This page covers common questions [also known as Frequently Asked Questions] about installing and using these FREE
1a. Are these maps really FREE?
Yes, the maps offered here are based on OSM and NASA data which
are open-source; I combine them together and add other material to
them. You can download and use them for FREE. However, this does NOT
mean you can sell them or cards with these maps on (or even resell
them). This means that you are welcome to use them at no cost for personal
I spend a significant amount of time compiling and testing these
maps and any copies offered on eBay (other than my own
talkytoaster eBay account or any other
site than talkytoaster.info, .co.uk or .com) are unauthorised and
may breach my copyright as I add material that is copyrighted by
myself to them.
Those offered on eBay (apart from talkytoaster) often offer very old or unsupported
experimental versions and offer them as OS maps (which they are
not). This means that you get a raw deal and my reputation is
damaged by these inferior versions sold via eBay and at car-boot
Anyone else offering the
maps, I compile, on MicroSD cards are stealing from you, and me. If
this practice continues I will no longer create and offer these
1b. What scale are
the maps offered here?
The maps do not come in the
traditional paper based scales of 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 as they are
dynamic; the more you zoom in the more detail is shown (until it all
appears). These maps also do not suffer from the jaggy display
issues found with the official Garmin Discoverer maps when you zoom
1c. Are these maps routable?
Yes, routable versions are available. Please bear in mind that the routable functionality is not as
good as commercial sat-nav maps. The routable maps offered are now a full
British Isles mapset (which includes
OK, I've had a bit of a play and here is some more information
about the routing functionality, please bear in mind I don't drive
and have no need for the routable function myself.
If you use the 'Intersections' or 'Addresses' options under the
'Where To?' feature you will probably see the Spell State/Province
prompt, and whatever you enter it will fail to find.
However, if you use the Cities, Shopping, Food & Drink, Fuel
Services, Lodging, Entertainment, Recreation, and any of the other
entries it gives you a list to choose from.
So, in summation, as expected the auto-routing function works fine,
but is not as good (not surprisingly) as commercial offerings or
dedicated sat-nav solutions
(no post-code or address level of routing at this time).
Some information on using these maps on a Garmin Nuvi: "Address
Searching doesn't work, but a workaround is to use 'spell name'."
If you wish to use them for road routing , then please use the
Standard mapset as this will work best, do NOT use the OS 1:50K Look
n Feel mapset for road routing as the routing is completely
1d. What are the Torrent links and how do I use them?
You need a bittorrent
client to use Torrent links.
I'd suggest http://www.utorrent.com/
available for both PCs and Macs.
The link to the
torrent is just a small package that tells the bittorrent client
where to download the file from, but it is more complicated than
that as the file is hosted in many places.
A beginner's guide to
BitTorrent can be found here: http://www.bittorrent.com/help/guides/beginners-guide
Can I use these maps in MapSource/BaseCamp on my PC (or BaseCamp/RoadTrip on a Mac)?
NEW: The mapsets
dated 130118 or later are now useable directly in BaseCamp by simply
hooking up your GPS to your PC/Mac and running BaseCamp. The map
will install automatically. This means that you don't need to
install the separate BaseCamp version anymore (unless you want
to). There are some features that only function in the full
separate BaseCamp version.
The separate BaseCamp/MapSource versions will only be updated every
2-3 months in future.
Yes, I have MapSource/RoadTrip/BaseCamp
versions available. These also have contour data.
The British Isles and Ireland
mapsets are available in this format.
These versions are only recommended for those that are computer literate and are used at your own risk.
Example screen shot of the
UK+Contours Routable Mapset in
MapSource (centered of Firle Beacon, just north of Newhaven)
shot of the IE+Contours Routable Mapset in MapSource (centered on Dublin
Example screen shot of the British Isles+Contours Routable Mapset in
MapSource (centered of Isle of Wight)
showing calculated route from Bournemouth to West Wittering
If you are having problems installing these on Windows Vista or
Windows 7 :
The other common issue is due to UAC in Vista/Windows 7, see below
on how to fix it (you'll need to run the BAT file after disabling
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 or 8 you have to turn off UAC
to successfully install them. You can re-enable UAC as soon as
You also need to be logged in with administrator rights.
