I'm using a QGIS 2.2.0 Valmiera on a Windows 8.1 system Desktop. I'm a forester and I would like to have a cheap solution to load maps into the handheld Garmin 60, 62 or 64 series GPS. Free would be even better, if possible.

There is a software that costs around $350 that creates an image (.img) that is easily loaded into GPS, but it's expensive AND I don't think it works with QGIS. The best solution I've found so far would be Mapwel, which costs$45 or \$90. You just take the shapefiles you need and merge them, then load them to your GPS.

Does anyone know of a cheaper solution?

## locked by PolyGeo♦Jan 18 '16 at 23:59

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• garmin basemap will create custom maps garmin.com/en-GB/shop/downloads/basecamp – Mapperz Jul 1 '14 at 4:36
• It depends on what kind of map you want to load. There are several questions on this topic here already, and the two most common suggestions are GPSBabel and DNRGPS. Take a look at the related column on the right, or put "qgis gps upload" into the search box up top. The age of the units is going to dictate what can be loaded and in what format. – Chris W Jul 1 '14 at 5:01

If all you need is combined background there is plugin for QGIS called GarminCustomMap to export map easily for Garmin devices which supports custom maps - series 62, 64 as defined here: http://www.garmin.com/us/products/onthetrail/custommaps

There is also video tutorial on youtube how to use that QGIS plugin:

Garmin maximum extent limit:

• 100 jpg files max (typical - see Garmin FAQ)
• 1 megapixel (1024x1024, 512x2048 pixels, etc.) max jpg resolution to avoid reduction in resolution on unit
• 3MB max file size for any single jpg

Meaning the maximum square extent possible for 1m resolution is ~10x10km

Garmin Custom Maps FAQ

• Unfortunately, the Garmin custom maps have strong limitations on the extent. – AndreJ Jul 1 '14 at 9:36
• Well the worst limitation is that data must be converted from vector to image anyway. To be honest I don't know about limitation of extent but I expected that if plugin generates tiles into kmz it shouldn't be too bad. I tried export area of about 20x20km in resolution of meters and it looks ok in Google Earth but I don't have Garmin to try to load it there. – Miro Jul 2 '14 at 5:06
• I found and updated info about maximum extent. – Miro Jul 2 '14 at 5:17

A zero-cost solution would be to use Openstreetmap data and the mkgmap toolchain.