Where can I find an introduction to installing mkgmap hiking maps


It probably has been asked a thousand times but I have searched high and low and wound up as confused as hell, which is a standard OSM experience!!!

I am a mad keen OSM mapper with the name Ent. My interests are bushwalking or depending on your country, hiking, trekking maps. I have used OSM extensively in Polatch 1 and 2 and now finally JOSM to create the mapping data in OSM. I have used OSM Australia website to download the Garmin .IMG files and successfully installed them directly on my Garmin 62S, Rino 650 and even Fenix watch and regularly use them. I am a happy OSM mapper but would like to go further. I like the routable files as they are great given the huge issue Garmin maps have for bushwalkers. Standard maps are vehicle based and so fade out highway=path at low zoom levels and useless for displaying mountains and huts/campsite at any sensible zoom level. If your walk in the wilderness you will understand that major highways do not exist and you can be thirty kilometres away from a hut or campsite using mountains twenty kilometres away to get your bearings. Also tags like natural=scree or natural=fell are not rendered on the Garmin IMG files that I have been using. The walkers will amongst you will understand how important this information is. I have download Contours Australia 5m and use this on the 62S and the Rino 650 with OSM data overlaid. But this does not give contour shading and frankly confuses people that I am trying to interest into OSM mapping. I have set up many Garmins but every user has complained that paths disappear and they can not see the mountains without zooming into ridiculous levels. Plus on more than a few Garmins the searchable POI tables appear broken.

I found links to OSM Composer and thought that this would do the job but then in true OSM style it referred me to half a dozen things that need to be installed like mkgmap with instructions that could best be described as ancient geek. Yes I have installed Java and got JOSM up and running but that was a nightmare as you got lost in what version of Java and half a dozen other issues. Gave up in frustration trying to install Scanaerial even though that would be an immense help getting tarns mapped. I am more than happy to help and and write install instructions that are better than, “install Java, install A, install B and then use the application”. I use Windows and though once a Unix command line guy can not fathom the half Windows and half command line approach that many applications use. If I click on a exe file up flashes a command line response and then it drops out. So I am forced to type cmd and then navigate a directory structure longer than the Nile in Windows to get to the directory. Also no idea what is a sensible amount of data to download and manipulate. I am only interested in the state of Tasmanian in Australia at the moment but for the life of me can not get the raw data from OSM downloaded as half the world wants me to take all Australia and the other half only allows me a few square kilometres.

So what I am after is simple instructions how to set up and use a suite of applications to generate Garmin *.IMG files that have contours and my preferred zoom levels that can render on the Garmin huts, campsites, scree and fell. Please do not refer me to sites like OpenMTB as that site is for MTB, not walking, and nothing annoys me more than a site that claims to be an organization asking for donations when in fact it is a commercial business. No problem if the developer wants to make money but drop the “donation” hogwash. Plus their maps are useless for walking and barely know where Australia is.

I access the internet via mobile phone so prefer small data sizes to frequently update my Garmin. On OSM Tasmania routable Garmin file generated by OSM Australia is 5MB which is brilliant. Once I get the maps working I would like to have a site like OSM Australia make them freely available to fellow walkers so I can encourage more people to map as they can see the result of their hard work. OSM is not much help if all it has is blank spaces. And as we all know many hands make light work.

Any way sorry for more a rant than a question but I on and off for six months have been hunting for a way to do the above and hit countless dead ends. My operating system is Windows Home Premium 64. Please, please someone help me.

Cheers Brett (Ent)

I would say that creating Garmin maps from OSM is quite easy but you have to start with splitter and mkgmap. I can’t imagine any other advice as suggestion to learn how to use both tools. When you are able to create generic map, then you can start learning about styles and other details.

As popej pointed out you have to start with splitter and mkgmap. An introduction how to create a first map can be found in the wiki: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Mkgmap/help/How_to_create_a_map.

A detailed description of the style files can be found in the style manual on the mkgmap homepage: http://www.mkgmap.org.uk/doc/index.html

Have fun!

Ok let me explain what is confusing the hell out of me.

First something so simple that appears anyone that knows how to do it assumes every one must know as it is in the Human DNA. What version of mkgmap??? Ok follow the link http://www.mkgmap.org.uk/download/mkgmap.html and you will see many version and many types of download compression. Normally you are told to use X which is a stable build and Y is what you need for Windows but here I could spend hours going nowhere not even knowing where and how to put the files that even if I fluke the right version for Windows 7 Home Premium.

Now as a old Unix hand I would put applications into a directory and include the path in the user profile. That was twenty years ago since I used Unix and went from programer to accountant. If what I am reading is correct if I dump mkgmap in a directory on Windows I have to type cmd and then a Windows path like cd c:\windows\user\username.… every time I start Windows and given Windows capacity to fall over that is quite a lot of times!!! Also with the joys of dealing with special characters like spaces that under Dos 2.1 were not allowed. I am sure that there is a better way but again nobody that knows seems to think that this is important to mention.

So I repeat to download splitter. Great, but why? Sure if I was downloading the whole OSM database I would expect the need to split a 200GB file but unless I spend my life savings on mobile data plans that is not going to happen.

So where do I get the data from??? I live in Australia on an island called Tasmania. Been an island it has ocean with no bridges. Over forty percent of the state is a National Park. That is rights folks you can be thirty plus kilometres away from the nearest road. Its Garmin *.IMG file is 5MB for the routable version from OSM Australia. Yet I am told reading that I should use pre-created downloads. For Australia, the smallest chunk I can find it is 145MB. Australia is a bog place and that size is growing every day. So given that I map through the week and walk on the weekend I need to expend 145MB downloading the whole continent to access the smallest state in Australia every week. Sorry that just stupid unless you work for a telecommunication company looking to increase data sales.

