Building a North American mapset for the GPSmap60 CSx

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by bmwktmbill, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    To all,
    With every hope of keeping this very simple please help me consider the following basic mapset building procedures. Perhaps others have not taken the time to build these sets and will find this helpful.

    I am starting a new thread with the idea of helping all inmates build a basic North American(including Mexico and the Baja)mapset for the GPSmap 60CSx(and other similar units) in the hopes that it will help us load a complete set of maps containing City Nav, Roads and Rec, and Topo.

    Using these maps combined as sets it is my hope that motorcycle travelers, RVers, campers, bicyclists and kayaker/boaters among us will be able to find their way more easily using the available Garmin maps.

    Building this mapset will require the purchase of the locked City Nav maps(from Garmin) and the locating or sharing of data found on the older version of Topo and Roads and Rec often referred to in this thread.

    I started by purchasing City Nav from Garmin and loaded it onto my computer following their instructions.

    It is now installed on my computer in my programs.

    I found it by going to Start>Control Panel>Add/remove Programs.
    The list populated and I found:
    Garmin City Nav North America NT 2011 1685 mb.

    I also found:
    Garmin Map source 57.99 mb.
    And
    Garmin USB Drivers 0.12 mb.

    I have a Map source icon on my Start menu and when I click it Map source comes up.

    There is a box on the left at the top with a drop down icon and when I click it all the map options come up including Citynav, no map, Roads and Rec for Alaska, the USA and Hawaii and Topo for east , west and Hawaii and World Map.

    I think I am ready to start building my first set remembering that I have a 2025 map or tile limit and a 4 gig limit per micro SD card. I have the CD's for Roads and Rec, and Topo and World map.

    I have done a little experimenting on small map sets and think I understand that every tile is a map and the total number and the size of the maps selected shows up in the bottom of the box as I add maps/tiles.

    How am I doing?

    Any suggestions for the next step?

    My intention is to start with Mexico and work north to Alaska including Hawaii and then work east buying SD cards as necessary. For usefulness while traveling my idea is to overlap a state or province on each card as I move east. I hope that will make switching cards less traumatic.

    I have a micro card reader or I could connect my GPS unit to the USB port to import data.
    Suggestions?

    After a map set is constructed can I save it on my computer and if so how?

    Thanks,

    bill
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  2. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

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    subscribed
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  3. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    i have a 60csx too and have R&R and Topo 2008 in addition to the latest City Nav.

    i have loaded up my unit with CN, R&R & Topo and have found i never switch out of CN in real world use on tour.

    i have Bicimaps for all of Mexico. All tiles in CN & Bicimaps loads well within 2025 limit and WAY below 4gb. Cenrut also fits too.

    I guess for alot of off-roading riding in Mexico you can also add E32 maps w/ Bicimaps. Not sure how the tile limit is going to be with all that, but many just buy 2 cheap micro sd cards and load up what is needed for each area.

    I have one of the smallest laptops out there (excluding win 8 pro tablets) - a Dell mini 9 w/ Windows 7 - with me too to create tracks and routes .
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  4. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    I think you are on the right track, just keep in mind that R&R and TOPO have many small tiles, CN much fewer. The issue is always the tile limit.

    I would have copied the R&R & TOPO CDs to the computer and then run setup/install from that location, then MapSource would look to the hard drive (as with CN) vs having to read from CD. Same for viewing the maps in MapSource.

    You will want to overlap the coverage areas per memory chip a fair amount to prevent repeated swapping when traveling near the transition.

    When you select the map tiles to load to the GPS/Chip do a MapSource "Save As" and give the file a descriptive name. The selected tiles will save (just as with waypoints or tracks) to be reopened later. I think this will just save the tile list and then MS will still have to "build the map set".

    I'm not up to speed on how or if the resulting .img files can be saved and loaded via Windows Explorer for the older GPS units (bypassing MapSource).

    Bruce
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  5. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    For a 60 (&76) all the mapsets will have to be loaded at at the same time using Mapsource (or maybe Mapinstall as well) in one .img file. Attempts to add maps to an existing .img will overwrite the existing .img file.
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  6. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Bruce,
    How do I load Topo, and Roads and rec to my computer?
    Do I just run the CD?
    Will it show up in my programs?
    Then I would see it like City Nav and World Map which are already there?

    bill
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  7. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    For a PC, I would create 2 new folders in the Garmin folder located in in "Program Files (x86)", give then any name you want like Topo and Road&Rec. then copy the complete cd to each folder. If more then 1 CD (Topo?) I'm not sure if it is better to copy all the CDs into Topo or create a subfolder for each because I only use "West".
    Then run setup.exe from the new folders, the rest of the install is just like from the CD. Those early Garmin map products look to the installation location for the map data. Installed from the CD drive MS looks to the CD drive for data, run setup from the folder on the hard drive MS will look there.

    I would give that a go, if it doesn't work you may have to uninstall Topo and R&R first but I think setup lets you reinstall over an existing install.
    Yes if all goes well they will be in the dropdown, no more CD swapping.

