Maps for my Garmin GPS

Updated 8/21/2016

 

Windows Installer

Mac Installer (old)

There are some areas that I wanted maps for my Garmin GPS but what was available commercially didn't have the detail that I needed.  Then I ran across the Keen People web site and it had a tutorial on how to make your own downloadable GPS maps for the Garmin units.  Below are my first Map attempts.  You will need Garmin's Mapsource program to download these maps in your GPS (Install Garmin's Base Camp and then Mapsource if you don't already have it).  Only Garmin GPS units that support downloadable maps will work.  These maps have been loaded on a Vista, Legend, 60CS/CSX and a Colorado without any problem.  Read about how to install these maps before you consider downloading them.  Here's the readme file. Garmin has no affiliation with these maps nor has any commercial data been used to create them.

As far as what I map...I map places that I have been to frequently enough to justify and do not have a decent map for my GPS.  Most of my current efforts are aimed towards kayaking and include the waterways of the Tampa Bay area.  The maps were drawn by hand.  And, yes, it takes a long time to make them.

I've been working on these maps since 2003.  If it were easy everyone would be making their own maps.  If you're interested in other free maps check out the wonderful GPSFileDepot web site.

Now for the disclaimer:  You take any and all responsibility for any damage, Earth quakes or locus swarms caused by the use of these maps.  These maps are for entertainment use only.  Never rely on one navigational aid.  If you don't know how to use a compass and map, please learn that first and carry both with you.

  Here's a map set summary: 

Map ID #255, West Central, Florida, USA

Bay Pines/Lake Seminole/Millennium Park/Long and Cross Bayous (Pinellas County, Florida) - Requires 149K.
Bishop Harbor
(Manatee County, Florida) - Requires 49K.
Boca Ciega Bay
(Pinellas County, Florida) - Requires 54K.
EG Simmons Park
(South Hillsborough County, Florida) - Requires 404K*
Ft. Desoto Park
(South Pinellas County, Florida) - Requires 117K
Homosassa/Chassahowitzka/Crystal Rivers
(Citrus County, Florida) - Requires 447K
Honeymoon Island
(Pinellas County, Florida) - Requires 193K
Hillsborough River
(Hillsborough County, Florida) - Requires 179K
Manatee River
(Manatee County, Florida) - Requires 322K
Myakka River
(Manatee County, Florida) - Requires 54K*
St. Pete Pier
(Pinellas County, Florida) - Requires 62K.
Upper Tampa Bay
- Requires 243K.
Weedon Island
(Pinellas County, Florida) - Requires 164K
Weeki Wachee Preserve
(Hernando County, Florida) - Requires 134K
Withlacoochee River
- Requires 329K

*Not all of he trails and camp sites have been confirmed on the  Myakka River Map.  The EG Simmons map includes the Little Manatee River, Alafia River and Cockroach Bay.

Some samples of the maps are to the right.  Each has far more detail in the GPS than these screen shots display.  Due to this, older GPS units will redraw the maps slowly, although my eTrex Vista keeps up keep up with hiking and kayaking fine a 60CSx or newer does a much better, especially with the color display.

Garmin appears to be dropping their support for MapSource. Some of the newer GPSs won't even show up on MapSource's list when you attempt to send data to them.  Garmin's replacement is MapInstall and BaseCamp.

MapInstall allows you to select the various map tiles from different map sets and send them to a file or GPS. It's cruder than MapSource and has a smaller, fixed window size. Given a choice I'll continue to  use Mapsource.

BaseCamp is a route, track and waypoint manager for newer Garmin GPS units.

This is about 70% of the map as of 11-19-2011.  Its primary focus is high detail for kayaking  showing nearly every mangrove island along the way.  The parts not shown are the Weeki Wachee River, Chassahowitzka, Homosassa, Crystal and Withlacoochee rivers to the North and  the Myakka River park to the South.

For a sample of Cockroach Bay either click on it in the above map or click here.  Clicking on the Hillsborough River will show a USGS map with my kayak track overlayed on it.  Click anywhere else on the above map see it larger (but older) with the boat ramps and kayak launches shown

     
Chassahowitzka River - Citrus County, FL

5 miles South of Homosassa Springs, Florida

This is a beautiful river with minimal development on it. After I bought the kayak I decided that this would be one of my destinations and a better map than I had was needed. I'll be refining this as time goes on. It takes you from the boat launch parking lot to the Gulf with plenty of side trips.  The map in the GPS file is more up to date than this screen grab.

The Homosassa River, Crystal River Weeki Wachee Rivers and much of the Withlacoochee are all part of the GPS map set.

 

 

The Chassahowitzka River.  Click on the image to see a larger version.

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