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Welcome to the Free worldwide maps for Garmin brand GPS devices website manual. The About and F.A.Q. sections are here.
The general workflow for using this website is:
- understand the main features of the website
- select a map
- download the map
- install the map on your computer and/or GPS
- select the map on your gps
The sections of this manual are following this workflow. Use the page index below to jump to your subject of interest.
Main features of the website
Selecting a map
To select a map you will have to provide a little information. Just follow the form on the website from top to bottom.
Choose your map type
The map type to choose depends on your intended use for the map. Make sure the radio button for your map is selected or click the radio button to select it.
- Generic routable map
Choose this map if you want to do one or more of the following:
- Car navigation
- Foot navigation
- Simple cycle trips from A to B
- All other types of transportation
- Openfietsmap lite
Choose this map if you use it primarily for bicycle trips. This map is especially suitable for recreational cycling.
- Marine map
- This map is not available yet.
Please note that it may take a while before the website content is updated the first time you select a specific map type in the same session. The delay is normal as additional data is loaded from the server. The website content is updated much faster the following times you switch to the same map type because the data is already available in your browser.
Include a TYP file (Optional)
Maps can be rendered more appealing when a TYP file is used. Only the generic map allows an optional TYP file to be include. The OpenFietsMap lite map comes with it's own mandatory TYP file.
Although a TYP file makes the map more appealing it also increases the loading times on the GPS, so if you have a slower or older GPS type then you probably don't want a TYP file included.
To select a TYP file just click on the drop-down box and select the TYP file you want to include.
The following TYP files are currently available:
- Mapnik. This TYP file tries to mimick the Mapnik stylesheet as used by the main OpenStreetMap slippy map.
Selecting the tiles
You must select one or more tiles before a map can be created. Selecting the tiles that make up the map can be done using two methods.
- Using a predefined country pre-selection
- Using your mouse and keyboard to manually select (and/or deselect) tiles.
These two methods can also be used together. E.g. you can use the country pre-selection pull-down menu to select the bulk of the tiles and add/remove individual tiles using the manual tile selection option.
Click on the 'Reset Selection' button whenever you want to start over andundo all your selections.
Using country pre-selections
This method works very easy: simply select the country that you're interested in from the pull-down menus. In response the map will show which tiles have been selected by highlighting the selected tiles.
Manual tile selecton mode
Before you can (de-)select individual tiles you need to enable the manual tile selection mode by checking the 'Manual tile selection' checkbox. When this option is enabled the behaviour the mouse functions is changed.
- left-mouse button to select or deselect an individual tile by clicking the tile once.
- click-drag will add the tiles under the dragged area to the selection. 'Click-drag' is engaged when you click and hold the left mouse button then move the mouse around, when you do this you will see a square indicating the 'dragged area'.
Don't be afraid to try this feature, whenever you've selected too many tiles simply click the 'Reset Selection' button and start over again.
Please note: An increasing number of people use email services like SpamArrest who require me to verify the email from this website as valid (i.e. not spam) each time a map is requested: I will not do that! As a result, those emails will likely not reach you. Please use a different email address instead. There appear to be problems with Blackberry accounts as well, but your mileage may vary on that one.
The _windows.exe version is useful if you have MapSource (MS) or BaseCamp (BC) installed. Just execute the .exe and it will unpack and install the map for MS or BC. When the installer is finished start MS or BC.
The osm_generic_macosx.zip is the map installer for BaseCamp/RoadTrip on the Mac OSX platform.
The _gmapsupp.zip version is intended to be unpacked to the GPS device SD-card. If you unpacked the zip to your harddrive then copy the gmapsupp.img and put it on the GPS SD-card in the directory named "Garmin".
Selecting the map on the GPS
It is very important to disable other routable maps on your device while navigating with the OSM map. First because the Garmin will get confused which map to use for routing. Also because other maps can have a higher draw priority, so the OSM map is not visible on your device, or strange rendering will occur because conflicting map designs.
If your device has a Worldwide background (DEM) relief map, for better readability turn the "Shaded Relief" OFF in your advanced map settings. This Shaded Relief gives your map dark green (low areas) to brown (higher altitude) colours and a hazy grey layer on top of the map.