    Bruce
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  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    After quite a bit of thought and experience I ended up doing the following on my old 60cx. I got a 4G card. Then the main limitation is that the number of tiles must me less than about 1200.

    I created one mapset with all of City Navigator for the US plus all of the Topo West tiles outside of urban areas. I did this in Mapsource using the map builder tool. You first select a mapset,e.g. CN, then pick the tiles you want. The you pick another mapset, Topo in my case and select the tiles you want. (Topo tiles are small and it takes a lot of them to cover any significant area.) Then use the Send To unit command to send the maps.

    After I did this I pulled the resulting gpsmap.img?? file from the unit onto my computer hard drive. Then I repeated the process above but put Topo East tiles in.

    After this I renamed the second one to CN_TopoEast and put the original file back on the unit's microSD card. I can switch between them by hooking the unit up to a computer and renaming the files.

    If you haven't done this before I would recommend practicing with a small mapset to get the hang of it. It took several hours to transfer each of the mapsets I created.

    You can't just copy maps from the CD. You have to install the CD onto your computer and then use either Mapsource or MapBuilder to create a mapset to be sent to the GPS unit.
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  9. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

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    If you use two microSD cards (cards named East and West, for instance), you can swap without needing a computer...
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  10. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Guess I want know about the data size and tile numbers until I try to create the map sets but I was hoping to get everything completey on 3 or 4 micro SD cards(no deletions) so it would be:

    1. The West-including Alaska and Hawaii and the western states including the mountain States and Montana.

    2. The Midwest including Texas.

    3. The East and the South.

    4. Mexico, Texas and the SW border states and the Baja.

    Each of the cards with a heavy overlap of a north south tier of states and in the case of the Midwest thatwould include the east and west border states.

    Still strugling with McNut's instructions for loading the CD's to my PC.

    I had to clean house in My Documents. That's done and everthing is labeled there. I have a Garmin folder created for Saved map sets but I have to get the CD's for Topo and Roads/rec loaded up on my PC and then everything backed up on an external drive for safety.

    Got to figure out what Program files are?
    Putting Topo westin the CD drive now.

    I'll try that now and be back with questions and results(I hope).
    bill
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  11. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    "Program Files" and/or "Program Files (x86) are the folders (directory's) your programs install to on the hard drive. I put the folders I will be copying the CDs to there just to keep everything together as that's where the Garmin folder is created when you first installed MS and/or BaseCamp. Nothing wrong with putting in "My Documents", it sill works fine but I prefer to elsewhere so "My Docs" isn't to cluttered. Once done MS & BC will get data from the folder but you will not need to access it.

    In realty it doesn't matter where on the drive you place the folders, but it might be a problem if you were to change the location after the install because MC & BC need to know where it is located and it does so by remembering the location it was installed from. Do not remove the folder once the install is done.

    Once the folder is created you need to copy all (100%) the contents of the CD to that folder. Then look for the "Setup.exe" and either double L click on R click and then "Open".

    You might be over-thinking this a little, The install from the hard drive is no different then installing directly from the CD. All you are doing is;

    1) Creating a folder on the hard drive for the CD's contents.
    2) Copying the CD's contents to that folder.
    3) Finding the "Setup.exe" file in the folder and running it by clicking on it.

    The 2 differences from a CD install and the hard drive install are the drive (location) hard drive vs CD drive and that "Setup.exe" usually auto runs if from the CD drive vs you must click (or open) it if on the HD.

    It might be possible to do this by using the CD to install and then selecting "Custom" (and the resulting options) rather then "Recommended", never tried that.
    And it might be necessary to uninstall TOPO & R&R for Setup to run again, been awhile. Also keep in mind we are talking about 10 year old software, which the latest operating systems may not like. That said I do have all these installed and working well on my W7 PC.

    Another thought; if you don't do much pre trip planning/research on the computer, and now with the microSD so cheap you could do the CD swapping to build the mapsets and be done with it. I do a lot of map research on the computer and this is when CD swapping is the biggest hassle. I can't remember the last time software asked me to insert a CD or DVD.

    Hope this helps.

    Bruce

    PS In the old days (small hard drives) it was not uncommon for games to by default use the CD for data. for example Microsoft Flight Simulator would during setup give the option to install the scenery files to the HD or run from CD and lots of games were the same.
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  12. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Bruce,
    You say I should...

    1) Creating a folder on the hard drive for the CD's contents.
    2) Copying the CD's contents to that folder.
    3) Finding the "Setup.exe" file in the folder and running it by clicking on it.

    I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to find the CD in the player.

    You are a few grades above me(I am a knob) so I have to start and ask very simply.
    I put the Topo west CD in my external CD player and connect it to the USB port and nothing happens...but...if I go to mapsource on my start menu I can get the data to come up on the map in the mapsource program and see it.

