How to: Install Free Maps on your Garmin Edge


Last week I published a piece on how to install free maps on your Garmin wearable, which was a tweaked update of my six-year-old post on how to install maps on your Garmin Edge devices. But as promised, I’d be refreshing that old Edges-specific post too – which is what this new post is all about. It’s almost identical to last week’s post and the one six years ago, except specific to the Garmin Edge series because frankly it’ll help people in Google trying to find Edge-specific instructions.

Things have certainly changed in the Garmin Edge world in six years – most notably that all of Garmin’s mapping capable Edge devices now actually come with detailed maps for the region you bought it in. Thus if you buy an Edge device in the US you’ll have North American maps, and if you buy it in Spain you’ll have European maps, and if you buy it in Sydney you’ll have Australian/New Zealand maps. Detailed maps too – not the old and useless ‘base map’ junk.

But what happens when you traveled outside your region?

That’s when you were back to the base junk. That so-called base map has virtually no detail in it. It might show a single dot for the entire city of Paris, or perhaps one highway leading into it. Certainly no usable streets or geographic landmarks.

Fear not – I’ve got you covered! You can easily download free maps on your Edge for when you travel. Quick and simple, and while the instructions might look long, the entire working time is probably under 2-3 minutes for most people. I just include a lot of pictures/text to make it super-clear.

I myself often use the freely downloaded variant I describe below (because I live in Europe, but often buy my units in the US). Or, for the European units I have when I travel to the US/Canada, like two weeks ago. And thousands of you every month do the same following these previously published steps. With that, let’s get into all the supported units and requirements and a few minor caveats below.



While this post probably looks long, it’s mostly my attempt at answering any questions ahead of time. In reality the entire process is super quick and easy. I’m just overly thorough in my screenshotting excitement. The actual active time for you to do this is like 3-5 minutes tops.

You must have a computer – Mac or PC (or even Linux). You cannot do this from an iPad or such. It’s technically possible to do it from an Android device with the right cables, but you’re on your own for that!

As for compatible devices, here’s the list of devices this will work on. It also will work on most of the handheld type outdoor devices too. If it supports Garmin maps, it’ll support 3rd party maps.

Compatible Bike Computers: Edge 520 Plus/530, Garmin Edge 705, Garmin Edge 800/810/820/830, Garmin Edge 1000/1030/Explore/Touring variants (the base Edge 520 is technically compatible, but only has a sliver of space on it, like, enough for one city), and the Bontrager Edge 1030 is totally fine as well.

Compatible Wearables: Garmin Forerunner 945, Garmin Fenix 5s Plus, Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, Garmin Fenix 5X Plus, Garmin Fenix 5X (non-Plus), Garmin Epix (RIP), Garmin Descent MK1, Garmin MARQ Series, Garmin D2 Delta PX

Now you may be asking yourself, ‘What if I have a non-Garmin unit? Will it still work?’ – and the short answer is basically no. There may be some 3rd party units that work with these maps, but nothing major. Plus, many other competitors like Wahoo, Stages, and Sigma simply make it easy for you to download maps without all this fuss.

Optional: Micro-SD card: If you’ve got an Edge unit that has a micro-SD card slot (namely the Edge 705/800/810/1000/1030/Touring/Touring Plus), you can place the maps on there instead to save space. More on that in a minute.

Finally, since I know some of you will ask, the following are most definitely *not* compatible. And the reasons are simple: They don’t have the storage, or they don’t have the processing power to handle maps. The ship has sailed on all of these (read: they’re definitely not getting map support),

Non-Supported Bike Computers: Garmin Edge 20/25/130/200/500/510, and probably a few really old others.

Non-Supported Wearables: Garmin Forerunner 15/20/30/35/45, Garmin Forerunner 225/230/235/245, Garmin Forerunner 610/620/630/645, Garmin Forerunner 735XT/910XT/920/935, Garmin Fenix 5S/5 (non-Plus, non-X), Garmin Fenix 3/3HR, Garmin Fenix (original), Garmin Vivo-anything, and countless others. Consider this just a ‘starter list’ of non-supported units.

Note that while Garmin would prefer you buy the maps from them, they actually go out of their way to allow you to download free maps from 3rd party providers. They simply note that it’s unsupported (but doesn’t void any warranties or such). Meaning that if the 3rd party map data isn’t perfect, it’s not their fault. But here’s the dirty secret: It’s the same underlying map data.

Last but not least – note that Garmin does add ‘special sauce’ to their maps – most notably what they call ‘Trendline Popularity Routing’, which is basically a variant of heatmaps. The main use for this is when you ask the device itself to create a route on the fly (such as roundtrip routing) that it leverages heatmap data to give you routes that people use more often. However, this is only applicable if you create/re-route on the device itself. You can still take advantage of that concept by simply creating the routes on Garmin Connect or Garmin Connect Mobile first, which will use that same data from the cloud.

For virtually all of Garmin’s maps included on Edge/Forerunner/Fenix/MARQ series devices, the base map itself is OSM (OpenStreetMap). What differs is some of the special sauce Garmin adds atop it (like heatmap type data), as well as the exact layers Garmin does or doesn’t display (how it looks, but also things like topographic lines).  In addition, there are some slight nuances to how the maps look in terms of exact styling. You’d never know unless you had the two side by side, which you’ll see below. At left is what the default Garmin maps look like, whereas at right is what the free OSM maps look like (the right unit is simply rotated 90°, because that’s the direction the unit thinks I was going):


I find the shading/clarity of the Garmin maps to generally be better/optimized. But both are perfectly functional. However, you also won’t get topographic contour lines when using the free maps. Technically speaking you can download them and merge them together, but that’s beyond what I’m going to cover here.

Of course, I think it’s time for Garmin to move onto the Wahoo & Sigma model of making it silly easy to download maps from other regions. Or heck, at least make it cheap. Charge me $10 per region (or even country), allow me to select the regions via my smartphone app – and then go and download the maps via WiFi (Wahoo is the same process, except free). I’d happily pay Garmin $10 with a streamlined mobile-first strategy to get the heatmap and related data from them.

Part 1: Downloading the Maps:

This entire post is ‘made possible by’ OpenStreetMap, which are free community-driven maps.  OpenStreetMap has become in many areas just as good as maps from traditional providers.  And best of all, they’re free.  The below site simply does all the hard work that you used to have to do manually a few years ago if you wanted to use OpenStreetMap.  Now, it’s literally as easy as 1.2.3. Seriously, you can do these clicks below in under 15 seconds.

Also – before I forget to mention, if you’re on an Edge 530/830, then the Trailforks mountain bike trail overlays are actually totally global, so you’ve already got the entire world in your pocket no matter which country you bought it in, and this won’t negatively impact that one way or the other.

First up, going to the site.  Which, will bring you here:


Note that every once in a while that website goes down – as if someone didn’t put enough coins in the slot. It’s a community-supported page after all. I’d strongly encourage you to donate occasionally (even just $5, it saved you like $100 anyway). I do. If the site is down, you can use another site here. The downloading steps are slightly different (select Garmin BBBike as the format, Map type OSM Mapnik), but ultimately all basically the same. I have no relationship to either site, it’s just what I’ve used for a long-long-long time now. (Note: I’ve added some more sources at this section for cases where you might want something a bit more unique/specific.)

Once the page loads, you’ll want to select ‘Routable Bicycle’ as the map type.


Next, you’ll select the region/area of maps you want. If you simply select a pre-defined area (like a given country/state/province), then the site has already premade these for you, so they are instantly available. Kinda like picking up sushi from the case at the grocery store (except less sketchy). Whereas if you want something custom – perhaps across multiple countries/borders, then you can choose to create a custom map set.

If going for the preset sushi, you’ll start by choosing your continent, then country.  In some areas (such as the US and Canada), you’ll also choose the state/province. You’ll see that it automatically selects the coverage area in the map below.


