[GeoStL] FREE High Quality Garmin Topo Maps for St. Louis Area

  • From: "Jim Bensman" <junkmailno@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 01:16:45 -0500

Well after many hours of cursing, I finally figured out how to make maps for
Garmin Mapsouce (sorry only works in Mapsource).  

So if you want some free topo maps (10 ft. contour interval), I am looking
for testers.  They seem to work really well and I am impressed.

The directions I used to create them are at:


I am doing it slightly different and have it pretty well figured out.  Once
you know what you are doing it is pretty easy to make a map.  All the tools
to make the maps are free (it takes several) and all the data is free.

The maps are really neat.  They are transparent so you see the map below
when you are using them.  So you can see City Navigator AND the topo maps at
the same time!  You can also turn off the topos if you want.  The only thing
the maps contain are the topo lines and water features.  I have been trying
to find data like springs, valley and mountain names, etc to add but no luck
so far.  If anyone knows where I could get this kind of data, let me know.

The maps themselves are much higher quality than TopoUSA. They are 24K

I have made them for most of the parks in the St. Louis Area.  My plan is to
get more areas covered and expand the area.  Then I will post them on a
sites that shares free maps.  I have tried them out and so far they work
really well.  But I would like to have some others try them out.  Don't care
how many-I am planning on giving them away.  I want to make sure they are
working well.  I am also wondering how people like the levels the different
contour lines show as I can adjust that.

Besides the topos, I am also working on a set of trail maps that have
transparent trails.  I have all the bike trails in Madison County and some
other trails.  I will be adding more.  If anyone has some good quality track
files of trails at parks, you can email me a mapsource or gpx file with the
tracks and I will add them to the collection.  Just try to clean them up and
if the trail has a name, name the track that.

If someone wants topos for an area I do not have covered yet, just send me a
mapsource file with four waypoints making the boundary of the area you want.
That makes it pretty easy to create the file and add it to the set.

If you want to try them out, send me an email and I will email you two files
totally 3 megs.

They are pretty easy to install (but to uninstall (why would you) you have
to delete a key from the registry.)

The first file is My Topos.zip

Extract its content to:

C:\Program Files\Garmin\My Topos\

It is very important that you use this exact directory.  (There is a way
around this by editing a file).  In C:\Program Files\Garmin\My Topos\ there
will be "My Topos.reg"  Double click on it and OK merging it to the

The second file is My Trails.zip

Extract it to:

C:\Program Files\Garmin\My Trails\

Then double click on "My Trails.reg" and OK it merging with the registry.

Then start mapsource and there will be map sets for My Topos and My Trails
where you can select and upload the maps to your GPS.  In mapsource, you
have to zoom down to 3 miles before the topos start to show their detail

Let me know if you want to try them out and what you think of them.

One thing I have not figured out is when you go to turn them off or on in
the GPS, only :My Topos" shows up on the menu.  It turns both of or on.

Jim Bensman
"Nature Bats Last" 


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