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Map Installation 101 - File Names

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  • Map Installation 101 - File Names

    Map Installation 101

    EDIT: Update 20 NOV 2010: The first two posts in this thread provide some basics. These don't apply exactly to all Garmin units and things change as newer units are introduced. If you have trouble finding the map files on your unit, please read down through the other messages in this thread for more current information on map file naming and map file locations to be sure you find something that will apply to your specific unit.

    Part 1 - Map File Names

    1. On a Garmin navigation device with preloaded maps, the name of the main map file will be GMAPPROM.IMG.

    That will be its name, no matter what map product you have. That will continue to be its name even if you do updates to it from Garmin's web updater.

    The update simply replaces the old GMAPPROM.IMG with the new one.

    2. When you use Mapsource or MapInstall to load maps onto a Garmin navigation device, the name of the map file will be GMAPSUPP.IMG.

    That will be its name, no matter what map product(s) you include in it.

    Whenever you use Mapsource or MapInstall to load maps, the new one will automatically overwrite the old one. Always. .... For this reason, you cannot "add" map segments to a map file you have already loaded to your device with Mapsource or MapInstall. You have to start fresh and include everything you want in the new map file.

    3. You cannot change those map file names to something else that you like better. Your navigation device expects to see those names. If it does not find them, you won't see your maps. There is no way to make it look for other names that you might prefer.

    Your device will work with either of these names. Aside from the fact that your device insists that those are the names it wants and they must be spelled that way, exactly, it will use either one and it doesn't care what is in them as long as it is valid map data. So, you could rename the GMAPPROM.IMG file to GMAPSUPP.IMG, or vice versa, and your device won't care.

    On devices that came with preloaded maps, it's probably not a good idea to mess with the map filename unless you really know what you are doing and have a very good reason for doing it. Otherwise, you risk losing your preloaded maps. If you have not also installed them onto your PC so you can reload them with Mapsource or MapInstall, you're going to be in trouble.

    There are some other map file names that your device might or might not recognize. They are:


    This might be useful if, for some reason, you want to have multiple map files loaded. For most people this is unimportant.

    4. Some people have noticed that the free space on their Garmin navigation device is a little smaller after they install a map update. That is because each new version of maps normally contains more map data. New subdivisions that weren't there before, additional POIs, and a whole bunch of other things that may have been added since the last version.

    At some point you may find that the next version won't fit on your device. Some people with older Nuvis are already finding that the new versions won't fit because there is not enough internal memory. There may be ways you can get around this. ......

    To be continued....

    Last edited by kganshirt; 11-20-2010, 12:14 PM.

  • #2
    Part 2 - Map File Locations and Free Space

    Part 2 - Map File Locations and Free Space

    1. Map files will normally be located in the internal memory of your Garmin navigation device. This is where the GMAPPROM.IMG file containing the preloaded maps will be located by default.

    If you load maps from Mapsource or MapInstall, you can also put them in the device's internal memory if there is enough room.

    2. Map files can also be located on your SD card or microSD card if your device supports one.

    If you have preloaded maps in the internal memory of your device, it is a good idea to load any additional maps to the SD card. This ensures you won't clutter up the internal memory of your navigation device. It's a good idea to leave free space on the internal memory for a variety of things. If you do updates to the preloaded maps, they will usually keep growing in size as new information is added. There are other things that your device may store there, like track files, saved routes, waypoints/Favorites, and similar stuff.

    3. If you use Mapsource or MapInstall to load maps onto your device, you can select either the internal memory or an SD card if you have one installed in the device. You can also put the SD card into a card reader on your PC and select it in Mapsource or MapInstall to load the maps to.

    The fastest way to load maps onto an SD card using Mapsource or MapInstall is to put the card into the SD card reader on your PC. During the part of the loading process when the maps are transfered to the card, it is much faster if it is going directly onto the SD card in a card reader rather than through the navigation device onto the card.

    4. The map files are located in the \GARMIN folder in the internal memory of your device or on the SD card. E.g. There can be a \GARMIN folder in both the internal memory and also on the SD card. If there are map files, it is the \GARMIN folder that will contain them. If they are located anywhere else, your device will probably not find them.

    5. By this point, you may have already figured out that if your map updates no longer fit into the internal memory on your device, you can still load them onto an SD card, if your device supports one.

    The way to do this is by using the "Install Options" in the update installer. As you are going through the steps to download and install an update, there will be a page that contains a button with the words "Install Options". That button is normally somewhere in the lower left quarter of the update page. You will need to look on every page as you go step by step through the update process so you don't miss it.

    When you see the page with the "Install Options" button on it, you need to click on that button. There will be a bunch of options on the next page but there are only three that you are interested in:

    - Device only
    - Computer only
    - Device and computer

    You must select one of the options that will install the maps on your computer. If you are already encountering problems that the updates fail to install because of insufficient room on the internal memory of your device, just select the "computer only" option. That will force the maps to be installed to your computer.

    Garmin has already changed the words on this Install Options button at least once so you will need to really pay attention. It will say something very similar and it has always been on the lower left quarter of the page. If you pay attention, you shouldn't miss it no matter what they call it in future versions of the updater.

    Once the maps are installed on your computer, you can use Mapsource or MapInstall to install the updated maps onto your SD card. If there is not sufficient room on your SD card, you can always buy a bigger one.