If you don’t need anything custom, then just click ‘Download Map Now’:


That’ll bring you to this page. Select the one that the little MicroSD card icon next to it. DO NOT select the Windows, Mac, or Linux ones. It doesn’t matter what computer you’re using to download things, always-always-always select the one with the MicroSD card icon (also titled ‘GMAPSUPP.ZIP’ appended to the end of it).


Download and save that somewhere handy on your computer (like your desktop) and skip ahead to the installation section!

[Again: Skip ahead to the ‘Installation’ bulleted section if you’ve just downloaded your map!!!]

Whereas if you want to roll your own custom map with added areas, then you’ll select the checkbox titled ‘Manual Tile Selection’, and go from there. As a pro tip, if you’re just adding a bit more territory to an existing predefined set, then start by selecting that first, then checking the manual option. As you can see below, I started with the Netherlands, and then I checked the box and added a few more map tiles from Belgium/Germany/France onto the Southern portion of my Netherlands map:


Once you’ve selected everything you need to select, then put your e-mail address in the little box and select ‘Build my map’:


The reason you need to provide an e-mail address is because you go into a queue for the server to create your map. Like waiting for your name to be called at the DMV, except, more efficient. Here’s what it’ll show a second later:


And sure enough, just as it says I’ll instantly get an e-mail with my status:


And a few minutes later I get another e-mail with the download link saying it’s ready. Usually that’s all it takes. I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait more than 10-15 minutes.


Just like with the non-custom ones, select the one that the little MicroSD card icon next to it. DO NOT select the Windows, Mac, or Linux ones. It doesn’t matter what computer you’re using to download things, always-always-always select the one with the MicroSD card icon (also titled ‘GMAPSUPP.ZIP’ appended to the end of it).


And again, remember that there’s a ‘Donate’ button on that site (I have no affiliation with it). Obviously, good karma dictates that if you find their (free/community-hosted) service valuable, sending a couple of bucks their way is probably wise – especially given how much money you’re saving. Plus, it’ll probably make that map creation bit go faster for custom maps if they get more support.

And finally, if you want some other map sources, a number of DCR commenters have listed their favorites, which I’ve included in here. All of these maps basically start from OpenStreetMap, and then add details atop them. The main one I linked to above is just one I consider pretty trustworthy and more global in functionality. Whereas below some have specific areas they specialize in (and may show more details for those areas), or have specific focuses (like perhaps better mountain bike detail):

– Topo-included map source: Frikart.no
– Topo-included map source, also POI’s have opening hours: OpenTopoMap.org
– Topo-focused maps that are also recommended for Africa: GMapTool.eu
– Cycling maps specialized for Netherlands/Belgium/Luxembourg with more detail: OpenFietsMap.nl
– Mountain-biking focused maps: Openmtbmap.org

Again, the above-listed maps are totally optional – and just additional sources.

Part II: Installing the Maps:

Installation of the maps is super easy. All you need to do is put the file in the correct folder and you’re good to go. However, if you need to temporarily remove your maps, because you’re tight on space, see the optional Part III below. Most of the units we have here have enough space to add other region maps without having to clear-cut first.

To put it into context, the Garmin default map data sizes (including some cycling-specific things) are roughly as follows (the maps you’d get by default for the region you purchased it in):

North America: ~5.6GB including topo data
Europe: ~6.7GB including topo data
Australia/NZ: ~2GB including topo data

And space-wise, you’ve got the following amounts of space on each device (minus the space required above for your base maps, plus a tiny bit for any courses/activities/workouts/etc…, usually 0.1-.3GB):

Garmin Edge 520 base: 0.05GB free (just enough for one city or a bunch of farmland)
Garmin Edge 520 Plus: 16GB
Garmin Edge 530: 16GB
Garmin Edge 810: 0.05GB free (but uses micro-SD card for maps)
Garmin Edge 820: 16GB
Garmin Edge 830: 16GB
Garmin Edge 1000: 8GB (plus micro-SD Card capable!)
Garmin Edge 1030: 16GB (plus micro-SD Card capable!)
Garmin Edge Explore: 16GB

So you’ll want to do simple math to see if everything fits. For context, the download size for the Netherlands from the free maps is 0.37GB (337MB) – so pretty small. France is ~1.4GB. Again, should easily fit. But if you’re tight on space, you can always follow the custom instructions above and take a prepackaged map like France and make it smaller by removing areas you don’t need (if you’re staying in the Alps, you don’t need the entire Western portion of France for example).

If you’ve got one of the units above with a micro-SD Card slot, you can follow the exact same directions, just stick the maps in a folder called Garmin on the micro-SD card. You can pickup a trustworthy 16GB card for a mere $5 on Amazon (Reminder: When purchasing micro-SD cards on Amazon *always* ensure that it’s both shipped from and fulfilled by Amazon itself, not a 3rd party.)

In any event, let’s install things. First, connect your Edge device to your computer using the USB cable it came with (since that allows transfer for data).


Go grab that file you downloaded (openfietsmap_lite_gmapsupp.zip), and open it up (just double-click it). This is what you’ll see inside:


Then select that file and then select ‘Copy’. Now simply paste that into the ‘Garmin’ folder on your watch. Do NOT copy/paste the entire .ZIP file, you need the file inside the zip file (like you see above). It’s called gmapsupp.img and needs to go into the Garmin folder on your device.


Once it’s done copying, you should now see that file sitting in the Garmin folder. The names will be similar, but it’s the one ending in ‘supp’ (like ‘supplementary’):


And with that, you’re done.

Side note: Need to have two extra downloaded maps? Simply append the country name to one of them to make it unique. Such as ‘gmapsupp-france.img’ and ‘gmapsupp-netherlands.img’.


It works perfectly fine.

Part III – Optional Space Savers Edition

This section is skippable unless you’re a hoarder and need to find a way to save some space on your device to make way for other maps. I mean, you might not be a hoarder, it might just be that times are tough and now you’ve got more maps than you know what to do with. As noted in the previous section, the maps that came with your device can take up a bunch of space. And if you’re headed somewhere that also has a big ol’ map, then you might need to temporarily offload the original map. Though again, that’s pretty unlikely with any of the half-way recent units. Seriously, there should be almost no reason to do this section.

First though, before you do so – consider going with a smaller map. Meaning, if you’re going from the US to France, and only need to ride in Paris – just download Paris only, and not all of France. Or if you’re going on a European trip to the Alps and thus think you need France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria because that covers your entire Alps region, try instead just downloading a bunch of squares covering the alps using the ‘manual tile’ mode. Like this (my selection below isn’t perfect and definitely overshot a bit, but you can spend the extra few minutes to get it just right):


But, if all else fails – no biggie, taking maps off the Edge is super easy to do. I strongly recommend though *not* deleting them, and instead just doing a move to your computer hard drive for later. Think ‘Cut’ and ‘Paste’, not ‘Delete’.

For the most part, the steps are identical to above, so instead of re-writing them, I’ll just tell you what to do differently.  Let’s dive right in!

1) Download the map section of interest per the ‘Part 1: Downloading the Maps’ section
2) Plug-in your Garmin Edge to your computer.
3) Within the Garmin folder on the Edge, you’ll find a bunch of .IMG (image) files. These are the pre-loaded map and elevation files. It can include any of the following:

A) gmapbmap.img (base map)
B) gmapdem.img (Digital Elevation Map, it’s per-region)
C) gmapprom.img (pre-installed map file)
D) gmapprom1.img (another pre-installed map file)

You could perhaps have additional gmapprom #’s as well, if so, grab it. You’re basically looking for the large files to make space. See the big file sizes below?


