The end of Garmin Basecamp

Discussion in 'Electronics Insanity' started by Boyd, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    The writing is on the wall. There has been a widespread rumor that Garmin stopped developing Basecamp, and now they have officially stated it - see this:

    https://support.garmin.com/en-CA/?faq=cmo7YxRdRB1DDl1JAWuEV8

    "BaseCamp development has been discontinued."

    It appears they will begin pushing people to a web portal to manage their GPS devices, as described in that article. Their new inReach units and the GPSMap 66 (their newest handheld) are the only current devices that can use the portal now. But with Basecamp discontinued, it seems like this is their new solution.

    This is bad news, because the current version of Basecamp/MapInstall cannot send maps to your GPS. When you try, everything seems to work OK, but when you look at the map on the GPS, it has no detail. So you can't send a third party map to your device now, like the maps at GPSFileDepot or my maps. My solution is to offer a separate download of the map file to install on the GPS, avoiding the use of Garmin's software.

    There are tons of threads about this problem on the GPSFileDepot forums from confused users who can't install maps. The only solution is to downgrade to an old version of Basecamp or use Mapsource. I always assumed this was just a bug that would quickly be fixed, but it's been 7 months now and since they've abandoned Basecamp, I guess they will never fix it.

    And there is a special concern for Mac users.... Basecamp is a 32-bit application, and the next version of MacOS (due in the fall of 2019) won't support 32-bit apps. Garmin promised to upgrade Basecamp to 64 bit in 2018, but it never happened. So I suppose this is another reason why they might push everyone to a web portal in the future.
     
  2. manumuskin

    manumuskin Piney

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    Why does this consistently happen? Is it a tactic to constantly force us to buy new gps units? I bought a Tom Tom about five years ago and bought the life time map updates.Then three years later I was notified the updates were no good because they quit supporting that model of Tom Tom and I would need to buy an updated model if I wanted to keep current.
    I can't believe these people are smart enough to write code to make a program like Basecamp but aren't smart enough to fix it when a glitch occurs. There has to me a ploy to suck more money out of loyal Garmin customers.Whats your take on why Basecamp is disappearing?
     
  3. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    TomTom and Magellan have angered a lot of people by dropping lifetime map subscriptions. At least Garmin has been better at that, I haven't heard any serious complaints from people with older automotive devices.

    I think we are just seeing Garmin adapt to a rapidly changing market and allocate their resources to maximize profit. They probably think Basecamp is already "good enough", and I don't really disagree. But the problem with not being able to send maps to the GPS is outrageous. It just has to be a bug, and not something intentional. If they wanted to stop you from sending maps, they would just discontinue MapInstall, or have it put up a message that third party maps aren't supported.

    So I'd guess it's just sloppy coding, because this problem never existed in old versions of the software. And by the time users started complaining, Garmin had already pulled the plug on Basecamp and assigned their programmers to another project. There is no incentive for them to fix this, aside from pleasing people who are using free third party maps instead of buying Garmin products. So they must be aware of the problem, but 7 months later, it hasn't been fixed and Garmin says Basecamp is finished. My interpretation is that Garmin just gave the finger to anyone who wants to use alternative, free maps on their devices.

    Now you can downgrade to the old Basecamp, and that is the immediate fix for the problem. But that isn't so easy and the "average guy" won't know how. You can also use Mapsource, Garmin's older software. AFAIK, it still runs on current versions of Windows. This thread discusses the problem and how to downgrade: https://forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php?topic=4539.0

    I'm not clear on whether the same map installation problem exists with the Mac version, I have heard conflicting stories. But the current 32 bit Basecamp won't work on the next operating system the Apple releases in 2019. Of course, you don't have to upgrade to that new operating system, and probably shouldn't with an older computer anyway. But when Apple releases new Macs, they won't run older operating systems. So, for example, if Apple introduces a new iMac in November 2019, it will only be compatible with 64-bit apps and can't be downgraded to an older operating system.

    There are still some work-arounds - for both Windows and Macs - such as running a virtual machine with an old operating system that is compatible with Basecamp. But that can also get complicated, and is more than what the average user will want to do.

    So.... my take is that you will probably be able to continue using Basecamp with your existing GPS, although there may be additional hoops to jump through and bugs are not going to be fixed. At some point, Garmin may roll out a web portal that completely replaces basecamp for your older devices. But if you buy a new Garmin handheld, they are going to steer you towards the web portal and at some point, the new devices won't work at all with Basecamp. The link I posted above is specifically for the GPSMap66 handheld which was released a couple months ago. This is what they recommend:

    "This web portal allows users multiple feature advantages. We recommend using the Explore Website for management of waypoints, locations, activities, tracks, and routes. "
     
    #3 Boyd, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  4. 46er

    46er Piney

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    FWIW, I have some older versions of Basecamp saved going back to 2010. I'm a human packrat :D
     
  5. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    There's a huge archive of garmin firmware and software here. Every Garmin owner should bookmark it. :)

    http://www.gawisp.com/perry/

    I don't know anything about this site, I had the impression is was related to gpsinformation.net, one of the oldest GPS sites. But whoever it is, they are doing a terrific public service - and also doing Garmin's dirty work. Shocking that Garmin themselves don't have an archive like this.
     
