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Send MapQuest, Google Maps Directions to Garmin


Garmin and MapQuest announced today that coming around April 15th you will be able to create a route within the MapQuest site, and send that route to your Garmin GPS. This functionality joins a growing list of applications and websites that no longer force the user to enter in destinations from the tiny touch screen keyboards found on most GPS devices.

“Our relationship with MapQuest gives our users even more of what they’ve come to expect from their Garmin products — ease of use and an array of options,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Planning a trip, whether it’s to a new restaurant, a business meeting or a family vacation, has never been easier or more efficient.”

The feature will be via USB directly to the device, therefore it should be compatible with the vast majority of Garmin auto GPS devices.

In Addition Garmin announced a similar feature will be available on Google Maps starting tomorrow.

63 Responses

  1. Tim,
    It seems as tho Garmin is making a lot of partnership moves lately. Having not been involved
    (at least seriously) until fairly recently, is this somewhat new on Garmin’s part? Appears there’s a big push to add features and conveniences over the past 6 months.

    Gatorguy - March 31st, 2008
  2. I’d say it is somewhat new, yes. However it isn’t unique to Garmin either– as GPS becomes more mainstream companies are finding more ways to incorporate GPS and other location based services into their products.

    Tim - March 31st, 2008
  3. I can’t find the way how to use this features on maps.google.com . I created a route – so, how to transfer it?

    Snix - April 2nd, 2008
  4. Snix, you can’t actually transfer a route, only the address of a destination. After going to Google maps, type something like “starbucks near [zipcode]” in the search box. Click the ‘Send’ link at the top right of the map, then click the GPS tab. Select which item you want to send, select Garmin as the ‘Make’ and then click the Send button. You will then be directed to garmin.com where it will format and transfer to your GPS (if you have the necessary software installed).

    Tim - April 2nd, 2008
  5. Re routes link to GPS from Google, I cannot find Re sending maps through Google LInk to Garmink,
    My link on shows Email and IM, unable to find the GPS link???

    Neil - April 9th, 2008
  6. I would like to purchase a nav aid for my truck. I go on cross state or country trips and predetermined routes. I want to go my way! Google map works very well choosing a route and allowing modifications that make the route as I choose. Until Garmin provides this feature I will stick with my GPSmap 76.

    Phil Brown - July 26th, 2008
  7. Phil, Garmin does provide the feature. That is what this article is talking about. Simply create the route in MapQuest, and you can send it to a compatible Garmin device.

    Tim - July 26th, 2008
  8. Seems to only allow single point down load. I am looking for user selected arbitrary routes with turn by turn instructions. This would allow me to make routes like RAGBRAI in Iowa.

    Phil Brown - July 26th, 2008
  9. That isn’t correct, Phil. Through MapQuest you are given the option of transferring individual waypoints, or you can transfer the entire route. Through MapQuest you can sent an arbitrary route.

    Tim - July 26th, 2008
  10. I’m confused. It seems I can transfer a destination I find on Mapquest, and it will show up on my Garmin. But if I try to add a route (I frequently prefer Mapquest’s routes) nothing is added to the Garmin, even though my computer says it has been successfully added. Tim wrote “you can transfer the entire route.” Huh? What am I doing wrong?

    Charles - July 28th, 2008
  11. Which Garmin do you have? After transferring the route, you need to import the route through the ‘My Data’ function on the Nuvi.

    Tim - July 28th, 2008
  12. Hi Tim. Thanks for the fast reply. I have a Nuvi 260. I am unaware of a “my data” function–would I have had to add a storage card to get this functionality? There is a slot, but I never added one–didn’t see the point.

    Charles - July 28th, 2008
  13. The 260 doesn’t support routes, so it doesn’t have this function. Thus you will only be able to transfer locations, and not routes.

    Tim - July 28th, 2008
  14. Tim, Well…which one should I have bought? Unfortunately, those charts they have which should explain what all the features are available can be extremely confusing. What should I have been looking for? Thanks again for your reply.

    Charles - July 28th, 2008
  15. In the Nuvi lineup, the 700 series, 800 series, and 5000 series devices support saved routes.

    Tim - July 28th, 2008
  16. It would be great to download Google Map Routes to Garmin GPS units. (including the entry level models). Google Maps routes are very easy to set up by point and click with the mouse. (No addresses needed). Then with mouse drag and grab route legs to place on road of your choosing. With this I could have my Garmin lead me along my complex route as I planned.

    Phil - July 28th, 2008
    • This is what I want to see…is there anything for Google Maps to transfer a route file to a GPS Garmin or TOMTOM?

      Bob - January 6th, 2009
      • No, Google Maps currently only supports sending individual locations (waypoints/favorites), not routes

        Tim - January 6th, 2009

    Joel - August 26th, 2008
  18. Near the top of the page, next to the Print button.

