how to get osm maps on my etrex vista hcx

Could someone tell me how to get osm maps on my etrex vista hcx?
I use my mapsource program to see the downloaded cycle maps, but i don`t see the map.
Could somebody tell me step by step how to put the map on my sd card so i can select it on my etrex.

You can reply in dutch or english, a desperate user and newby.

Welcome on the OpenStreet project

For the Netherlands:
Go to and run the Installer there. If you use it with Mapsource: make sure it is in your Garmin folder (usually in the root not in Programme files). Helps with showing in Mapsource.

For other maps prepared and your "home-brew"maps, the proces can be found here;

the Sendmap20 file, to send the pictures to your Garmin. A free version can be found here (almost at the bottom of the page): It can be used to copy the Garmin IMG files to your Garmin. Be careful deletes all other files, including previous uploaded files.


With the ‘x’ version of Garmin’s you’ll be quicker to just upload the gmapsupp file straight onto the GPS using the GPS as removable disk (just place the file gmapsupp.img into the /garmin folder). This will work if you’ve placed an SD-card in your GPS (which I recommend anyway for user friendliness).

If you want to see your map in MapSource as well then download the installer.

I finally menaged to put the osm map on my gps using send map20. It worked great!! Thanks all for the info.
I also used the installer and now my mapsourse has a runtime error and does not start up. How do i fix that?

Short answer: Remove the map registry keys from the register. Probably your Mapsource doesn’t like the OSM map…

Otherwise: downgrade Mapsource to some version older then 6.14.1 (juli 2008)

Otherwise: wait until I fixed the installer for the OSM map so that MapSource likes it again :slight_smile:

Hi Lambertus,

Like Rene10, I also succeded in uploading an img file to my Garmin etrex Vista HCx. It would be nice to see the map in MapSource (version 6.14.1). Would you please post a short notice when the fixed version of the installer is ready? That would be great!

Kind regards,

I will announce it in this thread when the installer works with 6.14.1

I found it easy enough to get the OSM maps on my Vista HCx

  • download several .img files (Iceland maps, and UK cycle map)
  • combine these into a single gmapsupp.img file using mkgmap
    (The command is java -jar mkgmap.jar --gmapsupp FILE1.img FILE2.img )
  • put the Vista in USB drive mode and copy gmapsupp.img into a folder called garmin

Like everyone else, I can’t get them into MapSource.
Someone suggested I try using MapSetToolKit to put the gmapsupp.img into MapSource. I struggled with this for a while, but gave up because I have no idea what to set variables like product code to, and get errors about things already being in the registry.

To those of you who successfully got your maps onto your Garmin GPS - do you find that they are searchable? For example, can you search for street names?

Has anyone tried combining with a Points of Interest database?

There are lots of searchable POIs (pubs, supermarkets etc.) in the .img files that I’ve downloaded. But street names are not searchable (I think it needs to be a routable map to do this). So it’s useful if you are trying to find a location that is mapped on OSM, but not useful ifyou know the street address but it’s not on the map.

I haven’t tried a separate POI database.

I have purchased a Garmin Etrex Legend HCx about a week ago. I want to be able to use it to do a survey of a large area of countryside for a research project. It would be useful if I could plot the way points as OS co=ordinates. Is this possible? Would I need any particular maps or software? This is all new territory (excuse the pun) to me.

You can use the built-in tracklogging function to make a record of your whereabouts (either using a fixed logging interval or by distance). Take pictures, use a dictaphone or make paper notes while surveying. You can download the tracklogs afterwards and compare timestamps. More info, tips and tricks on surveying.

When starting surveying you don’t need a map, although it’s handy to know what’s mapped already (and find your way back home perhaps). A list of OSM map providers for Garmin devices is listed here.

I have the same unit and it works very well. If you can install a micro-SD card, you can record the tracklog to the SD card and never worry about filling it up (even though the internal tracklog seems limited to 10,000 points). I take one reading per second.

You won’t need any additional maps or software. Eventually, you can download maps based on OSM data.

One minor gotcha - once when I changed batteries, I touched the micro SD card and it disengaged, but I didn’t notice. There is no external indicator that I noticed - so the entire next survey run was lost.

Also, if you record waypoints with averaging for more accuracy, I’ve found that they are not included in the GPX Tracklog - you’ll need the Garmin Waypoint manager to upload them, then save as GPX. I haven’t done that enough to know the best procedure.

That’s the way it works on the Vista - waypoints are stored in the unit’s internal memory only and not duplicated to the SD card.

There is some limit, other than available free space. It’s the number of files in SD card’s root directory. I learned that the hard way. I got enough files after about one year of usage (not even daily). The unit could not create a file, nor was I able to create file when the card was attached to my PC.
Resolution: Create a directory where you every now and then move older files.

I know this quote is from a very old posting but It seems that I am facing the same thing here today in the UK
I have after two days at the p.c managed to upload the OSM file of the UK and Ireland to my Garmin Etrex Vista HCx by first downloading the file zip and opening it to a new folder in the P.C, then renaming it to the one that is specified something like gmapsupp.img

Then making a new folder in the Garmin GPS (which registered on the P.C as drive F) and transferring all the files across from one to the other, which took about 27 minuets in all. After that I disconnected the GPS unit from the P.C and switched off the GPS then switch on the GPS unit again just to see if the maps had gone on there by going to menu map set-up information (the fifth icon along on the map set-up page) I think I read that if you have done it right and then the file you have just sent across will show up here on this page?
Also on first start up the copyright symbol will appear by the wording of of the map something like this © AND IRELAND

Here I must state that when I got the Garmin Vista HCx all I had was the unit, with a base map, a quick start manual, 64mb micro s d Card and a USB to GPS connecting cable.
I got a 4 GB Micro SD card as I saw on the web that you need a larger card to house the UK and Ireland OSM mapping.

Then I thought that just to make sure that the maps had really gone to the SD card in the Vista HCx GPS I could connect it up again to the P.C via the USB and look at the contents of the file just to make sure they were indeed there, But they were there, but just showing up as an icon (like a page from a book) with the title GMAPSUPP.IMG it wasn’t until I down loaded a trial version of mapedit.exe that some of the tiles that I ticked deemed to open (and then it was just like google earth satellite view but with some contours!)

First I left all of the tiles ticked and the programme refused to open any saying not enough space in the mapedit.exe programme It painfully blatant that I’m missing something here as after doing all that is asked of me I still can’t get this map to show up All I have is the basic Garmin base map which is worst than useless as I know my way around most of the uk’s Main roads as we all do, I just want it the thing to show me the B roads and minor roads so I can avoid the traffic here in the west country. When I’m out on my cycling trips
I am sure that some one has had the same problem as this as I know I am far from unique

I though you all would chuffed to know that I eventully got it the OSM to load on the Garmin Vista HCx I know I was pleased with me self and it was a really stupid mistake that anyone can make I faithfully copy the advice I found on several websites and after unzipping saved the map as GMAPSUPP.IMG when in fact all one MUST DO is save it as GMAPSUPP as it is already an .imgfile and the file name is too long. All I would like now is to be able to overlay it with the NCR and local cycle route numbers!
Anybody got any thoughts on this Please?
Many thanks Antnee

Go to
Download and unpack OFM(EU_2013_N1_GPS).zip
Copy the contents on micro SD card and you are all set