Icon overload

When I download maps with OpenStreeMap and look at cities, there are so many icons displayed that the map itself becomes invisible. It seems that for every shop there is a little shopping bag icon and for every hotel a bed. Is there a way to turn these off? They are making the maps unusable for cities.

When you say “when I download maps from OpenStreeMap” are you just referring to the maps that you see on the osm.org website, like for example http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/52.95354/-1.14906? If so, just switch using the “stack of books” icon at the right to a different stile, such as Mapquest’s: https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/52.95354/-1.14906&layers=Q.

No I’m referring to ones that I download from here http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/.

You may wish to try making your own maps using mkgmap

From the style manual documentation…

3.5. The points file
This files contains a set of rules for converting OSM nodes to Garmin POIs (restaurants, bars, ATMs etc). It can also contain rules for some kind of OSM nodes that may affect routing behavior, for example barriers, traffic_calming, traffic_signals, etc.
If this file is not present or empty then there will be no POI’s in the final map.

Depends on what model Garmin you are using. You should be able to go to Setup menu, then Map, then there’s an option for “Map detail”. So if you set that to “Least”, it won’t show as much stuff.

Or if you are using Garmin Basecamp, there is a dropdown menu on the toolbar for detail level. Plus you can go to Edit menu, then Options, then Activity Profile. That has an option for “Map display features”, which lets you show or hide particular things.