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Hobie01

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Hey OB,

Apologies if this topic is covered elsewhere.

As i realize the limitations of my iphone gps (i love gaia but its offline maps are HUGE) i became interested in a dedicated gps unit. i see all these overland specific and trail ready devices like the Garmin overlander and the Magellan TR5/7 but they are overpriced and not in my budget. i remembered i used to have a Garmin from probably over ten years ago. i dug in my storage last time i was there and found it! After a fast google of how to update my old old old Garmin Nuvi 205W i saw this page which is FULL of topo maps that are routable. I wasn't sure if my ancient 205W would even work with this. nice surprise, it does, fantastically! the install is super easy. Download Garmin Basecamp, plug your gps unit into the pc, download the OSM Topo maps of your area, go to the folder you downloaded the OSM topo maps to and extract them, then run the batch file in the folder to put the maps in the garmin directory. go back to base camp and right click your gps unit in the left side margins, then import the maps of the areas you want.

this took me ten minutes including the dl and install of all the apps. seems like a bit of back and forth but its not that bad and saved me the money on a new gps.

Example of 2m:
1568744276997.png

Example of 800ft:
1568744325383.png

Garmin Basecamp Load Map View:
1568743611478.png

Garmin MapInstall and Select areas Tool:
1568743663432.png

links:
USA OSM Topo Routable | GMapTool (source for free garmin maps)
BaseCamp™ | Garmin | United States (garmin tool)
How To Load Maps On My Garmin GPS Unit - GPSFileDepot (this is where i read the highly detailed and way more comprehensive install instructions i paraphrased above.)
 

Connor_Dobbins

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This is actually super helpful! I am looking at getting a dedicated GPS device and considered Garmin but since most of them didn't have off-road or topo maps they didn't seem that worth it. Now seeing that you can use the Garmin Basecamp to plan these trips out and get topo maps is super helpful. I also found this page on Garmin's website that breaks down what devices work with Basecamp. Automotive Devices that have the Ability to Receive Routes Transferred from BaseCamp/Computer | Garmin Support
 

Hobie01

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This is actually super helpful! I am looking at getting a dedicated GPS device and considered Garmin but since most of them didn't have off-road or topo maps they didn't seem that worth it. Now seeing that you can use the Garmin Basecamp to plan these trips out and get topo maps is super helpful. I also found this page on Garmin's website that breaks down what devices work with Basecamp. Automotive Devices that have the Ability to Receive Routes Transferred from BaseCamp/Computer | Garmin Support
There are a lot of options out there considering you can upload third party maps. my garmin nuvi 205w goes for a whopping $10-20 on offer up. ive thought about finding one that's maybe 7 years old vs 14 years old and using that, bigger screen, fresher sensors, $50 ish. lol.
glad you got some use out of my ramblings!
 

Hobie01

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Nice, I have a handful of older Nuvi's that I pick up on craiglist as loaners for friends. This gives me a way to put better maps on those loaners.
Big thanks
That's a great idea. there are dozens of nuvis on offerup in my area for under 30$. i should grab a few to loan to my friends. thanks!
 

Connor_Dobbins

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There are a lot of options out there considering you can upload third party maps. my garmin nuvi 205w goes for a whopping $10-20 on offer up. ive thought about finding one that's maybe 7 years old vs 14 years old and using that, bigger screen, fresher sensors, $50 ish. lol.
glad you got some use out of my ramblings!
Yeah I have seen those nuvi's going for that much too but I am probably going to get a slightly newer one like you said for around $50. So many options just scrolling through eBay as well.
 

dstock

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Tried this out on an old Zumo 550 but the maps still don't show up as an option to select on the Zumo. Everything looked like it was working/transferring perfectly, not sure what the issue is but it almost seems like the last map transferred over, which was the latest city navigator is the only one that stuck.
 
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Hobie01

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Tried this out on an old Zumo 550 but the maps still don't show up as an option to select on the Zumo. Everything looked like it was working/transferring perfectly, not sure what the issue is but it almost seems like the last map transferred over, which was the latest city navigator is the only one that stuck.
interesting, can you go to settings > map > map info (may be sources) and see if you can manually select maps in there?
 

dstock

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Tried this out on an old Zumo 550 but the maps still don't show up as an option to select on the Zumo. Everything looked like it was working/transferring perfectly, not sure what the issue is but it almost seems like the last map transferred over, which was the latest city navigator is the only one that stuck.
Interesting note - I reloaded the Topo and now the City Navigator 2020 update is gone, but the Topo map does in fact show up and is selectable. I will keep experimenting and report back.
 
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Hobie01

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Interesting note - I reloaded the Topo and now the City Navigator 2020 update is gone, but the Topo map does in fact show up and is selectable. I will keep experimenting and report back.
Please do! we will get this working. i only have nuvis so its good to have a few different models tested. thanks!
 

dstock

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interesting, can you go to settings > map > map info (may be sources) and see if you can manually select maps in there?
It appears the older units like the Zumo 550 can't read multiple map images off the SD card. For example, if I install the Pacific region of the Topo maps to the SD card, and then I want to add the Mountain region, it overwrites the map image file. I was able to get the City Navigator update to install on the limited space of the internal drive so that clears the way to use the Topo maps on the SD card but only one region at a time. Not a deal breaker by any means, just means a bit of planning ahead when crossing "regions". It's still way faster then downloading maps on Gaia :openmouth:
 
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J.W.

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Thanks for the write up Hobie! I dug out an old Nuvi 200 that’s been in a closet for about 7 years and it took me about 30 minutes to get it loaded with topo maps of some destinations. Nice to have a more detailed map of the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway!

Cheers man!
 
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BagiMT

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Check local thrift stores too. Just picked up a well preserved Nuvi 2450LM for whooping $8!! Lifetime map updates and traffic info! Will still try the topo maps one of these days. Open Street Maps has better coverage for some forest roads.
 

dstock

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I'm super tempted to pick up a Nuvi with a 6" screen for better visibility purposes and load it up with Topo maps. They are definitely very affordable.
 
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M Rose

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It appears the older units like the Zumo 550 can't read multiple map images off the SD card. For example, if I install the Pacific region of the Topo maps to the SD card, and then I want to add the Mountain region, it overwrites the map image file. I was able to get the City Navigator update to install on the limited space of the internal drive so that clears the way to use the Topo maps on the SD card but only one region at a time. Not a deal breaker by any means, just means a bit of planning ahead when crossing "regions". It's still way faster then downloading maps on Gaia :openmouth:
I wonder if you could force more maps by saving each map as its own name on your pc hard drive, transfer all map files onto the sd card, then rename again to something Zumo recognizes
 

dstock

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Off-Road Ranger I

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Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA
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Dave
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KM6ZGS
I wonder if you could force more maps by saving each map as its own name on your pc hard drive, transfer all map files onto the sd card, then rename again to something Zumo recognizes
The Garmin Map Install program wants to send it direct to the device and the file name on the device is the same no matter what the map source. In theory you could probably do what you suggested but you still need a way to change the names back and forth on the device itself, i.e. a computer. I have the maps downloaded to my computer already so I don't think you'd really be saving any time here.

I went ahead and purchased a refurbished Garmin Drive 60LM (6 inch screen) with a 2 year warranty for $88 from GPSCity.com. It's a current model, although probably not for much longer, but it's 12 years newer then my Zumo, more internal storage, bigger screen, micro sd slot, etc. I will report back on how it works with the topo maps, I'm assuming it will be able to have multiple topo maps loaded like the Nuvi.
 
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