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Old 11-10-2004, 12:54 PM   #1
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Garmin Maps for Mexico and Central America

I have a Garmin 276C and I was wondering if there are any detail map options for travelling in Mexico and Central America, beyond the included basemap? I have the CitySelect North America but that only takes me to the border.
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Old 11-10-2004, 12:57 PM   #2
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Nothing just for Mexico & SA... gotta get Garmin "Worldmap."
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:00 PM   #3
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Does Garmin Worldmap have more detail than the basemap that was pre-loaded on the unit?
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:04 PM   #4
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Third party maps avaialble here. http://www.bicimapas.com.mx/Mapas_GPS_Garmin.htmI was thinking of buying them before the trip this year but dunno the quality.

Also, Worldmap is the basemap for the 276c and the 26XX line of GPS units. Not very detailed
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:04 PM   #5
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MX maps

The bicimaps of Mexico are OK but they don't give you details of cities and in many parts of the country aren't much better than the Garmin basemap. They do have more dirt roads and trails than the basemap though.
There are a couple of other issues with the bicimaps of MX. On my 76CS they wipe out all other maps. Their website says you can re-download your Garmin mapset after loading the MX maps and have both sets of maps but all that does is wipe out the MX maps. So, if you are only going to be traveling in MX, that might be OK. But, if you want to use your newer GPS in other places, it will be blank. Also the maps will only load using a serial cable, not USB.
The Bicimaps will work with some of the older Garmins such as the V I've been told and retain the base map and map sets. They don't appear to work with the 60 series Garmins as someone I've been trying to work out the problem with has told me. Dan
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Old 11-27-2004, 08:04 AM   #6
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The Garmin World Map in Mexico is horrible for map detail and is extremely innacurate---just like all Mexico paper maps----but I wouldn't go in without it as it still is a big help. When I returned from Mexico and downloaded my tracklogs------the tracklog was sometimes more than a mile off the road I was on---pretty pathetic.
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Old 11-27-2004, 10:23 AM   #7
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For quite good, detailed maps of Mexico get the Guia Roji "Por Las Carretaras de Mexico" , 42 pages of detailed, area maps. Even better if you can find them are the state maps, Mapas Turisticas, put out by SCT. They can sometimes be found at the mini-marts in the newer Pemex stations or in Sanborns. Dan
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Old 11-27-2004, 10:50 AM   #8
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I have those maps and have found them to be extremely poor for the backroad and offroad adventure traveler. For the road rider--they are just a barely get by source in my opinion. For the extreme offroad traveler I have found that if the Mexicans wished a road were there--they would put it on a map. The same road may have 3 different names or numbers on 3 different maps. A road on the map--may not exist. There may be 17 towns named "La Reforma". 5 Mexicans in the back of a pick-up truck will point 5 different ways when asking directions to the nearest village----I've witnessed this personally---then they all looked at which way the girl in the truck was pointing, they all of a sudden changed their minds, and all pointed the same directions she was pointing. In a lot of small villages people have ventured out of the village much and have never been to the next village and can't tell you how to get there. I love it !!!! "Ahhhhhh-Mexico"
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:28 PM   #9
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I was in Canada recently and had a similar experience. We stopped at a First Nation reservation and were heading east, i asked about what was on the road east. "I don't know, I've never been east of here."
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Old 11-27-2004, 03:32 PM   #10
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The Guia Roji road atlas Dan mentioned above is by far your best bet. It's the largest scale map I have found (1:1,000,000 or one centimeter on the map equal 10 kms on the road) of Mexico that include the whole country and the most acurate and up to date. No argument that this is not really enough for off-road adventures (actually, using these is very likely to result in an adventure ) but I doubt anybody in the US goes on off-road adventures based on a map with such a scale, so it's not a fair criticism (as reference, for scale challenged AdvRiders, a AAA map of Oregon/Washington is 1:982,000, or roughly the same as the Guia Roji atlas. Some of the best paved roads in OR and WA don't even show up on that map). So far, the towns have always been on the road they are said to be, and the numbers (where listed) correct.

Those who have not traveled in Mexico should probably keep in mind that like BigDog said, not only are there multiple towns with the same name, often the popular name for a town and the official name have nothing in common. To make matters worse, the road signs could use either or both... (BTW, Guia Roji only lists 10 La Reforma throughout Mexico, but 21 Morelos, 20 Emiliano Zapatas, a gazillion San Antonios, etc, etc.)

There is a different publisher by the name of Quimera Maps that has useful maps due to their listing of gas stations (so far, there was always a gas station where they indicated, but I saw newer stations that were not listed on the map) and toll roads (some roads that were shown as under construction in my 2001 edition were well worn in 2003). The down side is that the scale is only 1:1,750,000, which is even worse for off-roading.

Both sets of maps show a lot more detail than the Garmin base map, so both would be more useful for road riding. Once you get to the really minor roads, what the map indicates (whether it's a paved or unpaved road) is not guaranteed to be the case. Then again, I see that on US road maps as well (AAA, ORDOT, WADOT) so I don't worry about it too much. If you don't want to trust the locals to know which way is north, bring a compass...

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Gustavo screwed with this post 11-27-2004 at 03:43 PM Reason: I got my reasons...
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Old 11-27-2004, 04:54 PM   #11
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The SCT (Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes) maps of the individual states have the best detail for off-pavement riding. They don't have every goat trail but they do show the dirt roads connecting most, small settlements. Even if no road is shown the name of the settlement is there so you know the approx. direction and distance to it. Unfortunately they are very hard to find in Mexico. I tried to attach a sample from the Chih. map so you could see it but couldn't Dan
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:04 AM   #12
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maps-of-mexico.com is actually very good for off-road. If the maps says the road and settlement are there, they generally are there. maps-of-mexico.com does have the tendency to spell the city names wrong. So, if you're looking for waypoints, use your imagination or attempt to find a nearby city then search for nearby waypoints.
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Old 11-28-2004, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtop1
The SCT (Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes) maps of the individual states have the best detail for off-pavement riding. They don't have every goat trail but they do show the dirt roads connecting most, small settlements. Even if no road is shown the name of the settlement is there so you know the approx. direction and distance to it. Unfortunately they are very hard to find in Mexico. I tried to attach a sample from the Chih. map so you could see it but couldn't Dan
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dibit
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Pic posted for dtop1
What's the scale on this map? Is it printed on decent quality paper? I'm asking because one of the map publisher I got maps from in the past (Quimera) uses such a crappy quality paper that the maps tear after opening and folding them once, forget trying to get it to fit in your map pocket...

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Old 11-29-2004, 12:28 PM   #15
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SCT maps

The scale varies by state. On the Chih. map it's 1:700,000. Sin. is 1:500,000 and Coah. 1:600,000 for example. The paper is decent quality and the maps are printed on one side only. Dan
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