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Toolkit overview - please...

Started by larshgf, May 09, 2012, 03:44:16 AM

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New to this map-making I miss some kind of overview of the different toolkits/programs making the job done. I really get dizzy trying to find out how the processes works! But of course this only reveals my lack of knowledge on this subject...


Some of the programs might be outdated? And what about the different file-types which can be used on PC and GPS? It's really confusing...
I would appreciate very much that som guru out there in cyberspace wrote a few lines about how he/she worked with maps. My OS is Windows, my GPS is eTrex30. My goal is to be able to make maps (digitally scanned or via OSM) and to convert these in such a way that I can use the maps on both my PC (in order to see tracks etc) and my GPS.
Thank you in advance. I really apprecialte this forum and all the helping people here!!

Best Regards


This is too abbreviated, but it's late and I'm going to bed.

Creating the Map? GlobalMapper and GPSMapEdit

Compiling a map to Garmin compatibility? cGPSMapper

Installing Maps the 'Garmin' way? BaseCamp, Mapsource.

Installing your maps into Mapsource (and other things)? MapSet Toolkit

Creating custom Icons for your Maps? TypWiz

"OSM" is for Open Street Maps. I got my initial data from the USGS, but anything with "OSM" in it is related to Open Street Maps, but I'm not the guy to ask.

Check the tutorials on this site; they're pretty good at getting you from Zero to making maps pretty quick. And when you have questions, here is the right place for that. Sorry I can't elaborate more; it's 2AM here and I'm going to bed. :)


-- Smug
In a nutshell, I get claustrophobic.


If your map projects are relatively small (maybe not the right tool for making a map of Texas) and you just want to get up and running quickly, it's worth taking a look at Mapwel. Unlike other solutions, it is capable of doing everything in one program - importing data, editing it, tracing features from a raster image, creating custom styles for roads/areas/POI and actually compiling the map. It also comes very close to a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) user interface. So it basically includes the features of GPSMapEdit, TypWiz and cgpsmapper in a single program.

You can use it for free on your computer to create the map, but need to register to send the map to the GPS. The only thing you would still need is MapSetToolkit if you want to install your map in Mapsource (and you would also need the advanced version of Mapwel to produce .img files in the correct format for MapsetToolkit).

I have the advanced version of Mapwel and have always been impressed with it. For various reasons, I don't really use it anymore because I am creating some unusual maps and have developed a special workflow with GlobalMapper > FileMaker Pro > cgpsmapper. But I think Mapwel is a great tool for somebody new to mapmaking who just wants to get up and running quickly without learning multiple programs. There's a yahoo group for Mapwel support and the author is very active, answering user questions and fixing bugs.


Mapwell looks just fine. There is a basic and advanced version, dont know the difference. GlobalMapper is not for my budget.  My ambition is to

- be able to make a vectorized IMG map from a downloaded OSM cycle map (just a rather small greek island)
- be able to upload this IMG file to my Garmin eTrex30
- be able to show the same IMG file on my PC (windows) in Campbase or some other program and this should also be able to show my tracks from my walkingtrips

Even though I have made a KZM file from a scanned map (usingMAPC2MAPC) I think I prefere the vectorized IMG map because of the precision.



See this page - the features with three asterisks *** are only available in the advanced version.

Features that you might want are the ability to export .img files in the correct format for MapSetToolkit as well as saving .mp files for use with other programs (like cgpsmapper or GPSMapEdit). The Advanced version can also create routable maps. Maps made with the basic version will only work on the GPS you register the program with, advanced version maps work on any GPS. With Mapwel, your GPS works sort of like a "dongle".

I suggest you play around with the free demo version before purchasing and see how you like it. The free version will let you send the map to the GPS, but it will have some features stripped out of it.


Does MapWel compile OSM data?

Lars, have you tried for your Samos data?  If you can download the data from OpenStreetMap, it should be available for direct installation from and you wouldn't have to compile anything.  Of course you wouldn't have contours yet, although I understand they are trying to make that an option.

With regard to your first question on this thread.  BaseCamp is a viewer and manager for maps and data.  Think of it as a viewer that can load maps onto your Etrex and get data from it.  The "MapSource" version of maps available as download from will come with an installer that makes the maps available in either BaseCamp or MapSource.  If you download a suitable map of Samos from there and install it in BaseCamp from BaseCamp you can call a program called MapInstall that will load Samos onto your Etrex.  MapInstall and BaseCamp are both installed as part of the BaseCamp installation.