  6. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
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    Boyd, you say above the 'current' version of Basecamp won't sent maps to your device. I have Ver. 4.7.0. Can I assume you mean a different version?
     
  7. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    No, unfortunately that is the bad version. :bang: Well, actually, the specific problem seems to be the version of MapInstall that was also distributed in the Basecamp 4.7.0 package (MapInstall 4.2). See the thread I linked to above for info about downgrading: https://forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php?topic=4539.0

    Basecamp is very aggressive about either auto-updating or nagging you constantly until you update to the current version. I gather there are some other bugs in Basecamp 4.7.0 that have caused people to downgrade as well. I don't seriously "use" Basecamp for anything, just testing the maps I make.

    If everything else seems to work for you, I would just use Mapsource to install maps. Do you still have it on your computer? You just have to remember, unless you take specific steps, Mapsource may erase the map that is already installed on your GPS when you send a new one. That is because it always names the map file gmapsupp.img, so a new map replaces the old file. The easiest work-around is to manually change the map name to something else after sending it, such as topo.img.
     
  8. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
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    I actually only use aerials on this GPS. It is interesting to note though, that a friend gave me topo maps, and I did install them (about 4 years ago), but they came up blank on the GPS. I thought it was just a glitch, and since I don't really use them anyway, I ignored it and did not try to fix.

    But here's the thing; I bought another subscription to Birdseye this year (since the ones on my GPS only go down to the mullica, I want the rest of SJ). I bought a microSD card today to install the rest via BaseCamp this week. It should work.
     
  9. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    I have not heard about any problems with Birdseye in Basecamp 4.7.0. Birdseye simply involves copying files to the GPS. Installing "regular" Garmin maps involves processing because the GPS uses a different type of map file than Basecamp. That job is handed off to the MapInstall program, and (apparently) that's where the problem exists. Birdseye doesn't use MapInstall.

    There could be many reasons why your friend's map didn't work on your GPS, but we would have to do some troubleshooting to see exactly what was wrong. Anyway, this MapInstall problem is new and first appeared in May 2018.
     
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  10. 46er

    46er Piney

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    Sites like that send up flares to me. You have no idea what kind of door your opening when you dbl click one of them. And don't open the main URL for that site, it is not a good place to go.
     
  11. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    I strictly use aerials so as long as Birdseye works I am good. I gave up on Basecamp a long time ago and use Google Earth Pro exclusively.
     
  12. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    I just checked and I have the installers for 4.22 and 4.70 for Mac.
     
  13. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    That is a very well-known and respected archive of Garmin software. But you are right about the main URL, never tried opening that before. Something odd is going on there, it re-directs you to a different site that wants you to download a bogus copy of Adobe Flash. Definitely not a good place to go. :eek: So... yeah, maybe there are concerns about that site. But it's the only place to find all that Garmin software, so it's gonna be a problem if it's no longer secure.

    IMO, it is time to un-install Adobe Flash if you still have it, there are lots of security concerns. Adobe has already announced they will stop updating it in 2020. You don't need it anymore, almost every serious site has already done away with it already. I dumped Flash over a year ago and haven't missed it.
     
  14. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    Unless Garmin provides a 64 bit version of Basecamp, if you update to the next version of MacOS then you won't be good. ;)
     
  15. 46er

    46er Piney

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    upload_2019-1-1_11-53-35.gif

    I would advise anyone contemplating opening any of those links to virus scan it first.
     

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  16. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    Agreed. And I am not going to post any more links there. But this is a big problem. Garmin's software is broken and cannot install maps. Garmin doesn't care, won't fix it and doesn't provide a way to downgrade to a working version. What a disgrace - shame on Garmin. :argh:
     
  17. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    #17 Boyd, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  18. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    They must be hurting because of phone sales. If you look into peoples cars as they drive past you it is almost always a phone hooked up on the dash or window. I rarely see a GPS anymore. I use one when traveling because I don't have a phone plan. I just basically text. I doubt I would buy a new car GPS even if mine broke.
     
  19. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    I could use Jessica's laptop if needed. It will no longer update.
     
  20. 46er

    46er Piney

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    Yes indeed, but they are not alone. Just about every software company stops supporting something at some point. Adobe is famous for it; I stopped using Lightroom because of their idea of what good support is supposed to be. And as you mentioned, Adobe is pulling support for Flash instead of fixing it, which a lot of folks happen to like and use. But most try to keep functionality, unlike Garmin.