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General Discussion / Re: Tutorial Question
« Last post by Boyd on November 12, 2017, 03:01:50 PM »
The short answer is that many things *might* happen to delete or corrupt the maps pre-loaded on your GPS. Therefore it's important that you make a full backup while it's new and still has all the original files.

Simply create a folder on your computer and drag all the files/folders from your GPS to it. There are probably about 3gb of files on the GPS, so it will take awhile to copy - you might want to do this at a time when you don't need either the GPS or computer for other things.

Having said that, it's not likely that you will do any harm to the pre-loaded files unless you start manually moving/deleting things. The pre-loaded map is typically in a file named gmapprom.img, and that name is reserved for maps that are provided with a GPS so Garmin's software will not touch them.
General Discussion / Tutorial Question
« Last post by ssallet on November 12, 2017, 12:44:16 PM »
Hi Folks,
I'm a total newbie -- I just got my 1st GPS handheld. It's a GPSMAP 64st. I was about to watch your tutorial about installing maps and I see the warning:

Warning: If you bought a micro-SD card that contains maps from Garmin DO NOT overwrite this card, use another card.

I did not add anything extra to the GPSMAP 64st, but I know it has a basemap and topos that come preloaded.

If I follow the instructions in the tutorial will I overwrite any maps that came with this device? I suspect the answer is "no" but want to make sure I don't start out by screwing up my device.

Thanks for tolerating a very Newbie question!
General Discussion / Re: garmin topo 24
« Last post by Boyd on November 10, 2017, 12:03:08 PM »
You haven't told us enough to really answer this, but I'll try anyway. :) In what format did you purchase the topo map(s)? Are they on DVD? If so, then they should include an installer that you just run and the maps should appear in both Mapsource and Basecamp. The method for loading multiple maps varies depending on what GPS you use. With an older device (such as the Nuvi 200 and handhelds like the 60csx or eTrex Legend), use Mapsource and follow this tutorial: https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-load-maps-on-my-garmin-gps-unit/#mapsource

Notice step #8 in the tutorial that tells you to repeat steps 2 through 7 for each map that you want to load. These older devices typically only recognize a single map file that must named gmapsupp.img. Mapsource takes care of all this and embeds the separate maps in that one file. On the GPS unit, just enable all the maps you want to see.

This technique also supposedly works with newer handhelds like the Oregon or Montana, but I have had some issues. If you use Basecamp/MapInstall, it should figure out the correct way to format the maps for these newer units.

This all assumed that you bought the DVD versions of the maps, which Garmin stopped selling a couple years ago. These old maps don't have any restrictions and can be installed on every Garmin device you own.

If you purchased the download versions then the news isn't so good. These maps cannot be installed into Basecamp or Mapsource and are an all or nothing proposition. You cannot select only a portion of the map, you must use the whole file. On an older device like the 60csx you could only use one map at a time in that case, since only one map file is allowed. On your Nuvi 200 you could put one file in the Garmin folder on the GPS and the other in the Garmin folder on a memory card. But the news is even worse, because these maps are also copy protected and only work on the GPS for which they were originally purchased (they become locked to it during the purchase process when you connect your GPS).

Garmin also sells maps on pre-loaded cards. They can be used on any gps, but only work on the original card so they can't be copied. Therefore you can only use them on one GPS at a time.
General Discussion / garmin topo 24
« Last post by TOM B on November 10, 2017, 09:56:05 AM »
Hi this is my first time to use a forum of any kind.   I'm having trouble loading maps to my gps. I have both mapsource and basecamp. I also have garmin topo usa (100) and garmin topo 24. I live in the north west corner of Colorado and find myself crossing into Wyoming and back often when on my atv. I would like to make a single map of northwest Co and southwest Wy . Garmin topo 24 has them separated in two different sections southewest and north central. I own both. I would then like to put the smaller map on my nuvi 200. I would not be opposed to removing the street maps because I have several garmin gps units. My question is how do I do this. Also I would like to load the garmin maps onto my computer if possible. Thanks for any help
Using The Maps/Garmin Software / China NT on a Montana 610t
« Last post by kelbro on November 09, 2017, 05:55:01 PM »
I've seen folks say that they have done it but garmin tech support says 'it is not listed as compatible'.

Anybody here had luck with it? I don't want to drop $100+ and it not work.

General Discussion / Re: What's the trick?
« Last post by Boyd on November 05, 2017, 04:17:33 AM »
.gmap files are a whole different ball of wax. This is Garmin's newer map format that does not use the Windows Registry. When Garmin started supporting the Macintosh, they needed a file-based format since there is no registry on the Mac and that led to .gmap. Later, Garmin moved all their own maps to the .gmap format and  (AFAIK) stopped making the registry based maps long ago.

I have tried for many years to get the mapmakers here to embrace .gmap and have had little success. To be fair, there really aren't any tools to natively create .gmap files, you have to make a traditional registry based map and convert it.

Anyway, the beauty of .gmap is that you don't even need an installer. Just copy it to the correct directory on your computer an it wil be recognized by Basecamp and Mapsource. I use .gmap for my own maps and include an installer for the Windows version, but all it does is copy the files. It's even simpler on the Mac, just double-clicking a .gmap file launches MapManager and it copies the map to the correct location.

