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constructing maps

I have a garmin montana 650
I live on a large ranch in Botswana Africa 30 000 ha
I use my gps to record the tracks / roads on the ranch as I drive around
I now want to use / combine all the tracks onto one map to make a roadmap of the ranch
I have base camp but I'm finding it difficult to combine all the different tracks onto one map and eliminate tracks which aren't on the ranch
Another question
Is there any way that the line display of a track on the map can be made to be just be a single thin line (like a pencil line) rather than the thick line with ref: points on it ?
can anyone advise please
Thank you


  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited February 2017
    Maps and tracks are different things. Garmin considers their map format proprietary, but there are third party tools that have reverse-engineered it. This can get very complicated, but the most user-friendly program for making maps is probably MapWel:

    You can import your tracks into the program and make them look like whatever you want. You could then add other features as desired. It is not free but runs in demo mode so you can decide whether it will work for you.

    If this is more complicated (or more expensive) than you want, have a look at this free program. It will allow you to create basic maps from .gpx files of tracks:
  • Thank you very much Boyd.
    I'm not really trying to create a map in the accepted sense of the word more a simple diagram.
    I'll take a look at the websites you recommend
  • Hi Boyd
    I've looked at those
    I can't use mapwel because I use Mac
    On the IMG program, I've downloaded Java and the IMG program
    How do I get the tracks out of Basecamp into IMG and then view the result ?

  • Boyd 1999 Points
    I don't use that program, so you will just have to read the instructions for that. But to get your data out of Basecamp, click on the track(s) you want in the library on the left side of the screen. Now choose File > Export and be sure the format is set to .gpx (that should be the default). You should then be able to simply drag the .gpx file to the IMGfromGPX window.

    Unfortunately, there just aren't many mapmaking tools for MacOSX. I have used Macs as my primary computers ever since 1985 (before that I had an Apple //). However, when I want to make maps or work with GIS data, I use a Windows computer.
  • Thanks Boyd
    I'm still lost with this.
    I can see the track in Basecamp, how do I get info to see if it's a .gpx file ?
    But anyway I click file / export and destination IMGfromGPX and nothing seems to happen, it won't let me drag it either.
    I've got a file on my desktop which is a garmin file with tracks on it which one of my managers emailed to me. This file contains a whole lot of tracks.
    I can and have dragged that into IMGfrom GPX, it's listed as a GPX file, I then click Create map and it does that and it says it has created a map and I can see that sitting in one of my files but how do I view it ? I've tried double clicking and all the obvious things like trying to export to Basecamp
    Garmin seem to deliberately make life complicated, back in the day I had an old GPS and all this was simple in those days I used their old manipulation software, i forget the name.
    I apologise for taking up your time with what to you probably seems trivial
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    edited February 2017
    Sorry, I can't quite understand the problem you're having. When you select a track in Basecamp and export it as a .gpx file, you should have a file with a .gpx extension. You just need to drag that to IMGfromGPX. What happens after that is up to you, like I said, I don't use that program.

    But if you get to the point of actualy creating a .img file (and it sounds like you did that with the track file), then you need to connect your Montana to your Mac. It should appear as a disk on the desktop. Open it and then open the Garmin folder. Drag the .img file to the Garmin folder on the Montana, disconnect it and start it up.

    Now on the Montana press Setup > Map > Select Map and you should see the file on the map list. Not sure what name it will have, but you should be able to figure that out. Tap it and enable. You should then be able to see it on the GPS screen.

    You will not be able to see this kind of map in Basecamp without going through some other steps which are complicated, it is really only for use on the GPS itself. You cannot "open" an .img file on your Mac.

    Yes, Garmin does make this complicated. They do not want you to make your own maps. They only want you to create your own waypoints and tracks.
  • Thanks Boyd
    I'll try to figure that out again on Monday, I've got people coming to the farm and must resume being a farmer
  • nevw 88 Points
    Hi gavinghanzi
    Have you used the and viewed the area of your ranch. You could upload the gpx traces and use those and any satellite imagery to update the map with the tracks.
    Would be best to become familiar with how the editing is done for a few weeks.
    Once you had added all you think is suitable to the osm for your ranch and surrounding local environs, you can then download garmin suitable maps that use the osm data to you gps.

    If you think what you want map is unsuitable for the osm, you can edit the area in the Josm editor and instead of uploading to the osm, you can save a copy locally on you computer to use. You can then use the mkgmap program to make a garmin suitable map from your local .osm file. Just using the default settings is likely to be fine.

    Another alternative to make your very own map and share if you wish, is to use umap to add your data as a layer over the osm data.

    All the above is free to use and the info provided to the osm benefits all the community
  • Sounds good I'll have a go and then let you know how I get on
    Thanks for your interest
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