ClubTread Community - View Single Post - Free maps for Garmin brand GPS devices

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981

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:

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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