4) Cut and paste all of the above .IMG files to somewhere on your computer (create a folder called “My Garmin Maps” or something, just don’t delete them).
5) Copy the gmapsupp.img map file you downloaded into the \Garmin folder on your Edge (or, if you’re unsure, simply go back to “Part II: Installing the Maps” above and complete as normal. If you want to help yourself remember which is which later on, simply rename gmapsupp.img to something like gmapsupp-france.img or after whichever country you’re going to. You can name it anything you want – like gmapsupp-dcrainmaker.img and that’ll work too.
6) There is nothing extra you need to do on the Edge itself as far as configuring maps – it’ll happen automatically, so you can ignore Part 3 of the instructions. You’re done, go outside and ride!

And hey, there’s a bonus to using this hoarder’s route – you got the express lane for installation instructions. Just remember later on that when you get home you’ll need to put back the map file from your computer onto your Edge device. To do so, simply copy the files from your computer back into place it into the Garmin folder on your Edge and delete the gmapsupp.img file you added.

Part IV: Using the Maps:


Actually, there’s nothing you have to do here. Once you’ve installed them they just work. If you haven’t added the map data page to your device, go into the activity profile of your choice (Settings > Activity Profiles > Choose your Activity Profile> Data Screens > Map>Always


However, in the event you want to turn off the downloaded mapset for some reason, it’s pretty easy to do (and you can always delete that single supp.IMG file if you need the space after your trip.

To disable a given map though, go to Settings > Activity Profiles > Choose your activity profile > Navigation > Map > Map Information/Select Map > Enable/Disable the map that you just loaded. You can see below the Openfetsmap Lite-NLD, which is my Netherlands map, and below that my French map I added for France. While above it is the stock Garmin maps, in this case. By pressing the select button, it’ll turn on/off the different maps. Super easy.

DSC_4263 DSC_4265

And in fact, as I mentioned earlier – for Edge 530/830 users, you can actually see the global Trailforks map listed in there above (and if you really wanted you can toggle it on/off). Or you can see it listed when you connect your device to Garmin Express (once you’ve activated it once, which is free). It covers you no matter where you go:


And that’s it! You’ll be able to use these maps as normal. That includes things like elevation details for courses, planning between points, points of interest, specific addresses, and round trip routing. Enjoy!

As always, thanks for reading. And if you found this post helpful – consider becoming a DCR Supporter, I appreciate it!

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  1. Paul

    Great instructions as always Ray
    Is it possible to download entire continents such as North America etc or even just the USA in its entirety rather than having to select all the squares manually?

    • That’s a good question. I don’t see/know an obvious way to do so with link to garmin.openstreetmap.nl, and I tried BBBike.org too – and that limits you to 512MB for a custom boundary. Maybe someone else has a trick – I’d love to hear it!

    • William Cruz

      I had the same problem many moons ago when the first post on how to do this went live, being the software developer that I am, I ended up creating my own maps using OpenStreetMaps as my base and a custom TYP file that creates highly detailed maps – I host a server with pre-compiled maps of many parts of the world and I try to do a refresh every 30 days more or less, would it be OK to post a link here?

    • Neil Heywood

      Is it possible to post the link to your site with your own maps?

  2. macnuts

    Nice update thank you.
    I’m going to replace Garmin Europe map with OSM or omtb map counterpart as the Garmin’s map lacks some crucial paths in my area. I know that Garmin’s map will be updated eventually but I am not patient enough to wait for it to happen.
    My device is Edge 830 so I will just copy new maps, then disable Garmin Europe map for activities.
    There are Garmin DEM and Garmin Geocode maps besides Garmin Europe.
    Do they work with Garmin Europe map only? Will I have to disable it too or will it work with OSM/omtb map too?

    • You can actually toggle the DEM map separately. So you could just add the OSM maps in there as you want (should have plenty of room for both), and then just got into the menus and toggle which layers you want, including (or not including) the DEM map.

      Based on a quick test I did last night (with a secondary Euro-only unit doing exactly what you noted), it seemed to be fine doing DEM + OSM. But it’s honestly tough for me to tell when Amsterdam is basically 0m +/- 3m. 🙂

    • Meredith

      The DEM map should work with whatever road maps you use.

    • macnuts

      Thank you both.
      It worked for me. Garmin’s DEM map is used with any of my custom map. The easy way to check it is to enable shaded relief in map visibility options.
      I’ve got omtb DEM for my region and it works well too.

  3. Alexander Momberger

    Hi Ray,
    thank you for all the Information, but I DO have a question for you:

    The Fenix 5+ introduced a feature called “automatic Elevation Correction”. The idea is that when starting an activity, the Watch uses the GPS Signal & the underlying map to calculate an Offset correction between the air-pressure and the Elevation. Most Garmin watches do that. The new trick that the “automatic Elevation Correction”-Feature does, is a periodical recalculation of the Offset DURING the activity by compairing the Barometric-Measurement to the map’s Elevation data.

    1. question: Do the OSM-maps have the same Elevation information like the Garmin-preinstalled maps or is the “Elevation-map” an add-on to the Garmin-osm-maps?
    2. question: does the “automatic Elevation Correction”-Feature still work, when I’m using the non-Garmin-preinstalled osm?

    Could you maybe test that Feature when you are in the alps? Maybe you could use your fenix 5+ with that Feature activated and compare the measured Elevation gain to the data recorded by e.g. your FR945 with that Feature being deactivated.
    I would LOVE to see if the “automatic Elevation Correction” actually works!

    Thank you in advance.

    • Yup, I’ll give that a poke. I was curious myself about something semi-related to that as well.

      I’m hoping to be down in the Alps next week, and then for sure again the week after.

    • Meredith

      OSM Maps don’t have elevation data. Garmin road maps don’t have any elevation data. The DEM map is for the elevation data. The DEM map should work whatever other maps you have installed.

    • Brian Reiter

      The gmaptool.eu maps definitely do include DEM data. There are routable topo maps available for everywhere except Europe. I have used the Southern Africa, Southeast Africa, East Africa and Southwest USA maps both on fēnix 5X and in Basecamp. They are very high quality.

      It looks to me like the openfietsmap.nl “full” versions in Europe like the BeNeLux+Germany and Alps maps for example do include DEM data. I suspect it is just the worldwide “light” versions that neither include DEM data nor TOPO lines.

  4. ste kam

    When i go into active maps for an activity i have multiple active maps ?

    why ? is there any purpose or added value to have multiple ones ?

    should i keep only the OSM cycling active ? In that case will it be used for rerouting ?

    in case multiple are active which are the one used for re-routing ?

    • For me, I get funky things when I have multiple overlapping maps (of the same region). On one test I did, the world just ended blank.

      If you’ve got multiple maps of differing regions – no issues.

    • ste kam

      and what about the routing ?

      could the osm cycling be used as routing and rerouting maps ?

      how would you compare quality wise, the osm maps and garmin maps ? why would we have to do that if all garmin maps are OK ? 🙂

  5. Cyrille

    Hello and thanks,
    Silly question maybe, what is the use of dowloading a free map on my Edge 820 which already has got one?
    Are the ones you mention more precise? It looks you are saying no (in terms of rendering) so really I was wondering.

  6. cycloscott

    Any idea if Garmin is planning on updating their integration with OSM in the web version of Connect? The current implementation is horrible. No contour lines, missing road names for secondary and fire roads, blocky trails. Just terrible. Looking at connect.garmin.com and openstreetmap.org side by side in a browser is night and day. The maps on the edge device actually look better than the maps in Connect!

    The google maps overlay looks a lot better, but google doesn’t have anywhere near the depth of mtb trails as available with OSM. And while neither have contour lines in Connect, openstreetmap.org will show contours with the Cycle Map overlay. I can’t be the only person that knows how to read a map and wants contour lines as a key bit of information when routing a mtb ride.

    • Meredith

      OSM doesn’t have any contour/elevation data. Contours come from other sources and have to be merged into the data from OSM to create a map with them both in. Or you could create a separate contour map and display it at the same time as the normal map to see them when looking at the map display.