    Installation of the Garmin CD is not being offered to me so I have to keep switching CD's if I want to see detail on the various Topo and Roads and Rec maps, but not City nav it is in the PC and World map as well but I can't get the Topos or Roads and rec to go in. I don't know how to do it and it is not automatic like say playing a music CD is.

    When I disconnect the CD player I revert to some kind of base map with no detail.

    bill
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  13. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    You might reread my post as I was editing while you were typing.

    Note the part about trip planning, as it's not that big a deal to play the CD swap for a one time project (transfer to chip). If you don't work with the maps at the computer much and are have problems with what I suggested it may not be worth the hassle, you can build and transfer maps sets fine with the standard install.

    What you describe sounds normal for the standard install for each. R&R and Topo were old school (data pulled from CD) and CN and World more current, does by default what we are trying to get R&R and Topo to do, look to the HD for the detail data.

    Another thought; Having 100% coverage of everything is a nice thought but not all it's cracked up to be. I mostly travel the US western states and Baja so guess what's loaded. I always have a spare microSD I can quickly add Hawaii or Florida should I be heading that way.

    I almost seem to remember us having this conversation several years ago??

    Bruce
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  14. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    You might want to enlist the help of someone there who does, not sure I can walk you through it. And again it may not work for you.

    I will PM you my phone.

    Bruce
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  15. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I think you can find the CD once its connected by double clicking My Computer on Windows systems. After a few seconds this will bring up a list of all the disc drives connected to the system.

    BTW this is what you would do for a digital camera or for looking directly at the microSD card in the Garmin 60.

    If you are not familiar with what's on your system, you might have to open a few disc drives to see which is the CD player.

    Then create your hard disc folder. Open the CD drive, select all the files and copy them to the folder.
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  16. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    It has been done.
    Software and data is installed and Mapsource is working.

    City Nav
    Roads and Rec
    Topo, east, west and Alaska/Hawaii

    All CD's are installed in my aging IBM X40(35 gig Hard drive) running Windows XP.

    All appear in the Mapsource dropdwn box and the data transfers to my GPSmap 60csx. I can toggle from map to map.

    I am not the computer WIZ. I needed McNutt's help and my son's help to understand the file and folder structure. We(my son and I) hit many blind alleys and we must have installed and uninstalled mapsource 20 times. The key was to create the folders like McNutt suggested and the install them using the old install and finially do an updated install so that City Nav could also be seen.

    I will make an effort in the next few days to get my son to describe exactly how we did the installs.
    My son is a GIS map guy. McNutt must be a computer geek of some kind too.

    I was out of my depth.



    bill
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  17. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Guys,
    I have traveled through central and South America and across Russia and Europe by motorcycle. I have traveled all over the USA but now in retirement it is time to take a closer look.

    In my travels outside the USA, I came to depend on my GPS.
    Knowing where I was and my direction of travel were invaluable and if the GPS mapping showed a road and me on it I could concentrate on riding, not navigating.

    That wasn't always the case because the mapping was inaccurate but it was the best option for someone like me with little or no language skills.

    The GPS mapping for the USA is a wonderful thing and the data in Citynav, Topo and Roads and rec are time saving and potentially life saving. I will always have paper maps(I have hundreds) but as soon as I get the data in my computer transferred to micro SD cards I will have an electronic road atlas in GPS form for the entirety of North America including the roads, structures, services, facilities and landforms.

    I will be able to carry all that data in the change purse of my wallet and no matter where I am if I have my GPS I will know my way.

    Now to slice up all the USA data into smaller chunks like what you would do with a fat sausage and a sharp knife.


    bill
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  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    you will not need to split it up that much, into that many cards.
    i'd say 2 2gb cards will cover all of that with those 3 maps programs and the 2025 limit per mapset.

    you sound WAY over your head with computers man if you can't even find the setup.exe installer filer nor even the D drive/optical drive/cd rom to install these maps. best to leave it up to someone who knows. just tell them to copy the contents of roads and rec to the hard drive and then install from there. topo and city nav install into the computer straight from the disc.

    you're an interesting character. when your clueless on something here on ADV you are nice and friendly, but when you have an opinion in other forums a bitter old man know it all attitude seems to come out. i hope you figure it out dude.

    ps microsoft is ending all support for xp in the new few months and your computer will be more exposed than ever. might time to pull the plug before you're hacked bad.

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  19. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    Oops. I forgot to say I usually do this as a clean new from scratch install, starting by installing the oldest (R&R) first and newest (CNNA) last.

    It's been several years since I last did this as once it's done there is no need to redo it unless something breaks or you get a new computer.

    Bruce
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  20. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    Not so. His Topo west (about 1/2 the continental US) alone is 2622 tiles and R&R for the eastern 1/2 is 2270.

    I think to cover all 50 states with R&R + Topo + CNNA, with a fair amount of overlap, @ 2025 per set will likely be 4 sets.

    And older versions of Topo do not by default load the map data from the CD to the hard drive.

    My point is none of us is perfect and that I find the balance of your last post unnecessarily harsh and belittling.

    Bruce
    #20