How To...

Maps

  1. Garmin Map Overview
    1. Map Types
    2. Map Names
    3. Delivery Methods
    4. Mapping Software
  2. Choosing a Map
    1. Map Storage Capacity
    2. Map Display Hierarchy
    3. Custom Maps
    4. BirdsEye Maps
    5. Map Download Sources
  3. Installing Maps
    1. Map Install Direct
    2. Map Install PC
    3. Map Install Mac
    4. Purchasing and Installing Garmin Maps
    5. Unlocking Maps
  4. Enable GPSr Map in BaseCamp
  5. Create a single IMG map from one or more GPX files

 

 


1. Garmin Map Overview

  1. Map Types

    • Garmin GPSr support for the following map formats varies by model:
      • IMG (*.img) Proprietary Garmin vector map
      • KMZ (*.kmz) User created raster map (not locked to device)
      • JNX (*.jnx) Garmin BirdsEye high resolution satellite raster map imagery (locked to specific device)
      • FIT (*.fit) Flexible and Interoperable data Transfer files save date, time, distance, calories, speed, ascent, descent and other data
      • GPX (*.gpx) GPs eXchange format is a universal open source XML data format used for waypoints, routes, and tracks
      • GPI (*.gpi) Garmin Points of Interest (POI) files provide location and other information for popular destinations

  2. Map Names

    • Below is a partial list of common map file names used by Garmin devices.
    • Tip: Do not use these file names when saving maps to your GPSr:
      • gmapprom.img | Primary or Pre Installed Map
      • gmapprom1.img | Secondary Map
      • gmapbmap.img | Device Base Map
      • gmapoem.img | OEM Installed Map (can not be disabled in Map Settings)
      • gmapsupp.img | Map written to device or microSD card by MapSource
      • gmaptz.img | Time Zone Map
      • gmap3d.img | Primary 3D Buildings Map
      • gmap3d1.img | Secondary 3D Buildings Map


  3. Delivery Methods
     
    • Garmin maps are available in a variety of formats, including CD/DVD, pre-programmed microSD card, or direct download from the Garmin website.
    • Many excellent non Garmin maps are also available online from multiple sources.
       
      • DVD/CD ROM:

        • Maps purchased in this format will require a computer to use.
        • The installation process will install the maps and BaseCamp application to your computer.
        • BaseCamp can then be used to send maps to either your device or microSD card.
        • Please note that most mapping products in this format are locked to a single device and they are non-transferable.
        • City Navigator maps in this format can be updated by purchasing a map update, when available.
           
      • microSD Card:

        • Pre-programmed microSD cards are ready to use immediately out of the box.
        • Simply unpack the card and insert into your compatible GPSr device.
        • These maps are not locked to a specific device which allows you to move the card between multiple units as desired.
        • BaseCamp can be used to view mapping detail on your computer from compatible pre-programmed microSD cards.
        • City Navigator maps in this format are not eligible for map updates and mapping from the microSD card cannot be copied.
        • To obtain updated content, a new card must be purchased.
           
      • Download:

        • Maps purchased in this format can be downloaded directly from the Garmin website.
        • Downloaded maps can be sent to either your GPSr unit or microSD card.
        • All maps in this format are locked to a specific device and they can only be used on the device that they were locked to.
        • BaseCamp can be used to view downloaded mapping detail on your computer.
        • City Navigator maps in this format are not eligible for map updates.
        • If you wish to obtain updated content, a new download will need to be purchased.


  4. Garmin Mapping Software
     
    • Several software solutions are available from Garmin for viewing and managing maps installed on your compatible GPSr.
    • Tip: Read An Introduction to using Garmin GPSr with paper maps to learn how both can be used together.
    • Download links are available in Garmin Software.
      • MapSource: Compatible with most legacy Garmin GPSr units. Limited functionality with modern Garmin GPSr units.
      • BaseCamp: Compatible with most modern Garmin GPSr units. Limited functionality with legacy Garmin GPSr units.
      • HomePort: Compatible with Garmin GPSr units supporting BlueChart, LakeVü, or other marine maps.

