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Boyd - I definitely agree that there are limitations with the Custom Maps as implemented by Garmin.  There are ways around that limitation, but in general covering the area of a state with such maps is entirely impractical.
However, it is not difficult to generate very nicely detailed maps (much more detailed than what Birdseye offers) for a reasonably large area like Big Bend, and, prior to taking a trip to Big Bend, loading up the maps on the Garmin.  So, my intent is to generate maps to places I would like to visit, and load the maps specific to that region prior to leaving on the trip.
Its also possible to carry several memory cards and swap them out in the extremely unlikely event that a single trip would involve more maps then could fit on a single memory card and/or exceed Garmin's entirely unnecessary limitations.

Anyway, I have a procedure nailed down and have thoroughly enjoyed the learning process.  I'm happy to share the fruits of my labor if anyone else would find it useful.
When Garmin first introduced their "custom map" (kmz) format, I posted several of them here, for  example: http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/245/

But here's the problem: I found that you needed to use a resolution of 10 feet per pixel to get acceptable results with USGS topo maps. Garmin's format only allows 100 map tiles of 1024x1024 pixels on their older devices. Some newer models (Montana, Oregon 6xx, etc) can use 600 tiles. Either way, that severely limits the usefulness of this kind of map.

So on an older device such as an Oregon 450, you can only make a map that covers about 20 miles x 20 miles. On a newer device like a Montana 600 you can make a map that coverds about 48 miles x 48 miles. This is not very useful if you are trying to cover the state of California. ;)
Sorry if this is a dupe - I made an account specifically to respond to this post and the reply isn't showing up.
Norm - I have created a process to convert USTopo maps to .jpg images, and a seperate process to create some nice custom shading that looks much better than the shading they provide on the Topo maps.
I'd be happy to share the process with you if you are interested.  As Boyd mentions, it isn't exactly trivial, but it uses all publicly available maps and open source software.
I'm attaching a small example - if you have GoogleEarth or some other way to view .kmz files you should see a small shaded topo map in the Big Bend area of Texas.
The National Geographic topos are copyrighted software and it would be a violation of GPSFileDepot policy to discuss ways to modify them.

However they were based on the classic USGS topo maps (that were discontinued 20 years ago). Have a look at Garmin's Birdseye Topo, they are scans of the same USGS maps. For $30 you get unlimited downloads: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/98816

It is also possible to download these maps directly from the USGS historical map collection for free and make your own Garmin format maps. This is very time-consuming and technical so you probably don't want to do that. Garmin has also intentionally crippled the use of this kind of user-created map so that it doesn't compete with their own products.

There are also many apps for both iOS and Android that will give you lots of map choices on a smartphone. Generally speaking they are very inexpensive and are becoming more popular than Garmin's dedicated devices.
I have been searching all weekend for a way to convert / install Nat Geo Trail topo's to Basecamp.  I have tried installing the GPSfiledepot free Topo's but they don't have the same detail as the Nat Geo.  I downloaded the AZ. file and it has good detail but the CA. file doesn't show trails.

It would be nice if I could just convert the files I have...or is there a better CA Topo (California Topo 2011 Map is the one I installed) with trail detail that I haven't found?

I am not that technical but it cant be this difficult.
Thanks in advance for your help.

GPS = Garmin GPSmap 64s 
Map Making Support / Re: Converting KAP files to KML
« Last post by svbravo on April 23, 2017, 01:23:59 AM »
Jolly, this looks like a great possibility.  Will download their demo and give it a test drive.  Many thanks for the lead!!!

Map Making Support / Re: Converting KAP files to KML
« Last post by jolly47roger on April 22, 2017, 11:01:39 PM »
MAPC2MAPC will convert KAP to a Google Earth Image Overlay (KML/KMZ)
Map Making Support / Converting KAP files to KML
« Last post by svbravo on April 21, 2017, 07:40:26 PM »
I'm trying to make KML files which I can convert to AT5 files for use in a B&G chartplotter.  Insight Map Creator will make the AT5's from KML's. 

I have found many folks have KAP files they've already made w/ programs like GE2KAP, for use w/ plotting programs like OpenCPN.  I'd like to use these KAP files, but haven't found a conversion program to turn KAP's into KML's (or better yet, directly to AT5 format if that's possible).  I looked at GpsBabel, but didn't find the KAP

Does anyone know of a conversion for the KAP's???  To either KML or AT5.


Using The Maps/Garmin Software / Re: Garmin City Maps NT install question
« Last post by Boyd on April 21, 2017, 04:38:16 AM »
Well one advantage of the card is that you can sell it to someone else, since it will work in any GPS. I have had my Montana 600 for a long time and still like it. It's arguably the best device that Garmin has made. But really, I find my phone more useful and like the fact that I can use a variety of different apps on it.
Using The Maps/Garmin Software / Re: Garmin City Maps NT install question
« Last post by sgf on April 20, 2017, 03:39:28 PM »
Well, I guess I made a poor choice on this one. I'd have rather had the download but I thought I got a decent deal on the card so I went for it. Maybe I was too quick on the trigger. In the past I have used my phone when I hit  pavement. My goal, in part, was to make the 610 fully capable to where I could do anything I needed to do with only that weatherproof device.

On the upside I really like the 610. I am a long way from competency with it but I'm committed to learning more and getting the most out of it. I have a long way to go though.
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