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60csx topo map image quality

Started by tmac4468, April 07, 2010, 08:27:39 PM

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I'm a newb here, so please bear with me.  I recently got a 60csx and thought the Garmin Topo's were the only solution, then I stumbled on this sight and was thrilled I was going to save some money.  I have downloaded a number of topo's, had no trouble getting them into Mapsource with the help of the tutorials.  The quality in mapsource is great.

My frustration is that the display on my gps is nothing like the screenshots I have seen (which are how the topos are displayed in mapsource).  All the maps seem to have a solid brown background, no variation, and the countour lines are inconsistently displayed (some contour lines show up, others only have the height displayed - no line).

I have looked through all the forum's for this problem and don't see anything exactly like it.  Do I need to follow Garmin's procedure for resetting the GPS and trying again?  I can't see where I have changed any settings, and I can get the mapset selected that I want to see.  The transfer from mapsource was straight forward...

Any advice?

Thanks in advance, Tim


If you control the displayed maps this way:

This is the other thing you should try, from the map screen hit Menu|Set up Map.
Left rocker button to the "N" icon.
Set your detail to "Most".


The tan background is normal; when I asked them, Garmin said it is not possible to change it.
Their screen capture program renders the background as yellow.
With the tan background, the display does not look very good in indoor lighting; however, it is very usable outdoors in bright sunlight to cloudy conditions.

Most mapsets only show the full set of contour lines from the 800' bar zoom level inwards (more detailed).  As you zoom out (less detail) only one in 4 or 5 are displayed, then only 1 in 10 of the full set.  Sometimes it is not too clear which contour line an elevation label is refering too; however, I have never seen nor heard of labels being displayed and not the lines. 


As others have said, there are some controls that will change the appearance of the map display. And the 60csx is also very readable outdoors without any backlight. But beyond that, it's really pretty bad IMO (I have one too). The Oregon and Colorado have the best handheld GPS screens, and they render the maps very similarly to what you would see on your computer. But they have their own issues as well.

There are rumors of a new version of the 60csx (62csx has been mentioned). Not sure if there's any truth to this, but maybe Garmin will surprise us with something nice? :)


Thank you all for your input.  I think I have the map selection down, and already adjusted the detail, so no quick fix there.  Appreciate the clarification on the background color - I guess the screen shots on the 60csx box and various ones online are only with Garmin maps?  I can live with the color, but would really like to get the contours right.  I will contact Garmin and see if they have any thoughts, and update here.

Thanks, Tim


I don't think Garmin will offer any help if you have issues with maps from this site. They will only support their own products. Other than the map detail setting, there are no controls which affect the visibility of contour lines.

To take screenshots on the 60csx you need to use Garmin's Ximage program:

That is just the way it renders the image on your computer. I'm not sure if it's an issue with the xImage program, or if the 60csx screen can't properly show the "real" map colors.

Also, it has a lot to do with how the mapmaker creates things. These screenshots show one of my maps on the Oregon vs Mapsource and they look just about the same (except the text). It *can* be done. Personally, I am not supporting the 60csx or other older handhelds anymore, because of screen issues as well as a slower processor that struggles with a complex map.


QuoteI guess the screen shots on the 60csx box and various ones online are only with Garmin maps? 
Which mapset, Garmin or non-Garmin, does not make a difference.  What displays as yellow in MapSource is displayed as tan on the GPSr.  It helps indoors to turn up the brightness on the GPSr.  Seems to be well suited to viewing outdoors.  Even looks worse indoors when compaded to the display on the OR300 (which has its own issues as colors for some features have been changed and are non-visible on the OR when the background is changed to off-white).


Thanks again for the feedback.  After my last post I went to the link on selecting maps and realized I had missed some of th functionality (I had been selecting and deselecting individual tiles, but was under the impression there was no way to hide the base map).  Once I hid the basemap (no loss) my color went from a brown to yellow, and all the contour lines now show fine as expected.  Once again a happy customer.

Thanks to all of you for your feedback and maps!


QuoteOnce I hid the basemap (no loss) my color went from a brown to yellow, and all the contour lines now show fine as expected. 
Thanks for sharing that info.  No matter which single or combo of mapsets I have showing on my 76csx I have the tan background.  I am not using the latest firmware/software; Garmin must have recently made that change.