Magellan Navigation

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Magellan Navigation
Type Privately held company
Founded 1986
Headquarters 471 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050-4300
Industry Technology
Products GPS receivers, mapping software

Magellan Navigation, Inc. is a producer of consumer and professional-grade global positioning system receivers. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with European sales and engineering centers in Nantes, France and Moscow, Russia, Magellan also produces aftermarket automotive GPS units, including the Hertz Neverlost system found in Hertz rental cars. The Maestro, RoadMate, Triton, and eXplorist lines are Magellan's current consumer offerings. The company also produces proprietary road maps (DirectRoute), topographic maps (Topo), and marine charts (BlueNav) for use with its consumer GPS receivers. Magellan products currently use NAVTEQ based maps.


Magellan started as an independent company. It was once owned by Orbital Sciences Corporation, which purchased it in 1994. In 2001, Thales Group purchased the Magellan division of Orbital Sciences for about $70 million and the Company became known as Thales Navigation. Five years later, private equity firm Shah Capital Partners and other investors purchased Thales Navigation for $170 million and the company was officially renamed Magellan Navigation.

Magellan was the creator of the Magellan NAV 1000—the world’s first commercial handheld GPS receiver, which debuted in 1989. In 1997, Magellan also introduced the first handheld global satellite communicator—the GSC 100. Later consumer handheld products included the Magellan GPS 2000, GPS 315, Meridian, SporTrak, and Magellan RoadMate models. The MobileMapper CE and ProMark3 have been marketed to professionals like surveyors and GIS (geographic information systems) users.

Magellan was purchased by Mio Technology subordinary of MiTAC on December 15 2008.

Consumer Products

Magellan develops and distributes vehicle navigation, crossover GPS, and outdoor handheld navigation products. The Company also produces customized mapping software for topographic, marine, and street navigation.

Current GPS products include:

  • The Magellan RoadMate and Magellan Maestro series of portable car navigation systems
  • The Magellan CrossoverGPS for automobile and handheld navigation
  • The Magellan eXplorist and Magellan Triton series of outdoor handheld navigation devices
  • The Hertz NeverLost car navigation system

Magellan GPS units include a variety of different viewing options, including a 3D bird’s-eye view, a night view, and pop-up visuals of upcoming turns. Some models use SiRFstar III for position accuracy within three meters, and voice and onscreen prompts that provide directions on how to drive to a particular destination. Certain Magellan vehicle navigation systems are also Bluetooth-compatible for integration with mobile phones, and traffic upgradeable for real-time traffic information. The Maestro 4050 is the first portable vehicle navigation device to offer drivers the convenience of voice command capabilities. The Company has a partnership with AAA that provides drivers with AAA TourBook guide travel information, AAA Member Roadside Assistance details, and AAA Show Your Card & Save Member Discount locations on specific models.

Professional Products

The MobileMapper CE, ProMark3 and ProMark 500 are marketed to professionals like surveyors and geographic information systems (GIS) users.

  • MobileMapper CE assists surveyors with its embedded GPS capability and a fully-integrated, 14-channel receiver that delivers sub-meter accurate data positioning in real-time, and a GPS/Differential module that offers sub-foot mapping with post-processing. The device maintains its high precision with multi-path mitigation that is able to perform in urban canyons and dense foliage.
  • The ProMark3 is a survey system that performs centimeter-accurate static, stop and go, and kinematic surveys, as well as GIS/mapping. The device allows for GPS surveying under poor satellite tracking conditions. A simple interface that’s available in nine languages, intuitive software, a large color touch screen, and an alphanumeric keypad combine to simplify the deployment process.
  • The ProMark 500 is a survey system that performs centimeter-accurate static, stop and go, and kinematic surveys, as well as GIS/mapping and RTK. The device allows surveying under poor satellite tracking conditions by using High Sensitivity as well multi-path mitigation performe.d GPS Glonass and SBAS systems supported by BLADE technology.

See also

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