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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: cbocchino911 on December 31, 2009, 03:11:37 AM

Title: Newbie question
Post by: cbocchino911 on December 31, 2009, 03:11:37 AM
I am brand new to the GPS community.......just purchased a Garmin Vista HCX.  I will use the unit to hike in SC and NC.  As I research, I realize that I need to purchase an SD card with Mapsource Topo for the Southeast.  It seems to me as if within this website is a download of Southeast Topo.  My questions this the same download as if I were to buy it from Garmin?  Can I download that to my PC then just transfer it to a micro sd?  What is the process to do that and be able to use it on my Garmin?  I am somewhat computer literate, but certainly not an expert. 
Title: Re: Newbie question
Post by: Seldom on December 31, 2009, 05:25:04 AM
1) If you haven't bought anything yet, most folks feel you are better off purchasing maps on DVD rather than microSD card.  The downside of purchasing maps on DVD is that they will only work on a single GPSr.  The upside is that you can view them on your PC or Mac.

The downside of a Garmin microSD is that you can't view maps anywhere but on your GPSr.  The upside is that you can view them on any GPSr you own.

2) If you don't have a copy of MapSource, you can get it by following the directions published on this link:

or you can download a copy of Basecamp from Garmin at this link:
Title: Re: Newbie question
Post by: cbocchino911 on December 31, 2009, 05:51:45 AM
Thanks for the quick reply.  BTW thanks for the information on this site  I've learned a lot in just the little bit of time I've been on it.

The specs for my GPS says it has MapSource and Basemap.  I'm interested to know if the Southeast Topo map on this site is what I'm looking for?  Is it the same as what Garmin sells on their website or that you can buy on ebay?  There is a version with an installer and without.  Whats the difference?  Can I download this directly to my PC then transfer to an SD and utilize it on my GPS?

I understand the whole DVD vs. SD card, but from what I understand I have to have SD card anyway to utilize any other maps (ie Topo, Street navigator), on my GPS unit?  The way I understand it from what I've read, the GPS cannot just download other maps directly, it has to run other maps through the San Disk.  Please tell me if I'm wrong.

Again thanks for the help.

Title: Re: Newbie question
Post by: maps4gps on December 31, 2009, 06:38:24 AM
My questions this the same download as if I were to buy it from Garmin?

ABSOLUTELY NOT   Garmin products are copyrighted; the mapsets here are created from information in the public domain (some of which Garmin or their data suppliers may also use).

The version with the installer saves you having to learn how to install the mapset into MapSource.
You download the file, run the .exe file, use MapSource to select mapset(s) and quads, then MapSource transfers them to the micro SD card (either in the GPSr unit or in a card reader - which is much faster). See:

BTW - you GPSr unit will only use a gmapsupp.img file (which is built in MapSource from the quads you select) .  You will not be able to add to what comes on the Garmin prerecorded card(s); thus, CN will be on one card, topo on another, and any other mapset(s) on another and you will have to change cards in the GPSr unit.  With the DVD version(s) you can combine selections from the various mapsets in MapSource and create a single gmapsupp.img file which is sent to the GPSr where you can display which one(s) you wish to view.
Title: Re: Newbie question
Post by: Jimbob on December 31, 2009, 08:24:45 AM
You can't loose by trying the maps here, after all they are free, and I might add very good quality.  If you have mapspource and a computer thats all you will need to start if you select a self loading map. Personally I like the ability to select something and try it out. the other way it's pay first. The major difference between maps that are here compared to  maps you can but is auto routing. Not that kind available here, but then they are mostly used for road use.
Good luck