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Rural map

Maps for Garmin based on OpenStreetMap

Urban map

Known issues

Garmin maps format is not public, so map generation process (done with mkgmap) is based in reverse engineering. As format has not been completely deciphered yet, there's still a number of problems affecting the maps. They have the advantage that data on them are most probably more up to date than commercial ones, although in some areas coverage is lower. Another great advantage is that anyone can complete or correct missing or wrong data. Below there is a list of known issues regarding the use of the maps.

  • Address search: in order to find a given street using 'Search by address' option of the GPS it is necessary to type the name of the street exactly as it is on the map, e.g. 'Calle de los Derechos Humanos' (Human Rights Street). It may be a problem for languages like Spanish or French, in which the name of the way is preceded by the type of way: Avenida de América, Paseo de la Castellana, etc. as it will be difficult to know how the name of a street is in the map: it may be Calle Derechos Humanos, C/ de los Derechos Humanos, Avenida América, etc.
    To avoid this, some changes are introduced that let you omit the type of way and also particles before the main part of the name. For the examples above, typing “Derechos Humanos”, “América” or “Castellana” will be enough. Some irrelevant words common at the end of street names, like Avenue, Street, Road (English), Strasse, Weg (German), kalea, bidea (Basque), etc. are also removed.
  • Roundabouts exit number: if a way entering a roundabout shares a node with an exiting way, that exit is not taken into account for the 'Take exit # to the right' instruction, although on screen it is correctly displayed. In fact, it is caused by errors in the data used to generate the map, and must be fixed on OpenStreetMap data.

Correct and wrong roundabouts

  • Advanced functions: some advanced functions, such as lane indication, on screen speed limit display, crossing search, etc. don't work.
  • Topographic maps on MapSource: contour lines behavior in MapSource is quite variable, some times they are displayed and some times they are not, without a known motive, just showing the number that indicates the height but not the line. However, although they are not seen, they are there and can be used, for example, to calculate a route profile (Edit menu->Route Properties->Show Profile...). On BaseCamp and QLandkarte GT this problem doesn't occur.

If you detect any other problem in the maps, other than those due to errors or lacks in OpenStreetMap data, please use the comments at the en of this page to report it.

You can leave your comments on this page below:

Comments (55)

Topic: Problems
4/5 (23)
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Raefer Wilson (Mandeville, Jamaica)
This is a question. Rating is not 5 because in Jamaica we drive on the left. Roundabouts therefore go CLOCKWISE. The Central America Map instructs you to go ANTI-CLOCKWISE at every roundabout. Is there a way to compile the map so that roundabouts in countries that drive on the left go CLOCKWISE? Otherwise maps are pretty much perfect and up to date.
This problem occurs when a map contains countries which drive on both sides. I'll try to find a solution for the Central America one.
Please try now the map, it's working correctly now in Jamaica for me.
10th February 2016 8:26pm
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Raefer Wilson (Mandeville, Jamaica)
Excellent. Fantastic. Is there a six star rating?
12th February 2016 5:52pm
Jim (Greece)
Can the topographic maps be used for car navigation? Are they routable?
Yes, they are routable and can be used for car navigation. The only difference is the presence of contour lines and heigth information
17th January 2016 11:46pm
Gary (Austin, Texas, usa)
I live in Austin Texas. I have a Garmin Nuvi 200W and when i am looking for grocery store only i go to (Points of Interest) then (shopping) then (grocery). No grocery stores come up. I have been doing mapping on OSM and i label the stores as (supermarket) or (H-E-B supermarket). They will come up if you just go to (Points of Interest) then (shopping).
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. If you label something as supermarket, it's normal you find it under Points of interest->shopping. Anyway, where each kind of POI appears depends on the different Garmin models.
22nd October 2014 9:29pm
Brian Stanfill (Palmer, Alaska, usa)
Thank you very much for your continued effort! I'm a very satisfied customer and am using these maps for a tour of the Americas. They are getting better all the time. Will you consider NOT using yellow for a road color? It is the one color that is impossible to see against the background on my GPS in daylight. For me, contrast is more important than the colors indicating road type. Rarely does the color actually correspond to the quality of the road anyway. Thank you! Brian
I'll have a look at it. There are two options: changing background color to white or changing yellow tertiary roads to some other color.
20th October 2014 2:33am
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