How To Create Garmin Topo Maps

Author: Dan Blomberg | Last updated January 18th, 2016 at 03:18pm

This tutorial details how to create custom topographic maps that are compatible with Garmin GPS units.  This 9 step tutorial takes you through how to create maps with both expensive, cheap, and free software.

In January of 2016 a major rewrite began.  This rewrite makes it a lot easier, and a lot cheaper to create Garmin maps.  Additionally, the rewrite now focuses on using the open-source/free GIS software called QGIS wherever possible in order to manipulate data with software that doesn't cost $100s. The use of QGIS has also gotten rid of many of the times where GPSMapEdit was used.  All sections have been updated with the exception of creating your own contours with QGIS. That is still a work in progress.

Table Of Contents

How Can You Help

There are a few ways you can help.  First, create maps, then post them here and share your work with the world.  Make your GPS more useful then make other people's more useful as well.  Second, post in the forums or contact us with advice so we can make this tutorial better.  Third if you can and are willing, donate to keep GPSFileDepot operational; the link is located at the bottom of this page.

Giving Credit

Thanks to IndyJpr for his knowledge.

Thanks to Jacksan for creating the original mapping tutorial I read; sadly it is no longer on the internet.

Over time the list has changed but thanks to Rex Coggins and Boyd for their valuable help and improvements.