will lead the way. Using GPSMAP 640, users can also create custom POIs and set up proximity alerts for the ultimate in driver awareness.
Additionally, with the GXM 40 antenna—which is sold separately—the GPSMAP 640 can graphically display XM WX Satellite Weather data directly on the unit’s display.
Officials said that the GXM 40 offers motorists and mariners the option of receiving nearly 200 channels of commercial-free music, news, sports talk and entertainment with XM Satellite Radio.
The GPSMAP 600 series features a GPS receiver and an intuitive, waterproof (IPX7) super-bright 5.2” WVGA touchscreen display (800 x 480 pixels) that reacts as users tap or drag through intuitive menus and options.
“Blending the best aspects of our popular portable marine units with the intuitive user interface of our automotive flagship line of nüvi navigators, the GPSMAP 600 series is the perfect tool in the boat and on the road,” said Dan Bartel, vice president of worldwide sales at Garmin, in a statement.

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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