NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum


Why have the downloaded maps from OSM a complete other look in Basecamp and the Garmin-GPS, than they look on the OSM website? In the OSM website I see the colors of the woods, fields, buildings, etc. In Basecamp I only see the roads. The space in between are horizontal or vertical lines.

asked 23 Mar '11, 14:09

Oldy2's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 25 Mar '11, 11:48

TomH's gravatar image

TomH ♦♦

Hi, Im the creator of openfietsmap. The reason that the maps from looks so different is that they don't use a typ file for the layout. In other regions in the world it's not a big issue because there are not a lot of details on the map as here in the Netherlands. The maker of the world routable Garmin maps offers only a basic map without layout. If you want you can add a typ file in a Mapnik style, see Please note that this typ file hasnt been updated (at the moment there is nobody who maintains it, if you want you can edit the typ file yourself with a typ file editor). If you like to know more, please post it in the osm forum.

permanent link

answered 26 Mar '11, 09:04

ligfietser's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

There must be over a hundred different extracts of OSM data for Garmin devices. Each may choose to select specific subsets of OSM data, and to style it in the way that the author of the extract chooses. Similarly the mapnik render on the main OSM site is just one of many different ways in which OSM data can be rendered (OpenCycleMap and Osmarenders are also available on the little (+) tab on the right-hand side of the screen to demonstrate this difference).

So first of all, OpenStreetMap is about the data, not specifically how it appears. There are no requirements for how any consuming application as to which data it should use or how it should present that data. This is core aspect of the whole idea.

Secondly, as you do not say which Garmin extract or which Garmin device you are using, it is impossible to identify where your problem lies. I use several extracts which all show the type of information you mention on my eTrexs and in MapSource. More information is available at OSM on Garmin/Download, and details of how maps are created at Mkgmap on the OSM wiki.

permanent link

answered 23 Mar '11, 14:44

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

The maps on the website are PNGs rendered from Openstreetmap data with a renderer like Mapnik or Osmarender. You can select between several styles by using the white + on blue ground in the upper righthand side.

The file you load on your garmin unit is a vector representation of the Openstreetmap data in Garmin's own file format. It is not rendered with one of the standard renderers and thus does not look like the map on the website. Some downloadable garmin data include a "type" file that tells the unit how to render certain things, e.g. forests. Depending on the typefile the map on the garmin unit can look very different. I don't know any type file that is designed to conform with the look of the rendered tiles though.

permanent link

answered 23 Mar '11, 14:54

petschge's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Just to add a bit more to what SK53 said - the default OSM style is called "Mapnik" (after the software used to create it). Various people have tried to create "Mapnik-like" maps for Garmin devices - there are some listed on the wiki page that SK53 linked to. However, the options on the screen of a small device are limited when compared to what you can usefully display on a large PC screen.

If you want to, you can change what data is displayed - you can create your own maps and (more difficult) your own map style by creating a "TYP" file that defines it. Before doing that I'd suggest trying searching through the mkgmap development list for things that you might be interested in (like this for "mapnik").

permanent link

answered 23 Mar '11, 15:54

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

Thanks for all your very useful answers !! First of all: I am an experienced macintosh-user, but a newbie with GPS. I stored my first map in Basecamp (gmap installer files) on the computer. In this application I also make my tracks (walking). I copied the same map, but other file format (gmappsupp.img files) to my GPS-device (Dakota 20). The map is from OSM on Garmin/Download. So there I found the: (yes I'm Dutch). It worked great. Beautiful map with lots of details in Basecamp as well as on the device. But .... Then I downloaded another map,(the same area: BNL) from and when I looked at this map it had a complete other scale and less information. So, what I don't understand is: Are the maps on ** and** in a different scale? Because for me this is a little confusing.

permanent link
This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 24 Mar '11, 16:40

Oldy2's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 24 Mar '11, 17:48

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦

Yes - as you've noticed, when someone creates a Garmin map from OpenStreetMap data they can decide what data they want to include on the map. The people who created "Openfietsmap" have made different decisions to the people who created the "" maps, so the resulting maps look different.

(24 Mar '11, 19:58) SomeoneElse ♦

I have recently downloaded the August GB OSM map from talky toaster and what and how it displays is a little different on each device. Vista HCX,NUVI 1310 and pals GPS 60 CS?, so I assume the individual device's software must deal with the same data differently. although there is a setting on some devices to de clutter and show less detail.

(03 Sep '12, 12:13) andy mackey

This seems to a way of changing the look of Garmin maps on one of their GPSes or when using an .img file with Basecamp

(30 Nov '15, 12:12) andy mackey

The detail displayed can be varied in Basecamp by right click ( opps window7) over map box on menu bar and I get 7 levels of detail to pick from, this makes a difference when printing the map. Also on my Garmin Oregon menu: setup: map: advancedsetup: detail: most,more,normal less or least.. to choose from. These two adjusters can make footpaths, for example, show at lower zooms levels

(02 Dec '15, 04:59) andy mackey

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 23 Mar '11, 14:09

question was seen: 20,518 times

last updated: 23 Sep '21, 08:21

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum