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can i copy a map from one micro SD card onto another one?

I have purchased City Navigator 2018 and put it onto 32 GB micro SD. In addition, I have Adria Route map (image file) on another 2 GB card. Can I copy this map onto 32 GB SD card and use both, City Navigator and Adria Route map at same time? Thanks.


  • sussamb 959 Points
    edited February 2018
    Yes. Note though you shouldn't select them on the device at the same time as that could cause weird routing effects.
  • thanks so much for your explanation.
  • Boyd 2044 Points
    edited February 2018
    This should work, but there are a number of caveats to this approach. For starters, downloaded Garmin maps are copy protected and will only work on the original device for which they were purchased. If you sell or lose the original GPS, they become worthless.

    The big limitation is a little less obvious though. Garmin devices have a limit to the number of map "tiles" (also called "segments") that can be accessed. This limit has no relation to the size of the map in gigabytes. Most newer handhelds are limited to about 4,000 map segments. There is no standard size for a map segment, it's up to whoever makes the map. A segment could cover a whole country or only one city. City Navigator does not use very many segments but some topo maps have a large number of segments.

    Here in the US, Garmin sells 24k topo maps that each cover just a few states. If you install just two of these maps, you will probably hit the segment limit even though the actual files will only be a total of less than 8gb. Third party maps may also have a lot of segments. I believe it's not possible to load the entire US OpenStreetMap due to the number of segments for example.

    Garmin has claimed that their automotive devices do not have the same segment limits as their handheld units. This doesn't make sense to me, but it's what they have said. I believe that a few of their newest handhelds (perhaps the newest Montana, Oregon and GPSMap276cx?) have increased the segment limit to 10,000.

    But the bottom line is that with most of Garmin's handheld devices, you are likely to hit the segment limit long before you fill a 32gb memory card.
  • Thanks, Boyd. You are precious. I did not search much about this topic (yet) because I am busy with finding appropriate and working handheld unit for me. Thanks for clarifying things, at least I will know what is going on when I will hit the limit of segments ...
  • it is better to buy a map on a SD card even if it is slightly more expensive? In another words, if i buy a map on a SD card, should this map work on any Garmin device with SD card slot?
  • sussamb 959 Points
    Yes it will but there are downsides too, the map files will only work on that card, which probably won't have sufficient space for other map files. If it goes faulty then that's it, map is lost. It really depends on whether you want it briefly (in which case you could then sell it on if supplied on a card) or want to use it on multiple devices. If on one device for a while the download option is better IMO, since you can save the files onto your PC (so have a back up should anything go wrong).and of course can add other files to any card you use for the map.
  • Again thanks for your info. I must say that your explanation is clear and understandable therefore highly practical. I appreciate it. So in my case i did a right move because i purchased downloadable map and I intend to use it on one device for a long time.
  • samogps 13 Points
    edited February 2018
    finally (i hope) I have a working device. It is GPSMAP 64s. I returned two Montana 680t and one eTrex touch 35 because they were faulty. The eTrex touch 35 did not react on touching Map icon for instance ...

    I used only pre-installed europe recreational maps and purchased city navigator 2018.20 on all the above units to be precise. I have purchased downloadable city navigator 2018.20 and put it onto a 32 GB SD card which is in my GPSMAP 64s. I added some open street maps of european countries on this SD card and the device behaved strange even if open street maps were disabled. sometimes device was not responsive after searching cities, some cities could not be found, etc. So I have learned I must purchase original garmin maps. No problem at all but please advice what would be best option if i want to keep the device for some time and if i do not care for using the maps on the computer.

    If i buy downloadable Topo Active europe v4 and put it on the 32 GB SD card (where city navigator is), will it work? In another words, can I expect that segment limit (described by Boyd) will make me unhappy so i will actually not be able to have both maps on a same SD card? Or maybe I can copy the topo map onto the device's memory if it is possible at all? Finally, is there any chance that new Topo Europe map (if i will be able to add it beside city navigator onto the SD card) will have some conflicts with City navigator?

  • Boyd 2044 Points
    edited February 2018
    If you have too many segments in your installed maps, it will cause problems, even if the map is disabled. City Navigator typically doesn't have a lot of segments and should not be a problem. Not familiar with EU topo maps, but with their US 24k topo map products, there are a lot of segments. If you install just one of these plus City Navigator, you will probably be close to the limit of the device.

    With maps installed on your computer, you can see the number of segments with Mapsource. I'm not sure offhand how to do this with maps that Garmin distributes as downloads. But one simple test would be to just remove one of the maps and see if the problem goes away.

    Generally speaking, if you install 16gb of maps, you are likely at or beyond the segment limit. But of course, it depends on the specific maps.
  • Thanks, Boyd. So if i buy downloadable Topo Europe map, then I will be able to see all its segments on my computer. i assume I must download this map onto brand new SD card in order to avoid possible problems with "too many segments onto one sd card". then I can select only certain segments and copy them to the SD card where already City navigator is? Is this a correct strategy?

    So in another words, i guess it is not a clever idea to download topo europe map onto the sd card with city navigator in my case?
  • Boyd 2044 Points
    edited February 2018
    Actually it's not that easy. Don't know about the EU, but here in the US, Garmin no longer sells maps that you can install on your computer. Period. In the past, the only way to do this with a purchased Garmin map was to get the DVD version. Garmin discontinued these several years ago.

    Now City Navigator is a separate case, if you have a device with a pre-installed City Navigator Map (mostly automotive devices), then you can use Express to install the map on your computer. AFAIK, this is not possible with any other Garmin maps.

    But I just had a chance to fire up my PC and checked one other thing for you. It is very simple to see how many map segments you have on your GPS, just get Javawa's free Device Manager program

    Connect your GPS and run this program. It will scan the device and report how many segments are installed on the main screen.

    Also, Garmin used to have a very useful page that summarized the file specifications for all their devices, but the link no longer works and I couldn't find it elsewhere. Typical Garmin. :O)

    But this site has an even better summary than Garmin's original:

    they say the GPSMap64 allows approximately 3000 segments
  • That's so cool, thanks. So on my SD card there is 25 GB free of 29 GB. Next, there is 565 segments on it.

    There is 3,2 GB free of 3.66 GB on the device itself. i have one map in two files there. Number of map segments is zero.

    But I am not sure now if 3000 segments is allowed on a SD card or on the device itself? I need this data to fully understand my problem. Thanks !
  • Boyd 2044 Points
    edited February 2018
    3000 segments is the total of all the segments of all the maps installed everywhere. So you need to add the segments of the maps in internal memory plus any maps on the card. You also need to add any mapping that was originally included on the device, such as the basemap. It makes no difference if a map is disabled, it still counts towards the 3000 limit.

    I don't understand how two maps could have zero segments. Perhaps they are the timezone map and something similar? All that will be significant are full map products that you have installed.
  • thanks. so now i have the answer: 565 segments on a card and 0 segments on a device. it means that I still have "place" for more than 2,400 segments. Of course it will be hard to get information about how many segments is in Topo Europe v4 map ... but i think that I can conclude with high certainty that it is less than 2,400 of them. If so i am ready to get the map and put it onto a SD card. BTW Garmin says that I need 8 GB of free space for this map ... I wonder why don't they mention "segments". Most probably to make people download maps which are useless then. I apologize for my cynicism but I really think THEIR explanation of system requirements for map download is a climax of cynicism.
  • i just ended chat conversation with garmin usa and they claim I will be fine with both maps on a 32 GB sd card. They did not answer me how many segments in TopoActive Europe v4 map, which is ridiculous I believe. So, let me say that I believe them and I am good to buy this topo map (when I will definitely need it). thanks again for your help, Boyd.
  • ok, this time let me be the one who gives data; i purchased TopoActive Europe v4 map and downloaded it onto SD 32 GB card with City navigator Europe 2018.20 on it. There is 3 maps now on the SD card because Topo map consists of 2 maps (west and east europe). There is 9.32 MB of used space on the card and 1822 segments (565 for city navigator, the rest for topo map). Best regards.
  • Boyd 2044 Points
    edited February 2018
    Cool. B-) So the topo map is about 1200 segments? That is probably similar to one of the US Topo 24k products, IIRC some of them were as much as 1500 though.
  • yes, ca 1300 segments for topoactive europe v4 map. so far all works nice. it seems that enabling city navigator AND topo map does not show details on a screen which are included in topo map. Disabling city navigator shows these details (assuming topo map is enabled). So enabling topo map does not affect city navigator once this is enabled. In contrast, enabling city navigator affects topo map once this is enabled. I assume enabling or disabling any of these two maps does not affect search options (cities, attractions, lodging, etc.).
  • Boyd 2044 Points
    Not familiar with the EU topo, but the US 24k topo maps are routable and have their own POI's similar to City Navigator. You would NOT want to enable this at the same time as City Navigator since the routing info would conflict between the two maps.
  • EU topo is routable as well. thanks for warning about possible conflict between City navigator and topo maps.
  • Boyd 2044 Points
    Definitely should not enable them together then. It will also affect performance on the GPS, since it is drawing both maps even though one of them is hidden. Can't think of any reason why you would want them both enabled anyway. :)
  • samogps 13 Points
    edited February 2018
    there was a strong practical reason to have enabled them both: during navigation i have both of them enabled and during hiking I turn off navigator. So it is less work than in case of turning one on and another off. I hope you understand my point. I made situation faster and with less button use ... but you warned me that this can cause troubles. BTW the buttons on GPSMAP 64 are hard as a rock.