If UAC is stopping it from running/installing correctly.
You could try following the instructions to disable UAC found here:
You can re-enable it afterwards if you want it on.
This solves the issue on both Vista and Windows 7or 8 with MapSource/BaseCamp
installation of my mapsets.
Alternatively, simply right-click on the install.bat file and select
the "run as administrator" menu option.
2b. I Get a Blank Map in BaseCamp, Help!
Check to see that 'Basic Map Only' is not enabled in BaseCamp as
that will only show a blank map.
You can find that setting under the 'View' menu, 'Basic Map Only';
if it is ticked then click on it.
Alternatively you can also toggle this via the keyboard using
2c1. I Have British Isles/GB/IE Maps With Black Background in BaseCamp, Help!
The problem lies with version 3.1.1 of BaseCamp. The GB and IE mapsets are transparent.
Somehow Garmin have broken transparent map handling as the problem doesn't show in version 3.0.6
or earlier of BaseCamp or later versions than 3.1.1, or indeed the latest version of MapSource.
I have confirmed this in testing. The
British Isles, GB and IE maps are fine in version 3.0.6 or earlier (as that
was what I have used to test them before I make them available).
So, you have three options:
1. Install version 3.1.2 or later of BaseCamp (Garmin have now fixed the
2. Install the latest version of MapSource instead (available
here); all of the mapsets work fine in that, including transparent
maps (such as my GB and IE ones).
3. Un-install BaseCamp 3.1.1 and then re-install version 3.0.6 of BaseCamp in its place.
Luckily I have a archive
copy of BaseCamp 3.0.6 and I've made it available here.
You will need to fully
un-install BaseCamp 3.1.1 (just installing 3.0.6 over the top
won't solve the problem). Then
re-install the downloaded 3.0.6 version. All your installed
maps should still show up in BaseCamp after the downgrade. Or just
upgrade to 3.1.2 instead.
2c2. I Have British Isles/GB/IE Maps With Black Background
on the GPS, Help!
This is not a problem with the map, it is a function of the
Garmin GPS, it basically switches to Night Mode on or after the sun
has set (it knows this as it receives this information from the
You can either live with it (it switches back to Day Mode, when
the sun is up), or simply disable the Night function via the menus
on the GPS. Please see the Garmin manual for your model for details
on how to do this.
2d. Why Doesn't 3D View Work in BaseCamp on
Windows 7 or Mac?
You may find that on the Mac version of BaseCamp that 3D map view
is selectable but you end up with a flat map. On the Windows version
the 3D view is greyed out (as it should be). The reason that 3D map
view doesn't work is the lack of DEM data.
The simplest way to update the mapset to the latest version for use in BaseCamp or MapSource is to go to the directory where you installed the mapset, e.g. C:\Garmin\British-Isles+Contours
Once in there delete all the files in there. Then unzip the new mapset to the now empty directory.
When you next load BaseCamp or MapSource it will automatically use
the updated map tiles.
This assumes that you have correctly installed the mapset in the
past and run the install.bat (at some point in the past for that mapset).
It also assumes that you have successfully tested that the mapset
installed correctly the first time and checked that it showed up in
BaseCamp or MapSource.
2f. I Get a Blank Map List When Using MapManager on a Mac
It appears the default unzip utility "Archive Utility" in
OS X does not interpret the archive correctly. Using "The
Unarchiver" or the command-line "unzip" program will
unzip the file correctly and then when MapManager is run it will see
the maspset correctly.
3. How do I install the map on my GPSr?
Simply download the file
you are interested in [which is a zip file], unzip it, and save the
unzipped file as
GMAPSUPP.IMG and then upload it to your Garmin [make sure you have
sufficient storage space first]. If you don't have a program to
handle/unzip ZIP files I would recommend 7Zip which is available FREE
from here: http://www.7-zip.org/.
If you don't see the .IMG extension on the files don't worry as Windows or Mac OSes hide all
or some extensions by default; don't add the .IMG extension yourself as
it will stop the Garmin GPSr from loading the files.