    • cycloscott

      OSM most certainly does have elevation. It’s in the ‘Cycle map’ layer.
      Take a look at the OSM version… link to openstreetmap.org
      link to connect.garmin.com

      Note that in Connect, the default Google map layer LOOKS far better than the integrated OSM layer, but is missing trails. Whereas both look like ass compared to the ‘cycle map’ layer on openstreetmap.org

      Also note that there are trails that are missing on the Connect OSM layer compared to the actual source on OSM. (Aligator Lizard, and Bunny)

    • Meredith

      Openstreetmap doesn’t have any elevation data. I have edited the maps (to fix issues I have spotted) and when you edit the map you can see it definitely does not contain any elevation data.

      The cycle layer you see on the openstreetmap website is actually created by opencyclemap. The opencylcemap website has the source of the elevation data in the credits – NASA SRTM elevation data which is freely available for anyone to use. Opencyclemap uses OSM map data for the roads etc.

      See link to opencyclemap.org

      It takes a few days for edits to OSM to appear on opencyclemap as it is only updated every few days as well.

      I would expect Garmin’s OSM maps on connect to be out of date as they will likely only refresh them when they release new maps for their GPS devices.

    • cycloscott

      Fine, let’s be pedantic about it. Openstreetmap.org doesn’t –include– the contours, it only –displays– them.

      Interestingly enough the same trails that I mention NOT appearing on connect, ARE displayed on the Edge device. So connect is behind devices for some reason. And at least for my 530, the maps haven’t been updated for weeks. Also, those same trails appear in the OSM ‘standard’ layer, so it’s not an issue of the layer. –They’re still pretty blocky looking though.

      And my primary issue remains. The OSM maps on connect look like ass. One would think that a company that is chasing cyclist dollars would have a far better integration with openstreetmaps, especially the ‘cycle map’ layer.

      The google maps layer may be fine for road rides, but it sucks ass for mtb trails and we have to rely on the OSM option. Unfortunately the connect integration is terrible and absolutely needs to be addressed.

  7. Paul Toigo

    Re: “Optional: Micro-SD card: If you’ve got an Edge unit that has a micro-SD card slot (namely the Edge 1000/1030), you can place the maps on there instead to save space. More on that in a minute.” Change “1000/1030” to “800/1000”.

    • It’s actually all of them. Also the 705 too, but I figured they were older so decided to clip it there. But good idea to include the older ones too.

    • Paul Toigo

      Well, yes, the 1030 will accept a micro-SD card too. IIRC, it has enough internal memory that is a non-issue such that I haven’t bothered putting one in mine.

  8. Chris Fraser

    Trailforks also has packaged maps for Garmins.

    link to trailforks.com

    I’ve also used to Velomap.org ‘packaging’ of the OSM data quite happily.

  9. Shane Porteous

    so, presuming we can get the Australia map onto the Edge520, what will it look like on the screen? detailed maps or just a breadcrumb still?

    • It’ll look like totally legit maps – identical to that of the Edge 530/830/etc. Only difference is that you aren’t ‘routing’ atop it, rather, still breadcrumb trail atop it. Still, it’s super useful (I used it a bunch that way in the Alps a few years ago).

  10. Matt

    Great writeup Ray. Just wondering how I can tell what maps I have on my device currently, and where these end?

    Specifically, I bought my device in the UK and want to know whether my maps cover all of Europe, just the UK, or UK + some of europe?

    • Any purchases in the UK cover all of Europe, inclusive of the UK.

      This handy link shows which maps are what: link to garmin.com

      Anything bought in the UK is loaded with the map called ‘Full Europe’, whereas anything bought in North America is loaded with the map called ‘North America’.

  11. A.

    I still keep getting “Unable Authenticate Maps” error on every start of Garmin Edge 1000 after putting these maps. Any ideas?

    • That’s odd. Did you remove the older maps, or they still there? To me that sounds like something is going wrong with the existing Garmin maps.

    • A.

      Yes, I have reinstalled base map via Garmin software and added new maps. Will try factory reset one day 🙂

    • Paul S.

      That was my first thought. The other is: did you follow Ray’s instructions exactly? The maps you’re putting on your device are .img, and not .gmap or .exe?

  12. paulio

    Thanks for this.
    Since Garmin Express for Mac is broken and cannot handle the latest map updates properly, I’ve had to use this guide to install some others. My and other peoples EU maps have just vanished after *updating* them (and waiting 5hrs download time in my case).

    I kinda need them now for a tour around Europe, not ‘some time in the future’ Garmin. Thanksabunch.
    ” We are working on a repair in a future Express update” …. sounds like they’re in a real hurry.

  13. Eric W McMinoway

    I have an Edge 1000, are we still receiving map updates, or should I use this method to update maps?

    • I would continue to use the Garmin maps. The main reason to use this is if you travel outside the region you have maps for.

    • Paul S.

      I just checked, and the map on my 1000 is Garmin Cycle Map 2019.10 and the map on my 830 is also 2019.10. I can’t imagine that Garmin would ever stop updating the maps on older Edges that use the Cycle Map.

    • Maik

      I prefer this maps over the Garmin maps even where the detailed Garmin map is installed. I very seldom use routing, but quite often I use the map during bike rides to make spontaneous decisions where to go next. In this maps here
      1) you can see if a road is paved or unpaved and get proper information of which quality the unpaved road is.
      2) official bike routes are marked, so I can spontanously decide to follow a bike route with no need to download it.

      Both functionalities I miss in the Garmin maps.

  14. jack

    FWIW – recently discovered the ‘Komoot’ app which allows point to point route creation on mobile devices and pushes straight through to garmins. I’ve got an edge 530 and works well

  15. If I want to download a base map to my PC and then map rides on the PC and then transfer these to my Garmin, which of the four possible destinations listed early in the article do I select.

  16. JOrrego

    Hi Community,

    Anyone has recommendations for free Garmin maps for automobiles. I have a Garmin (Nuvi 57LM) that I bought in US. I plan on using it in Europe, but don’t want to pay $99 for Garmin’s European map. Ray had suggested to use the offline Google option and use with the phone but when I tried, it appears as if it is for point to point direction. It also takes a lot of memory in my iphone. I’m looking for regional maps. I’ll be in Spain. Any suggestions? Thanks.


    Thank you for the post. I already took care of my Garmin 1030’s Europe map.

    • Meredith

      You can use the same place that Ray uses above to get maps for your car satnav.

    • JOrrego

      Thank you for your reply. Which one specifically from the list below and have you tried it?
      Generic Routable
      Generic Routable (new style)
      Routable Bicycle (Openfietsmap Lite)
      Generic Nautical (non-routable)
      Transparent overlay with elevation contours

    • Meredith

      I would use one of the Generic Routable ones for a car.

  17. G

    GMapTool – program for splitting and merging maps in Garmin format.

    link to gmaptool.eu

  18. David T

    Hi DC, I have a hand me down Edge 800 which I am trying to update the very old map, it does not have any maps in the Garmin folder of the built in memory, just one .img file (gmaptz.img).

    The SD card has several maps (gmapsuppBENELUX.img, gmapsuppDE.img, gmapsuppLUX+.img), however when I go into Menu>wrench>system>map>map information select map> i only have 2 maps called “openfietsmap lite” and “openfietsmap lite (DEU)” which i cannot find in the device, nor select the maps that I can see in the device when it is connected to my pc?

    • HI David-

      I suspect you might not be looking in the right place. There should definitely be a Garmin folder, even on the older Edge 800. When you load it in your computer, you’ll see both the MicroSD card and the Garmin unit itself show up. Do you see both? And if so – do you see a Garmin folder in either?

  19. Mark

    Can someone please give me a yay / nay on the following:

    This will work on a Garmin etrex ? I read this sentence as a straight Yes – “As for compatible devices, here’s the list of devices this will work on. It also will work on most of the handheld type outdoor devices too. If it supports Garmin maps, it’ll support 3rd party maps.”
    Google seems to confirm this is a goer

    My use case – buying an etrex in Australia, using the preloaded maps for bikepacking/touring and general bushwalking here. Later side loading maps for Japan and parts of Europe, to do the same sort of thing there.