    Tim - August 26th, 2008
  19. Tim

    There is no drop down menue next to the print icon
    I use firefox 3.0…I tried internet explorer and the send icon IS there not when I use firefox 3.0

    Joel - August 26th, 2008
  20. It sounds like you don’t have the Garmin plugin installed in your FireFox browser.

    Tim - August 26th, 2008
  21. I still cannot send ending stops to my garmin through firefox 3.01 I have downloaded the current communicator and the drop down menu does not appear next to the print button It does however appear when I use Internet Explorer is there something worng with firefox…please don’t tell me to download the communicator to firefox ..is there setting on firefox that need to be installed…thank you …Joel

    Joel - August 31st, 2008
  22. I DID this — the instructions were in the most recent edition of Popular Science. But I threw the mag away and I can’t remember how I did it. Firefox 3.0.1. I didn’t get much confirmation that the destination was downloaded to my Garmin Nuvi, but it was and when I put it in the car I was able to get the destination.

    Huron - September 3rd, 2008
  23. when a mapquest route is uploaded to the garmin 750 does the spoken street names feature still work?…

    david - January 6th, 2009
    • Yes, it is no different than if the route was created on the 750.

      Tim - January 6th, 2009
  24. When using the FM radio feature to hear the Garmin commands through the car speakers on the Garmin 750, you must tune to an unused radio frequency, meaning no music. Is there a way to get the commands thru the speakers and still listen to music?

    David - January 7th, 2009
    • The only way to do it would be to load music on the GPS and play it. Otherwise if you tune your car stereo to listen to the GPS– it will listen to the GPS.

      Tim - January 8th, 2009
  25. I have a garmin nuvi 200. How can I get a map from mapquest. It said it has been sent. I can’t find it on my GPS.

    Terri - January 7th, 2009
    • Terri – You can send individual locations, but you cannot send a “map” to any GPS and you can only send “routes” to the 700 series and above.

      Tim - January 8th, 2009
  26. Tim, How do I delete the info that I have in My Data file. The only items left are these info, MapQues with numbers next to them. I don’t want to delete my Favorites just the MapQuest numbers.

    Ray Thibodaux - May 19th, 2009
    • Ray, you can find them on the mounted drive when connected via USB. I don’t recall if there is a way to delete them from the device itself– I don’t have one with me right now to test on.

      Tim - May 26th, 2009
  27. After using the “drag and drop” feature on Mapquest to creat a different route, and sending it to my garmin gps device, I receive the original driving directions. How do I get the new route?

    tom - May 21st, 2009
    • Tom, did you use the Import feature in ‘My Data’ to import the route? I assume you have a Nuvi 500, 700 or 800 series?

      Tim - May 21st, 2009
    • I’m having the same trouble. I create a drag-and-drop route in Mapquest, I transfer it to my Nuvi 760, I load it from “My Data”, but the route that appears on my Nuvi is a new route that the GPS has calculated between my start and end points, not the route I had originally plotted in Mapquest.

      Steven - June 9th, 2009
      • Steve that is somewhat by design. It is a bit of a misnomer to say that the “route” is transfered. Any “points” used for the route in MapQuest will be sent to the GPS, and then the Nuvi will calculate its own route between those points (aka waypoints). So if you build a route with just a starting address and ending address, the Nuvi could calculate a different route.

        If you add a few via points (waypoints) to the route and then send the route, the Nuvi will get the starting address, ending address, and any waypoints you have specified. The more waypoints you build, the less likely the Nuvi will route a different way.

        Tim - June 9th, 2009
  28. Update. You CAN download a route from MapQuest to Garmin. I just did it to my nuvi 265WT. Now how to access it is another matter.

    Dan - June 6th, 2009
    • Well, that is the point. The Nuvi 200 series can’t import the route. So the fact that you can send it to the GPS is pointless because you can’t do anything with it.

      Tim - June 6th, 2009
  29. There is a fantastic program that allows you to transfer a route created in Google Maps to TomTom called Tyre. You actually create the route within the program, but it uses Google Maps. Then you just save the file to the ITN folder in the TomTom. Is there something similar for Garmin? I have a Zumo 550 for my motorcycle.

    Jeremy - September 16th, 2009
  30. T.Y.R.E. will work with Garmin too. Or use Mapquest. Or use Garmin Mapsource.

    gatorguy - September 16th, 2009
    • Very cool. I didn’t realize T.Y.R.E. could be used with the Garmin…but I just got the Garmin so please pardon my ignorance.

      Jeremy - September 16th, 2009
  31. Don’t feel bad. Almost no one does. I just happened to notice it mentioned on T.Y.R.E’s website one day when browing thru it.

    gatorguy - September 16th, 2009
  32. I created a map in MapQuest and made some changes to the route. When I send it to my GPS it has the original route not the one with my changes. What am I doing wrong?

