Introduction

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 Garmin unit.

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.