You can find
details how to get Windows to show the extensions here:
The simplest way to rename the unzipped file is to go to the folder
where you unzipped it, right-click on the unzipped file, and select
Properties. You'll see a dialogue box like this:
Once there, as you can see in the screenshot above, simply highlight the
text prefixed to the file name you need [GMAPSUPP.IMG] and delete it.
This will just leave the file name as GMAPSUPP.IMG, which is what you
require, then click the OK button.
The file must be named as GMAPSUPP.IMG (on the Etrex 20/30,Oregon, Dakota,
Montana, GPSMap62s or st or other new Garmin, they can be left named
) otherwise it will not work
properly when installed on your Garmin GPSr and the file must be placed
in a folder called GARMIN on your GPSrs SD/MicroSD card or internal
memory. It should like like the screenshot below (although the drive
letter may be different):
To upload/install one of the map files directly to your Garmin GPSr; if you have a
Garmin model which uses MicroSD or SD cards you can
load them directly on the card (or directly to the main memory of your Garmin
unit if you have sufficient space), or by using the direct USB Mass Storage
mode found in any of the Oregon, Dakota, Colrado, 62s/st or HCX or equivalent models [details on how to do that appear below].
The newer Garmin Nuvi devices may use a
directory called MAP rather than GARMIN to store other maps in (such
as the ones I offer here).
3a. The ZIP file won't download (download fails after n
percent/minutes/MB), unzip or extract!
This is almost certainly due to a partial (failed) download, due
to communications issues. You
can try clearing your browsers cache, deleting the partial file and
re-downloading the file again.
This site is now mirrored, so if you are having problems on
talkytoaster.info, please try talkytoaster.co.uk
instead as these last two are hosted on a different service provider in
a different country. Likewise the other way round. Both mirrors will be
updated for the time being, as long as I can afford to do so.
If that doesn't work, I would suggest you try again using a
For Mozilla Firefox (Windows, Linux & Mac) I'd suggest this
For Windows (IE, Firefox, etc.) I'd suggest this one: http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/
For Windows, Mac & Linux you could also try this Java
Alternatively you could use Opera as it has a built-in download
manager. Available here: http://www.opera.com/download/
Please be aware that my site is very busy and has
limited bandwidth, please only download the files you really need,
A final and new option is to use the Torrent links as the files
offered via Bittorrent are on multiple servers/hosts.
3b. How do I use multiple mapsets on my Oregon or other
Firstly you can only use this feature on the following models:
Oregon, Colorado, Montana, GPSMap62, Etrex 20/30 as these
all support multiple mapsets and have the Profiles feature.
Next, ensure that you do NOT install two
British-Isles or GB mapsets that contain contours, if you do this
and install them then the GPSr may fail to start-up correctly until
you remove one of the contour mapsets (you may have to remove the
MicroSD/SD from the GPSr and remove the duplicate mapset via your
computer directly). This problem is caused because the contours in
both mapsets have the same map-number.
So, download one of the British-Isles mapsets with contours, and
the other without contours, e.g.:
or later (this has contours, OS 1:50 Look and Feel, but is not
111230-British-Isles-GMAPSUPP.zip or later (this is a
routable standard look OSM mapset, but does not have contours)
Now, unzip and rename the IMG files to suit your needs (they must
be different file names) e.g.:
111230-BICR-NR-OS50.img and 111230-BIC.img
Once you have placed the files into the GARMIN folder on the
GPSr, you next have to setup two Profiles and then select one mapset
and the contours map per Profile, see below (example screenshots are
from my Oregon 200):
This same technique can be used for other OSM maps (and Garmin
Discoverer or TOPO Maps too). Just set up more Profiles as required
and enable/disable the mapsets as required. You an also change lots
of other things in each Profile, such as Datum, Background, Routing
Method, etc. You need to do this for each Profile you want to use a
different mapset with. In my above screen shots the Profile entitled
"OS GB South" is Garmin Discoverer only, the one
entitled "OSM UK" is the OSM maps I compile (I use
this most of the time). In all cases the Basemap that came on the
Garmin GPSr is disabled as it is useless!
Once set up, simply switch Profile to switch mapset, easy!
3c. What do the new OS 1:50K mapset look
Below are some screen shots from my Oregon 200, showing the new
OS 1:50K Look and Feel mapset for the British-Isles.
