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convert gpsfile for trackmaker

Started by garybo, May 06, 2012, 11:50:09 AM

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I would like to convert the Arizona topo map for use on my laptop pc with my gps receiver for real time navigation with one of these: the Trackmaker program (.gtm, .gtz) or a mapdekote file (.dbx) or ArcGIS shape file (.shp). The receiver mfg isn't relevant since it works with the pc and Streets and Trips and Google Earth- there is no problem there. I also have gpsGate.   I do have a Garmin gps but want my wife/copilot to have a larger computer screen when we're driving in the car. Don't want to use GE.
I have loaded the Arizona data into my hand held Garmin gps- screen too small.
Streets and Trips works but I want the option of using other programs.
The Arizona data comes as an "install" file, unknown type.
I might be able to convert this file with gpsBabel but don't know the "install" file type.
Can I do this or is this file only for a Garmin install? thanks, Gary


You would need the author's permission to do anything with the file except install it as intended. However, you really don't need to convert anything to use it on a laptop. Just install Garmin nRoute - it's free. Running the map installer will make the map accessible in Mapsource. And nRoute will also see it (and any other Garmin maps you have installed).

See this thread for more info:,1092.msg6912.htm


Quote from: garybo on May 06, 2012, 11:50:09 AM
I might be able to convert this file with gpsBabel but don't know the "install" file type.
I'm pretty sure that GPSBabel doesn't support Garmin map file formats like IMG files, or any other common more complicated geospatial formats like ESRI shapefiles, or map files of other vendors.  What it will do is convert data generated within one of the map formats, like tracklogs, to another format like GPX or CSV.

Boyd, I just fired up nRoute.  My version shows the rendering style of MapSource 6.13.7.  Did they ever update it past that?


nRoute renders the maps in the "classic" Mapsource style. Personally, that's one reason I like it.  :). From the thread I linked to

Quote from: Boyd on March 27, 2010, 05:45:20 AM
nRoute_276.exe (the last one on that page) was the final version that Garmin released.


Boyd, I think your referenced thread states that the nRoute won't display the map data on the pc unless it's fed gps data from an external gps device, ie, a handheld. This would mean running the hand held on batteries all day when traveling. I'm downloading nRoute right now to try it out. However, I'm trying to use 4 things to navigate with: Arizona topo map, nRoute, Garmin 18x receiver and my pc. If the hand held is required, I need another solution. Sounds like this should be a simple pc, 18x, map data and software program solution? I've also downloaded a 1GB road map file from/ to go with the ArcGIS pc map program but haven't used that on the road yet either. FYI, the ArcGIS site has some very interesting map overlays.


You don't need a handheld; in fact it would be better not to use a handheld. Any GPS that speaks Garmin's protocol will work. If the GPS only supports NMEA, then you can download the free version of GPSGate Client and it will translate into the correct format in real time. I don't recall the specs on the 18x, but if you're unsure just give it a try and see if nRoute can find it. If not, download GPSGate.

BTW, LaptopGPSWorld may be a better place to discuss the fine points of navigating with your computer since that's the focus of the whole forum. You will find lots of threads about nRoute here:


thanks Boyd, I'll go to the laptopgps site and close this thread.
Just for interest and to return the favor, you might look at the site for arcGIS- the Explorer Desktop is a 100MB dl, and on their maps site there is a 1GB US roads/streets dl to use as well as topo, parks and forests, and 13 pages of other interesting overlays. It does work with my Garmin 18x dash receiver real time. thanks, Gary


Thanks Gary, will check that out when I have a chance.