This tutorial will outline a process for creating custom maps for Garmin
GPS receivers. The process is only relevant for Garmin models with a mapping
capability. These maps should be of interest to hill walkers and other outdoor
enthusiasts. The techniques described here are intended to allow others create
maps for their own private use.
The process allows one add additional levels of detail to the existing
SMC contour maps. The tools
used in this process are all freely available, and while the free versions are
limited in their features, they are adequate for the process outlined here.
Garmin does not support any of the tools referenced in the following pages,
indeed the specification for Garminís maps remains closed and all of the knowledge
associated with the techniques of creating and using custom maps has been built
up by a number of enthusiasts. I have created a number of maps and
used them on my Garmin Legend CX for a number of months without issue, but you
should be aware that using these maps might invalidate the warranty on your
For the purposes of the tutorial I have created a fictional map of Craggy
Island (of Father Ted fame). The material for this map will be available for
download from the download page.