It's been a long time since I've worked on Garmin maps, but try pasting this into the address bar in Windows Explorer:


That should show you the correct location to copy your .gmap - or at least this used to work on Windows 7.
General Discussion / Re: What's the trick?
« Last post by sjb on November 04, 2017, 01:17:22 PM »
1) So the trick was to load the file that sets the keys in the registry for 64 bit Win 7.  Thank you very much.  It did the trick.
2) The file that I could not find an .exe file in was: 'WA_USGS_OSM.gmap' .  There was another file for Wa that did install correctly, so I'll just avoid anything that doesn't appear to have an installer.
General Discussion / Re: What's the trick?
« Last post by Boyd on November 02, 2017, 04:22:48 AM »
Post links to the specific maps you had problems with if you want someone to help. But look on the page for each map first. Does it have in icon that says "Installer"? Here's an example: https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/424/

The vast majority of maps on this site include an installer. You do not need cgpsmapper for this kind of map. All that should be needed is to run the installer. In other words, you should never need to use this tutorial (which is apparently what you were talking about) https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-load-.img-files-into-mapsource-with-mapsettoolkit/

cgpsmapper and mapsettoolkit are used by people who make maps. Some very old maps on this site may require them but I suggest you don't use those maps. The cgpsmapper author discontinued development a number of years ago and his website is now gone. The software can still be found using the wayback machine at archive.org if needed, but you should not need it.

Most of the problems with maps on this site can be traced to an installer script used by most mapmakers that broke with the introduction of 64 bit Windows 7. Maps using this installer don't have the proper registry keys to be recognized by Basecamp. The "fix" for this is to first install a map that does have the proper keys, then the broken maps should work. Typically we recommend that you remove any maps that aren't working (the same way you would uninstall any Windows program). Then install this map which is known to have a good installer. You don't need to use the map, just install it: https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/53

Now re-install the broken maps. This usually fixes things, but if the map still doesn't work then something else is probably wrong and it's may be best to just find another map. Another issue surfaced recently when Garmin updated Basecamp. Apparently some maps only work if they are installed in a specific location. This appears to be relatively rare, based on posts I've seen here.

The maps here were made by many different people with different levels of experience and goals so you can't generalize about them. But they are free and "you get what you pay for". If this is frustrating then you can purchase maps from Garmin who will "hold your hand" throughout the process if you have problems.

However, most people will be able to find free maps that work well if they devote a little time and seek help with problems here in the forums.

Also, you need to understand that Garmin's software license specifically forbids people from making third party maps like the ones on this site. They have never published the specs of their map format and consider it proprietary. However they recognize that free maps help sell their GPS so they just "look the other way". But the cgpsmapper software used by most authors here was reverse-engineered and the author finally abandoned it out of frustration with Garmin's policy. He has tried to sell the source code for a number of years but evidently nobody was interested, so it's just gone now.
General Discussion / What's the trick?
« Last post by sjb on November 01, 2017, 07:14:29 PM »
I read the tutorials, downloaded the software, downloaded the map files, and made a reasonable attempt to install the files.  Basecamp found the Idaho maps, but it did not find the Oregon or Washington files, and the tutorial indicated that I needed to download a couple programs to convert the img files, but the links to one of the files (cgpsmapper) is an internet dead-end.  It's pretty cool that folks are attempting to provide free maps, but why is it so difficult to use them?  I'm not a total software idiot, and am capable of writing some fairly complicated apps in VBA.  The tutorials suggest it's just a click or two to get them loaded, but is this really something you need to spend an afternoon trying to figure out? 
GPSr Units / Re: Best big screen GPS for custom maps
« Last post by MojaveMan on November 01, 2017, 04:46:05 AM »
So, IMO, you should not waste any money pursuing a large screen device for Garmin Custom Maps, it will be expensive and very limited.

I am a long time lurker and very infrequent poster who gets a LOT of mileage out of Garmin Custom Maps.  I find them to be very useful and honestly, my enjoyment and usage of my GPS would be very limited without them.  I think the key to understanding their limitations is key to using them effectively, and Boyd has done a pretty good job of citing those limitations.
If your need detailed custom images for small areas (like a farm) on a relatively small handheld device, Custom Maps will fit the bill.  But its important to keep in mind that the capacity of the device can be limited.  This can be circumvented by carrying multiple memory cards, but I have never found that to be necessary.
If I remember correctly, I have put 4 USGS Topo quads on my Oregon with no problem (they were 300 dpi "prints" of the official USTOPO maps) along with 4 600dpi photo images of the area I went camping.  That is some reasonably high resolution (I can easily see individual trees and the 3 foot wide trail in the photo) and covers more than a generous area for something like camping and backpacking - about 30 square miles.
The drawback is that I have to manage the files on the memory card every time I go camping to a different location.  Not a big deal to me - I move some files around on the memory card as part of my prep for the trip.  The bigger drawback, honestly, was converting the projection provided by the USGS to work on the Garmin - but when it comes to math, I'm a glutten for punishment and honestly enjoyed the process.
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