So do I need to use spiltter if I download one node, hundred node, my state, Australia? What is the size of the likely file I need to split?

Where do I get the contour lines from? How do I install them so mkgmap sees them?

As you can see I have not even got as far as using mkgmap!!! Frankly does anyone think that the above is uncommon issue to a OSM mapper that is not a programmer in Microsoft Windows? I am on an Australian user group for OSM with a lot of very dedicated mappers but mention mkgmaps and short of refering you to OSM Australia pre-packaged IMG files they have not much more to add. I emailed that person that developed the prepackage IMG files and his words were, “I fluked a few things but have no great understanding”. So that is the sum total of a country of nearly thirty million peoples knowledge of mkgmaps. I wind up looking for one think like hiking maps and hundreds of we pages later I have struck more contradictions and reference to same webpages that referred me to so not surprising down under we are confused as hell.

Please there must be somewhere and someone that actually ventures out of a city park and can understand what I am trying to do. Yes, I have read the nearly always conflicting and vague Wikipedia entries. Do not even get me started on the path controversy!!! Heck Wikipedia can contradict itself on the same webpage!!!

Has anyone created Garmin IMG with contours and optimized for walking away from the bright city lights. If so please tell me how to do it. I am at the stage with OSM of saying, stuff it, buy commercial maps and advise anyone that OSM is for city bound people. I have invested hundreds if not thousands of hours into mapping my state and would like to see other people benefit from my work. At them moment all I can cobble together is half baked vehicle maps that are “dangerous” in the zoom levels. A walking path disappears at the 300 metre zoom level and you have thirty kilometres to scan if that path is the one you want. You see contours suggesting mountains but have zoom to 300 or even lower to find their names. All done standing in knee deep snow with the sundown at 4.30pm.

I look at OSM Composer and go, “yes that is what I want” but then hit, well sorry, ancient geek with needing to make more assumptions than a first year med student on how things work.

Please will someone that uses OSM for the wilderness give me a hand.

Sorry again for my rant but we have a wonderful tool in mkmap and data sources but nothing to encourage people to actually use it. As I said before if I can get decent maps for the Garmins then I could recruit more mappers. At the moment OSM users start off enthusiastic and get disillusioned.

About mkgmap version, use advice from your link: “you would normally download the top one unless you know it has a problem”. This is what I’m doing.
In Windows you can make a batch file which include whole mkgmap command, no reason to write it each time again.
I can’t help with your data plan, but short googling showed me this site http://extract.bbbike.org/ . Looks like Tasmania extract is about 5MB, mabye you will be able to get it.
If Garmin img of Tasmania is 5MB then you don’t need to split it further. Single img can be up to 10-20MB.
For creating contours I’m using this tool http://katze.tfiu.de/projects/phyghtmap/ .
You can make separate contour layer or merge contour data with OSM using osmosis http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Osmosis
For contours map you probably will need to modify styles in mkgmap. The same goes if you want to change at which zoom map objects are visible. I’m sorry to inform you, that creating styles is like real programming. You can have a look at documentation and examples which are included in mkgmap distribution.

See How to create free maps for your Garmin GPS unit: a step-by-step guide

Ok. I downloaded the zip version as I assume that is the version for Windows or can at least be unzipped.

So I run the basic java -jar mkgmap.jar data.osm buy using Windows + R then type cmd

And I get the following error. Error: Unable to access jar file mkgmap.jar

So I run java -version and get the following

java version “1.7.0_03”
Java™ SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_03-b05)
Java HotSpot™ 64-Bit Server VM (build 22.1-b02, mixed mode)

Ok JOSM works with that version.

So I can not even get to the simple running of java with the -jar mkgmap. Any clues??? Seek and you shall find. Run it as a superuser and it generated a very basic img file so now the next step.

Given that the above it appears extremely challenging to get mkgmap working under Windows 7! Are there any clues to make is simpler. Even something as simple as editing the style file creates problems as notepad has everything on one line as it does not understand linefeeds. Ok I can use Wordnote but the entire process is almost designed to make it as difficult as possible.


-use notepad++ to edit the style files
-include a path where windows can find the mkgmap.jar file
-use batch files instead of cmd

Ok thanks for the help so far battling Windows

  1. Downloaded and installed notepad++ and it has a vi feel about it so comfortable with it.
  2. Created a bat file and this overcame the need to switch into superuser mode.
  3. Remember way back to dos 2.0 to put a pause command in at the end to see what was happening.
  4. Remembered that Unix / is Dos \ so overcame path issues and took the cheap and nasty approach of everything in the one directory
  5. Downloaded the style from http://www.cferrero.net/maps/downloads/CF_Mapsource.zip
  6. Kind Linux OSM mapper provided pbf file and contour lines of my state so I could avoid that step
  7. Also was provided and example command line, with that being

java -Xmx8192m -Xms2048m -ea -jar mkgmap.jar --max-jobs=4 --gmapsupp --route --drive-on-left --check-roundabouts --remove-short-arcs --generate-sea --remove-ovm-work-files --add-pois-to-areas --location-autofill=nearest --style-file=styles\Hiking\ –description=“OSM Tasmania Contours” --country-name=Australia --country-abbr=AU --region-name=Tasmania --region-abbr=TAS --draw-priority=25 tasmania.osm.pbf --family-name=contours tasmania_lon*.osm.pbf --draw-priority=1000 --transparent

  1. Ran the above and the following errors were generated

WARNING: Style uses tag ‘display_name’ which is deprecated and will be removed soon. Please use the new tag ