Garmin BirdsEye Satellite Imagery
This is something I’ve been longing a few years before… satellite imagery on a Garmin handheld. It was nearly three years ago when I wrote Why Aerial Images Matter and I feel no less about it today. Now Garmin has finally offered a supported way to add satellite imagery without having to build the map yourself. Welcome, Garmin BirdsEye.
The BirdsEye product will work similar to the DeLorme map subscription… pay $30 for the one year subscription and then you can use Garmin BaseCamp to transfer those maps to your GPS. The maps are described as high resolution, sub meter color imagery that “captures the world in brilliant clarity and detail”, although I doubt the entire world is captured at sub-meter resolution. If so– that would be insanely cool, but I doubt it.
The subscriptions are good for one device, and downloads get locked to that device. You can purchase additional subscriptions for different devices. The maps can be stored in internal memory, or on SD card. Garmin BirdsEye is compatible with the Garmin Colorado, Dakota, and Oregon models. I expect the new product to be announced on Tuesday.
I’m sure people will immediately make comparisons to the DeLorme subscription. The DeLorme subscription still has a few advantages, at least based on the information we have so far from Garmin. Garmin is offering aerial images, but the DeLorme subscription includes just about every map type that DeLorme has:
- Vector topo base map with 100k contours, routable roads, etc.
- USGS 24k topos
- b&w aerial imagery
- color aerial imagery
- NOAA marine charts including the Great Lakes
- Canada topos (new)
- high res city imagery (higher res than the standard color aerial imagery)
- Sat 10 imagery (low res).