  20. Stefan van Kasteren

    Hi Ray, are you sure that if you download parts of for instance The Netherlands that you get the second mail in 15 mnutes as I was using via your six year old post this Open Maps last June but I was the 15000 user to wait in the queu…

  21. youpmelone

    This all is summed up easily. Use velomap.

    • cycloscott

      Velomap is only an option if you’re routing on the device. Routing through connect sucks ass for mtb trails. Trying to do it via connect on a phone is even worse.

    • youpmelone

      cyclescott I am lost.
      link to velomap.org load it on the garmin and be done.
      Same goes for MTB.

    • Paul S.

      cyclescott is talking about the OSM maps on the Garmin Connect web site, not the ones on the devices. And he’s right, there are trails missing there. In particular, I looked for a trail that I hiked a couple of months ago to retrieve the keys that dropped out of my Camelbak during a stop on an MTB ride. That trail isn’t on GC but is on the Garmin maps on my 5+ (and on other OSM maps). For some reason, the OSM based maps on the GC web site are incomplete (and awfully ugly).

    • cycloscott

      What Paul S said. The maps on the Edge aren’t horrible, although I’d like to see contours as well for rides where I’m just winging it out on the trails.

      The big issue is Garmin Connect when creating routes ahead of time. Recently did a mtb race in Oregon and I wanted that route loaded so I could see the climbs that were coming up. The google maps layer in GC didn’t have the singetrack trails. The OSM layer DID have the trails (albeit super blocky), but didn’t have the fireroads labeled. Interestingly enough, once I sorted it out and loaded it on the Edge 530, it DID show the fireroad names while navigating.

      Take a look at these:
      GC with the OSM layer enabled to see the trails…
      link to connect.garmin.com

      OSM (cycle map) for the same area…
      link to openstreetmap.org

      It’s not even close. Missing trails, no contours, super blocky. Garbage. In effect, for mtb riding, you almost need to know the trails before you can create a route in Garmin Connect.

  22. Shaw

    How to install free maps on your Garmin:

    Buy a Wahoo 🙂

  23. Andre

    Thanks for this tutorial. Works also fine for Garmin Etrex devices such as the 30X.
    If I could only get the “visual” of the garmin maps on this openfietslite…
    Routing with this maps are much better..I think due to “motorways are not routable.” and maybe other tweaks.
    Other tips/tricks for “slow” devices like the etrex..don’t put maps you don’t need it, at least on searching for a POI it will read all the maps that are on the device/sdcard, even if they aren’t active.

  24. Keith

    Have an Edge 810. I’ve unpacked the .zip and placed the .img in a folder /Garmin. All of this is on a microSD card. I can’t seem to see the maps.
    Disclosure; I’m new to the Garmin Edge 810.

  25. john

    Want contourlines just go to: link to openmtbmap.org
    download from there and maps come with contourlines plus easily understandable install instructions.

  26. Eric Lowenthal

    If this is explained in the post, and I missed this idea or if one of the comments already covered this issue, sorry. Does the downloaded map data provide elevation details that the Garmin head unit would need to populate the elevation data screen while following a course on a downloaded map?

  27. Len DeMoss

    Ray, I bike tour (unsupported) all over the world. I buy the Garmin SD map cards for the regions/countries of the world I travel (I never bike tour in the US anymore, since 2009 for safety reasons). I have had the Garmin 705, 800, 1000 and now the 1030 (for 3 years). I find using the Garmin SD map for say SE Asia to be great, have never had a problem using the Garmin bought SD map cards. I was on tour in Morocco with a friend from Australia, who also had an Edge 1030 and he had downloaded OSM maps onto his Garmin. He had nothing but problems with turn by turn navigation as well as vast differences between what my Garmin was telling me for distance to go to a city, etc. The navigation errors he had using OSM maps were quite bad, such that he shut his Garmin off and we used mine. I have talked with others who had similar problems with OSM maps downloaded. I love the Garmin SD map cards, expensive but for me, worth every penny.

    Len DeMoss
    Longmont, Colorado

  28. Tom Norton

    DC, my question is about the SD card. Open Street Map question!!
    Just arrived back from a 3 month Europe tour and decided now is the time to fully understand how to use OSM and create maps and get them on my wife’s Garmin 800.
    So here is where I am currently. I created a test map of part of Ohio and Pennsylvania. I got the email that it is ready and will be available for 96 hours.
    So I am fuzzy on the next step even after reading DC Rainmaker. Can I insert my micro SD card into my computer and download the map to it? Or do I put the blank micro SD card in the Garmin and download to that?
    Your help will be greatly appreciated!!!

  29. Nir

    Can edge 530 show contour lines on the map? If it can, how do I set it to show these? Thanks.

  30. Jon

    Hi Ray – thanks for this – I struggled a bit with my EDGE 520 until I remembered from your original instructions that on the standard 520 (not Plus) you need to rename the file to GMAPBMAP … might be worth adding this if I’m correct (which I assume I am since it worked 🙂 …..)


  31. john

    Installed the map of Morocco from the link and yes it is better than the no good world map pre-installed in Garmin Edge. But not that much.
    are all the data that come with that map.
    Go to: link to openmtbmap.org and download the map there and you will get
    making that not just a little better but a map that can be used and where roads and towns and villages are mapped reasonably correct or at least so good that you will not get lost. You can even get it in local (arabic) language or in English .

    Not impressed with the maps from
    link to garmin.openstreetmap.nl

    Not at all. They are better than the junk from Garmin they call World Map but not much.

  32. Julian B Road

    It was really helpful to read your article, just having moved from the UK to Thailand with my Edge Touring Plus. I’m not getting any altitude data when searching for Round Trip Routing. Would this be rectified if I downloaded from velomap.org?

  33. Lambert

    Thanks for your tutorial.
    I bought my edge 530 in French shop (I’m French) but when I connect the first time my 530, i load US map not Europe map. I can’t fix this problem. Do you have a solution?

  34. Tom Norton

    LL, can you locate in the System “Maps”? It will say what area it is. We have a separate micro SD card for North America and one for northern Europe. May the unit you bought only had the US maps. I would go back to the shop and have them explain.

  35. Morten Christiansen

    Hi Ray,

    As always a great a detailed article with relevant content. Thanks.
    I have (only) an Edge 520 but decided to try it out with a super small piece of map from Austria. File size 7,1 Mb.
    I created and downloaded the .img-file according to your description above. Then I tried to install the .img-file on my 520.
    As expected the disc space was not sufficient. So I decided to move the two pre-installed .img-files (total 51,5 Mb) to a temporary storage place on my desktop. In theory, this should free space up for a small 7,1 Mb file.
    Unfortunately this did not happen. I still miss 6,4 Mb to install the downloaded map. I cannot move the two pre-installed .img-files back to the 520 because of lack of disc space. So I basically lost the ability to use my pre-installed maps.
    Can you give some advise on how to restore the Edge 520 storage capability? At least so I can get the original pre-installed maps back onto my device. Thanks in advance.

    • Paul S.

      How did you remove the files from your 520? On a Mac? If so, dragging to the Trash does not remove the files, just puts them in a hidden directory. You have to plug the 520 back in until it mounts, and then “Empty Trash…” to actually free the space. Something similar might have to be done on Windows.

  36. Rick Chalton

    Having problems with a Garmin 1000 – some with the updated core maps, some with these OpenStreetMaps

    Updated the maps with Mac Garmin Express to Routable Cycle map of Europe 2019.10. Update required adding an SD card, which I did. Maps are basically blank, only major roads shown at low zoom levels – useless. Reinstalled maps from Garmin Express, same same.