    • #3
      I'm afraid your point 3. from part 1. is no longer valid for new Garmin devices.
      Dakota 20, 60CSx, nuvi 200, 1440t, 2340t, 3460t, 3540T, PL Topo, OSM, CN EU


      • #4
        Originally posted by POPEJ. View Post
        I'm afraid your point 3. from part 1. is no longer valid for new Garmin devices.
        All of the information in point 3? Or just some of it? Which part(s)?



        • #5
          Starting from nuvi 1xxx, Colorado, Oregon, Dakota, 62/72 Garmin GPS accept any name for img file.
          Dakota 20, 60CSx, nuvi 200, 1440t, 2340t, 3460t, 3540T, PL Topo, OSM, CN EU


          • #6
            Originally posted by POPEJ. View Post
            Starting from nuvi 1xxx, Colorado, Oregon, Dakota, 62/72 Garmin GPS accept any name for img file.
            There must be some rule, e.g. file type = .IMG ? Anything else, or will they all accept any random string of characters of any length??



            • #7
              Extension should be .img. On my Dakota it works in internal memory and on SD.
              Dakota 20, 60CSx, nuvi 200, 1440t, 2340t, 3460t, 3540T, PL Topo, OSM, CN EU


              • #8
                I put this as a sticky. If there are any other threads you think would be helpful to stick, please let me now.
                Garmin Product Support (for questions regarding device issues, and map update questions)


                • #9
                  Excellent write-up! But to expand a bit on what Popej has said:

                  On all the new Nuvi series (starting with the 1200) supplemental maps are stored in the \Map folder and can have any name with an .img extension. I have not tried recently, but with the Nuvi 1350 I used to have, it wouldn't recognize any map files in the \Garmin folder on internal memory - not even gmapsupp.img. Placing the same files in \Map worked fine.

                  On a memory card, gmapsupp.img was recognized in a \Garmin folder, but maps with other names needed to be in \Map.

                  The Oregon (and I assume other recent models - Colorado, Dakota, GPSMap 62 and 78) are a little different. They don't use a \Map folder. You can place files with any name and a .img extension in the \Garmin folder.

                  These inconsistencies between handhelds and nuvi's make things even more confusing - especially the fact that gmapsupp.img wasn't recognized in the \Garmin folder. But I'm glad they removed the filename restrictions. Evidently this was done to support their CityXplorer downloadable maps.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by OSTROFF01 View Post
                    ... to expand a bit on what Popej has said:
                    These inconsistencies between handhelds and nuvi's make things even more confusing ...
                    Thank you for the expansion. Yes, it was confusing enough with the older units. With these newer changes it's even more so. Now that this is a sticky, I don't think I'll mess with the original posts. I could modify it forever and probably not get it perfect. I'll let posts like yours and popej's provide the necessary clarification as we discover new information.

                    Thank you.



                    • #11
                      Man is this confusing. If a new map is put on the SD card and the old map is still on the internal memory, how does the GPS know which one to use?

                      Also, I am tryin to clean up my internal memory. What text files can be deleted? The voice files are pretty easy to ID from their names, but the text file names aren't very clear. I only need Americn English.



                      • #12
                        Europe version 2011.40 problems

                        Hi I just got a new Garmin Nuvi 245 and connect it to my PC.
                        When to the website to register it and after that it told me there was a one time update for a new map.
                        Install went OK on my PC.
                        When I started Mapsource all the map was there of Europe.
                        Marked the countries I wanted and install it on my SD card for my Nuvi.
                        All went OK.
                        Tested it today and half way to work the map went blank like I was driving off road.
                        Stopped the GPS and restarted and told it to take me to my work.
                        Could not find it on the map.
                        It seems that all of Antwerp and the boarder with Holland is not there.
                        All it would tell me that I was driving north.
                        I switched back to the install map that came with the Nuvi and I could see all the roads again.
                        Had to turn off the new map 2011.40 .because it was not working.
                        Has anyone else had any problems with this version??

                        Thanks Asprin624


                        • #13
                          The problem comes from your transfer of the map from Mapsource to the Nuvi. Two possibilities.

                          1. When you selected the map sections to transfer, you missed that section.

                          2. There was a problem when Mapsource compiled the map for transfer.

                          Use Mapsource to select and transfer the map again and see if that fixes the problem.



                          • #14
                            Same thing happened.
                            This time I only picked Holland and Belgium
                            Checked that I had all the areas I needed.
                            The same problem again. Just before the tunnel on E18 to Antwerp the Nuvi goes to recalculate and can not find any roads again.
                            I quickly switched back to the original map that came with the Nuvi and was able to see the road again.
                            But with the original map it is always recalculating the route.
                            Every exit I take it recalculates even when it tell me to take that exit.
                            Then when I got into the Harbor it did not know what to do.
                            I had to keep driving and then it found it's way again.
                            I have been driving this route for over 6 years and with my TomTom never had a problem.
                            I have been testing this Nuvi for my wife before I give it to her.
                            With all the problems I am having with it she will never use it.


                            • #15
                              How do you select tiles for transfer? Do you click each tile or do you mark a rectangle around chosen area?
                              With the former method it is easy to miss some cities, which are separated small tiles on map.
                              Dakota 20, 60CSx, nuvi 200, 1440t, 2340t, 3460t, 3540T, PL Topo, OSM, CN EU