Over the past year or so Garmin have finally started to provide software for the Mac. One of those new pieces of software, currently in beta is BaseCamp, a tool that works with various of the Garmin topographic mapping products giving a three-dimensional view of the mapping data, similar to the view that their latest series of handheld GPS units can produce.
Amongst the mapping products I have are both Topo UK and Topo Canada, however only Topo UK was recognised by BaseCamp.
The reason turned out to be fairly straightforward, BaseCamp needs topographic data that includes Digital Elevation Model or DEM data, and whilst Topo UK includes that data, the early release of Topo Canada that I have, version 2, doesnâ€™t include that data. Not a problem, as in the five years since I bought my copy, Garmin have updated Topo Canada to version 4, that includes the required data.
Since Iâ€™ve recently bought and registered another Garmin product, I had a discount code that offers me ten percent off products in their online store, so I took a look at their UK store, and found that they had the up to date version 4 of Topo Canada listed so I put in my order for the upgraded version.
The parcel turned up today, and opening the package, the box looked rather much like the Topo Canada packaging I already had, the computer requirements didnâ€™t match those listed on the website â€“ no mention of the Mac for a start â€“ and the copyright on the box was 2004. Taking a look inside, rather than one DVD it was a four CD set, and the version number on the back of the box was version 2. Despite listing the latest software on their website, Garmin UK had sent out the same software I already had.
Not surprisingly I was not best pleased, so I gave Garmin UK a call â€“ well three calls actually as their phone handling system cut me off mid-call twice before I got to talk to a real person. Explaining the problem , he went away and took a look and said that the only Topo Canada they had in their stock was the version 2 they had sent me.
They did try to persuade me to stick with what they had sent, but once Iâ€™d said that I already had a copy of that, and that I specifically wanted the version with the DEM data to use with BaseCamp, they said they would talk to their head office, and Iâ€™m currently waiting for a call back with their answer.
The problem of course is that although Garmin UK are currently being quite helpful, they are quite blatantly in contravention of the Sale of Goods Act in that the product their website describes â€“ a Mac compatible version of Topo Canada â€“ is not what theyâ€™re sending out. If they replace my copy with what I ordered or give me a refund Iâ€™ll probably leave it at that, but certainly if youâ€™re buying map software from Garmin UK, especially if it is something pretty specialist, be aware that they are still selling off their old stock, even if it is five years old.