Does anyone know why the maps on Garmin Connect are so hopeless for routing?

Given the source data (OSM) and trail audience it seems deliberately obtuse to sue a base map where there are no contours, terrible location labelling and footpaths are often invisible. So much of Connect is great but there are free options available that are vastly superior.

  • Given Garmin's position in the GPS / SatNav / mapping industry, it astonishes me that the only efficient way of routing for my garmin device is to create .gpx on a good platform and import it to connect.

  • OSM here is a copy.

    On original OSM many paths are still not mapped, but many already is and all the time someone adds new ones.

    So for missing paths, if a path is on original OSM - wait for Connect's update.
    If a path is missing also on original, then add it there first.

    Connect has a copy on and earlier had on, a number is when they put a copy online, so they update it like every 4 years. The Heat Map probably a bit more often.

    So yea, better use the original website to get current data.

    Or change to Google Maps which are directly embedded on Connect, but those have rather worse trail paths accuracy then OSM.

  • Hi @BunBun!, I'm a keen OSM contributor so I know it takes a while for edits to translate into routing and the workarounds for paths and nodes that haven't been mapped correctly and updated yet.

    My issue, here, is with the basemap that Garmin use for routing. I have a slight preference for the OSM Cycle map for planning trail runs (contours lines!) over Standard, CycleOSM or the Strava version. The one on Garmin routing is way worse than any of these for walks and trail runs; it's fairly hard to find villages and paths that you know are there, let alone plan a route somewhere unfamiliar with the grey on slightly lighter grey paths that are only visible on high zoom.

    It's fine for cycling on main roads but hopeless for smaller roads, tracks, trails and terrain, which seems odd given the pedigree.

  • Yes, on original OSM it takes like few days to update routing, but base map view is updated almost instantly.

    Here it takes 4 years to get a new copy.

    And yes, there is only one style. Probably because of the same reason, to save resources.


    But if you only want to change base map, then you can make a redirect add-on.

    Like here: Map data is over 4 years old. Change the URL to current one (connectcache20) and redirect to some OSM-like website - check tiles numbers' order and format and adjust if needed.