Ready to start downloading maps--where to begin??

Started by JeffRome, December 27, 2011, 02:16:05 PM

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This is confusing for the newbie. I downloaded BaseCamp onto my PC. I got a etrex Legend HCx for Christmas. Now I want to get some maps. I would like US road use and hiking/canoeing in NC and Virginia. Also will be going out west to CO driving and fishing this summer. That is for starters.
Do I need to purchase City Navigator NT North America from Garmin? If so, is it better to do so via DVD or SD microdisk? It would be nice to look at the maps on my PC and on the etrex.
I know I need a SD Microdisc to use the maps on the Legend. If I get the maps via DVD, can I transfer to a SD Microdisc for use on the Garmin?

Any suggestions for topo maps? 1:24000 would be nice.
I'm really pretty confused how this works and I know I just need to start trying it but want to start right. Any help would be appreciated!


You already have my comments on City Navigator on your other thread.  Assume you are seeking more than one opinion.

See  to learn about Downloading and BaseCamp.
See  to learn how to get the maps to your GPSr.

Start small.  Download your state topo.  Get it into BaseCamp.  Get it onto your GPSr.  Go outside and turn it on.


Thanks. I downloaded the NC topo map--it seems to work fine, no buildings shown, but all streams and contours there. What would you recommend for US driving maps?


As Seldom said, he made some comments about City Navigator in your other thread. This is going to be the best map for auto navigation because of the address search and POI features that are not going to be available on free maps. He also suggested OpenStreetMaps, so you might look at those before buying anything and see if they're good enough.

But really, your eTrex is not a good device for driving. The screen is too small and dim, plus you will want an auto mount and power cable. For the same price as these items plus the City Navigator map, you can buy a Nuvi that includes City Navigator, the mount and power cable. This will be much better for driving, with a bigger, brighter screen, mount, power cable, spoken directions, speed limit and lane assist displays. If you find a good sale, you might even get a model that includes a traffic receiver and/or lifetime map updates for under $100.


I have and love the Nuvi. But I thought if I go our west fishing and rent a car I could skip bringing both the Nuvi and the etrex and just bring the etrex. I don't know though.


I really prefer a driving GPSr that I don't have to look at while I'm also trying to avoid hitting whatever's in front of me, especially with that tiny screen you can lose a critical second or two while your eyes re-focus.  It would work if you had a co-pilot though. He or she could add the spoken content.


If you don't need Canada, the cheapest version of City Navigator is the "lower 49" version for $60 here: . Full version is $80 here: . You might find resellers with slightly lower prices, not sure.

I just don't think that makes sense though, especially on an eTrex, since you'll need to spend a few bucks for a mount also. A quick look at Amazon shows a Nuvi 30 for $76 and Nuvi 1200 for $80.

That being said, I did buy the Lower 49 version for my Montana 600. But that has a big,  bright high res 4" screen and a speaker in the mount. It really is a viable alternative to the Nuvi, and it's all I use anymore in spite of having two other Nuvi's. :)

Be sure to register your eTrex - you will get a 10% discount coupon for anything from Garmin that you can use if you do buy City Navigator.