Uploading maps onto a Garmin “x”

I ended up wasting a lot of time trying to get my Garmin 60CSx working on a PC when it turned out I didn’t even need it now. So for one of you out there trying to get maps to work on Mac OS X, this might save you a lot of websearching.

How to get maps onto your Garmin GPS “x” series (microSD-enabled) GPS:

  1. Go to a place like MapCenter and download a map (.zip) and then uncompress it, you will get a file that looks like a disk image but isn’t—a IMG file.
  2. Connect your Garmin via USB to your Mac with a USB to mini-USB cable (one was provided with my model).
  3. Make sure you have the latest updates on your Garmin (this is the only step that requires a PC). An old Garmin might not have the new USB Mass Storage update. For instance, for my GPS, I go here and use a PC to install.
  4. On the Garmin menu, navigate to Setup -> Interface and then choose “USB Mass Storage”
  5. A volume “NO_NAME” will appear on your desktop. This is your MicroSD card so you might as well name it something useful.
  6. Create a folder “GARMIN” in that volume.
  7. Copy the map IMG file to the folder and rename it “gmappsupp.img.”
  8. Eject the volume.

You are now good to go.

Multiple maps

I haven’t figured it out yet. Basically you would use a program that will pack all the .img files into a single one. If anyone knows something that will do this on the Mac, tell me.

I’m not planning on plunking money down on a Garmin MapSource map until it supports Mac OS X.

In the meantime I’ll just rename and move files on the card to make the maps available as I need it.

12 thoughts on “Uploading maps onto a Garmin “x”

  1. connecting the GPS receiver to the Mac can be changed into:
    put the microSD in the SD adapter.
    now you can read and write from.to the microSD using a cardreader!
    that’s how I do.
    and… I save all the gmappsupp.img’s I make with MapSource. so I can change easily maps in my Garmin.

    in fact, there must be a exchange program (P2P?) for all kinds of gmappsupp.img’s…. 🙂

  2. by the way: what MapSource does is combining several IMG’s (of a country, or even different countries) to 1 combined gmappsupp.img.
    in that case you can have a whole country on your microSD!
    [those must be exchanged!]

  3. @wim: I hope described that process above of how one uses a Mac to get mapsource img’s onto the microSD card. I hope I also explained that I am not going to purchase MapSource until Garmin implements their promised Mac OS X support, hence the “combine map” problem still exists for Mac users (or for PC users who don’t want to spend money on MapSource).

    There is another advantage of Mapsource in that it is capable of marking the map in a manner that allows it to compute trip paths/turn by turn directions, etc.

  4. For me, this only worked when the name of the file was changed to gmapsupp.img instead of gmappsupp.img I don’t know why this is, but I am using the eTrex Legend Cx. If anyone is following these directions and still having problems, try using the name gmapsupp.img

  5. Hi, anyone got working Garmin/Mac solutions for a GPS without memory cards – I have a Venture HC and can’t find any maps that the Garmin software can read, and I can’t mount the Garmin via USB either. So I’m stuck with a mapless Garmin with just waypoints…



  6. Thanks a lot for this blog entry. I’ve been looking for a solution for weeks and can’t believe there is such a simple way to have it working without using MapSource! awesome!

    As one commented before, I also had to name the file gmapsupp.img instead of what It’s said in the post in order to have it working (I guess It could be because I haven’t deleted the other map that was not in the MicroSD but in the actual device) and now I can choose between these two maps in my Garmin menu.

    Well, this was really helpful!! I’ve lost sooo many hours for weeks!!! I can’t believe I’ll have it working for my holidays next week!! thanks!

  7. Hello! Thanks a lot for this sollution, as Fernan above I also spent some hours lookin’ for it. Thanks! It saves our holliday startin’ tomorrow.

    But … the only problem now is I can’t work with the IMG-map on my Mac. The map is on the GPS, yep. But not on Garmin Roadtrip or Mapmanager …

    If here is anybody with a tip to:
    – convert IMG-file to GMAP file (for the mac and garmin roadtrip)
    – load IMG file into the pc-app MapSource?

    … garmin and mac, I tought such a big GPS-manufacturer would handle things better. OMG.

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