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Messages - Boyd

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General Discussion / Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« on: January 16, 2020, 04:32:47 AM »
Yeah, the Garmin 100k topo isn't very good. I have had 4 different versions of it going back through the years. It used to be the only topo map that Garmin sold. At least the current version has decent roads from HERE (same as City Navigator).

But actually, if you read the OP again, he isn't asking for a better map, just a free one.  ;)

I know Garmin has the 100k topo maps. I was wondering why there is not a free version.

General Discussion / Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« on: January 14, 2020, 04:16:48 AM »
Not sure what you mean Red. As the OP noted, Garmin sells a topo map that covers the whole US.


It is pre-loaded on the "T" models of their handheld devices. I don't care for it (or any of Garmin's topo maps, for that matter), but it exists. Had it on my old Oregon 400T and the DriveTrack 71 that I got last year also had it.

The current version from the DriveTrack 71 is 3.3gb. I removed it from the device to make room for other maps and archived it on disk.

BTW... seems really ridiculous that Garmin still clings to the ancient FAT32 filesystem in 2020. The EU maps are already more than 4GB and require two files. I understand the need for compatibility with old devices, but IMO there's no excuse for still having this limit on new models.

General Discussion / Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« on: January 12, 2020, 04:21:28 AM »
I'll have to disagree with that. :) Old Garmin handhelds had a limit of about 2000 map tiles.  Starting with the Oregon (IIRC) they increased that to about 4000 tiles. Most of their handhelds still have that limit, but a few of the premium new models have increased this to 10,000 (maybe 15,000, not sure).

However, there really isn't any limit on what the size of a tile can be. We have discussed this here before - it's a trade-off between the size of each tile vs the quantity of tiles. But to give a concrete example that I'm familiar with, the Garmin 100k topo that was originally distrubuted on DVD had a total of about 6500 tiles (I had this), so there was no Garmin GPS that could accomodate this whole map.

Then they introduced the Oregon 400t that included a pre-loaded version of that same map for the entire US - I bought one of these in 2008. The way they accomplished this was to use much large tiles for the same map. The pre-loaded 100k topo only had about 500 tiles total - quite a difference from the old 6500! This allowed you to have the whole US plus a lot of other maps on the GPS at the same time (the device had a 4000 tile limit).

Now that Garmin has stopped selling maps on DVD, the 500 tile version of that map is all they sell. They intentionally made the tiles very small in the old map, so it would be compatible with their very old devices with tiny amount of memory and no card slots. That was always the  real reason for making small tiles.

But aside from all this.... making your own map of the whole US would be a huge job (I"m talking about making an original map, not just re-packaging OSM data). And what would be the point? ;)

Well.... you have a GPS that's almost 20 years old! :) My first Garmin GPS was a Legend C, which is a "cousin" of your device. Think I got it around 2003 or 2004 (had a Magellan before that). These old eTrex units were fine in their day, but that was a long time ago.

Anyway, Garmin did not support raster imagery back then. That feature didn't come along until the first Oregon models (and IIRC, they made it backwards-compatible with the Colorado). But, even the newest models can only use kmz files with jpeg images no larger than 1024x1024 pixels and most devices only allow a total of 100 of those images. So, if you have a map with a 1-meter per pixel resolution, you'd only be able to load a map that is 10km x 10km.

But Basecamp doesn't have these limitations, so there are quite a lot of kmz files that work fine in Basecamp but not in any Garmin GPS (even the newest ones). If you want to use raster imagery, a much better platform will be a smartphone with an app. There are dozens of apps that support raster maps of (almost) unlimited size. And the apps range from free to only a few dollars each.

What you have said suggests that the map you downloaded is raster imagery, and not a map in Garmin's vector (.img) format. This type of map is not compatible with you old gps, which is what the error message is telling you.

I don't really use OSM, but know that some of their maps are distributed as tiled raster imagery. These can be used on newer Garmin handhelds if you convert them to .kmz files, however compatibility is still very limited. There are strict limits on how that imagery must be made, and you can only install a very small map.

This gets even more confusing however, because Basecamp does not have these strict limitations on raster imagery. That would explain why you can see the map in Basecamp. BTW, I would not use Basecamp with such an old device. I would use Mapsource, which is what your GPS was designed for. And (if my assumptions are correct), the map you downloaded will not work in Mapsource either.

General Discussion / Re: Why has a map of the entire US not been made?
« on: January 10, 2020, 04:22:34 AM »
Well, openstreetmap covers the whole world. ;)

Garmin updated the Windows version of Basecamp/MapInstall in May 2018 and it had a serious bug that prevented most third party maps from installing - see this thread:


There were no further updates to Basecamp until October 30, 2019 when they finally fixed this problem. So if your problem actually began in September/October, I don't see how it could be Garmin's fault. Are you sure you didn't accidentally change the projection or coordinate format? Sorry, I rarely use Basecamp, but there are preference settings for these somewhere that might cause a problem.

But if it was somehow caused by an update to Basecamp, you can download old versions here:


Garmin stopped development of Basecamp almost two years ago and many of us were surprised that they even fixed the serious MapInstall bug. So if it is an issue with the program,  I'd say you are out of luck - they are not likely to ever fix it, and their lack of understanding when you called also suggests this.

Using The Maps/Garmin Software / Re: lost tracks
« on: December 05, 2019, 08:22:09 AM »
Glad you figured it out.

