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Thread: Garmin GPS map downloads

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Question Garmin GPS map downloads

    OK, full disclosure - I'm a procrastinator and apparently not nearly as technologically adept as I though I was.

    I bought a GPS over a year ago. I should have gotten it from a specialist retailer, but what can I say? $200 in gift cards had to be spent, so I went with a national chain. I was misinformed about my unit's ability to directly download maps from the Garmin TOPO US 2008 software which I bought from someone on here. According to Garmin's site, the Venture Cx needs additional software in order to be able to download maps. The Trip and Waypoint Manager is also needed in order for my unit to accept map downloads, as is the SD card that I bought tonight. Of course I didn't realize that until I sat down to load some maps tonight and got the popup window telling me that my unit doesn't support map downloads.

    I can order the disc for $30 and get it in a week or two. I'm sure I can find it in town somewhere too, but I was hoping to have it sooner. Garmin's site doesn't appear to have it for download. So...I guess I'll have to wait and pony up yet another $30.

    Do I have this right? Does anyone have this model or know enough about them to tell me whether I'm heading in the right direction? I'll spend another $30 if it gets me where I want to be, but I'm growing weary of needing just one more thing, only to find out that I need yet another one more thing.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    OK, maybe I'm WAY off base here. I was told that I could load maps onto this GPS when I bought it, but this software must not be the way. It says on the product page:

    You cannot use this product to load maps to your Garmin device.

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    what about mapsource? or am I out dated? (it's what I used on a friends 76cxs and my very old school plain old yellow etrex with a serial port connector!)


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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akjw7 View Post
    what about mapsource? or am I out dated? (it's what I used on a friends 76cxs and my very old school plain old yellow etrex with a serial port connector!)

    Mapsource is the same thing - Garmin Mapsouce TOPO US 2008 is the full name. It should work, but...it's not. Argh!

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    another friend has a 67csx too and I think he might be a little more up to date - I'll send you a pm

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    did your GPS not come w/ the trip and waypoint manager CD?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    did your GPS not come w/ the trip and waypoint manager CD?
    I don't think so...but I'm not 100% sure. Everything else was in one spot - owner's manual, etc - but no extra CD. Even so, their site says that the trip and waypoint manager CD cannot be used to load maps on my unit.

    Off to catch fish in the morning. I'll play with this more later. Thanks for the help, fellas!

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    just read the owners manual, it is not incuded with your model.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I own TOPO 2008 (DVD) and it includes the program that you need to transfer maps to a GPS. When you install the package, you will get the "MapSource" program. From within the MapSource program, you can select the individual pieces of map that you want on the GPS. Plug the GPS into your computer via the USB or Serial port (not sure which one this model of eTrex uses). Turn it on. Use MapSource to find the GPS. Then use MapSource to transfer the maps you selected to the GPS. There must be enough room on the GPS for them to fit. Also be aware that the Garmins are very finicky about the brand of SD card you put in them. Some of the cheaper ones you can get at the grocery store won't work.

    And of course, TOPO 2008 is now discontinued and they've put out yet another new mapping program. They are started to work like MicroSoft with the frequent rerelease, repurchase requirements of the mapping software.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    joat - wasn't there a step or something in there about unlocking maps? It's been a while so I could be wrong!

  11. #11
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default map unlocking

    You only need to "unlock" maps when you purchase one of the basic programs where you have to pay for sections of the map. When you buy one of the full version programs, you have already bought all the maps.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    haven't actually loaded maps myself, but I read you have to load all maps you want on unit at the same time. Those of you have loaded maps is that true or can you clarify?

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    Quote Originally Posted by goosepilot View Post
    haven't actually loaded maps myself, but I read you have to load all maps you want on unit at the same time. Those of you have loaded maps is that true or can you clarify?
    Yes, true. When you load maps the software deletes the previous maps then loads the "new" maps.

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Just found this thread... (thanks for the PM's)

    You shouldn't need to buy ANY other software if you have the TOPO disc. The Trip and Waypoint Manager is part of Mapsource, which comes with the TOPO software. [QUOTE from Garmin's website: All MapSource products include the Trip and Waypoint Manager functions for transferring waypoints, routes, and tracks.] It may be that you have a corrupted installation of Mapsource. I'd uninstall the one you have, download the latest version, and try it again. Bear in mind that it is a pretty big file (63 megs), so it may take a while to download.

    I've loaded maps lots of times on a few Garmin products (classic eTrex Vista, 60CSx, and even on a card for my 178c Sounder) and haven't had any issues except for the time Mapsource got corrupted and I had to do a new install.

    Here's a "how to" on installing maps once you have the latest version of Mapsource installed...

    • Open Mapsource
    • Be sure that your TOPO disc is in your disc drive (well... my vintage version of TOPO requires it, I don't really know about the new ones)
    • Using the proper cable, plug your GPS into your computer
    • Make sure that the Alaska region of your version of TOPO is highlighted in the map dropdown menu (mine has US TOPO-Alaska, US TOPO-West, Americas Bluechart v6, etc., among other choices) and confirm that you can see the TOPO data in the Mapsource window. (You may have to zoom in or out some)
    • Zoom out so that you can see all of the areas that you want maps of in your GPS
    • Click on the "Map Tool" button in the toolbar, or click "Tools" and then "map". A grid will appear across the map. Each grid block is now a selectable map section.
    • Select all of the map sections that you want to load into your GPS by clicking on them individually, or by clicking and dragging to select a group of maps. Selected maps will turn pink. If you selected a map that you don't want to load on your GPS, a second click will remove it from the list.
    • Once you have your maps selected, power up your GPS and click the "transfer to GPS" button in Mapsource, or click "Transfer" and then "send to device".
    • A data transfer pop-up will appear. If it doesn't automatically list your GPS, click "Find Device"
    • Once your GPS has been found, it should be selected automatically (unless you have multiple garmin devices attached to your computer at once), otherwise, select your unit from the drop down menu
    • Click the checkbox for maps, and for any other data you want to transfer to your GPS
    • Click "send"
    At this point, your GPS should indicate that it is transferring data. The maps you selected, and any other waypoints, tracks, or routes you had, should transfer to your GPS. When it's finished, you can power down your GPS, unplug it from your computer, and close Mapsource. And remember that if you transfer any other maps at a later date, the ones you load now will be deleted. You can't just add one map without selecting all the other maps you had prevoiusly.

    It might sound like a lot, but it really is fairly simple.

    Oh, and I'm not sure about "unlocking" TOPO maps. My old version of TOPO didn't need to be unlocked, but my Bluecharts did. Unlocking can be done in Mapsource by clicking on "Utilities" and then "manage map products". Then on the "Map Product Information" Tab, select your map software, and click "Unlock Online".

    Good luck.

    -Rod
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    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Also be aware that the Garmins are very finicky about the brand of SD card you put in them. Some of the cheaper ones you can get at the grocery store won't work.
    I'm wondering if that might be my problem. I bought the biggest SD card I could find, but it turns out that it is an "HD"SD, so maybe that's causing the issue?

    A rep from Garmin also sent me some stuff to try. I'll give 'er another shot this afternoon sometime.

  16. #16
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    You may have to big a card then. I think I have a 2 gig in my 60CSX and I have the whole state loaded.
    Talk about procrastination, I sold that Mapsource software to you well over a year ago!

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    I don't believe the Garmin GPS units are able to use an SDHC card. You have to use 2GB or smaller. In fact, most of them can only use part of the 2GB cards anyway. Small cards are getting harder to find though.

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Jim - Good to know. I did see small cards at the store, but with the regular mantra of bigger=better, well...

    Jon - I don't want to hear it!

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