The global leader in satellite navigation, Garmin has announced its new ultra-portable and rugged touchscreen navigator – GPSMAP 600 series, which consists of GPSMAP 620 and GPSMAP 640, featuring an intuitive, waterproof (IPX7) and brilliant 5.2-inch WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) touchscreen display and high-sensitivity GPS receiver.

“Blending the best aspects of our popular portable marine units with the intuitive user interface of our automotive flagship line of nA 1/4vi navigators, the GPSMAP 600 series is the perfect tool in the boat and on the road,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales.

According to the company, with optional BlueChart g2 Vision technology, the GPSMAP 600 series provide true 3D ‘mariner’s eye view’ for a navigation perspective above the waterline and “fish eye view” for underwater 3D bathymetric contour perspective, and Auto Guidance technology that searches chart data to suggest the best passage.

In the new GPSMAP 640 touchscreen navigator, users will find comprehensive street maps of North America and worldwide shaded relief mapping in addition to detailed US coastal BlueChart g2 charts.

According to the press release, “Additionally, with the GXM 40 antenna (sold separately), the GPSMAP 640 can graphically display XM WX Satellite Weather data directly on the unit’s display. More than 20 different types of weather attributes — information such as NEXRAD, wind speeds, visibility, severe weather storm tracks and more — deliver location-specific data, in chart-overlay form, directly to the device. With the GXM 40, motorists and mariners also have the option of receiving nearly 200 channels of commercial-free music, news, sports talk and entertainment with XM Satellite Radio. To steer clear of traffic backups, XM NavTraffic is also available to motorists with the GXM 40 antenna.”

The GPSMAP 620 GPS device which designed for international boaters will provide worldwide satellite basemap for ‘view-from-space’ imagery of shorelines and other surface features in the area, supporting optional street map and marine chart data through SD memory card slot.

The new Garmin GPSMAP 620 and GPSMAP 640 touchscreen navigation devices will be available by Q1 2009 for MSRP of $999.99 and $1199.99, respectively.