Garmin FREE Routable Maps – Updated

I am updating this to bring this up to date with the changes on the website itself.

Many out there that use several models of Garmin GPS don’t know that their GPS can be loaded with FREE maps. Look at you specs of your GPS and see if has the ability to add maps, if it says yes then this should work for you. The site is called Free worldwide routable Garmin maps.

I know the 62S, Oregon 450, 550 78 series, eTrex 20, 30 accept these maps.
I have the 62S and have found these maps to be very good and the best part they are routable. What this means is you can get turn by turn directions from point A to B or the geocache. These maps are updated on a regular bases and they allow users such as yourself to upload tracks to place in the may of new roads or trails.

When you visit the link I have provided above it has several drop down maps. One can get a map for a particular area such as a Province/State or Country, in this example I have used British Columbia (BC). I will explain how you to make a custom map.

map-dropdownNow once you have selected BC you can now download by going to the link in the screen shot below.

download-now
Now to make a custom map we need to put a tick in Enable manual tile selection:.

Enable manual tile selection tick

Enable manual tile selection tick

Once this has been done you can start selecting your “tiles”for the area you are travelling, remember it is better to take the tile next to the one you need in case you have to make a detour. The space it takes isn’t much and you will kick yourself if you run out of map.

BC to northern California

BC to northern California

As you select your “tiles”you will see them being placed on the left side of the page.

tiles left side of page

tiles left side of page

Once you have completed your selection you will now see a box to add your email address.

enter email address - build my map

enter email address – build my map

Once you have entered your email address you hit the Build my map button with your mouse.

You can check about how long it will take before you can expect to get your map by scrolling down to just below tiles you selected and check the server status.

server status

server status

As you can see above it could be as long as 8.3 hours before your map will be ready. I have seen as long as 3 days depending on the time of the year. It is important to not leave building your own map till the day before you plan on leaving.

You will be sent an email with a link to check on the status of your map. Once your map is built you will be sent an email with a link for you to download the map set. There will be about 5 choices to choose from. There is a gmapsup file that you can download and place directly on your GPS> There is one that you can put in Mapsource and make a tile set and download to your GPS.

Plug in your GPS and when the folder pops up on your screen it should show something like below.

In the folder note the Garmin Folder. Click on it to open it.

Once it is open it will look like this.

Notice the maps that say gmapsupp.

The one that is highlighted above is your base map DO NOT Delete that or rename it.

Now you may already have a gmapsupp file in the folder. If you know what it is rename it to gmapsupp.nameofmap and click enter. If you do not do this when you load your new map it will over write your first map and you will loose it.In some models once you rename the map it may show up in your map list with the given name you gave it. I was able to do this in my 62S but it was replaced under warranty and now I am unable to do this. I have been successful with the Oregon 450/550 as well.

Now turn on your GPS and go to map set-up and see if the map turns up in the menu. It will show up either of one of two ways Enabled – OSM World Routable or the name you just gave it. If it is the first one then my using Base Camp or Map source you can download the version for that in the email. Just remember that it will overwrite any previous OSM map. Then once installed go in and select the tiles you want and send to gps with the new name. This way so far has been the best for the name to show up in Setup Map.

I have many maps in my GPS for my travels. Just remember to only select the maps you only need for what you are doing. This makes it much easier for the gps to respond when starting and moving the map.

I hope this helps.

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One Response to Garmin FREE Routable Maps – Updated

  1. Team K1W1 says:

    An alternative way to get free Garmin maps is to use pre-compiled OpenStreetMaps (OSM). For the whole of Canada you can find them here (updated monthly):
    http://www.osmmaps.com/ – just download the file, unzip it. If your Garmin unit has the option for a microSD card copy the gmapsupp.img to a folder named Garmin on the SD card and you are ready to go. OSM has a wiki page with links to other pre-compiled maps for other countries here:
    http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin/Download
    By using pre-compiled maps however you will not be able to combine or custom make maps as per the blog article. e.g. you will not be able to have both the USA and Canada map installed at the same time.

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