How can I create and load custom maps to my Garmin device?

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Garmin has released software updates that allow a variety of compatible devices1 to use custom mapping. Before creating and transferring custom mapping, ensure the device firmware is up-to-date with Garmin Express.

Map images can be found in several different file types. Often files can be found in incompatible formats like PDF, BMP, PNG or GIF. You will need to convert these file formats to the JPEG format before they can be used to create custom maps for your compatible device.

  • To convert a file to JPEG:
  1. Open GIMP2
  2. Select File
  3. Select Open
  4. Locate and select the image map file
  5. Click Open
  6. If importing a PDF file, change resolution to 300 pixels/inch on import page
  7. Click Import
  8. Click rectangle selection tool (Or press R on keyboard)
  9. Draw a box around map
  10. Select Image from menu
  11. Select Crop to Selection
  12. Select File from menu
  13. Click Export
  14. Type in filename
  15. Expand Select File Type (By Extension)
  16. Select JPEG image
  17. Click Export button
  18. Click Advanced Options
  19. Uncheck Progressive
  20. Click Export button

The file will now be saved in the JPEG format.

  • To create a custom map from a JPEG file:
  1. Open Google Earth3
  2. Zoom into approximate area that custom map will cover
  3. Select Add from menu
  4. Select Image Overlay
  5. Name map file
  6. Click Browse
  7. Locate and select JPEG map file
  8. Click Open
  9. The map will need to be resized to match satellite image
    • Adjust transparency bar between 50% and 70% while resizing image
    • Start at one corner and zoom in
    • Position mouse cursor over corner to click and drag corner to approximate correct position (focus on roads closest to corner)
    • Move map to opposite corner and reposition
    • Repeat for each corner
    • Double check all corners again and adjust as necessary change the Transparency back to 100% Opaque
    • If finished resizing the custom map, select Altitude tab
    • If custom map is wanting to be viewed above all other maps, change Draw Order to 50 or higher
    • If you desire to see the custom map below all other maps, change Draw Order to 49 or lower
    • Click OK
  10. Locate Places (left of the map)
  11. Locate Custom Map (named according to step 5)
  12. Right-click on Map Name
  13. Select Save Place As...
  14. Save map to either (Garmin device drive) /Garmin/CustomMaps/ 4or (microSD Card drive) /Garmin/CustomMaps/ 4
  15. Eject and unplug device from computer
  16. If necessary, power on device

Your custom mapping will now be viewable on your device.5

1Compatible devices:

  • Alpha 100
  • Astro 320
  • BMW Motorrad Navigator V
  • Colorado series
  • Dakota series
  • Edge 800/810/1000
  • Epix
  • Etrex 20/30
  • GPSMAP 62 series
  • GPSMAP 64 series
  • GPSMAP 78 series
  • Montana series
  • Montera
  • Oregon series
  • zumo 590

2GIMP is a third party graphic editing program that allows a PDF to be converted to JPEG format. You can download GIMP for free:

3Google Earth is a third party program that allows you to create the custom map. It can be downloaded for free:

4It may be necessary for you to create a CustomMaps folder

5For more information on Custom Maps visit, and

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