    Tried downloading these OpenStreetMap gmapsupp.img for the UK, added to the SD card’s Garmin folder (where Express claimed _their_ maps had to be installed to) Nothing appears as a selectable map in the Garmin. Adding to the main unit’s Garmin folder worked, but there is limited space for maps after the updates.

    Any idea how to get the Garmin to read these OpenStreetMap maps from the SD card that is now ‘essential’ to the Garmin’s ‘critical files’?

  37. Jorge

    Hi community,
    Is anyone having issues with the watts being displayed on the Edge 1030? I recently updated the firmware to 7.87, which is the Beta, and after about a week of using it I started to have issues with the watts the unit is reading. I rode two different bikes with two different power meters (both Stages with latest firmware) and they both are showing upwards of 2000 watts which is not realistic for me. I already did a user resetting and a data resetting (basically a master reset) on the unit but the problem persist. One issue I noticed is that the Edge shows the power meter low on battery, but it’s not accurate (Stages App shows full battery). I changed it anyways but the problem persists.
    Thank you

  38. Rick H

    I was looking at installing maps on an Edge 1000 for a trip to Western Canada (from the UK – so I’ve already got Europe maps). I’d seen this guide before, thanks for updating it.

    It does seem that Garmin have finally started to sell the OSM based mapping for other regions

    link to buy.garmin.com

    OK they aren’t the $10 you hoped for but the price isn’t TOOOO bad at £25 (UK price, I’ve not tried to see what they are in other regions/currencies).

    • Yeah, I think it’s getting to be quite reasonable. In USD those same sets are $19: link to buy.garmin.com

      To me though, Garmin is still missing the boat here. These should be easily done via nothing more than just the Garmin Connect Mobile app and WiFi (kinda like downloading music works). Pay, and be done. Then I think there’s no reason at $20 to deal with manually loading maps from 3rd party sites without heatmap data/etc…

  39. Sean

    Hey mate,
    I’m looking to purchase a Forerunner 945 in Australia, but I’ll be living in France. I’m under the impression that the watch will come loaded with Australian maps, but I’ll have no use for these. Is there a way to make this swap (to European maps) without having to pay extra money? I’m under the impression that what you’ve written about above only applies to the custom open source maps?

    Look forward to your reponse!

    • The free option is above, with the limitations noted.

      However, Garmin now has on their site the ability to pay about 20EUR to get the maps for the region you want. It’s not a bad deal since then you get all the actual underlying heatmap data too.


      other issue. when I launch a live track session, Garmin send email to my contact. It’s ok but the username is wrong. The name is Jose Tiu. I never used this name. I don’t find the solution. I search in Garmin forum but nothing.

    • Ian Hall

      I don’t see Asia listed as an option for purchasing maps, am I missing something? Any idea if they just bundled them into the Australia/New Zealand option instead?

  40. Lambert

    I contact garmin France. He tell me that I purchased a US EGDE 530 version. I’m very surprised because I bought in a serious store in France.
    The only solution is to do a change with the shop.
    I think to pay the extra to have the Europe map if it cost only 20€.

  41. So to clarify, the topographic lines won’t be present on the map screen, but it will still have elevation data (i.e. that screen where it visualises your position on the climb ahead of you on your route)?

  42. max

    why can not 830 display openstreetmap.
    i downloaded jp map on openstreetmap website and copied it to garmin folder not renamed it.
    i set the map opened,but it can’t display the map like the pic.i thank the extra map can be displayed,renaming is not necessary.
    what should i do to fix it.thanks

  43. Brian Reiter

    I’ve run across a significant problem where Garmin MapInstall for Mac doesn’t reliably (mostly doesn’t work) with Garmin watches that support music. Even if you put the device into “Garmin Mode”, maps will mostly fail to transfer.

    The issue is that if you have maps in only in .gmap format for Base Camp (e.g. Africa TOPO maps from http://gmaptool.eu) and need to put .img format for the fenix, you need MapInstall to transpile from one format to the other. MapInstall will only transpile maps onto a Garmin device or an SD card. In the case of an SD card, it works best if there is a GarminDevice.xml file.

    My first quick and dirty solution was to copy the .img files I wanted from a fenix 5X to a fenix 5 plus over USB with a Windows VM. Later, I figured out that what you need for macOS to copy files over USB to Garmin that supports music is a Media Trasfer Protocol (MTP) client and the simplest one is Android File Transfer.

    A more long-term workaround that does not require a fenix 5x, is to mount a virtual SD card DMG file in macOS and have MapInstall send the maps to the virtual SD card. Then I can copy the .img files it created from the DMG in the Finder to the watch with Android File Transfer.

    Insructions for creating and mounting a virtual SD card in macOS.

    # this is a 20 gb file, you can make it whatever size you want
    hdiutil create -megabytes 20480 -fs MS-DOS -o fake-garmin-sd.dmg
    hdiutil attach -imagekey diskimage-class=CRawDiskImage fake-garmin-sd.dmg

    A NO NAME SD card should now be mounted and visible in the Finder side bar. You can rename and unmount it like any other disk. At this point, if you just double-click on the DMG file, Finder will mount it as an SD card again.

    Inside the root of your virtual SD, create a folder Garmin. Inside of Garmin create a GarminDevice.xml from a fenix 5X. Unfortunately, I can’t paste the XML here because the forum strips it out and turns it into garbage. You can get the GarminDevice.xml file from here:

    link to download.wolfereiter.com.s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com

    You can also get a prepared DMG file from here:

    link to download.wolfereiter.com.s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com

    Now MapInstall will show “fenix Fake (Unit ID 0) (Unit ID 0)” as a device that you can install maps to whenever the fake-garmin-sd.dmg is mounted.

    One other note is that a bunch of the font colors in MapInstall 4.3.2 are completely broken in Dark Mode so that they are unreadable. Why Garmin enabled Dark Mode but did not set the font colors correctly is baffling. It’s like they just set the compile flag but never actually ran the app in Dark Mode.

  44. Paul Knights

    Thanks for the instructions. All of a sudden any map I download now won’t work and I get a message on my Edge 520: Cant unlock Map.

    Any ideas how I get around this as I now have no maps.

  45. Scott M

    I’ve tried this multiple times with my Garmin Edge 530 but have never gotten the map to show up. Has any one else been able to resolve this? I’m using the correct format and checked to see if it was toggled off; it didn’t appear in that section.

    • Hi Scott,

      I just tried it with my new Garmin 530, and it works well. I did use a map from link to wandrer.earth , so the download instructions were different, though I followed the other instructions exactly, and it worked fine.

      I don’t know if I will see the email reminder for replies here, though if you have any questions about the setup, you can feel free to dm me on Instagram or Twitter @stevederive. I just upgraded my 500 to the 530, so I’m no expert, but I’d be glad to help troubleshoot. — Steve

  46. Nick Keat

    hi ive just got the 830, i wanted to do xc routes on it using footpaths and bridleways but seems only roads come up when setting a mtb route.. is there a more detailed maps for it ,like the topo maps on the fenix x ? thanks

  47. Thanks so much, Ray! This was extraordinarily helpful!

    I just got a 530 and wanted to add the “where I hadn’t ridden” map from link to wandrer.earth. It worked great, and it was fantastic to be able to follow all of those red lines to pick up more Wandrer points! — Steve

    • Justin La Vigne

      @Stephen – Have you figured out how to update your maps from wandrer onto your Garmin 530 so that it updates your unridden roads? Thanks!

  48. Ernie


    I have a 520 base head unit and there seems to be less and less storage available for these maps. I deleted my activity files freeing up very little space and moved the .img files off the unit but still it’s reporting something like 23MB free. What other files ought I thin out to free up space? I only have 2 courses loaded right now.

    Thanks for all that you do for us.

    • Hi Ernie-

      Not sure if you saw, but my older post covers the Edge 520 a bit better (since that was space constrained): link to dcrainmaker.com

      Other files to look at are older ‘Activity’ files (in the Activity folder), and it sounds like you’ve got Course files covered. It’s plausible you somehow have a massive number of either structured workout files or Strava Segments, so those are worth looking at.


