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Making Garmin Transparent Map from KMZ/KML File

Started by JasonC, September 30, 2010, 06:43:41 AM

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I am fairly new to map making.  I have a Garmin 62s, and have already spent hours installing maps from this site and learning how to use them on my GPSr.

I am trying to make a map from an existing KMZ file that the state of Minnesota has on their DNR website of all the Wildlife Management areas.  I also intend on doing the same for the State Forests, Parks, etc.

The KMZ file is found here:

it includes boundaries for all of the WMAs in Minnesota, as well as parking areas and other POI.

I started by using GPSBabel or KML2GPX converters to convert them to a GPX file.  Then I tried using EZimg or GPX2IMG to convert them into a img file to display as a map.  The converters seem to make a decent GPX file (all the boundaries become tracks) but when I try to convert these GPX files to a map, the tracks won't convert or I get errors like "layer 0 missing"  I am wondering if I going about this the correct way.  Thanks in advance.  If I get this figured out, I will be sure to share them here.



My Trails already contains a state map for MN.  While I have not checked, I think it already contains that data.  It has been a while since I have done anything to the map. 

I use the freeware gpsmapedit

Do you want to take over and maintain that part of My Trails?  I can email you the MN source file and walk you through how to add, change, or remove stuff from it.  Whenever you have changes, you can email me the source file and I will update My Trails to include it. 

I live in IL so it woud be much better haivng someone in MN maintaining the MN trail map. 


I have already been utilizing My Trails, and it is terrific.  It contains many boundaries for State Parks, but I have not found any for state forests or WMAs.  It does, however, seem to have many of the roads that are on the state forests included.

I would be very interested in maintaining the my trails portion for Minnesota.  I am still very new to this, so I am not certain what sort of task this is.  I will be more likely to take this on once I can actually successfully make these maps so I know what I am getting myself into.

I will start playing around with gpsmapedit to see what sort of progress I can make.




Click on my profile and send me a message with your email and I will email you the source file so you can see what you would be getting into.

By far the hardest part is setting up the map, typ files and compiling it into a map set.  I have that all done - the rest is real simple. 

For a gpx file, open the source file in gpsmapedit, drag and drop it in the program.  Then you will see the lines and POIs on the map.  You right click on each POI such as parking, and select convert to point.  Then you select the type of point (i.e., parking).  Right click on the trail, convert to polyline, and select trail.  You also have to select which levels to add it to.  POIs should only be added to level 0.  A trail that you only want to show up to 0.2 miles (small access trail) only select level 0.  If you want the trail to show up to the 2 mile zoom, select level 0 and level 1. NEVER mess with level 2. If you want to change the label on anything, right click on it and select modify label. 

If you have boundaries in a polygon instead of a line, there is an easy way I can tell you on how to deal with it.  IF the boundaries are a line, right click and convert to state boundary. 

If you GPS a trail or waypoints, you can drag and drop a mapsource file the same way (however, talk to me first about how to set your gps and what to do in mapsource after you download).  You can also trace stuff or waypoint stuff in GoogleEarth, you can save it as a kml file, convert with gpsbabel and then add it to the map. 

If you have a bunch of parking lots or trails in a file, you can use ctrl and a mouse click to select them all and then convert them all at once.  But to do this, everything needs to be the same thing.

When you get all the trails or something for an area, the best format is a GIS shapefile.  For a gpx file you have to right click and add every single thing you want.  With a shapefile, you can add a bunch of trails all at once.  So if you can find anything in shapefile, that is the best way.  Adding a shapefile is pretty simple and I can walk you through it.

If you want to remove something from the map (let's say you got better data from GPSing it), you just click on it and delete it. 

Like I said, I have done all the hard stuff.  Maintaining the state would be pretty simple and as much work as you want to spend on it.  You simply would be the point person for adding to the map.  Living in MN you might be able to find others to GPS stuff.  I also have some data sources I have not added to the map I could pass onto you.  If you want I could put in the My Trails description if anyone has anything to add for MN, to contact you.  So basically you could spend whatever time you want on adding to the map.  I have free long distance so I could help you via phone if you need help figuring any of it out.  .