Here's the link to the whole site:
Sorry about the typo on the other thread.


Quote from: Seldom on May 09, 2012, 04:02:55 PM
Does MapWel compile OSM data?

Yes, the advanced version can do this very simply and produce a routable map. Or so they claim - never tried that feature myself. See: and


Thank you Boyd and Seldom so much for all your advice and help. I will have a closer look at MapWel. I'm sure it will bring a lot of new aspects to the map-creation.
I made a little wok-flow document for my own use.......

This is my work-flow so far in my wish for creating small maps for my eTrex30 based on the OpenStreetMap source and a few (free) tools for compiling, transferring and converting map-files:

Using JOSM download the area you want to show on your map. It might be necessary to download this area in smaller areas to avoid this error message:

The OSM server ''; reported a bad request.

The area you tried to download is too big or your request was too large.
Either request a smaller area or use an export file provided by the OSM community.

As you download the smaller areas these will be acumulated in your JOSM editor field, so don’t worry.

If neccesary you can change or add new roads etc to your map. When ready save the map as data.osm.

To split the data.osm into files which can be handled by the Garmin GPS use the splitter program using this command in a command prompt (place splitter in a directory of ypur choice):

   java -Xmx1000m -jar splitter.jar file.osm

I have changed Xmx2000m because I do not have 2G of free RAM for the process.
The resulting file “63240001.osm.pbf” can be transferred to your Mkgmap directory.

To make a Garmin map image file (IMG) open a command prompt and navigate to your Mkgmap directory. Then run the following command:

   java -ea -jar mkgmap.jar [options] data.osm 

This will produce a file called 63240001.img

To upload the IMG file directly to your eTrex30 you can use the program MapUpload from MapWel (free)
The program will detect your eTrex30 automatically. You are adding your IMG file by browsing to the relevant directory.

In order to convert your IMG file the be viewed by BaseCamp or MapSource you can use the free program MapsetToolkit.

Eventually load your tracks to BaseCamp and follow your daily walkings in the mountains. I think that BaseCamp scans tour Harddisk and shows the available maps in the map combobox to the left in the toolbar.


I might find some track-files from my favorite greek island somewhere on the internet som I can play around with these a little.
My next ambition is to find some tools which can manipulate a track for instance by reducing the number of waypoints to a more reasonable amount. GPSBabel might be one of these tools?

Cheers from DK


Lars, if you haven't checked out the mkgmap options, try running this.  It will write an "options" text file.
java.exe -Xmx512M -jar "c:\program files\mkgmap\mkgmap.jar" --help=options > mkgmap_options.txt

This will let you set IMG names to something other than the default.
java.exe -Xmx512M -enableassertions -jar "c:\program files\mkgmap\mkgmap.jar"  --route --mapname=07250734{your 8 digit number}

This will create the TDB file that you can install with MapSetToolKit.

java.exe -Xmx512M -enableassertions -jar "c:\program files\mkgmap\mkgmap.jar" --max-jobs=12 --ignore-osm-bounds --tdbfile --family-name="SeldomsHikes" [the name you want to see in BaseCamp} --product-id=53  07250733.img 07250732.img 07250734.img 07250735.img 07250736.img 07250737.img 07250738.img 07250740.img 07250739.img {list your IMG files here instead of mine}

The last time I did this, you couldn't use MapSetToolKit to Install maps compiled with mkgmap unless the TDB file and mapbackground.IMG file were already compiled by mkgmap.  Then you use the "Install" button and fill in the dialog boxes.


If you decide to use Mapwel, here are the instructions for creating the files for MapsetToolkit: - see the section "How to use IMG file from Mapwel with Mapset Toolkit?". You need the advanced version to do this.

As I said before, I have never used the OSM option in Mapwel, but if you purchase it, you should be able to do everything within Mapwel and not need mkgmap, JOSM, etc.

If you don't use Mapwel, you might want to look at TypWiz and the OSM tools here:


Lars, if you import a track into JOSM, and convert it to a data layer you can simplify the track there.