How To Create Garmin Topo Maps - Part 1 - Setup

Author: Dan Blomberg | Last updated April 20th, 2008 at 01:39pm


The purpose of this series of articles is to educate map makers on how to create  Garmin compatible topographic maps.  This series of articles has been written as I created the topographic map of the state of Mississippi.  Since the articles are being as the map is being created it will probably be a two week series of articles. 

Part 1 - Setup.

This part details how I setup my computer, folder stuctures, and tracking information to make downloading and processing all the data easy.  Many of the lessons in this part are based on my experience and that of others.

Computer Setup

This is how I have my folder structure setup:

Obviously your folder structure does not have to be exactly like this and some states will have more or less data.

Data Tracking

The most important lesson learned is that the key to successfully creating these maps is being able to track what you've downloaded, processed, and prepared.

To that end, I use an excel sheet designed by David (IndyJpr) and myself.  These spreadsheets are available for every state here.

Once you download your sheet save it to the top folder (mississippi_topo in my case). 

I will not go into a lot of detail on how to use this excel spreadsheet at this time.  The descriptions are available in the article and as I use each feature it will be metioned.

What's Next?

Now that we are ready to start getting data we will start by downloading the most time-consuming part; the elevation data.  The next article will detail how to start downloading elevation data.

Table Of Contents | Next Downloading & Processing Elevation Data -->