    Another thing which I have observed after one day of use of my device: I cannot believe that people who designed it made so big mistake; so the buttons should be positioned above the screen and not below it. In such case the hand which holds the device would be relaxed, screen would be visible and the device would be firmly in the hand. Now the hand which holds the device is in some sort of cramp and/or the device is not firmly in the hand. I really do not want to sound degrading but I cannot rid off impression that people who designed GPSMAP 64 never tested it in real conditions, for instance during driving in the car or during walking in let's say rocky terrain ... It would help if they checked old Vista eTrex which is pure joy to hold in the hand. Why did they change something which was perfect (all controls above the screen)? such mistakes tells that these devices are rather toys for adults than serious and practical appliances.

    at least during driving the car I will hold it with antenna down in my hand. it is totally different feeling.
  • Boyd 2044 Points
    edited February 2018
    Sorry, don't understand why you would want two routable maps turned on at the same time.

    Regarding the button layout on the 64s, it's basically the same as the 60csx which was one of the most popular handheld GPS devices ever made. They still fetch a good price used. If Garmin had changed the layout, I think there would have been a lot of complaints. ;)


    I have a 60csx although rarely use it. Wouldn't be interested in a 64s, screen is just too primitive by todays standards, and Garmin's pushbutton interface is very awkward.

    I used to have an old eTrex Legend C, basically like your Vista. I never really liked it, especially that joystick. Awkward to use and it was constantly creating waypoints by getting pressed in my pocket accidentally. I thought the 60csx with the big cursor button was a big improvement in that regard.
  • actually i did (do) not want to have two routable maps turned on at the same time. especially i do not want to have them turned on after you told me that i might expect problems in such case. I just wanted to explain that in terms of simplicity it was more practical to me to turn off city navigator when I wanted to see topo details. so during navigation i had them both on and i just turned off city navigator when i wanted to see topo details. turning off topo map did not affect my screen in such case so i just left it on constantly. i used such approach for more than 10 years on my old vista etrex without any problem.

    yes. i admit button work is awkward but i was so disappointed in three touch screen devices in a row that i do not want to hear about touch screen for next 20 years i guess. i am not sure if touch screen is ok for gps device ... you mentioned your old etrex made mark points in the pocket .... what about touch screen ?... you have it on your knees or between your legs on a seat in the car ... the curve comes or you move .... the device falls from the knees or it just moves ... you instinctively grab it or just grab it ... and bye bye screen :).
  • Boyd 2044 Points
    edited February 2018
    Why would I have a GPS on my knees or between my legs in the car? ;)
  • samogps 13 Points
    edited February 2018
    i do not know how this is regulated in US but here in EU using a phone is strictly forbidden during the drive. So hand-free sets for using cell phones in a car are popular. Now I can come to your question ... by analogy to safe telephone use in a car having a gps unit on the knees or between the legs is a safe use of gps (i.e., hand-free) in a car :).
  • DaveM 161 Points
    You could set up 2 profiles with your topo map enabled in one and City navigator enabled in the other. You could then switch profiles instead of disabling and enabling maps.

    I have a 64s and an eTrex 20. For hiking either button system is good. On my bike the joystick is real hard to use. You are hitting bumps so when you try to push the joystick it will go up, down or sideways instead of being pressed in.

    I had an eTrex Legend it's joystick was a little harder to push up, down and sideways so worked a little better on the bike but not as good as the 64s. I don't know if Garmin changed the joystick or if some move easier than others due to tolerances when they are made.
  • DaveM, the idea about two profiles is good. On the other side there will be not significantly less work if i follow your suggestion. But thanks again, I will definitely try it in practice. BTW this is not a big problem at all. I am super happy that I have both maps and a working device. It took me 7 weeks to finally get what I have.
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