How To Create Garmin Topo Maps - Part 7 - Borders

Author: Dan Blomberg | Last updated July 19th, 2008 at 06:37pm

Introduction

The 7th part of this tutorial details where to download and how to process state and county borders.

Software

Some software is required and some is recommended for downloading and processing borders:

State Borders

  1. Go to the U.S. Census Bureau Shapefile database.
  2. Download "Current State and Equivalent"
  3. Extract the contents of the file to the "borders" folder.
  4. Open "fe_2007_us_state.shp" in either Global Mapper of GPSMapEdit.

Now we have two different ways to make this happen.  If you're using GPSMapEdit click here.  Otherwise read on for Global Mapper.

Global Mapper

  1. Click the "Digitizer Tool" button
  2. Drag a square around everything.
  3. Right click somewhere in the middle of the United States and click Create Line Feature(s) from Select Area Feature(s):
  4. Click OK on any boxes that might pop up.
  5. Use the digitizer tool to select the border of the state you are working with.
  6. Press CTRL-C (copy)
  7. Click File>Unload All
  8. Now press CTRL-V (paste) to paste just your state into the window.
  9. Click Search>Search By Attribute, Name, Description
  10. Click Select All
  11. Click Edit Selected
  12. Click "Add Attribute"
  13. In the window for Attribute Name type "MP_TYPE", for Attribute Value type "0x1c" as shown here:
  14. Click OK
  15. Click OK
  16. Click Close
  17. Click File>Export Vector Data>Export Shapefile...
  18. Click the box for "Export Lines"
  19. Call the file "state"
  20. Click OK
  21. The state boundary is now complete.

GPSMapEdit

  1. Select the first choice "Large Urban Area" and click Next
  2. Click the "NAME" column header then click Next
  3. Click Next
  4. Click Finish
  5. Press CTRL-A (select all)
  6. Right click somewhere in the United States and click Modify>Kind>Convert To Polyline...
  7. On the pop-up box scroll down until you find 0x001c "State/Province Boundary" select it.
  8. Click OK
  9. Click the state border you need.
  10. Press CTRL-C (copy)
  11. Click File>Close.  Say no to saving
  12. Press CTRL-V (paste)
  13. Click File>Save Map As...
  14. Save the file as state.mp in the borders folder.
  15. The state boundary is now complete.

County Borders

  1. Go to the U.S. Census Bureau Shapefile database.
  2. Select your state and then click Submit
  3. Download "Current County and Equivalent"
  4. Open "fe_2007_XX_county.shp" in either Global Mapper of GPSMapEdit where XX is two numbers.

Now we have two different ways to make this happen.  If you're using GPSMapEdit click here.  Otherwise read on for Global Mapper.

Global Mapper

  1. Click the "Digitizer Tool" button
  2. Drag a square around everything.
  3. Right click somewhere in the middle of the state and click Create Line Feature(s) from Select Area Feature(s):
  4. Click OK on any boxes that might pop up.
  5. Open the control center and uncheck the box next to the shapefile name (leave the User Created Features) then click Close:
  6. Click Search>Search By Attribute, Name, Description
  7. Click Select All
  8. Click Edit Selected
  9. In the feature attributes area click "New"
  10. In the window for Attribute Name type "MP_TYPE", for Attribute Value type "0x1d"
  11. Click OK
  12. Click OK
  13. Click Close
  14. Click File>Export Vector Data>Export Shapefile...
  15. Click the box for "Export Lines"
  16. Call the file "county"
  17. Click OK
  18. The county boundaries are now complete.

GPSMapEdit

  1. Select the first choice "Large Urban Area" and click Next
  2. Click the "NAME" column header then click Next
  3. Click Next
  4. Click Finish
  5. Press CTRL-A (select all)
  6. Right click somewhere in the state and click Modify>Kind>Convert To Polyline...
  7. On the pop-up box scroll down until you find 0x001d "County/Parish Boundary" select it.
  8. Click OK
  9. Click File>Save Map As...
  10. Save the file as county.mp in the borders folder.
  11. The county boundaries are now complete.

What's Next?

Now that we have all the regular data we need we're going to combine the map data into a series of .mp files and then convert it to .img files.

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