Open Street Maps for your Garmin GPS
Thu 28th May 2015
When it comes to digital maps for our Garmin GPS itís undisputed that here in the UK we would prefer to use Garmin Discoverer with Ordnance Survey map data as this map data shows full rights of way data (footpaths etc.) and is backed up by clever software that allows the user to navigate on road with turn by turn directions.
No one really objects to paying for good quality maps with up to date data if they are going to be used and in all fairness most manufacturers discount the cost of OS maps when bundled with a GPS to sell their products.
However when it comes to digital maps for use on a short holiday, trip or expedition then paying hundreds of pounds for whole country premium maps hurts. This is where Garminís open attitude to custom maps and on/off road routing allows us to take advantage of the availability of free Open Street Maps (OSMís)
Before we go on to discuss how we can use OSMís letís just clarify what they are. The OSM project was set up to create a community of like-minded folk to build a data base of free maps that can be shared around the world. It should be understood that the accuracy of the maps is not complete but the maps are growing more accurate as more data is built up over the years. The map data is available for you to freely access on www.wiki.openstreetmap.org
Open Street Maps can be downloaded free from this Wiki Website however our experience is that most people don't want to go through the process of learning how to download these maps to their computer, copy to an SD card or learn how to use them with BaseCamp etc. So for several years now we have been providing a service where we do all the downloading & calibration, install the maps on a micro SD card and provide links for installing map files to your computer. In addition we can offer training support if required.
We offer OSMís in two formats
- for your Garmin GPS on micro SD card (£16) – can be viewed in the GPS and Basecamp only when the GPS is connected to your computer (PC/Mac)
- for your Garmin GPS on micro SD card and BaseCamp (£20) – can be viewed in the GPS and BaseCamp when the GPS is connected to your computer (PC/Mac) and in BaseCamp without a GPS being connected after you have downloaded map files to your computer
To say these maps are popular would be an understatement; as the OSMís for countries and regions around the world have grown so have their popularity with Garmin users. We have been using OSMís around the world for many years and been surprised in the quality and accuracy of the maps finding them more than adequate for general navigation and particularly good on road and in towns where the free data is more widely available. The most important point being that weíve all become used to have maps in our GPS; so where the alternative is no map OSMís are seen as being an acceptable low cost alternative to having no map.
About our Open Street Maps
- The maps are free and are used at the owners risk
- Our charge is solely for the supply of 2GB MicroSD card and Adapter, the time required to copy & test the map, supporting paperwork and P&P.
- Most of the map image files are around 1GB in size leaving room for additional maps & user data
- The maps are Routable and Garmin Basecamp compatible
- OSMís offer turn by turn guidance (Routable) both on and off road when used with a compatible Garmin device
- Option to install map files to your computer at a small extra cost
- Be aware that the use of unauthorised (by Garmin) maps is technically out of warranty and could create problems with support if used with a Garmin GPS.
Working with mapping experts we will be offering two classes of maps;
- Routable Open Street Maps are suitable for Walkers & Hikers, Cyclists (on and off road) & Drivers and they include loads of Points of Interest and contour lines.
- Trailmaster maps are fully compatible with Garmin's free planning & sharing computer software; simply install your Trailmaster SD card to your device and connect your GPS to your computer (PC or Mac) once your device is recognised then you will be able to view the UK & Ireland maps in BaseCamp for planning, data management, sharing (Garmin Adventures) import/export Geocaches & pocket queries and send to GPS.
- Show Contours for the whole country
- Full street information and many thousands of Points of Interest (POI's)
- Are Fully BaseCamp compatible allowing you to view map on SD card in Basecamp for planning and sharing
- Import routes & tracks (user data) to Basecamp and send to GPS
- User data sent to GPS will be seen overlaid on map which will scroll as you move
- Create Direct Routes & Draw Tracks in BaseCamp and send to GPS
- Create Route suggestions with turn by turn directions
- Import your tracks to Basecamp and share on the net using Garmin Adventures
You can see the Open Street Maps for your Garmin unit here.
You can view the Open Street Maps for your PC and Garmin GPS unit here.