July 23, 2008 If you're the kind of explorer who tackles driving, cycling, boating and hiking in the space of a day or weekend, Garmin's new nuvi 500 series is the GPS you shouldn't leave home without.

Garmin nuvi 500 / Garmin nuvi 550 Features

  • 3.5" touch-screen with one-click activation of driving, cycling, boating and hiking modes.
  • Garmin's "Where am I?" feature allows you to see your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, along with useful information such as the nearest intersection, gas station and hospital.
  • Removable, rechargeable battery.
  • Support for optional Traffic Message Channel or MSN Direct receivers. MSN Direct allows your nuvi to display information from a variety of sources such as news headlines, stock updates, fuel prices and traffic conditions - and receive GPS coordinates from Live Search Maps.
  • Garmin Connect Photos provides access to millions of geo-located photos from Panoramio for photo navigation.
  • Geocaching support.
  • A scooter mount is included as standard in some European markets, and will be available as an optional extra elsewhere.

The only difference between the two new models is the preloaded maps - the nuvi 500 comes loaded with detailed street and topographic mapping for the lower 48 U.S. states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, while the nuvi 550 comes with comprehensive street maps for the U.S. and Canada.

As yet, no price or release date has been announced - stay tuned for updates.