 

 

 


2. Choosing a Map

  1.   Map Storage Capacity

    • No Garmin GPSr is without limitation.
    • Just because a device has available memory to load additional maps does not mean it can index and display them all.
    • Consider the following device limits when selecting maps for your Garmin GPSr:
       
      eTrex eTrex Summit eTrex Venture eTrex Legend eTrex Vista eTrex
        H   HC   Cx HC   H C Cx HCx   H C Cx HCx 10 20(x) 30(x) x2x Touch
    IMG Segments - - - 2,025 - 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 2,025 - 3k 3k 3k 4k
    KMZ Tiles (JPEG) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 100 100 100 100
    JNX Files - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 250 250 250 250
    FIT Activities - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 300
    Courses - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    GPX Files - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 500 2k 2k 2k 2k
    Waypoints 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 1k 1k 500 500 1k 1k 1k 500 500 1k 1k 2k 2k 2k 4k
    Geocaches - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2k 5k 5k 5k
    Routes 20 20 20 50 20 50 50 20 20 50 50 50 20 20 50 50 50 50 200 200 200 200
    Points per Route 50 125 125 250 50 250 250 50 250 250 250 250 50 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250
    Saved Tracks 10 10 10 20 10 20 10 10 20 20 20 20 10 20 20 20 20 100 200 200 200 200
    Points per Track 125 10k 500 10k 2,048 10k 10k 750 10k 10k 10k 10k 750 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k
    Archived Tracks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2k 2k 2k 2k
    Active Tracklog 1536 10k 3k 10k 2,048 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k
    GPI Files - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 20 20 20 20


      geko Colorado Dakota Oregon Rino Montana Monterra GPSMAP
      101 201 301 x00 10 20 x00 x50 6x0 7x0 110 120 130 5x0 6xx 700 75x 600/650 610/680 7x0   60 60x 62/78 79 64/65 66/86
    IMG Segments - - - 4k 4k 4k 4k 4k 4k 15k - - - 2,025 3k - 15k 4k 4k 15k 4k 2,025 2,025 3k 15k 3k 15k
    KMZ Tiles (JPEG) - - - 100 100 100 100 100 500 500 - - - - 100 - 100 500 500 500 99 - - 100 500 500 500
    JNX Files - - - 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 - - - - 250 - 250 250 250 250 250 - - 250 250 250 250
    FIT Activities - - - - - - - - 300 300 - - - - - - 300 - 300 300 - - - - 300 - 300
    Courses - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 250 - - - - - - 250
    GPX Files - - - 200 2k 2k 200 200 2k 2k - - - - 2k 500 2k 2k 2k 2k 2k - - 2k 2k 2k 2k
    Waypoints 250 500 500 1k 1k 1k 1k 2k 4k 10k 500 500 500 500 2k 1k 10k 4k 4k 10k 4k 500 1k 2k 10k 5k 10k
    Geocaches - - - 2k 2k 2k 2k 5k - - - - 5k 2k 12k 12k - - 5k
    Routes - 20 20 50 50 50 50 200 200 250 20 20 20 50 200 50 250 200 200 250 200 50 50 200 250 200 250
    Points per Route - 125 125 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 50 50 50 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250 250
    Saved Tracks - 10 10 200 200 200 200 200 200 250 20 20 20 20 200 100 200 200 200 250 200 20 20 200 250 200 250
    Points per Track - 500 500 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 20k 250 250 250 10k 10k 10k 20k 10k 10k 20k 10k 500 500 10k 20k 10k 20k
    Archived Tracks - - - 20 2k 2k 20 2k 2k 2k - - - - 2k 200 2k 2k 2k 2k 200 - - 2k 2k 2k 2k
    Active Tracklog 3k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 10k 20k 2048 2048 10k 10k 10k 10k 20k 10k 10k 20k 10k 10k 10k 10k 20k 10k 20k
    GPI Files - - - 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 - - - - 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 - - 20 20 20 20


  2.  Garmin GPSr Map Display Hierarchy
     
    • Each Garmin map is assigned a 'Draw Order' that is used by the GPSr to determine which maps are displayed above or below each other.
    • The following maps are displayed above each other, from top to bottom:

      • Draw Order 30
         
        • City Navigator
        • City Explorer
        • City Select
        • TopoActive
        • Garmin DEM

      • Draw Order 28
         
        • Bluechart g2

      • Draw Order 27
         
        • US Inland Lakes

      • Draw Order 25
         
        • US TrailMaps
        • OSM maps

      • Draw Order 20
         
        • Topo 24K
        • Topo 100K
        • Topo
        • Trailhead Series
        • Garmin Public Lands
        • Recreational Map of Europe

      • Draw Order 00
         
        • Worldwide Autoroute DEM Basemap
        • Time Zone map

    • Tip: If you are unable to see an enabled map on your GPSr, it may be hidden by another enabled map with a higher draw order.
    • Tip: Enabling more than one routable map simultaneously may result in adverse routing behavior.


