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Author Topic: Tutorial for converting a shape file into a gmapi file for Garmin units?  (Read 19129 times)

wredmonds

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Is there any kind of tutorial or other article about how to convert a shape file from ArcGIS to a gmapi file that I can then upload to several Garmin GPS units?  I've created Custom Maps for Garmin, but this would be polygon data.

Boyd

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The only way that I know to do this would be to make a regular garmin map (.img files) and install it into Mapsource/Basecamp on Windows. You would then use MapConverter to turn it into a Mac file: http://www8.garmin.com/manuals/MapSource_TransferringMapProductsfromaPCtoaMacComputer.pdf

Use the tutorials on this site to make the map for a Windows machine. I am not aware of any way to do what you want completely on the Mac.

wredmonds

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Is there a tutorial for creating the .img file?  I can save out the shape file to a .kmz file if that would be easier to convert???

Boyd

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Covered in great detail here: http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-create-garmin-topo-maps/

Making a single .img file is actually pretty simple. But installing it into Mapsource is a bit more complicated. Don't know what you are trying to do, but another approach would be to export the shapefile data as a calibrated raster image, then turn it into a "custom map".

wredmonds

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I've got a client who is interested in getting all of his property into something similar to the Google Earth kmz file on his iPhone, but wants it on his Garmin Nuvi.  Is that how things like the PLSS Overlay are created?
I see that you are a fellow FileMaker user.  I've been using it for over 12 years now and find new things to do with it all time.  I'm not a programmer, just a user, but I get a friend to help me if when it comes to serious programming in the app.

maps4gps

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My PLSS overlay mapset was created from State file data in vector shape file format downloaded from BLM's public websited. 

Boyd

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Cool... I go way back with Filemaker, to their first version sometime in the 1980's  :)

Do you want to get an aerial image onto a Nuvi? That's not really possible unfortunately. There are a couple programs that use hacks to approximate it, but the Nuvi really isn't the platform for this kind of thing.

There is also no support for custom maps (.kmz files) on the Nuvi.

So you're correct then, you need to create a vector based (.img file) map for the Nuvi. This just isn't supported in any thorough way on the Mac (and I have used Macs exclusively since 1985... except for mapmaking).

If you have access to a Windows machine, look at Mapwel: http://mapwel.eu/. It is the only all-in-one program for creating Garmin maps, and is also probably the most user-friendly. It should import your shapefiles.

It also tries to turn raster imagery (aerial photos) into vector images, with varying degrees of success. You can use all the features on your computer with the free demo, but you have to purchase to be able to send a file to the GPS.

This program will only create the file to use in the GPS however, and not all the files needed to use the map on a computer in Mapsource.

[edit]Now I'm confused... are we no longer talking about creating a Mac file from shapefiles? What exactly are you trying to put onto the Nuvi?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 11:40:49 AM by Boyd »

wredmonds

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Sounds like we have a lot in common.  I've been using the Mac since the first release in '84 and only use windows for MS Access, which I convert into FM, and for ArcGIS.  I'm running Parallels for those, but keep all my data on the Mac side to keep it more secure.

I'm trying to put property boundary file on the Nuvi.  I have it in ArcGIS as a shape file (polygon) but can convert to a .kmz file if that would be easier to convert.

wredmonds

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My PLSS overlay mapset was created from State file data in vector shape file format downloaded from BLM's public websited. 

And did you use the process described in the Tutorial that Boyd is talking about or a different method?  I am looking to do something very similar to what you have done, except I'll be using some property boundaries that I have mapped in a polygon shape file.

Boyd

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Have a look at Mapwel. It will open the shapefile, allow you to customize their appearance, and export them an .img file that you can drop into the Nuvi. Putting it into the Mapsource format and converting it for use on a Mac are more complicated.

maps4gps

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I had purchased GlobalMapper a few months before OZ created this site and the tutorials.

wredmonds

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Thanks guys - I really appreciate the help....

Boyd

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Globalmapper is a fantastic program that can do almost anything (except create the actual .img file). You can download the free version at globalmapper.com and play around with it, but it won't export files.

wredmonds

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Now I have to figure out why the img file replaced the existing dataset instead of Merging it like it should have (I marked the check box for Merge).  It seems like MapWell downloaded the existing map file from the Garmin, then said it processed, then uploaded to the GPS.  But what I ended up with was a file that didn't have any of the data showing.  When I went back in to MapWell and told it to just send that one file, it did send it fine.  It just looks like it may have trouble with the Merge.

Boyd

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I have never tried to merge maps with Mapwel. If you're having problems, they have a support forum on yahoo: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mapwel/