leaderboard left
leaderboard right
content topleft content topright

Garmin Project Bobcat


Garmin BobcatGarmin’s Project Bobcat for mac users has climbed out of the bag and revealed itself for download. So what does it do? It “lows you to transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes between your Mac and Garmin device and manage your data using your Garmin maps”. You can also search for POIs and send those locations to your GPS, and backup your wayoints, routes, and tracks from your GPS.

The software isn’t yet “official” and “note yet been released for production” so as they say… use it at your own risk. So what does it look like? Here is a quick capture.

Garmin Bobcat Screenshot

Thanks, Spyder63.

25 Responses

  1. this is very disappointing in that i was jazzed up for something cool. i guess i can see why they waited for macworld to release it (i.e. s. jobs only talks about macs @ macworld) but it was such a let down. it’s not even finished. 😐

    messels - January 15th, 2008
  2. Disappointing is right. Despite the hype, there’s still no way to transfer Garmin maps to Garmin GPS units without using a PC as a stepping-stone. I’m thisclose to boxing up my new Vista HCx, case, useless maps, etc. and shipping it all back to Kansas with a demand for a full refund.
    Two years ago Garmin promised full support for the Mac. They’ve been dribbling out various “beta” utilities (some of them admittedly useful) but the ONE KEY PIECE of software is still not available.
    Imagine if their aviation products had the same level of support: “I reckon there’s an airport around here… somewhere…”

    Eric - January 16th, 2008
  3. To Eric

    Look up Garmin MapManager, it enables to load maps to the garmin directlly from the Mac.

    Frederic - January 16th, 2008
  4. To Frederick,

    Yes, but the map data must be converted from PC format to MAC format before MapManager can do anything with it. MapManager will not install the maps to the Garmin unit Garmin MapInstall does that. It will install the Map data from the CNNANT v2008 to a Garmin GPS. All other Garmin map products must be installed on a PC then converted before they can be used on a Macintosh. There is still no way to Install the Garmin maps to a Macintosh without using a PC first to convert the data to MAC format, And that conversion and installation process is not working properly for me. So Bobcat is virtually useless for planning routes until I can get the map data loaded on my Macintosh in a format that Bobcat can read.

    Denny - January 17th, 2008
  5. Seems to work OK for me, but i don’t like that the detail-level is less on some zoom-levels. For example, i have to go below 1km to get detailed hightcurves, in Mapsource PC i have them on 5km

    Johan - January 17th, 2008
  6. Very dissapointed with Garmins efforts. If this is the best that
    Very dissapointed in this software from Garmin. If this is the best
    their software engineers can come up with after two years of development they should invest in some experienced Mac programmers who understand what Mac users expect from their software.

    Paul - January 17th, 2008
  7. After TWO years of wait, there is no MapSource for the Mac. HELLO, THERE!!! GARMIN!!!! You PROMISED there would be Mac support, but this thing Bobcat SUCKS!
    I would have leave this in “Chet’s corner”, that ALSO SUCKS, and filters all messages except fakes telling how great Garmin is…
    I am VERY disappointed…

    Paul Reite - January 21st, 2008
  8. Does anyone actually read what Garmin says????????

    BOBCAT is the Mac version of Mapsource. It’s BETA and some of the features are not available in the beta release.

    GARMIN SAYS that all new map releases will be Mac Compatible and you can then load them without a PC, they are pretty clear they are not going back to old versions and updating them.

    It’s a step forward for the Mac platform and this beta release needs some work.

    Dave - January 21st, 2008
  9. Dave, what everyone is likely upset about is the pace of the availability of Mac software from their original timetable.

    January 10, 2006

    By the end of 2006, Garmin intends to have made all its popular hardware and software applications Mac OS X compatible. This includes the ability to load MapSource map data to Garmin units via a Mac, as well as waypoint and trip planning applications. Additionally, the Garmin nRoute application will allow Powerbook and iBook users to turn their laptop into a powerful street navigation tool with Garmin’s GPS 10 or GPS 18 sensors.

    June 27, 2006

    … expected to be compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4 “Tiger” by the end of 2006. Also at that time, we will announce the expected completion date for Garmin’s other hardware and software applications. We thank the Mac community for their support, understanding and patience as we work through these unanticipated delays …

    December 29, 2006

    Garmin announced Training Center software for OS X, but made no mention of any other software such as MapSource.

    January 15, 2008

    Bobcat is released, still without the ability to create/transfer maps on the Mac without a PC. However they did say this:

    Garmin plans to include additional features to this application by the end of 2008 – such as route editing and find by address function.

    Tim - January 21st, 2008
  10. I was excited when I visited the booth at MacWorld SF and received the CD with Bobcat. I came home that night and converted my 4 map sets from the PC to the Mac. I then became quite depressed when I discovered the limitations of Bobcat. I was told as others were that Garmin would have a Mac version of MapSource by June of 2006. As we all know that didn’t happen. Now with Bobcat, there is a start but it really is not usable as a replacement for MapSource. Such simple things as elevation profiles are missing from the track data. The inability of modify routes and find directions are very basic. Lets hope that Garmin puts more resources on this project so we don’t have to wait another 2 years before the get the next dribble of an update.