    • Ernie

      Thanks Ray.

      I think I removed all the activity files but I’ll check that folder. I have Strava Live segments so do I need to un-star segments in Strava to remove them in a sync or can I remove manually from (I assume) the segments folder? I doubt I have lots of structured workouts but I may have a legacy self generated one for an IRL race training session that had very complex data profile so could be a large file. I’ll check and defo read that other post.

      Thanks again for all your work.

    • Ernie

      Just read the linked article and I was doing it on a Mac and hadn’t emptied the trash so that is probably it. Will check when I get home. Thanks again.

    • Yeah, give that a whirl – I suspect that’ll solve it. Cheers!

    • Ernie

      That freed the space up okay but having installed the map per instructions…no map evident. Tried BBBike (as the primary link appears not to be loading maps right now), loaded the file into the 520, even restarted the 520. The .img file is there but no map on the map screen. This method has worked very well for me in the past but I’m getting squat right now. Hmm, will have to sleep on it.

    • Ernie

      Turns out I’d not renamed it as a base map. Now I have and…”can’t unlock maps”. doh. Fresh eyes at it tomorrow.

    • Ernie

      Had to remove the gmapbmap.sum and gmaptz.sum. It’s working now.

  49. Paul Starbuck

    Hi. I’m off to Spain in a few days and the Garmin OpenStreetMap is currently not working. I have a Garmin edge 520 and want to find an alternative solution and followed the link to BBB.org. I found there are 2 format options with Garmin BBBike (latin1 and UTF8) – will it matter which one I choose? Also I heard that there is a possibility the BBBike.org maps may be locked on Garmin devices now. Do you know if this is the case and if there is a way around this? Thanks

    • Ernie

      I went there when the primary site appeared to be down. I tried both formats and saw no big differences. I would remind you to rename the new map to gmapbmap and I had to move the gmapbmap.sum file off the device to get it to unlock. Hope this helps.

  50. Steven

    These instructions didn’t work for me, and I spent a day going through the comments and trying to figure things out. Sharing for those that may also have issues: when using the bbbike.org site (the openstreetmap.nl site spins on “Loading data, please wait” forever); you must use latin1 option, not the UTF-8 option (at least in the USA). UTF-8 isn’t recognized by my Garmin 830; only the latin1 worked.

  51. Allan Leedy

    I have a couple of issues with map loading on an Garmin Edge 810. (a) How can I verify that the map I have is good and will work? I’m loading Mallorca maps while I’m in the US at my computer. I have not seen any anomalies, but I am unable to display a map or a location in Mallorca on the device from here. Even though I’ve disabled local maps for my home area, the Garmin just shows me where I am and won’t find a POI or location in Mallorca. This is a little disquieting because (b) I have been unable to reach the linked map source and have had to use the alternate (BBBike extracts), which I have no prior experience with.

  52. Joe

    Hey! Thanks for the great post. This may not be a question for you, but I am trying to download and install a map of New Zealand, and it’s only giving me the openfietsmap_lite_tiles.zip file and a metadata folder. Has something gone wrong here? Thanks! 🙂

  53. corbin strong

    does this method still work it doesn’t seem to give me the right file to download. cheers

  54. B.Parikh

    I have been trying to follow these instructions to download maps on my Garmin Edge 520 Plus that I purchased in the US but am currently in Singapore. Frustratingly, nothing seems to work. I get to each stage and even saved the gmapsupp file to my Garmin device. However, when I look into the device I cannot see the downloaded/saved maps.

    Can anyone suggest where I may be going wrong and how I can download maps to my device.

    • B.Parikh

      After a lot of trials and errors I have finally managed to install the maps for Singapore. One of the posts mentioned about different file types and while the UTF-8 file did not work the latin version did. The process is the same though. Can’t wait to try out the map and navigation.

  55. James

    Thanks for this. I’ve found it useful after moving to a different country and finding I no longer have a working map on my 520 plus.

    I am having some issues though. I no longer have turn by turn directions with the text box at the top of the screen just blank. Weirdly, when I go off course I get directions but then they stop as soon as I rejoin the route. Has anyone else had this issue or have an idea of how to fix it?

    • Paul S.

      Sounds like the maps you’ve installed aren’t “routable” (don’t come with the metadata to allow the device to “see” the map and get street names, etc.). Try looking for some better maps. It’s not always easy to tell if a map is routable or not, but one way to find out is to get Garmin BaseCamp and use the maps with it to try setting up a route.

    • James Hutson

      Thanks for the advice. I’ll give that a go. Although it is strange that it manages to direct me back to the route when I go off track.

  56. Graison Swaan

    If you have only iOS devices you can still copy maps to a device. You need the lightning to USB adapter and a powered USB hub.
    Plug the USB into the adapter then plug that into the iPad. Make sure the Garmin device is in USB mode, attach the cable to it and into the hub.
    Open up the Files app and the device should appear on the left side under ‘Locations’, the gmapsupp file should be in “on my iPad” then “downloads” folder. Find it and copy it over to the correct folder on the device.

  57. thanx for this useful information.
    There is still one question I have: Garmins website (Switzerland) says that the 520 just has a “basemap” installed whereas the 530 has the option to add maps. If I replace the basemap on a 520 I have also add another map.
    So what is the difference then between the 520 and the 530?

  58. Barry Eman

    Thanks! just downloading Japan now.
    greetings from Wassenaar

  59. Randell Cox

    I’m looking to get a new computer since my Edge 500 finally died. I must admit, the fact that Garmin still charges for maps is enough to push me toward Wahoo. Garmin needs to adapt or be left behind.

    • Paul S

      Yeah, but Garmin charges for actual maps while Wahoo has no actual maps at all (no POI’s, no names displayed on the maps themselves.) It’s a poor comparison. At least you can get actual free maps with all the things a map needs that will display on a Garmin, or you can make it easy on yourself and buy from Garmin if you need something other than the map for an entire continent that your device came with. I’ve done both.

  60. D Doon

    Hi. Have referenced this website for a few years now when downloading maps to Garmin via PC with no issues. However I’m now on Mac (sigh) and am really struggling. When I download the file I get a .gmap extension and then a series of files none of which are ‘gmapsupp’ or anything vaguely similar. I’m not sure if this is because its Mac or something else. Also if I try to copy/paste the .gmap extension folder its telling me I need 12mb or extra storage space on the Mac even though I have about a hundred Gb free. There’s nothing within the folder look like a map file extension.
    Any ideas?

    • Paul S

      First, it would have been way, way easier if you’d identified what Garmin device you’re trying to install the maps on, and from what Mac running what version of the OS. The files with the .gmap extension are not meant to be copied (not “copy and paste” on a Mac; you only do that within or between documents, not on the filesystem itself) to your Garmin. Go to garmin.com and find the installer for MapInstall and MapManager (the first does what it says, the second manages maps installed on your Mac) and install them. If you double-click the .gmap file (actually a package, which is a collection of files, but it acts like a file in the Finder), MapManager should launch and ask if you want to install the map. Then you use MapInstall to actually install it on your Garmin device; it allows you to graphically select which portion of the map you actually want to install. The file installed on your Garmin will have a .img extension, and MapInstall will take care of the naming. The reason you don’t have a “gmapsupp” is that the people who distribute maps give them names that describe what they’re about; giving them the same name just leads to confusion. The error message you’re getting is probably telling you that you don’t have enough room on your Garmin. (Always remember to empty the Trash; on a Mac, files aren’t actually removed and space freed until you do that.) Some Garmin’s can handle multiple .img files with arbitrary names, some of them need to see specifically “gmapsupp”.

