How to add free topo maps to Garmin BaseCamp
Garmin BaseCamp is a great tool to view and organize your GPX files. The software comes loaded with basic maps that usually contain very little useful information. In this tutorial, I will show you how to download and install free (topo) maps to Garmin Basecamp. The entire process is quick and easy.
If you know anything about Garmin BaseCamp, you know there is a steep learning curve to make it a usable software. I have been using it for several years and it is the only mapping software I found that can keep track of all the trails I run/bike.
You can easily create folders to organize all your tracks, as well as view your data over different background, aka maps. I have yet to find a way to import free satellite maps. However, I discovered over time that topographical maps are easier to read and offer an advantage over satellite maps.
This tutorial is for the Mac version of the software. If you haven’t yet, download and install Garmin BaseCamp here.
Step 1: Locate Garmin MapManager
Go to the Finder in MacOS X and go to the Applications folder. In the Search field, type “MapManager”.
Step 2: Launch Garmin MapManager
Double-click on the Garmin MapManager app to launch it. There you will see all the various maps that are already on your computer.
Step 3: Download the free topo map
Personally, I like using the GPS File Depot website. There, you will find the Arizona topo map that I use in this tutorial. Click on the “Download Mac Version” button to download the .gmapi file.
Step 4: Unzip the .gmapi file
In the MacOS X Finder, go to the Downloads folder and double click on the .zip file that you just downloaded. This will extract a .gmapi file.
Step 5: Add the maps to Garmin BaseCamp
Now go back to the Garmin MapManager app and click on File > Install Map… A new window will pop up, find the .gmapi file in the Downloads folder and click Open.
Step 6: Restart Garmin Basecamp
Almost done! Close the Garmin MapManager App. Close Garmin BaseCamp, and open it again. Now in the top menu, find the Maps dropdown menu and select the map you just installed. That’s it, you have successfully installed a free topo map to Garmin BaseCamp.
If you are interested in more Garmin BaseCamp tutorial, head over to the tutorials section. If you did not find a tutorial that solves your issue, please leave a comment and I will be happy to record one for you.