  3. Garmin Custom Maps

    • Already have a paper map you want to use with your Garmin GPSr?
    • Perhaps you have downloaded a local or state park map in PDF format and wish you could somehow get it into your Garmin device?
    • Converting paper or digital maps into custom maps you can use with your Garmin GPSr has never been easier!


  4. Garmin BirdsEye Maps

    • Subscription based service providing access to satellite imagery and/or detailed USGS/NRC topographic raster maps.
    • Can be used with compatible Garmin GPSr and BaseCamp.


  5. Garmin Map Download Sources

    • Not all maps are created equal, and no one map should be considered inferior or superior to another map based solely on price.
    • Some of the most useful maps you are likely to use with your Garmin GPSr are freely available from numerous map hosting websites.
    • When you find a free map you like, consider making a donation to promote continued development by the map author!

      • Paid Maps

        • Garmin (World Wide) Topo, TopoActive, Topo Pro, Trailhead, Cycling, HuntView, BlueChart, LakeVu, BirdsEye and City Navigator
        • onX Hunt (USA) Premium hunting unit maps that include color coded public and private land ownership names and boundaries
        • TalkyToaster (World Wide) Frequently updated OSM based maps for use with Garmin GPSr and BaseCamp
        • Backroad Mapbooks (Canada) Canada's Leading Garmin-Licensed GPS Maps Source
        • Kartmannen (Sweden and Norway) Excellent detailed maps of Sweden and Norway
        • AllTrails (USA) Rediscover the outdoors! Explore more than 60,000 user submitted trails, reviews and photos
        • wikiloc (World Wide) 12 million + of the best trails for hiking, cycling, etc. (direct download to compatible Garmin GPSr)

      • Free Maps

        • Garmin Connect (World Wide) A repository of user created tracks to help you plan your next journey
        • GPSFileDepot (World Wide) An extensive selection of some of the finest Garmin GPSr compatible maps available
        • raumbezug (World Wide) Frequently updated routable OSM maps for more than 100 countries
        • Garmin OpenStreet (World Wide) Create free routable OpenStreet maps for your Garmin GPSr
        • OpenStreetWiki (World Wide) Pre-compiled routable Garmin IMG maps from around the world
        • USERBEAM (World Wide) Pre-compiled routable Garmin IMG maps updated on a weekly schedule
        • OpenMapChest (World Wide) Pre-compiled routable Garmin IMG maps updated on a bi-weekly schedule
        • bbbike.org (World Wide) Planet OSM extracts on demand - choose (latin1) versions for use with Garmin GPSR
        • GMapTool (World Wide) OSM maps for Africa, Asia, Poland, South America and USA
        • OpenTopoMap (World Wide) Frequently updated topo map downloads for Garmin devices and mapping programs
        • OpenMTBMap (World Wide) Get the most popular OSM based maps for mountain biking worldwide
        • Freizeitkarte Project (Europe) Frequently updated OSM based routable maps for European destinations
        • Frikart (Europe) Excellent topographical hiking and road maps based on OpenStreetMap data
        • CalTopo (USA) Choose from multiple data sources to generate custom KMZ maps for your Garmin GPSr
        • Southwest Trails (USA) A crowd sourced compilation of trail maps covering the southwest USA
        • Switchbacks.com (USA) A frequently updated collection of highly detailed maps for the Pacific Northwest
        • ShonkyMaps (Australia) Topographic map coverage for all of Australia
        • MotoMap (North America) Adventure Motorcycling Maps for the US and Canada

 

 

 


3. Installing Maps

  1. Map Install Direct

    • Not all maps require installation to a host computer before being sent to your Garmin GPSr.
    • Maps in the following formats can be copied directly to a compatible Garmin GPSr or microSD card as shown:
      • IMG: [GPSr]\Garmin\ or [microSD]\Garmin\
      • KMZ: [GPSr]\Garmin\CustomMaps\ or [microSD]\Garmin\CustomMaps\
      • JNX: [GPSr]\Garmin\BirdsEye\ or [microSD]\Garmin\BirdsEye\
      • FIT: [GPSr]\Garmin\Activities\ or [GPSr]\Garmin\Courses\
      • GPX: [GPSr]\Garmin\GPX\ or [microSD]\Garmin\GPX\
      • GPI: [GPSr]\Garmin\POI\ or [microSD]\Garmin\POI\

