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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
RGB
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Default Free maps for Garmin brand GPS devices

In case this has not been posted yet.

http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 11:28 PM
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Don't spend $100+ on Garmin's GPS topo map pack!
Plenty of free maps online.

www.gpsfiledepot.com

http://www.ibycus.com/ibycustopo/
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 11:31 PM
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A second vote for Ibycus. Having compared a couple, I actually strongly prefer the Ibycus maps to the paid Garmin ones.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 07:34 PM
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If you're in Southwest BC, get Northwest Topos, 1:20000 vs 1:50000 for Ibycus, plus user contributed trails.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 08:46 AM
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Ibycus isn't better than Garmin Canada topo 4. As far as contours go, some of the areas are exactly the same as the Garmin topo map. Other areas are similar in detail. What it misses is logging roads (basically no logging roads) and no shaded relief.

Northwest Topos are definitely awesome and have the best detailed contour I could find. They do have shaded relief (although it disappears when zoomed in to about 70m level), but as Ibycus they lack logging roads.

Backroads gps maps are excellent too, a bit less detailed contours than Northwest topos, but better than both Ibycus and Garmin. It has excellent shaded relief, lots of logging roads, trails, etc.

Actually, for trails the Northwest Trails is a great addition to have (Northwest Topos seem to include them already, as well as Backroad maps), and has been useful to me many times. It's nice when you go out and you already have the trail layed out on the GPS without bothering finding tracks on the internet.

For city driving nothing beats OpenStreetMaps. It's the most upto date, with all the latest road/street constructions. Don't bother with Garmin City Navigator. Even Backroads gps maps aren't as upto date.

So to summarize, the best free option is:

Northwest Topos (contours + trails) + OpenStreetMap (logging roads, city driving)

The above combination costs $0 and will cover everything you need.

Backroads gps maps are nice to have for better logging roads, a bit more trails, and better shaded relief.

I'm also wondering if it's possible to get the same level of detail on OpenStreetMaps cycle layer into Basecamp and GPS devices themselves:

http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=15....0486&layers=C

I've looked around, but couldn't find anything, or generate them myself yet. They would be a nice option too. The mobile app AlpineQuest has them, so it's an option for smart phones.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 09:13 AM
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quote:Arnold Posted - 03/20/2014 : 08:46 AM
I'm also wondering if it's possible to get the same level of detail on OpenStreetMaps cycle layer into Basecamp and GPS devices themselves
Certainly not easily! I've looked into this myself and the complexity soon overwhelms. I think creating a gpsmapsupp.img file for the device is possible, but so far Basecamp seems unlikely.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by guntis

Quote:
quote:Arnold Posted - 03/20/2014 : 08:46 AM
I'm also wondering if it's possible to get the same level of detail on OpenStreetMaps cycle layer into Basecamp and GPS devices themselves
Certainly not easily! I've looked into this myself and the complexity soon overwhelms. I think creating a gpsmapsupp.img file for the device is possible, but so far Basecamp seems unlikely.
I don't see why it needs to be hard. It's simply a matter of converting one map format to another. It's already possible as you get all the trails and roads, etc, but not the contour lines + shaded relief. And since these maps are "open data", there shouldn't be any trade secrets about the format.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by guntis

Quote:
quote:Arnold Posted - 03/20/2014 : 08:46 AM
I'm also wondering if it's possible to get the same level of detail on OpenStreetMaps cycle layer into Basecamp and GPS devices themselves
Certainly not easily! I've looked into this myself and the complexity soon overwhelms. I think creating a gpsmapsupp.img file for the device is possible, but so far Basecamp seems unlikely.
Indeed, but not impossible. I've found there are two choices, if you have a recent Garmin unit with BirdsEye, you can use OkMap to generate quick and dirty maps. Being BirdsEye they're not navigable and can be slow, but workable in a pinch.

Second option is to pull the raw data and make real maps. These are the steps I use - they work well enough for me but I've seen countless other ways.

1. Goto Open Street Maps site, find the spot you want, use their export button.
2. Use SRTM2OSM to download topo contours (if you need them)
3. Convert the OSM map data to intermediate Garmin IMG files using MKGMAP
4. Tweak the Garmin TYP file to your liking (map colors, symbols, shading)
5. Compile the IMG files into a Garmin gmapsupp using MKGMAP
6. Upload the file to your GPS, view in Basecamp when GPS connected.
7. Optionally use MapSetToolKit to install your custom map into BaseCamp.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
quote:TofuJoe Posted - 03/21/2014 : 12:17 PM
These are the steps I use...
Thanks! I will give it a go!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 11:28 AM
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I know nothing about GPS, but these posts have been helpful. a few questions

so far have narrowed my search to the 62s or 62st. Only difference between the two as far as I can tell is the 62st comes with the canada TOPO map and is 170$ more.

should i get the 62s and download free maps from the internet or should i get the 62st? (even though i will probably still want free maps)

If i purchased the 62s what free maps should i download for BC?

having logging roads on the maps is important to me, in this case do i need to get the 62st?

how does putting the maps onto the GPS go? do you have to use them one at a time or will something like the free contour map overlay onto something like the shaded relief map?

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:33 PM
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:37 PM
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I'd save the $170 and put it towards the BC map set from backroadmapbooks. Otherwise OpenStreetMaps from RGB's post is an excellent solution. Also look into the free trail/road maps from switchbacks.com

Only some maps support layering with any usefulness; I mean you could use the NorthWest trails map over the Garmin TOPO. Most backwoods maps will already have contour lines and/or hillshading that can block out other map layers making it hard to read and slow...
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Hike.BC
as I can tell is the 62st comes with the canada TOPO map and is 170$ more.
Skip the $170 and put that into Backroad Mapbooks GPS map as already mentioned here. The Garmin Canadian topo map is older than dinosaurs. Unless you want coverage for entire Canada, I don't see why you'd want Garmin topos over Backroad.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 12:54 PM
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I have downloaded the northwest topos for use in the lower mainland and so far am really impressed. Has anyone found a good free topo map(with hiking trails) for use in the Canadian Rockies? We are doing Jasper and Banff this summer and the Northwest map only covers part of Banff
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-16-2014, 07:42 PM
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I downloaded NW topos as well and it seemed to run fine on my PC with an older mapsource version (5.4 or something like that). Now I upgraded to version 6.x and it always locks up on me. Either way, I couldn't figure out how to install the NW topos on my Garmin 60 CSx. Only Ibycus is on there presently.
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