Garmin StreetPilot III
Inaccurate Location, Accuracy Circle, Small Streets Missing

The little pointer triangle that shows your location on the map is off of the road. A circle (called the "accuracy circle") is displayed around the triangle pointer; you are somewhere inside the circle. Instead of specific directions like "in 300 feet, turn right," you get vague directions like "go southwest point five miles," and the directions are poor. Looking at your paper map, you see much better routes to take. When you zoom in on the Garmin map display, small streets cannot be seen.


You have driven outside of the area of your downloaded maps! The "base map" built into the Garmin navigator shows the major freeways and some of the highways and busier streets. However, the base map is not as accurate as the downloaded maps and does not show the small streets. The navigator tries to direct you "cross-country" to the few streets that it knows about in its base map.

I spent a whole week of my family vacation navigating on the base map, using its lousy directions and un-detailed maps. Ironically, I had my laptop computer and Garmin cables with me, and could have easily fixed the problem if there was an error message to tell me what was wrong! When I got back home, the unit worked fine and I realized the cause of the problem.


You need to download the maps for the area where you are located using the MapSource software on your PC. Follow the map downloading instructions provided with the Garmin GPS unit. You will have to remove the memory card from the unit and put it into the USB card reader provided with the system.

Back to Garmin StreetPilot III Troubleshooting page

Web page ©2004 Gray Chang
-- Printing for personal use OK. Links to here are OK, but do not copy or mirror

[an error occurred while processing this directive]