Welcome to GPSFileDepot!

Main Menu

Basecamp vs Garmin explore website

Started by dwitton, December 29, 2018, 01:51:08 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


From info on the Garmin site, I see that development on Basecamp has been discontinued. Looks to me like they're intending to move users to at some time in the future.  I'm concerned that this will mean we won't be able to upload the maps from this site.

Any comments?


I'm not sure how you see that affecting maps. Basecamp does not do map transfer. Maps have been transfers using Mapsource and Mapinstall. They both work and all versions can be found.


I fail to see your logic here. That website is for users of their InReach devices, there does not seem to be any relation at all to their regular GPS devices. Garmin purchased DeLorme several years ago, including their inReach technology.

Can you provide an official link that says Garmin has discontinued Basecamp? I know there has been some discussion of this on the forums, but have not seen an official statement. My guess is that they have stopped developing Basecamp - which is not the same as discontinuing it. I suspect they have just moved their programmers to other projects they consider more important.

As Red said, you can still download Basecamp and also the old Mapsource from Garmin's site. And this site has an archive of all the old versions.

But there are some valid concerns, because the current version of MapInstall is broken and cannot send third party maps to a GPS unit. Actually, I think it goes beyond that and MapInstall can't even send older Garmin products purchased on DVD. I assume this is just a bug, but 7 months have passed and they have not fixed it. So you will need to either use an old version of Basecamp/MapInstall or Mapsource with maps like the ones here.

For my own maps, I'm offering one version to install in Basecamp for Windows, another version for Macs, and a third version with just the map file that you can drag and drop on the GPS device. We have discussed this in other threads, and I think it would be helpful for other mapmakers to also offer map files for the GPS unit, since it doesn't look like we can trust Garmin to fix this.

Garmin no longer sells maps that require MapInstall. They discontinued all the DVD products several years ago. Now they only offer downloadable map files for the GPS itself, and pre-loaded data cards. The only current Garmin product that can even use MapInstall is the pre-installed Lifetime City Navigator maps on their automotive devices. When you download an update to these maps, you have the option of installing them on your computer and can then use MapInstall if you only want to install a small portion of the map. My guess is that they will discontinue this feature also.

Anyway, "it is what it is". Sales of dedicated GPS units have gone way down in recent years and I'm sure they will continue to slide.


When I attempt to add the URL to the news about Basecamp development I get the error "Sorry, you are not allowed to post external links." - but the page can be found by searching the Garmin support pages for an article titled "Benefits of Using the Explore Website Compared to BaseCamp with the GPSMAP 66 Series"

Here's my history - I started using a Garmin GPS back in 2000, along with the Delorme 3D Topo Quads product. I eventually bought 24k mapping for essentially all of the US west of Denver, and with it loaded on a laptop, recorded all our hikes, river trips and campsites. I noticed as I went along that a licensing scheme was added to the map software on offer, but I've never actually dug deep enough to understand the terms - but my understanding was that the licensing tied the map to a particular device. I was initially pleased when Garmin purchased Delorme, but then disappointed when Garmin decided to stop development on the Topo North America product - I currently own v10, which will run on Windows 10, but fear that at some time in the future the maps I have collected over the last 15 years will no long be usable, and the data will at least require conversion.

I own an 64s and a Delorme Inreach Explorer, and have been watching the convergence of the two technologies. A year or so ago I spoke with a Garmin rep who explained that the companies goal was to merge the two by providing more gps functionality in the Inreach units - that has happened in the newer units. Maps are preloaded, and additional maps can be loaded, but only by using the Explore website. I have noticed that Windows 10 does not recognize my Delorme Inreach as a volume - all mods to the device need to be made via the web portal. I can imagine a world where handheld units like the 64s are replaced by smart phones, watches or Inreach units.

You raise a good point - all that's really needed to use the 3rd party maps is Mapinstall - I hadn't thought that through. Perhaps my fears are ungrounded. I really appreciate the resources at this site, and I hope that Garmin's future direction continues to allow their use.


Thanks, I had not see this Garmin page before. Here's the url. New users at GPSFileDepot can't post urls, but I think you could have just stripped out evrything before "support" and posted it

Having seen that, I tend to agree that Garmin is going to force people in this direction, but probably not for awhile (since they acknowledge it still has advantages).

Quote from: dwitton on December 30, 2018, 08:00:05 AMYou raise a good point - all that's really needed to use the 3rd party maps is Mapinstall - I hadn't thought that through.

I'm wondering if you've really thought it through? ;) The current version of MapInstall CANNOT install 3rd party maps. There are a flood of posts about this here in the gpsfiledepot forums, I responded to one yesterday. They bundle Basecamp and MapInstall together, and if you are running an old version it will automatically update to the current version with the default preference settings. If you disable automatic updates, it still downloads them and then nags you forever to install.

So the result is, most people now have the broken version of MapInstall, and when they try to install a map such as the ones here, everything seems to be fine. But when you enable the map on the gps, there is no detail.

Since Garmin has stopped Basecamp development, they seem to have zero interest in fixing this problem. So users must look to other users on a site like this to diagnose the problem and find a way around it. I still want to believe this is just a bug in MapInstall, but the result is that third party maps can't be installed and you can't even install old Garmin products that you purchased on DVD.

So why should they bother to fix this? It's much more benefit to them for you to buy a new downloadable map. And the downloadable maps are locked to a single GPS device as opposed to the older topo maps on DVD that could be installed without restriction.

In the end, like I said, "it is what it is". Either you will put up with it or you'll move on to another platform and leave Garmin behind. I started for the maps I make myself.  There are currently 15 free maps available for download; 3 of them are in Garmin's traditional .img file format and the other 12 are raster imagery in a universal format that uses Mobile Atlas Creator where you can export them to your Garmin handheld, Magellan handheld plus about two dozen apps on Android, iOS, Linux, Windows and MacOS. Mobile Atlas Creator is a free open source program that runs on Windows, MacOS and Linux and is a platform I would much rather support.


Thanks for the pointer to Mobile Atlas Creator - there's some interesting stuff there. And your site shows it's potential.

If my fears come true, Garmin users will be back to the bad old days when device content is locked down in the name of more profits for Garmin - all in the best standards of capitalism. Oh well.


As an update to this thread - primarily about my concern that Garmin would disable the use of 3rd party maps - I updated my GPSMap 64s to software version 5.10 this morning, and my fears have been realized. Although I have 3rd party maps installed on my device - they're viewable in Windows Explorer and MapInstall - I can no longer enable them from the GPS's menu.
I'd like to revert back to an older version of the device software - is that possible?


See my post in your other thread.