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Getting maps for my GPS (how I did it)

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Well as some of you know by my recent topic I bought a garmin etrex hcx. I wanted a basic, low cost, mapping unit and I'm ultimately happy with my purchase. While I haven't used it on the water yet I have used it on the trails and it works flawlessly and accurately usually within 10ft.

Anyway the only major disappointment with the unit is the horrible basemap! I was told by several people I could buy a chip with maps, but at a cost of $100-150! :eek:
Sorry but that seems nuts to me considering the unit cost less then $200. All the other units I looked into had much more reasonablly priced, or free maps. I did a google search and it took me all of 5 minutes to find what I was looking for.
Heres some screen shots from my laptop, the same maps download to the unit:

Garmin's base map of Ft D

Here's the free one I found to download

Another shot of garmin's from egmont key

Free map

The free maps use garmin's own management program, MapSource, and automatically download and install themselves once you click on them. Once the DL is done just open the program and use the drop box in the left corner to switch between the maps. You can also adjust the level of detail to get rid of some of the clutter (I just really wanted better land masses and waterways).

Heres the link to the free maps.
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· Fresh AND Salt ... it ain't my fault!
437 Posts
Your post title reminded me of the movie Young Frankenstein where they find the baron's book titled "How I Did It".

Those maps are a great step up from the base map for sure. I'm not so certain about the location of the Atlantic Ocean though! (Yes, I know the gulf is part of the Atlantic)


· BBA Counselor
7,400 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If this works for my 76CSX....forget Brett... You will be my new internet hero!!!!
And the student becomes the teacher....... ;D

They will work for your 76. I downloaded several maps from them and the one that I took the screen shots of, and the one I'll be using is the Florida Topo. If you need help post up.

· Paddling away...
6,306 Posts
would this work on a Garmin 440?

It comes with great mapping for saltwater.
But absolutely nothing for freshwater lakes and canals.

Is there a map for freshwater, and will it work on my Garmin 440?


7,717 Posts
Tech sites recommend loading only the few maps you need for the area you are going to travel.
The more information on the chip, the more the processor has to work through
each time it updates the display. Keep all your data on your computer at home.
Load only the minimum you need for a trip, in order to speed the refresh rate.

· BBA Counselor
7,400 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
would this work on a Garmin 440?
As long as it uses the mapsource software that most of them use then it should work.

I downloaded several maps and the Florida Topo map is the best. It does have some decent detail of inland lakes and such.

Like Brett said I would only download the areas you will be fishing and keep your memory clear as you can. But even if you load it up fully when you are zoomed in and actually running a track the refresh rate shouldn't be an issue. Also you can scale down the detail and declutter it which will speed up the refresh rate a bunch.

As far as the detail goes for other areas, you all will have to let me know how accurate it is since it will take me a while before I really get to use mine.
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