  2. Map Install PC

    • Locate a Garmin supported format map you wish to use with your Garmin GPSr and download the Windows version to your computer.
    • Install Map to PC:
      • If the downloaded map file is a *.zip archive, you must unzip the file to extract the *.exe map installer
      • Close any open mapping software programs (MapSource, BaseCamp, etc.)
      • Run the *.exe map installer
      • When prompted, choose map installation options as desired
      • For best results, do not change the default map installation directory
      • Allow the installer to complete the map installation
      • Exit the installer
      • Open BaseCamp and select the newly installed map from the map selection menu to confirm availability

     

  3. Map Install Mac

    • Locate a Garmin supported format map you wish to use with your Garmin GPSr and download the Mac version to your computer.
    • Install Map to Mac:
      • If the map file is not in *.gmapi format, double click the file to launch your default archive utility and extract the map from the compressed archive
      • Double click the *.gmapi map file, invoking Garmin MapManager
      • The selected map will be displayed under "Install these map(s)?"
      • Select "Install", and then "Close" after installation is completed
      • MapManager will display a list of all Garmin compatible maps installed on your computer
      • Close MapManager
      • Open BaseCamp and select your new map from the map selection menu to confirm availability
    • Send Map to GPSr with MapInstall

     

  4. Purchasing and Installing Garmin Maps



     

  5. Unlocking Maps

    • Some Garmin map products need to be unlocked before you can use the detailed map data.
    • If your product needs to be unlocked, you will find an unlock code or a product key/coupon code with the packaging.
        
      • Unlock Code
         
        • An unlock code is 25 characters and is printed on a yellow piece of paper or on the product packaging.
        • It unlocks all maps associated with your map product.
        • Unlock codes are included with Garmin devices that also include mapping software.
          1. In BaseCamp, click Maps > Manage Map Products.
          2. Select the Unlock Regions tab, and click Add.
          3. Enter your 25-character unlock code
          4. Enter a comment (optional).
          5. Select OK.
          6. The unlocked map product will appear in the list on the Unlock Regions tab.
             
      • Product Key
         
        • A product key/coupon code is 8 characters and is printed on the Unlock Certificate.
        • It unlocks a map region of your map product.
        • Product keys/coupon codes are included with software that is packaged separately from a Garmin device.
        • An Internet connection is required for the following procedure:
          1. In BaseCamp, click Maps > Manage Map Products.
          2. Select a map product from the list, and click Unlock Online.
          3. The Unlock Maps page will load in your Web browser.
          4. Install the Garmin Communicator Plug-in if prompted.
          5. Connect your GPSr to your computer via USB.
          6. Click Find Devices.
          7. Select the desired GPSr from the drop-down list.
          8. The unit ID of your device appears in the Unit ID field.
          9. Enter the serial number found on your device.
          10. Enter the 8-character product key/coupon code found on your Unlock Certificate.
          11. Click Unlock Map.
             
    • Some Garmin map products may have additional requirements for unlocking. Follow the unlocking instructions included with the map product.
     
  6.  

 

 


4
. Enable GPSr Maps in BaseCamp

  1. See JDM Map Enable to toggle GPSr map visibility in BaseCamp.
  2. Tip: Connect a high capacity USB Clone of your GPSr with your favorite maps (*.gpx, *.img, *.jnx, *.kmz) copied to the appropriate directories.
    • Access these maps in BaseCamp without the need to connect your GPSr.
    • Update the USB Clone when the maps on your GPSr are updated.

 

 

 


5
. Create a single IMG map from one or more GPX files

  • Most Garmin GPSr limit the total number of GPX tracklogs that can be simultaneously displayed on the map page and require the user to manually enable/disable each tracklog individually, which can be both a tedious and frustrating process.
  • Enabling/disabling individual IMG files is an easier and more efficient method of controlling information displayed on the map page.
  • Multiple solutions exist to combine one or more GPX files into a single IMG map: