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The excellent news is that for those who personal a Garmin GPS system, there’s a approach to get free Garmin GPS maps. And typically, the free maps are a lot better than the costly Garmin maps. I’m an enormous fan of Garmin GPS units, however I all the time discovered it disappointing that they charged additional for maps. Garmin doesn’t publicize it, however most of their GPS models are setup to take any maps within the right format. Right here’s methods to get and set up these free mountaineering maps in a simple, step-by-step course of.
On reflection, I feel the worth for Garmin maps is just too excessive. There are some nearly as good, or higher, options out there for free of charge on-line. This product is overpriced for what it’s. I might advocate different software program. – Garmin Map Evaluate on Amazon
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- 1 Why These Free Maps?
- 2 Video Directions
- 3 Which Garmin GPS units do the maps work with?
- 4 Downloading the Free Garmin GPS Maps
- 5 Putting in the Free Maps on Your Pc
- 6 Putting in the Free Maps on Your Garmin GPS
- 7 Putting in on Newer Garmin Units From Mac
- 8 Ideas for Home windows Set up
- 9 If These Free Garmin GPS Maps Don’t Work For You
- 10 Some Ultimate Ideas
Why These Free Maps?
So let me begin by saying there are a number of methods to get free Garmin GPS maps, and plenty of totally different strategies to put in them. You might create entire web sites dedicated to the topic, and other people have (see under). This text focuses on putting in my favourite free Garmin GPS maps for climbing within the USA, utilizing OpenStreetMaps. If these don’t be just right for you, attempt exploring the opposite map providers that I’ve listed under.
OpenStreetMaps are the Wikipedia of maps. The general public contributes to, confirms, and edits the info on the map. This curation goes for climbing trails too. The maps are repeatedly up to date, and over the previous few years have appeared probably the most correct in my expertise. You’ll be able to even turn into a contributor should you like.
Right here’s a aspect by aspect comparability of the Garmin Basecamp with these free topo maps.
The free climbing maps that I’m recommending are nice as a result of:
- They’re good topographic maps with elevation contours.
- They’ve numerous mountaineering trails on them.
- They’re “routable,” which signifies that you should use free instruments like Garmin Basecamp to mechanically create routes and tracks that you could comply with (with out having to plot every level of the path your self).
- The colours and element work properly for me. That’s, they appear good on the gadget.
- USA areas are packaged collectively.
This screenshot provides you an concept of the extent of the element in these free maps. It’s also possible to search the maps for factors of curiosity. Right here I looked for the Nice Smoky Mtn NP.
When you have a more moderen GPS gadget like a Garmin Fenix 5x Plus or are on Home windows, there are some particular directions under.
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Which Garmin GPS units do the maps work with?
First off, the Garmin unit you’ve got may need maps already. You in all probability know this, however should you’re purchasing for a GPS, go to the Garmin web site web page for the unit. If it maps include the unit, it is going to say it has “preloaded topo maps.”
If you have already got a unit and need to discover out if these free maps work, go to the unit’s web page on the Garmin web site, after which take a look at the “specs” part. There’s a line for “means so as to add maps,” when you have a examine there, you’re good to go.
Downloading the Free Garmin GPS Maps
The very first thing you’re going to need to do is go to the GMapTool web site, particularly the USA OSM Topo Routable web page.
The great factor about this website is that they’ve bundled the maps up into giant areas.
Then decide the area you need, and obtain the suitable map package deal (hyperlink method on the backside of the web page). The information are fairly massive. The obtain may take some time.
Putting in the Free Maps on Your Pc
The directions are totally different for Mac and PC. The map web site has a hyperlink for set up directions, click on on that. My directions cowl the set up on a Mac, however I’ve some basic that fill within the gaps for putting in on Home windows under .
For the Mac, you’ll want three (free) packages to put in the maps. You possibly can obtain and set up these packages when you wait on your maps to obtain.
First is a 7z extractor. The map downloads are in 7z format, which is a flowery compressed ZIP file. Obtain and set up this program. There are additionally different free and paid 7z choices within the Mac App Retailer.Then obtain the free Garmin MapInstall and MapManager packages. They make putting in the maps straightforward and non-technical.When you obtain the map file, open it together with your 7z software. It can unzip the information and put them right into a folder.After unzipping, you’ll have a couple of information within the folder. Double-click on the massive file with the “gmap” extension on the top.That ought to launch Garmin MapManager, which can ask you if you wish to set up the maps. Hit “sure” and it’ll copy the maps into your Garmin listing. If you’re completed, delete the map obtain and the unzipped folder.