    Bill - September 17th, 2009
    • You might not be doing anything wrong. When you create a route in MapQuest and send it to the GPS, what is sent over is the starting location, destination, and any additional waypoints you add between. The Nuvi then calculates its own route between those points– which may or may not be the same as the route MapQuest picks between those same points. The more waypoints you add to the route in MapQuest the less likely the Nuvi will calculate a different route.

      Tim - September 17th, 2009
  33. OK. Just picked up my first GPS, a Nuvi 265WT. Perhaps the technology just hasnt advanced as much as I want, or maybe Im not using it the way its intended, but I find that its missing some fundamental routing functions that I want. #1: for local routes where I know the best route from experience, the unit continues to force its best route. #2: it doesnt seem that I can specify an exact route by either specifying one or excluding parallel streets.

    Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

    Marteen - November 14th, 2009
  34. I have a nuvi 1200. I am trying to send routes from my PC to my nuvi using mapquest. After I “send” it from mapquest, how/where do I find it on my nuvi?? AAAHHHH!!!!

    Carley - March 4th, 2010
    • Carley, you can’t. The 1200 doesn’t support multi-point routing.

      Tim - March 4th, 2010
  35. oh.. that’s probably why I couldn’t figure it out! Is there any other way to do it… I am in sales and have 4-5 stops/day….

    Carley - March 4th, 2010
    • The Nuvi 1200 does not support multi-point routes, so unfortunately you can’t with that model. You need to route to them individually.

      Tim - March 4th, 2010
  36. i have a garmin nuvi 760. i have 1 route with various points created on mapquest. i see the option to send via email but no gps. how do i get a gps option to appear under the send option?

    other issue.
    i have a file with just an address and no other points. this map has the gps option under the send option but when i click garmin and hit send nothing happens? any suggestion? i’m using windows XP SP2 and internet explorer 7

    i do have my gps unit plugged in via usb cable too.

    any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Robert - May 28th, 2010
  37. the street pilot c330 is capable for download route from mapquest?

    guillermo - June 7th, 2010
    • No, it is not.

      Tim - June 7th, 2010
  38. Been playing with RoadTrip. About all it’s good for is that it will import my favorites from my old C340 and then export all of them to my new Nuvi 255. That’s worth a bunch. I guess I’ll have to find a high end GPS that can learn my favorite routes to familiar places and apply them as needed. Of course, I KNOW those routes, but applying DETOUR might be worth something. Or maybe a button that says “LEARN” instead of recalculating routes I don’t want. Or “avoid big cities”

    harry - July 15th, 2010
  39. i have done route before on my garmin 8 series but i have a problem i have it each time when i plan a route on map quest with a way-point then i got to send and it sends the route but when i go import the data then look at my routes my new route is not there please need some help its driving me nuts i have 3 routes saved from a while back but i cant get them to show up again thanks for the time on this matter.

    jake - August 14th, 2010
  40. I have a Garmin Nuvi 770 and 1490. I can save routes by putting in start and end points but I want to drive a route and then save it. Can I do that? (I do have the Garmin set to leave a ‘bread crumb trail’ of where I’ve been and I could just turn around and follow my route back but want to save it for future use.)

    Carol - September 5th, 2010
  41. I have the Nuvi 1300 and the Nuvi 350 tried this with both, says successfully uploaded route, but nothing on the Nuvi

    Michelle - February 21st, 2011
    • If you were trying to transfer a route, then the reason it didn’t work is because neither of your devices support saved routes.

      Tim - February 22nd, 2011
  42. I have the Garmin 2350LTM. I created several routes in MapQuest and downloaded the resulting [filename*].gpx to the Garmin. The are located in their very own gpx directory, but I cannot access them via the Garmin GUI. Any ideas?

    Bob D - March 23rd, 2011
  43. I am using a Garmin 1100lm with Firefox, the Garmin plugin, and a Macbook. There is no “send” option that appears on Google maps. Has this been discontinued?

    Mark Crane - July 10th, 2011
    • I still see it, although it is in a different place. If you search for a store (for example) look for the “more” button in the left column in the search results under the store name/address. After clicking “more” there are buttons for “send” and then “gps”.

      Tim - July 14th, 2011
  44. Yay! The route download worked great! I selected a complete route on MapQuest, I downloaded it to my Garmin via the button on the upper lefthand corner of MapQuest. Then I opened “MY DATA” on the Garmin and selected to import the route. It imported. Then I went to “Routes” on the Garmin and the routes I downloaded was there! Perfect!!! Thanks!! By the way you need to install the Garmin plugin for this to work. You will be prompted once you try to download a route the first time.

    Teresa - July 30th, 2011
  45. I have a Nuvi 1350 and have successfully sent waypoints to it from Google maps in the past. Recently, though, when I attempt the process, everyting goes as expected on the Google page (i.e. the page says the waypoint was sent successfully), but it is not to be found on the GPS. Anyone know whay may be the problem? I have a lot of stored favorites. Is there an upper limit to the number of favorites the 1350 can store (although I have no trouble creating new favorites directly). Thanks.

    Don - September 8th, 2011

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