Which maps for Garmin Montana 650T

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by MotorcycleWriter, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    I'm just been using the preinstalled maps with my Garmin but have recently moved to Northern Utah where there are lots of mountains, forest service roads, and trails. I want to use the Garmin for tracking and planning hikes and rides both on and off road, though often away from cellular service. Which map sets make sense? They ain't cheap! The Topo 100K comes installed and has roads and such, and even shows some trails, but lacks any kind of routing ability. I think I would get this with the Topo 24K or the City Navigator.

    I'm not terribly happy with the breakdown of the maps. Does anyone know if it is possible to mix and match the maps, like load 24K Topo for Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, which come in different map sets?

    I've heard you're better off getting the DVD than the MicroSD card. I guess they'd be way too big for download. Honestly, I haven't used the Montana much since the area I used to live basically sucked for doing anything outside. Now that I'm in a great area I'm trying to get up to speed not just on the Montana but on various mapping software and apps for all of this.
    #1
  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I ride in the southwest and ride in Utah quite a bit. I use Garmin City Navigator, Garmin 24k Topo, and Garmin Topo 100k. The 100k maps were the first ones I bought about 20 years ago. I have managed to move them between 3 different GPS units I have owned.

    I also use special topical maps like forest service MVUMs and BLM travel management maps. These can be loaded onto the Montana as custom maps and show up as transparent overalys to the main map. This is kind of an advanced topic since the files are normally only available as pdf files and must be converted to Google Earth kmz files.

    I bought all my maps as either CDs or DVDs. I don't know too much about the SD card option. I think I have heard that Garmin does not sell the DVSs anymore and you get that version of the maps via a download. I have downloaded upgrades a couple of times and it really doesn't take too long these days.

    The big advantage of City Navigator and Topo 24k are that they are autoroutable.

    Hope this helps a little
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  3. deserteagle56

    deserteagle56 deserteagle56

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    Garmin maps are no longer available on DVD.

    The most up-to-date maps I've found are at gpsfiledepot.com.
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  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    openstreetmap and gpsfiledepot have better maps, that are free.
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  5. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    Didn't mean to ask a question and disappear. Spent last week on travel for work.

    Are these free maps autoroutable? I don't know that I need that. Just wondering.

    Helps a lot. Thanks! Do you know what you get with the downloads? What kind of file? Is it some proprietary Garmin format that Basecamp understands?
    #5
  6. deserteagle56

    deserteagle56 deserteagle56

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    These maps are NOT routable. But all that means is that you'll have to draw tracks by hand and that takes a little bit longer. But they work as well in Basecamp as any Garmin proprietary map. I've little experience with the openstreetmaps because all of my riding is in the back country so I want topo maps. I've used the gpsfiledepot maps for years without problems. The Nevada and Utah maps from gpsfiledepot are pretty darn good as far as up to date and detail. Not so much so for Oregon and Idaho.
    Just a caveat...the latest versions of Basecamp and in particular Mapinstall (which actually installs the maps you want in your GPS or your sd card) are corrupted and it doesn't look like Garmin is going to fix them. For some reason not all map information is transferred over with the newest versions. I found this out the hard way on one of my latest trips when I found blank areas (no roads/trails or topo lines) coming up on the Montana. For some reason, even going back to an older version of Mapinstall didn't help much. My solution was to find and download Mapsource, which was Basecamp's predecessor. So I still use Basecamp to create routes and tracks and send them to the GPS unit. But to install maps I use Mapsource.
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  7. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Most 3rd-party maps do not have the info that a Montana needs for routing. That includes gpsfiledepot.

    You can get Open Street Map maps that do have the info that a Montana needs for routing from here: http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

    The map format is a proprietary Garmin format but it's not a total secret. It seems very complex to me but it worked on GPSs in the '90s so that view is probably more important than being easy for a human to scan.

    You SHOULD be able to have both 100k topo and OSM active which SHOULD show topo info and allow routing on OSM data. I have not tried this since I don't have 100k topo.
    #7
  8. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    yes, free and auto routing
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  9. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    see above, they are routing, and free
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  10. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    OSM maps support routing. Maps from gpsfiledepot do not.

    You're both right but both would be more right if you specified which of the two you meant. Without that context you could lead the OP to wrong conclusions.
    #10
  11. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Path.jpeg
    thank you for your service
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  12. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Any chance you could post some kind of info about the area you found to be blank so that I and others could check our map sets to see if they are also blank? Even a screen capture off of basecamp showing enough detail of adjacent areas so we can know where to look would be good, I think. I think this would be extremely helpful.

    To the OP: I have a 650T and I have added CNNA with a "lifetime" subscription and also some Garmin 24k topo map sets - the northeast US and southeast US. I run my Montana and a Nav V on my GS. I keep the Nav V on CNNA landscape, and the Montana on 24k Topo portrait. This gives me two views of where I am and acts as redundancy should I manage to smash one of them or if one fails for some reason while I am out in TMON.
    #12