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Using maps from USGS

I read that there may be a possibly to load USGS Topo maps into the Oregon 650 without having to purchase the map set from Garmin. Is this true, and if so, any guidance anyone can offer. Many thanks.


  • DaveM 158 Points
    You can find free maps. For Topo maps I would start with (has some pay maps but most are free) and The second site has limited states but is worth a try. If you would like road maps I would try first. I know there are others but this is the 3 sits I use.
  • mziegler 0 Points
    Awesome, thank you sir.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    Do you want scans of the USGS 7.5 minute (1:24000) paper topo maps? They can be downloaded for free and turned into Garmin Custom Maps (.kmz files) using various software and techniques. I used Globalmapper (powerful GIS software) to create some for GPSFileDepot, including Hawaii, Acadia National Park, Bryce Canyon and other places (see the items with a check in the "raster" columm):

    Older Garmin handhelds are very limited in their capacity to use this kind of map however. The map can be no larger than 100 tiles of 1024x1024 pixels each. That works out to about 20 miles x 20 miles coverage with a 24k topo map.

    Newer handhelds like your Oregon 650 can access 500 tiles at 1024x1024, which works out to about 20 miles x 25 miles (still not very large).

    But really, if you want the USGS 7.5 minute topo maps, I think the best solution is to purchase Garmin Birdseye topo. It is $30 for one year of unlimited downloads. You can keep what you download after the year is up (but be sure to save backup copies). Birdseye doesn't have those limits on the number of map tiles, the only limit is the size of the memory card you use.
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