    Roger - January 29th, 2008
  11. I just found this last night. Great product. I was able to convert all my Mapsource maps via their convertor and now I have TOPO US and Canada plus Metro Canada and N. America. Here’s a neat thing too. I have about 100+ Mapsource files. All I did was change to file extension from .gdb to .gpx and they opened up just fine. The only thing I was disappointed with is I can’t look up addresses. Yeah it’s taken too long but this is better then nothing.

    Mike - January 29th, 2008
  12. Typical Garmin. More of a patch than a useful program. I dumped Mapsource and went to Mac GPS Pro. When my Garmin fails, it will not be replaced with another Garmin product.

    I’m a Win user as well. Garmin’s software looks and feels like a taped together mess.

    unimpressed - January 31st, 2008
  13. Garmin, I hope you read this.

    You need to put more resources/cash into your software division.

    For better business at least.. there’s no excuse.

    I’ve been a patient customer but its getting hard to stay that way.

    tooslow - February 14th, 2008
  14. Looks like they just released City Navigator NT for Macs so you can at least install a map from your Mac:


    Tim - February 22nd, 2008
  15. Even with the brand new Bobcat update (March 2008), I sill don’t see a way to edit simple track points (index ponts). Even a beta version must include such a basic feature.

    I get the impression that Garmin allocates nearly no resources toward improving Bobact in a timely manner. I also get the impression that I’m NOT a fan of Garmin.

    Scott - March 23rd, 2008
  16. Bobcat seems a great start from Garmin, works a treat with my Garmin Visit. The only issue I have is adding waypoints, it crashes when adding a point to a Topo map, this is easy resolved by changing to the Navigator map adding the waypoint then changing back to Topo. Lets hope Garmin keep updating this software!

    Martin - April 1st, 2008
  17. While I completely agree that I wish Garmin had come out with Bobcat earlier, I am very happy that it is here. Bobcat isn’t just a rehash of a PC program. It looks and feels like a real Mac app and personally I would much rather have a true Mac app than a knock off of the PC app that I’m sure they could have forced out quicker.

    The first version was pretty basic, but it has had 3 updates in the last 3 months which has filled in much of the major functionality and made it much more stable for me. Personally I find Bobcat to be a big step up from Mapsource. It looks better and is easier to use. Venting here is all fine and good I suppose, but if people want Garmin to listen, they should do what I did and use the Send Feedback feature built into Bocat. An engineer responded with questions about my requested feature.

    Or you could use Garmin’s competitors’ Mac software…oh wait there isn’t any.

    Brian (Garmin Employee) - April 8th, 2008
  18. Hi “Brian”, thanks for stopping by. I suspect it is much easier for you to get the attention of a Garmin engineer and get them to listen to your feature requests because you are a Garmin employee yourself!

    I think you will find that more of your competitors are offering Mac software to help manage their devices and plan routes. TomTom has had a Mac version of HOME for a couple of years that gives people the ability to create routes with their keyboard and mouse as well as handle application updates. Of course I’m looking forward to doing that in full screen on Bobcat.

    But in the interest of transparency you probably should have disclosed that you are a Garmin employee before touting Bobcat’s features and cricizing competitors. I’m going to append “garmin employee” to your post-name.


    Tim - April 8th, 2008
  19. oh my god!!! c’mon garmin! You guys have got to do better than requiring a pc to convert maps to mac!!!!! Wow, ok… Im going hiking now, without my garmin.

    Karl - May 13th, 2008
  20. I have been using “Bobcat” for the last week and what a disappointment. It not only lacks essential features, but crashes consistently. This is one of the worst, most buggy programs I have used in years. Garmin is not only slow but inept in their Mac efforts. Tom Tom is in my future after years of being a loyal Garmin customer.

    David E Hartzell - May 27th, 2008
  21. Bobcat has been quite stable for me, but not being able to search for addresses (even at this point) is just silly.

    Tim - May 27th, 2008
  22. After my conversions and running Bobcat I find none of the waypoints and routes came over to the mac from the PC Mapsource files. Is there any way to accomplish that?

    Greg lazarchik - June 13th, 2008
  23. I don’t see any posts after 6/13. Does this mean that the shortcomings have been resolved or folks gave up. I tried Tom Tom and after an hour and a half with their tech support we still couldn’t get it working with OS 10.5 so I was hoping Garmin would work out.

    Jim - September 4th, 2008
  24. The software is getting better, but is still in beta. The biggest downside right now as far as I’m concerned is that it is very, very slow when searching, browsing/panning/zooming the map, etc.

    Tim - September 4th, 2008
  25. What a difference a couple of days makes. 🙂 See my post about Garmin RoadTrip!

    Tim - September 9th, 2008

content bottomleft content bottomright