Showing footpaths, bridleways, roads, pubs, allotments,
fields, hedges, postboxes, parking, forest and contours.
Showing footpaths, bridleways, rivers, roads, pubs, trees,
woodland, hedges, postboxes, parking, forest and contours.
Showing footpaths, bridleways, rivers, roads, pubs, trees,
woodland, postboxes, parking and contours.
Showing footpaths, bridleways, rivers, roads, stiles,
woodland, gates, postboxes, parking and contours.
Showing footpaths, train tracks, roads, pubs, woodland,
hedges, postboxes, bus-stops, parking, allotments, toilets
|Please Note: There is still more work
to do on this mapset even though it is no longer marked as
I have already shrunk and re-done a number of the icons/POIs,
there are still a number that need sorting out. Feel free to
send screen shots to me showing ones that are too large or
The routing on these maps are also not the same as the
original routable maps I offer. These will also route down a
bridleway or footpath as well as roads. So, this mapset is
NOT suitable for use in a car (as a basic sat-nav system),
but may be useful for cyclists, walkers or geocachers that
want routing like this.
This mapset is now no longer
considered experimental and is the best solution for walkers
4. Do I have to take the SD/MicroSD Card out of the GPSr?
No, you don't need to take the card out of the GPS - just put the GPS in
mass storage mode by going to "Setup"->"Interface"->Press the
button to select "Mass Storage Mode".
As long as you have connected the
USB cable to the computer - you should now see the GPS as a new drive
(for me it's on the K drive). [This works on any HCX model of the Garmin
GPSrs and probably works much the same on the GPSMap60C,Cs and CSX
The Colorado, Dakota, 62s/st and Oregon models automatically enter USB
"Mass Storage Mode" when they are attached to a computer via the
supplied USB cable.
You can do all of your file manipulations on there just as you would for
any normal computer directory.
More details on the USB Mass Storage mode and the correct directory
structure and filenames can be found here [http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin/Mass_Storage_Mode
To get back to normal mode (Legend/Vista) - just press the "On" button for a short
time. For the Oregon/Dakota/Colorado or 62s/st just eject the device as normal. If you've just loaded a new map correctly - it should recognise it
straight away - and will probably show a thin progress bar on the
screen when loading it for the first time.
5. I'm too scared or unsure how to do this, can you put them on a
MicroSD/SD card for me?
If you really don't want to do this, and you'd like me to do this for
you instead, then please contact me via the email address that can be
This will require that you send me your MicroSD or SD card [suggest a
2GB one]. I will then install the required mapset
onto the card and test that it works on my Garmin Oregon 200 [Unless it
is an SD card] and then return the loaded and tested MicroSD/SD card to
you. That is all I will be able to test. If it works fine on my GPSr
during testing, chances are it will work fine on yours when you get it
back and insert it into your Garmin GPSr.
I did this for a friend that lives many miles away for use on on a brand
new Garmin Legend Hcx all they did was insert the pre-prepared MicroSD
card I had created and the maps worked straight away without any further
changes to the default GPSr settings. I also now have many happy
customers that I have done this for, with no failures to date.
Obviously, this isn't being offered as a free service, I offer this service for 12.00
UK Pounds (this cost includes my time and postage and packing to
return the card by 1st class post).
Alternatively, I can supply a
MicroSD card with MicroSD to SD adapter[*] pre-loaded with the
latest British Isles/Ireland Contours Mapset (at the time of ordering). This is a
set cost of 23.00 UK Pounds (UK Only); includes a pre-loaded 4GB
MicroSD with MicroSD to SD adapter[*]
(branded name) and postage and packing. In
either case, payment will only be accepted via PayPal. An 8GB
MicroSD/SD card is also available at a different price.
The charge is
for the 4GB MicroSD with MicroSD to SD adapter[*], the time required to copy
and test the maps on the MicroSD and for postage and packing, not for
the maps themselves, which are FREE. If you are interested in
this service, or for a similar service for maps for other areas of the
world, supplied on a MicroSD, or want them shipped to an address outside
the UK, then please contact me to discuss your requirements and cost.
ensure that your Garmin GPSr has a MicroSD or SD slot before requesting
any of the above offered services. Only Garmin GPSrs are supported,
services are offered as-is and come with no guarantee whatsoever. The
small donation or set charge is for the time required to copy and test
the maps on
the MicroSD card you supply [or I supply, if you choose that option],
not for the maps themselves, which are
[*] I can't
always supply a MicroSD to SD adapter as they are now harder to get with
a MicroSD card. Only those GPSrs that require SD cards will be supplied
with either an SD card or a MicroSD card with the adapter.