    • D Doon

      Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response. Apologies I should have included the following, Edge 520 and 10.14.6.
      I’m struggling to find an install for both MapInstall and MapManager though I can find an install for Basecamp but this is telling me to only install after the map installation is finished.
      I’d forgot that about trash, Its got rid of everything except my old maps, getting this error message…
      The operation can’t be completed because one or more required items can’t be found.
      (Error code -43), I’m assuming this is because my Mac is not even recognising my Garmin when its plugged into the USB now even though it was two days ago?

    • Allan L.

      Getting a Mac to boot the Garmin and recognize it as a storage device is not always as simple as plugging it in. My own Mac mini won’t recognize my Garmin 830 when I attach it by USB cable unless I first open “Disk Utility” and have it running. Then it usually works. The Mac also spits out the Garmin if I leave it plugged in for any length of time, giving me the “Disk not ejected properly” error.

    • Paul S

      Just go ahead and install BaseCamp. The installer used also install MapManager and MapInstall and it probably still does.

      So an Edge 520 was in the non-navigational mapless line of the 500 series, and maps on it were a “look at this cute new feature!” item. I just reread Ray’s review of the 520 and he says that there’s a limited amount of space for anything extra, at most 54 Mb. So I can easily believe that you have only 12 Mb left on it. You’ll probably need to back up and clear out your Activities folder on the Edge. The Edge should mount on your Desktop as “GARMIN”, and you can treat it just like any other filesystem. You’ll definitely need MapInstall, and you’ll have to be frugal about how much of a map you install on the Edge. If your Edge isn’t mounting, the error you’re seeing is probably something to do with the disk on your Mac, since Trash is kept separately on each volume and your Mac doesn’t even know what’s in the Trash on your Edge unless it’s mounted. DiskUtility in the Applications->Utilities folder can check filesystems for problems.

      So install BaseCamp, see if you get MapManager and MapInstall, and if you do try installing a map on your Mac and then selecting tiles to install on your Edge (which will need to be mounted). I think MapInstall will warn you if you’ve selected too much for the available space, but I haven’t used it in a long time.

    • D Doon

      Thanks, and thanks to Allan L, I was just composing an update when you replied.

      Yes, it is pretty basic but I have been able to get a sufficient area on it in the past as I live in a pretty rural area, with only a few of a large towns (+50,000) in the whole county (Cumbria,UK).

      I’ve managed to install Basecamp, Install and Manager now and there is sufficient space on the 520 for the maps I need (about 25Mb). Are you saying I can transfer maps from Basecamp straight to Garmin folder, the maps I’ve downloaded are showing on Basecamp.

      I also managed to get map files to show up in my Garmin folder (and I also did this on my old PC which I dragged out of the loft) but on both occasions nothing came through to the Garmin just a blank screen. At present my Garmin is once more not being recognised on my Mac as I had to take it outside to get GPS to see if the map was there – which it wasn’t.

      I’m hoping I didn’t delete something I shouldn’t have when clearing space, I dont think I did, so maybe need to a factory reset if such a thing exists.
      I’ll never buy another Mac again, just gotta wait for this one to become obsolete now!

    • Paul S

      It’s been a long time since I used Basecamp, but I don’t remember it being able to install maps. MapInstall does that job. As I said, you can select specific tiles and put only what you need on the 520. I had a similar problem with the original Fenix, which accidentally could display maps, but there were only about 10 Mb available. I managed to get half of Centre and half of Huntington counties on it using a stripped down OSM map that someone made specifically for the Fenix.

      The cable is usually the key to mounting. I rarely have any trouble with my 830, and it never dismounts on its own. The cable it came with usually works best, but any good quality cable that isn’t power only should work.

      The beauty of a Mac, besides the graphics OS that’s superior to Windows, is what’s underneath. Learn some Unix, pop up a Terminal, and you’re using the OS the vast majority of devices on the planet uses. (Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, all Unix based). I shift seamlessly between my Macs and my Pi’s (or any other Linux machine I may have around).

    • D Doon

      Thanks, all I get from MapInstall is this screen (that I’ve hopefully attached). Even though my Garmin is now showing in Finder and is being recognised in Basecamp it’s not being recognised in MapInstall. This is the first screen I encounter when double clicking.

    • Paul S

      Double check and make sure your Edge is mounted. This is what I get when I start up MapInstall 4.3.1 with my 830 plugged into my 2010 MacPro running macOS 10.12.6 (long story why I’m still running an ancient version on my MacPro, but it works equally well on my MacBook Pro running Catalina)

    • D Doon

      I’m assuming its mounted as per the attached.

    • D Doon


    • D Doon

      or rather!!!

    • Paul S

      Looks like it’s mounted. You might want to look inside and see what it shows. Double-click on “GARMIN” and you should find a “Garmin” folder and maybe other things. Inside the “Garmin” folder in particular should be a “GarminDevice.xml”.

    • D Doon

      The Garmin in Finder? If so yes, that files present.

    • Paul S

      Then I don’t know what’s going on. The GarminDevice.xml file is how Garmin software identifies devices, and MapInstall should do the right thing if it sees that. The Finder can see it, so MapInstall should be able to. If you have a way of looking at an xml file (they’re just text, but they usually don’t have line returns so it just one long running line) you might take a look inside. Somewhere in there it should say “Edge 520”.

    • D Doon

      I’ve opened it up and it does say Edge 520 in there if thats what you mean?

    • Paul S

      Yep. A thought occurred to me: MapInstall sees and reads the file and knows it’s an Edge 520, so it thinks it can’t do anything with it. So go to Plan B: link to dcrainmaker.com Ray’s detailed instructions on how to install maps on a Garmin device, including special instructions for the 520. You want to make sure you download an .img, not a .gmap, and then you just drag the .img (after you’ve unzipped it if it comes that way) into /Volumes/GARMIN/Garmin As Ray says, you might have to backup and remove the basemap that the 520 comes with to make enough room.

    • Paul S

      Left out the words “older post”. The reason it caught my eye is that it has a special section on the 520. But, as this post says as well, you have to make sure that you’re getting the .img rather than the .gmap, which apparently will do you no good at all.

    • D Doon

      Thanks, been busy the last few days but the ‘older post’ did the trick. Map now installed!

  61. Ian kitson

    Great article and thanks so much. I was nearly at the point of selling my Edge as the maps were so basic and difficult to use, but downloading these maps has changed things completely. The step by step guide is awesome and even allowed a tech idiot like me to install it in about 5mins. Thanks again.

  62. Norbert

    Just came across a German “translation” of your article and they failed to mention you. Just in case you want to drop them a line…

    link to raddeluxe.com

  63. Brad Murphy

    what a godsend – i used this to reload map as Garmin one was basic with no detail just lines for main roads only. Brilliant service thanks DC

  64. Symon Mitchell

    Hi Ray, thanks for all your advice on this site its been a godsend.
    I was hoping that down loading these open street maps might cure my “route calculation error” but to no avail.
    I have a Garmin 1000. whenever i import a GPX file, when i try to use it i get “route calculation error” and it is unusable. I’ve trawled through countless websites trying to find a fix but nothing seems to work. I have set the routing to “direct mode” but still not getting a route to follow.
    Have you any advice?
    Thanks in advance

  65. Andy War

    Very useful article. Also donated to the mapping site. Thanks!

  66. Nick O'Rourke

    Great instructions as always. I found that to disable/enable the maps (I wanted open maps for off road here, Hampshire UK, they are much better than the Garmin maps)
    I had to have the activity profile I was changing “active” first, then go to settings as you describe.. thanks.
    Incidentally, do you know a way to get rid of the massive text bar at the top of the map screen, I don’t find it useful, and would like the extra space for the map, thanks again.

    • Nick O'Rourke

      I can answer my own question, the 530 has a massive text box at the top, taking up a lot of space, it can be disabled thus:
      Guide Text – This setting controls how Guide Text is displayed on the top of the Map page. It is found at Activity Profile -> Navigation -> Map -> Guide Text. Set to Never, there are other options.
      came from here:
      link to forums.garmin.com.
      Thanks Nick, your welcome Nick. 🙂