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How Do I Load Maps On My GPS Unit?

Started by -Oz-, February 04, 2010, 09:11:43 PM

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Your instructions for loading maps ultimate led me to Garmin's site for MapSource. But that only allowed downloads of updates.  I still don't know how to get MapSource itself!

Is it even possible to use some of the free maps out there without buying something with MapSource from Garmin?


I'm replying to my own post!  Dumbo - I just had to follow the instructions.

Actually it was searching posts and finding the instructions to load Training Center first that finally got through to my brain: Step 1, then step 2.

I'm finally making progress.


Actually that tutorial is out of date. Today, the best way to do this is to first install Basecamp:

After doing that, install Mapsource. The reason that you got the error in the first place is that Mapsource wants to see a Garmin map on your computer or it won't install. Installing Basecamp will provide that, without the need to install Training Center which is something that you will probably never need.

But as long as you got it working, it's all good. :)


I am new to this process and am having trouble, I downloaded the Illinois topo file and installed it.  The problem is the maps do not appear in the drop down list in MapSource or BaseCamp, the Illinois Topo data comes with an installer, so I do not think I need to go use MapSetToolkit and cgpsmapper.  How do I get my software to recognize these maps?



Did you try quitting Mapsource and restarting it?


I am new to this also. I just bought a 450t on sale. I have followed the instructions and installed mapsource on my pc. I downloaded and installed a bunch of the maps available here for midwest region. I transferred a few of the maps to a 4 gb micro sd card but I can't see the same thing I see on mapsource. I checked the map selection screen and I have all the options to enable the maps but when I look at the map in my 450t it doesn't look like it is working. The whole process looks like it is working correctly. Why can't I see the maps on my 450T? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks


Don't quite understand what you are doing. Mapsource cannot "see" maps on a memory card, it can only access maps that you have installed on your computer.

Whenever you send a map to a memory card, it replaces the one you previously send. This is because Mapsource always names the file gmapsupp.img for compatibility with older units. To get around this, manually change the filename from gmapsupp.img to somethingelse.img. Your Oregon will recognize any file with a .img extension if it's in the Garmin folder on a card. Now you can send another map with Mapsource and repeat this procedure as needed.


I meant that when viewing the maps on the mapsource app I understand what the maps are supposed to look like. When I load it onto my sd card and plug into my oregon it doesn't look like any of the maps are working. I can see that mapsource transferred the files over to the memory card because I can see the gmapsupp.img file. I can also see the map selections in the oregon that are available to enable or disable. Everything is enabled but it just looks blank on the oregon map screen.


Did you zoom-in to the 2 mile display level or greater in an area you sent to the GPSr?

Try sending some quads/tiles from one mapset and pan to that location if it does not include your current location.

Are you using a profile?  You may have a profile active which does not include the mapset(s).
Try the 'recreational' profile.


Have Garmin Oregon 220 and Win7 x-64 based PC.  Downloaded/installed Base Camp, MapSource, and PA topo.  Topo installed but not visible in either BC or MS.  Downloaded installed MapSetToolKit: It only opens through WinZip.  (I also see a .cfg file I can't access and asks what program I want to use to open it.)  Downloaded and installed cgpsmapper.  When running MapSetToolKit, the IMG files show, but the cgpsmapper/cpreview folder is greyed out and there is no cursor. I consider myself pretty computer literate, but it's not all coming together.  Seems to be no relationship between BC, MS, MSTK, or cgpsmapper.


This problem has been reported several times on Win7-64 systems.  While the cause is not understood, downloading and installing a copy of My Trails ( ) normally fixes it.  Note that My Trails is a transparent map and the trails will show up only at zooms of 7 miles or lower.  Depending on how much detail they show, transaparent maps aren't easy to use in MapSource/BaseCamp.  However they will overlay another detailed map (a topo for example) and show both maps details.


HI, I'm following this tutorial How To Load .img Files Into MapSource With MapSetToolkit
But on Step four I keep getting the following message for all my files :

"cannot find file or the filename is not composed always from 8 digits"

What is that supposed to mean? The .img files ARE 8 digits and I'm pointing to the right folder....

I'm clueless

Any help will be appreciated.


What files are you trying to load? Is it a map from this site. If so, this is almost never needed since most maps include a custom installer. Instead, this simple tutorial is all that is normally needed:


Howdy!  I've had my eTrex 20 for almost a year, and I just found this site.  I downloaded the Missouri Topo, motopo11, and ran the installer on my Windows XP PC.  When I went into BaseCamp, there was the topo in the Product Selection.  Wow!  So much more detailed than the topos that I already had (from my earlier eTrex Legend days).  Great!

Then I followed the directions in the tutorial and sent the motopo11 map, using Garmin's Map Installer, to my eTrex 20.  It said that the map was installed successfully, and I see the motop11.img file on the unit in the Garmin directory.

However, when I go to the map setup on the eTrex 20, this map is not listed.  I scroll down through the maps and all I get is:
Enabled - US Topo - East
US Topo
Enabled - US Topo - East 2
US Topo
Enabled - US Topo - West
US Topo
Enabled - US Topo - West 2
US Topo

That is all there is.  Can't scroll down below that.  I even tried Disabling both of the East topos to see if it would show the new map, but no go.

Since the map was free, I guess I could remove the 208MB motop11.img file on the device to free up space.  But I'd like to see if there isn't a way to actually get to use it on the device.  I am enjoying it in BaseCamp.  But 'twould also be nice on the unit, if possible.


AHHH.  I found it.  It doesn't say so in the tutorial (because the Garmin units are so very different, as has been stated earlier), but I needed to rename the motopo11.img to gmapsupp.img that has been mentioned multiple times here.
That means that the eTrex 20 only recognizes one "supplemental" map at a time, unlike some of the more costly units.

That's only a minor annoyance (with the device, not this site!), because it means that if I cross into a different state, I have to hook the eTrex 20 up to the computer and download that state's topo map into the GPSr and rename it to gmapsupp.img.  Or just continue to use the less-detailed topos that came with the unit when outside of the current gmapsupp.img territory.   :P

Odd thing is that the name of the new map wasn't Missouri Topo or anything like that, but: Dyersburg (w), Sikeston, Cape Girardeau.  Apparently that is the description that was used in the meta data for this wonderful map by whosumever made it.
Thanks for the great map!!