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Adding additional maps to a Garmin GPS

    • Adding additional maps to a Garmin GPS

      Having a base layer isn't enough in some parks. You can only draw limited information from the Garmin's built in maps such as distance and landmarks and yet there is Google Earth to help you. Specifically a tool that is underused for most hikers and backpackers. The ability to convert JPG maps such as State Park's into a visible layer over the places you will be hiking. And to grab the last hike you did by connecting your Garmin to the computer and see it in real time.

      Before we get into this learn to search the park or trail names with .KML as a tag because on average this takes a half - full hour to import into a Garmin. If you find KML on the Web - you don't need to do all of this.. simply download and store it on the Garmin.

      Then search for the park map - lets say "French Creek State Park map" in google.
      Click on images or open a pdf and download

      once down loaded you may want to edit the image or map with a photo editor right click on the download and open with....

      Erase anything you don't want to see on your Garmin.
      You add type too...
      Save as a JPG to drive in pictures on the main computer with google earth... I keep several of these maps on my smart phone as a separate folder in images.

      Open Google Earth - search on "French Creek State Park"
      It will zoom to the center of the park.
      Back it up a little.

      Now, watch this video to see how to understand the tools.

      Now follow and import what you just saw. (Add) (Image Overlay)
      It will be crooked! Spend some time moving the tools and diamond tool until the roads line up. You are attaching a flat map to a curved one - it will take practice... also drop the opacity to 50 % while doing this pick roads and lakes around the perimiter after alingning the compass to north.

      Move the opacity up 80% and name it and save.

      This converts the image to KML and now you right click and save that to the drive inside your pictures.
      Right click and save to the Garmin while attached or drag and drop in folders.


      Here is what that looks like in Google Earth click on image and use the magnify tool - use escape to go back

      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup:

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • As you move up and down on the displayed image- at the most detailed level it lights up the park map and trails as an image.

      I just inserted it into the Garmin and it said its too large - I have done this for Ridley Creek & Woodlawn Trustees - where are nearby circle hikes to Chester County.... But you drop the data into the custom maps and enable...and it stays there until you delete it.

      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup:
    • I don't have a Garmin device. But from what I've heard from friends who do, don't you pretty quickly run into the limit in terms of the total number of map tiles that the device will let you store? (This limit is to force you to buy maps from them, because there's no limit on what you can store from their proprietary maps.) The software that I use for map production has limited support for Garmin for that reason. It'll work, but there's a pretty severe limit on the size of the map that can be produced.

      For what it's worth: If you need a mobile map in New York, New England, northeastern PA or northern NJ, and your platform is one that's on the list at mobac.sourceforge.net/, drop me a line about where you're going and what device you're using and I'll see if I can work something out for you to try - with the understanding that I am NOT responsible for accuracy or reliability: these devices, to some extent, are toys and shouldn't be depended on for primary navigation. For eastern NY coverage, kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/test2.html. I use multiple data sources of highly variable quality, so you'll often see the same trail or shelter rendered multiple times in "cubistic" fashion. Now that I'm used to that, I find it useful. If I do see a set of braided tracks on the map, it tends to indicate that in that region, the trail is hard to follow, recently or multiply relocated, or in terrain that makes GPS go wonky (box canyons and the like), any of which are likely to make for more difficult travel.

      Even if you are a Garmin user, we can talk, and I'll see what I can do within the limitations of what Garmin will allow.

      My map is both more and less useful than, say, the USGS topos of the same area. If you compare, say, kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/te…=43.7275&lo=-74.4745&z=14 with mytopo.com/maps/?lat=43.7275&lon=-74.4745&z=14, you'll see that each has features the other doesn't, and each has accuracy issues that the other doesn't.

      If you have specific data you want to add to your map, and you're in a position to share it with me, I especially want to hear from you! In addition to "burning in" the waypoints (such as the shelters) into a base map, I can also add markers and whatnot if your device supports doing so. For instance, at kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/te…=42.1145&lo=-74.1162&z=14 I have put markers at beautiful views, and the markers link to panoramic photos of the view. So think of projects you might have in mind, and I'll see what I can work out.

      Bear in mind that my time and computing capacity are both limited. But talk is cheap, at any rate.
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.
    • Hey you are right - I bought mine around 2009 and the micro SD camera slot wasn't out so it doesn't have upgrades on memory. It doesn't affect overall performance and it works in dense woods. It sips on over the counter Lithium AA and at the time expensive, I think I paid $450. When I hit a file too big issue I have the tools here on the computer to remove data without reducing the clarity of the map (hard to believe). That first map went in at 3000k and I later reduced it to 1500k and it accepted just fine. Because its a map in photo format the labels are just a little more pixelated. But the base map is still there and you can adjust it or turn off the added state park maps I am talking about in the field. SO far I have three maps stored and there is plenty room for more.

      Thanks for showing the cloud based mapping system & pictures...
      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup: