One of our readers quite rightly complained about the cost of loading new maps into the road trip GPS systems. New maps for popular GPS travel devices like the TomTom run anywhere from $60 to over $100.

The way to avoid expensive map upgrades is to use Google maps with your GPS device. Garmin and TomTom, the leading makers of GPS devices, both allow you to hook your computer to your GPS device and transfer Google maps. These are all free from “” and they are available for locations worldwide.



  1. Read your column in the Democrat-Gazette a few minutes ago. ALWAYS read your column.

    Went to the link but can not find maps available to TOMTOM GPS devices. I’m getting older and need help, please.


  2. Have I misunderstood your column this time? I have been doing more looking and have found that I can enter a business address and the (hopefully) transfer a map just for that specific address to my GPS. I thought that I would be finding an updated and free map of the USA and Canada to replace the TOMTOM map I alread have on my ONE. ???

    Larry again

  3. Our Google Maps contact had this to say:

    To clarify, Google Maps themselves are not available through Garmin and Tom Tom, but Google’s Local Search results are. There are two ways that users can get information about points of interest (POI’s) from Google Maps for use on their GPS device. They can type a search query into their device and get a list of points of interest in return, or they can do a search in Google Maps and then click the “Send” link to send the result of their choosing to their device.

    If you’d like to provide your readers with more information, you might also mention that typically the information is transferred from Google Maps to the device using desktop software provided by the manufacturer. For example, when a user searches for a restaurant in Google Maps and uses the “Send” link to send the info to their TomTom, the data goes to Tom Tom Home, which is their deskop app for managing the device. TomTom’s help page provides more information. There are several in-car navigation devices, such as those used by BMW and Mercedes, that can receive POI’s directly from Google Maps without needing separate desktop software or a tether.

    Regarding your question about voice directions, this will vary from device to device.