DIY Garmin GPS Maps

Submitted: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 22:02
ThreadID: 23472 Views:3878 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Is anyone else having success loading their own Maps to Garmin GPS equipment?

As noted in Answer ID: 112280 I am impressed with cgmapper and img2GPS shareware/freeware GPSMapedit at . I note that free 250k vector maps are available from GA Australia and providing the source is acknowledged and their licence included they have no problem with further free distributiion.

It would be a valuable resource for us to have .img map files available in a similar way to other countries:
NZ and

From what I have experienced so far there are no problems relating to uploading maps to the Garmin using this software.

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Reply By: BBails - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2005 at 08:30

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2005 at 08:30
Can you upload these maps to an Etrex Legend? Will the shareware work without buying a licence key? Sounds very interesting as I am too cheap to pay 170$ for the metroguide.
AnswerID: 113858

Follow Up By: dja - Saturday, Jun 04, 2005 at 12:42

Saturday, Jun 04, 2005 at 12:42
Works well on my Etrex Legend. Can get perhaps 20 250k maps of your choice in the base 8Mb memory. They appear to be around 400kb each after compilation.

Garmin software may be the best for you if you want to stay in the city. Unfortunately it does not provide detail where I wish to drive my 4wd.

Shareware versions of these programs works well without purchase, but I am considering the full versions as they offer good $ value and encourages their development.

If you are interested, perhaps take these small steps:
(If the weblinks do not mork then make them lowercase letters!!!)

1) Download GPSmapedit from . What this allows you to do is view the vector format files convieniently on your PC.

2) Download an example .img file from

3) Open the .img file with GPSMapedit on your PC and see if that is the sort of maps that you want in your Garmin GPS.

If you like what you see, I would suggest trialling a download of that .img file to your Etrex Legend using img2GPS program. takes about 10 seconds.

If you like that then I'd suggest downloading the cGmapper program and using it through GPS Mapedit to view and create your preferred Aussie maps with vector data obtained from the free download of 250k scale Vector shape files from and use GPSMapedit to view and import layers to make your chosen map content. Can also import and Oziexplorer .PLT and .WPT files.

For you Magellen owners, I note that similar techniques to this are used on sites such as and but you'll need to interpret the polish language to use the program. I have not tried this program.

See how you get on and advise us on your progress.


FollowupID: 370294

Reply By: Niko - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 03:54

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 03:54
It warms my cockles to see what is meant to be a basemap that "officially" can't be overwritten and yet many people are proving that you can't believe everything anyone tells you, even Garmin! It appears that no one is willing to create a site to share the maps that are already .img files. You just can't find a site with everything you need to create from go to whoa and share. Open Source for the GPS world here we come!!!!
AnswerID: 115639

Follow Up By: dja - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 20:40

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 20:40
The basemap remains on the Garmin GPS in it's full inaccurate form. The memory we are using for our maps is the space for the additional maps (8Mb in the case of the Legend) You get the choice on the etrex Legend to tick whichever maps you want displaying.

Yep, elsewhere in the world free detailed .img files are available.

The source vector map files are freely available from and it is straight forward to do and they do encourage further distribution of their maps as long as the source is acknowledge and their licence agreement attached.

It is a fairly big exercise for the 250k maps of Australia. There are 700 or so maps and once in .img form there would be around 500Mb of files uncompressed for all 700 maps.

I'm looking at doing in batch form - the whole conversion exercise would then be around 12 hours of the computer doing it's own stuff.

In the meantime the 'local' 250k maps I have created work just fine.


FollowupID: 372459

Reply By: Niko - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 21:20

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 21:20

the 1:250k maps are they vector?
AnswerID: 116960

Reply By: Niko - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 21:24

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 21:24
I forgot to ask if I could have a copy of the 1:250k img file to peruse. Maybe the file can be added to the list at
AnswerID: 116962

Follow Up By: dja - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 22:13

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 22:13
My dialup connection is too slow to overcome the adverts at the forum. It just fails to display anything.

If you want to tack me a message at a dummy email address I just created, I'll email you a zipped 40k .img file of a local scenic part of our coast. I'll check that inbox tomorrow.

You need to download gpsmapedit to view this file, (or you could just upload it to your GPS with img2GPS)

Alternatively check out some of the Kiwi maps referred to elsewhere in this string - they show what is possible....with a bit of effort!

Yes the source files are vector data not raster.


FollowupID: 372469

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