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Garmin, MapQuest Ink Maps Pact

Digital-navigation device maker Garmin (GRMN) said Monday it has partnered with MapQuest.com to have directions and maps directly sent to its GPS devices.

The partnership will allow Garmin device owners to plan and research routes on the Internet and send trip results to their GPS units without needing to connect to a computer. Shares of Garmin were rising 82 cents, or 1.5%, to $56.90.

"Our relationship with MapQuest gives our users even more of what they've come to expect from their Garmin products -- ease of use and an array of options," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales, in a press release. "Planning a trip, whether it's to a new restaurant, a business meeting or a family vacation, has never been easier or more efficient."

Separately, Garmin announced that users can also send locations found on Google's (GOOG) maps service directly to their navigation devices.

The announcements are the latest in a string of partnerships and consolidation stories in the digital-navigation sector. Last year, Garmin made a $3.3 billion bid for maps provider Tele Atlas, but rival TomTom exceeded that with an offer of $4.2 billion.

Additionally, Garmin recently signed an extension of its contract with digital-map maker Navteq (NVT), which has agreed to be acquired by Nokia (NOK).

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