That’s it. The maps are in your pc. For those who’re not already utilizing the free Garmin Basecamp device, I extremely advocate getting it. It should permit you to browse maps, create tracks, and is invaluable in planning hikes.
Pairing Garmin Basecamp with these free maps for Garmin GPS provides you.a strong planning software. Right here I’m shopping element round Icehouse Saddle in California.
Putting in the Free Maps on Your Garmin GPS
As soon as your map is downloaded and put in, you’re all set to put in them in your GPS unit.
Join your Garmin GPS unit to your pc and ensure it’s on. Give it a minute or two to load and register with the pc.Load the Garmin MapInstall software. It ought to present your GPS unit within the prime field. Hit proceed.MapInstall will present you what maps you have got put in already (if any), what’s in your pc, and the way a lot room you could have in your system (on the backside). Click on on the maps you need to set up whereas watching the area in your system. My eTrex 20x has three.7gb of inner reminiscence, no want so as to add a MicroSD card. Click on “ship maps.”Now you wait. It may well take some time for the maps to load onto your system. Don’t do that when you’re in a rush.Now affirm that the maps are loaded. Go into your settings for maps and poke round. The method is totally different for various models, however you must be capable of see one thing like this.Growth! Maps! Benefit from the maps in your Garmin GPS. And if there’s an excessive amount of element or the map rendering appears sluggish, go to settings and check out reducing the element degree.
Putting in on Newer Garmin Units From Mac
So Garmin modified the best way that the GPS units talk with computer systems. In case you have Home windows, you need to be all good (see under). In case you have Mac, there’s a wrinkle.
Garmin switched to the MTP (Media Switch Protocol) to switch information, which makes the Garmin seem as a “media gadget.” And naturally, Apple doesn’t help it. However I’ve discovered an answer. It’s not probably the most sleek one on the earth, nevertheless it works (confirmed on a Fenix 5x Plus).
- Get your maps from right here: http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl
- The location will ship you an e-mail with a obtain hyperlink.
- Obtain the ZIP file that’s described as “Compressed file that incorporates a single picture that may be positioned instantly onto the SD-card of the GPS.”
- Unzip the file. You must have a file with a “.img” extension.
- Now we have to join the Garmin to the pc. Obtain the free Android File Switch program from Google. Set up it in your machine as per the directions.
- When you have Garmin Categorical operating, be sure that it’s not operating and you’ve got disabled any “routinely launch when gadget is related” settings.
- Plug in your Garmin to the pc and launch the Android File Switch program. It is best to see a display like this:
- Merely drag the “.img” file that you simply downloaded into the Garmin folder. You may need to rename the “.img” file to ensure it doesn’t whack any maps already on there.
That’s it. Go to your map settings and switch the OSM map on and off.
OSM maps on my Fenix 5x Plus
In the event you work at Garmin, please replace MapInstall to help MTP! They’re too big-time to take heed to my suggestions, so if you understand anybody at Garmin, please bug them.
Ideas for Home windows Set up
The instructions on GMapTool website aren’t very descriptive for Home windows. Listed here are some ideas from fellow hiker Dave T. on tips on how to set up the free maps on Home windows.
- Run the “bat” file as described on the GMapTool website.
- Open Garmin Basecamp to make sure that the maps have been put in.
- Use the free Garmin MapInstall program to ship the maps to your gadget.
- Or use the maps at garmin.openstreetmap.nl, Obtain your map first. It will create a single “img” file for every map you obtain. Then copy that map file to your Garmin (the drive in case you have a micro SD card, not the gadget) within the “Garmin” folder (which you will need to create first if it doesn’t exist already).
If These Free Garmin GPS Maps Don’t Work For You
There are different free maps on your Garmin GPS, and once more, they could have totally different directions for set up. Examine the web site the place the maps are provided for instructions on learn how to set up them.
For those who’re having hassle discovering the GMAP folder, this tip has helped some people (because of Liz S!).
Some Ultimate Ideas
I like to recommend planning your hike and making a GPX file beforehand. Most Garmin GPS models are too small for something greater than impromptu navigation planning. I’ve a tutorial on find out how to plan a mountaineering route on your Garmin GPS right here.
And I might use your assist. I don’t obtain these maps day by day, so if these instructions don’t appear updated, please contact me and let me know. I’ll replace the instructions right here accordingly.
Lastly, a word in case you’re having tech points. Sadly, I can’t assist everybody who emails me. I like to recommend posting your query on-line within the Garmin Reddit, the Garmin Boards, or in a Garmin group on Fb. That’s in all probability you’re quickest path to success.
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