I'm awake, but I really don't use Basecamp for anything these days. I always preferred Mapsource for managing tracks and waypoints, but the newer Garmin devices are a bit more complicated to use with it since they store data across a bunch of different .gpx files.

Personally, I always save .gpx files of all my important data, either as copies of the files from the device itself or compilations that I export from Basecamp or Mapsource. I would not trust Basecamp with all my data.

I wasn't 100% sure how Basecamp handles all this, so I didn't respond. I'm not surpirised that nobody else responded either, this forum is primarily for support of the maps on this site.

But you are right.... this forum is a sleepy place and so is GPSReview and GPSPassion. Happy 2020!  ;D

GPSr Units / Re: Garmin GPSMap 76CSx
« on: November 29, 2019, 09:11:28 AM »
BTW, since you're going to Spain... are you familiar with TwoNav? They are based in Spain and make some pretty cool dedicated GPS units and apps for all platforms. I am thinking about buying one of their handheld GPS units to replace my broken Garmin Montana. The map formats are not compatible with Garmin - which is fine with me, since I make my own maps anyway. But TwoNav supports several open-source formats and is not "locked down" in the same way as Garmin devices. There are lots of maps available for the EU, and openstreetmap and TomTom for the US. Their CompeGPS Land software for Mac/Windows is also very nice and lets you import/export maps in a variety of formats.


They are having a Black Friday sale through the weekend, am trying to decide whether to pull the trigger on their Trail2 handheld. :) Anyway, you might check them out, as they should have excellent map options for Spain. If you look in the outlet section of their website, they have some older devices at very nice prices - even under $200.

GPSr Units / Re: Garmin GPSMap 76CSx
« on: November 29, 2019, 05:02:39 AM »
The 76csx is the same hardware as the 60csx, which is one of Garmin's most popular models ever. The only difference is that the 76 floats and the antenna is located inside the case. I still have my 60csx, but don't use it anymore. I think the screen resolution is too low and processor too slow for a modern device, but others still seem to be happy with it.

Why do you think that Garmin doesn't make maps for it anymore? AFAIK, it will work with any of Garmin's maps as long as you have the newest firmware installed on it. Just about any of the maps on this site should also work on it - give it a try. It is not compatible with raster imagery however - such as Birdseye or "Custom Maps" (.kmz files).

So, I think it's really up to you as to whether ~20 year old technology is acceptable. Try loading some maps on it and using it before your trip.

Map Making Support / Re: looking for a way to make an overlay
« on: November 26, 2019, 04:13:31 AM »
Looks good!  8)

Sad story about the author of the Javawa software, he had a stroke a couple years ago and although he recovered, he says he just can't write software anymore. It's really too bad, because his stuff is great.

BTW, if you have a Mac that's capable of running older operating systems, you might want to set it up for dual booting. There are a variety of ways to do this, like using an external SSD with the older system on it. I have over $5000 of specialized legacy software that I don't use much, but still need. I can boot my 2012 Mini Server into Mountain Lion when I need it.

Map Making Support / Re: looking for a way to make an overlay
« on: November 25, 2019, 06:21:04 PM »
These two simple programs can convert a .gpx file into a Garmin .img file overlay, maybe they can do what you want? The first one is free:


If you want to do something fancier, there's Mapwel, but it isn't free


Or you could use cgpsmapper and a variety of other free tools, but that is more complicated. Sorry, I don't use the OSM tools.

Haha... Garmin is still living in the 1990's in some respects. With 2020 just around the corner, they really need to get beyond FAT32. Their own City Navigator EU map will no longer fit into a 4gb file and has to be broken into two pieces. And there are a number of things about their map format itself that really should be modernized. But as long as they can keep it working, there's not much incentive to make big changes - especially when they would lose compatibility with their old devices.

Anyway... you should be aware that there's another serious limitation that can bite you when installing multipe maps. Your device has a map segment limit - segments are the smaller tiles that make up the whole map.


If you install more than 3000 segments, you will have problems with some of the maps. The results are not consistent, and depend on the exact maps you install. There are no standard sizes for segments, they could cover a whole state or just one county. But, typically speaking, you will hit the map segment limit by the time you fill up a 4gb SD card. So "bigger is better" is not really true when choosing SD cards for a Garmin GPS. An 8gb or 16gb card will give you more space than you can actually use for garmin maps.

There are several ways to check your segment count IIRC. Javawa's free device manager program should do it, and is also handy for other things


Wow! Garmin actually updated Basecamp? If so... good for them! Took them a long time, but at least they fiinally fixed this major problem.

General Discussion / Re: Convert a Garmin img file to GPX
« on: November 01, 2019, 04:18:20 PM »
There's no simple way to permanently install this kind of map on your computer. However, you can simply copy the entire contents of your Montana to a USB flash drive. Basecamp will treat that flash drive exactly the same as the real GPS. Or if you computer has an SD card slot, you could copy the Montana to that.

Now, on the Macintosh you could use Disk Utility to make a disk image of the Montana and that would also be treated exactly the same as the real Montana. Windows does not have a comparable program, but you could use a RAM Disk program.

Have a look at this: http://www.javawa.nl/virtualdevice.html

The same site also has some other excellent free software that every Garmin owner should have - specifically Javawa Device Manager and GMTK.

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