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I currently use an excellent set of printed topographic route maps for mountain biking. I would like to scan the maps, georeference them, and upload the maps to a handheld GPS device.

Does the etrex series (10, 20, 30) support raster maps? Can I georeference the JPEG image using open source software?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

For etrex 20 & 30 (but not the 10)

see the compare guide: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=145&compareProduct=87774&compareProduct=87771&compareProduct=87768 (see custom maps compatible)

Garmin have free instructions on how to use Google Earth and your custom images (scanned topographic route maps) in this case and loading it to the gps device.

Add the Image as Google Image Overlay

Reference the Image

Save as Places

Send Your Custom Map to Your Device

Connect your Garmin outdoor handheld device to your computer with a USB cable. In Google Earth on the left side of the screen, right click on your custom map. Click Save Place As.

In the dialog box that appears, find the drive for your connected handheld device and save³ your custom map in the /Garmin/CustomMaps/ directory (you may need to create a new "CustomMaps" directory if this directory does not exist). Save the file in KMZ format.

full instructions http://www.garmin.com/us/products/onthetrail/custommaps#fragment-2

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Quantum GIS has a plugin "Garmin Custom Map" for the purpose you want: http://hub.qgis.org/projects/garmincustommap

You can get it via the standard python plugin repository. I have not tried it myself, because my own (old) Etrex can not read custom maps. Georeferencing is installed by default with Quantum GIS, and you can add selfmade vector overlays or GPX tracks too.

The size of Custom Maps is limited by Garmin, so you better start off with some smaller test cases.

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One option is to use QlandKarte GT. This is free/open-source software, available for Windows, OS X, or Linux.

  • To reference the map, you can go to map menu -> Edit/create map. Then follow the steps convert the map into a GeoTIFF. Then create a map collection from that.
  • Go to map menu -> Select sub map, and select the tiles in your map.
  • Choose the selected map, then "Export map", and pick the option to export as "Garmin Custom Map"

This will export as a KMZ file, which you can copy onto the Etrex, in the Garmin\CustomMaps directory.

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