 Please specify which Garmin GPSr Model you wish to
use the card with at the time of requesting any of the services offered
Garmin Edge 605/705, Legend/Vista Hcx, Oregon, Dakota 20,
GPSMap60Cx and Csx all
use MicroSD only, the Colorado uses SD cards only (or MicroSD in a
MicroSD to SD adpater).
The cards I purchase are usually SanDisk and have an RRP of £17.99
each or Kingston with an RRP of £39.99, so you are getting the MicroSD
card, pre-loaded with the latest mapset, tested and postage and packing for less than the current RRP of
just the MicroSD card.
A FAQ about the services I
offer and paying for them can be found here
6. How do I know if the map was installed
When you turn on, you should get a second copyright notice which says
© AND IRELAND
© OPENSTREETMAP.ORG CONTRIBUTORS
and a couple of other lines
If you don't see that, then the file hasn't loaded somehow.
To fix this issue:
You need to check that there is a file called GMAPSUPP.IMG in the GARMIN
directory on the MicroSD or SD card.
If there is, might just be worth checking by viewing the properties that
it's correctly an IMG file (and not just, say, that you've renamed the
zip file without unzipping it first - sounds stupid - but I've done that
If the copyright notice comes up, then the maps are on there - but they
might not be displaying.
To check this go to "Setup
" - and you'll get a
load of options for setting up the map display.
At the top, for me there are 6 icons - go to the 5th one which is an "i"
in a blue circle. It shows what maps are loaded onto the MicroSD or SD
card. The maps will only show if there is a tick next to them. For me
they all have names like "OSM-tile: 12345678, UK Mapset with
Contours, <Month, Year> e.g Jan 2009
". Scroll down to make
sure that they have ticks by them.
on the Legend Hcx||Map
information on the Oregon|
Setup, Map, Map Information
Go to the left-most icon. It's a red "N
" with red arrows
surrounding it. Check that the option "Detail
" is set to "Mos
Fewer contours appear if you set lower detail levels. When testing it,
make sure you zoom in a fair bit - as you zoom in, more detail is shown.
|Map and detail
settings on the Legend Hcx||Map
and detail settings on the Oregon|
and detail settings on the Oregon|
Setup, Map, Advanced Map Setup
If the maps are on there, and still no contours - then try scrolling to
somewhere else in GB or Ireland - perhaps there's a problem with an
individual map tile and it hasn't loaded correctly. If that occurs -
then the GPS will default to the standard issue map whenever the cursor
position is somewhere over that map tile. When I did my testing - I
looked at an area of the Peak District near the Cheshire/Derbyshire
border - which seems fine.
If you still can't see the maps,
please check that you are within coverage of the chosen mapset,
otherwise all you will be shown is the unit supplied basemap or other
installed mapsets for the local area where you are physically present
when using the GPSr. This is true for not only the maps I compile but
for any maps which you may have purchased elsewhere (such as TOPO GB or
7. What do the maps look like when installed?
Here are a selection of screenshots from a Garmin Legend Hcx using the UK Mapset with Contours:
|Map showing roads, footpaths, woods,
rivers and contours.
|Map showing roads, footpaths,
contours and caches.
||Map showing roads, footpaths, train
tracks and POIs.
||Map showing roads, footpaths,
seashore and POIs.
|Map showing roads in routing mode.||Map showing roads in routing mode.||Map showing roads in routing mode.|| |
Screen-shots Courtesy of Bruce Winn
Routing Screen-shots Courtesy of Bruce
Routing Screen-shots Courtesy of Bruce
Here are a selection of screenshots from a Garmin Oregon 200 using
the UK Mapset with Contours.
are a selection of screenshots from a Garmin Colorado 300 using the UK
Mapset with Contours in routing mode (sat nav).