I have recently brought a Garmin Oregon 450. It can, as well as the Dakota, Etrex 20/30, Montana and some other Garmin models display a geo referenced KMZ map. I have been using OSM img file maps which work great but are usually be a few weeks old. I think it could be useful to be able to get an up to date map of a small area for use while surveying. The method explained here is awkward:- http://www.garmin.com/us/products/onthetrail/custommaps is there an easier way, as our data is already calibrated I hope there is. Thanks

asked 17 Oct '13, 19:30

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 04 Apr '14, 08:40


wiki info link on the (special) map type: OSM_Map_On_Garmin#Raster_Maps

(18 Oct '13, 01:25) aseerel4c26 ♦

If you can find out of copyright Ordnance Survey maps it is a bit easier the calibrate them with this OS grid over lay on Google Earth. see links. http://data.gov.uk/ideas/out-copyright-ordnance-survey-maps-be-made-available-online http://nearby.org.uk/google.html#9

(05 Aug '14, 10:04) andy mackey

The above out of copyright maps link does not work now, but this OS opendata and OSM hybrid may be useful. Note I seems that early in day the data is copyrighted OS data but after a limit is reached it switches over to OS open data and openstreetmap hybrid. http://maps.the-hug.net/

(21 Mar '16, 21:20) andy mackey

You could do this using Mobile Atlas Creator (MOBAC). It can download the tiles from OpenStreetMap, and save as a Garmin Custom Map KMZ file.

Note if downloading tiles from openstreetmap.org, you should ensure you follow the Tile usage policy. As that says, bulk downloading is strongly discouraged. So downloading tiles for a small village or suburb at zoom 14 or 15 is probably OK. But don't download a large area at high zoom level. Otherwise, you will probably get blocked.

You can use another tile server instead. eg Mapquest Open - it usually allows bulk downloading. Though it may not be as up to date as the openstreetmap.org server.

Also note the Garmin Custom Maps are a bitmap format. This has some disadvantages, eg it only looks good at a particular zoom level. And text may not be very readable on a small screen. Also it doesn't support any routing or searching. So you may be better using a regular Garmin IMG map, generating an up to date version as in Vincent's answer.

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answered 17 Oct '13, 23:23

Vclaw's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%


It took me a, PC amateur, an hour or so to install Mobac, update java and create my first and perfectly aligned KMZ. more to learn yet. Thanks. I did create some KMZs the Google Earth way and I did get quite good results by having a GPX on the image and also loading the same GPX which I used to align the 1200X800 screen snipped jpeg. It was clear and did not pixelate and also perfectly aligned on the Oregon. sad that way is so awkward. Ideally Basecamp would have jpeg alignment feature. Thanks again.

(18 Oct '13, 14:39) andy mackey

Garmin maps are created from OSM data using mkgmap. You can download up to the minute osm data on osm.org for a small area, or daily data on geofabrik for bigger areas.

Mkgmap is a flexible tool with many options and many downloadable img files tweak a lot of stuff, but the basic commands will get you something good already.

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answered 17 Oct '13, 21:29

Vincent%20de%20Phily's gravatar image

Vincent de P... ♦
accept rate: 19%


No, this isn't a question about mkgmap. The newer Garmin models support creation of a map background from e.g. a .JPG file (as per the link in Andy's question). It's not something that I've done myself (not had a device that supports it).

(17 Oct '13, 23:13) SomeoneElse ♦

For completeness two hints:
There is the jnx format (Garmin Birdseye) with which you can cover much bigger areas then you could with kmz files. A really helpful site for this topic you find here.

A lot of precompiled OSM based vector maps are updated weekly or more often. garmin.openstreetmap.nl isn't mentioned there and (iirc) updates twice a week. There you can like with the bbbike extract service, updated weekly download garmin vector maps for self defined areas.

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answered 18 Oct '13, 20:04

malenki's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

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question asked: 17 Oct '13, 19:30

question was seen: 34,700 times

last updated: 04 Jun '16, 03:42

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