How To Create Garmin Topo Maps - Part 8 - Combining Data

Author: Dan Blomberg | Last updated July 20th, 2008 at 01:02pm

Introduction

The 8th part of this tutorial details how we will be combining all the data we downloaded and processed into 100k quad sized segment .mp files which we will then compile into .img files in the next, and final, lesson.

Software

Some software is required and some is recommended for combining data:

Extra Data

Before combining the data I would like to make you aware of the fact that additional data exists on the internet.  This includes National Forest trails and waypoints.  If you have any trails they should be typed as trails or in Global Mapper MP_TYPE = 0x16.  A discussion of how to get trail and FS data is occurring in our forum's, check it out here.

Combining The Data

We will combine the data into sets of files and then export them into approximately 100k grids.  The process is very different between Global Mapper and GPSMapEdit.  Read on for Global Mapper or click here to skip to the GPSMapEdit section.

Global Mapper

We will be creating a new map catalog with Global Mapper with all of our files.

  1. Click File>Create New Map Catalog
  2. Save the file in your main topo folder, name it map_catalog
  3. Click "Add Files..." and open the "borders" folder and add both county.shp and state.shp.
  4. Click "Add Files..." and open the "dem" folder and then click the top dem file then hold shift and select the bottom file.  This will select all the dem files created previously.
  5. Click "Add Files..." and open the federal_land folder and add reservations.shp and federal_lands.mp and any files in the national_park_service folder that you processed.
  6. Click "Add Files..." and open the gnis folder and add the gnis.shp file.
  7. Click "Add Files..." and open the nhd folder.  Add area.shp, flowline.shp, and waterbody.shp
  8. Click "Add Files..." and open the random_trails folder and add any random trail data you created.
  9. Click "Add Files..." and open the transportation folder.  Add transportation.shp.
  10. Click File>Export Vector Data>Export Polish MP (cgpsmapper) File...
  11. Name the map (mine is Missippi Topo).
  12. I use a header file that includes a dictionary for zoom level.  If you would like to use it download it here and then extract it to your map folder and set it as the Template File as shown here:
  13. Click the gridding tab.
  14. Set it to split by "Specify Individual Grid Cell Width and Height"
  15. Grid width: 1
  16. Grid height: 0.5
  17. Leave everything else alone unless you are continuing a stopped set, in that case check the "Skip Existing Files" box.
  18. Click the "Export Bounds" tab
  19. Click Lat/Lon (Degrees)
  20. Enter the bounds from the excel sheet with the DEM links into the bounds box:
  21. Click Ok.
  22. Save the files to your "release_version_1.00" folder.  I called mine MSTopo.  This means each map will be called MSTopo_XX.mp where XX are a letter and number for the grid.
  23. It will begin exporting the files.  This may take several hours.

You will now have a series of maps for each 100k quad grid.

GPSMapEdit

In GPSMapEdit we will be adding all the data and then splitting it and reexporting it.

  1. Open GPSMapEdit
  2. Download GPSFileDepot's dictionary file from here.
  3. Extract the file to your topo map's folder.
  4. Open it in Notepad.
  5. Copy the contents (CTRL-C)
  6. Open your borders folder.
  7. Open county.mp in notepad.
  8. Remove all the content between the top of the file and "[END-IMG ID]"
  9. Paste the content from the header. (CTRL-V)
  10. Click the "Add" button:
  11. Open the "borders" folder and add county.mp.
  12. Click "Add" and open the "borders" folder and add state.mp.
  13. Click "Add" and open the "dem" folder and then click the top dem file mp then hold shift and select the bottom file.  This will select all the dem files created previously.
  14. Click "Add" and open the federal_land folder and add reservations.mp and federal_lands.mp and any files in the national_park_service folder that you processed.
    Note: If adding a shapefile you will have to set the type to "All Files" and then you'll have to select the type by field.  Click the "From Field" tab then select the MP_TYPE header.
  15. Click "Add" and open the gnis folder and add the gnis.shp file.
    Note: If adding a shapefile you will have to set the type to "All Files" and then you'll have to select the type by field.  Click the "From Field" tab then select the MP_TYPE header.
  16. Click "Add" and open the nhd folder.  Add area.shp, flowline.shp, and waterbody.shp
    Note: If adding a shapefile you will have to set the type to "All Files" and then you'll have to select the type by field.  Click the "From Field" tab then select the MP_TYPE header.
  17. Click "Add" and open the random_trails folder and add any random trail data you created.
  18. Click "Add" and open the transportation folder.  Add transportation.shp.
    Note: If adding a shapefile you will have to set the type to "All Files" and then you'll have to select the type by field.  Click the "From Field" tab then select the MP_TYPE header.
  19. With all the files added press ALT-ENTER to open the map properties.
  20. Fill in the Name.  The rest should be okay from the dictionary file.
  21. Go to the cgpsmapper tab and change from [RGNx0] to [POI] etc.:
  22. Click the trim button and draw a random box.
  23. Right click inside that box and click properties.
  24. Enter the bounds from the DEM excel sheet.
  25. Press OK
  26. Right click inside the box and select "Trim Outside"
  27. This requires the full version of GPSMapEdit.  Now click Tools>Split Maps To Files.
  28. Save the files to your release_version_1.00 folder.
  29. Click custom then the "..." button.
  30. Enter width of 1 and height of 0.5:
  31. Press OK
  32. Say OK and the maps will be split.

If you do not have the registered version I have devised a process that will allow you to still create a map.  You will follow these same steps but only up the first 100k quad in the dem folder.  Then use the trim function to trim to just that quad.  Repeat this process until you have exported all the quads.

If you do not split the files into "small" chunks you will not be able to load it onto GPS units with limited memory.

What's Next?

The final step is next.  We will compile the data using cgpsmapper and then create a setup file so other people can easily use it.

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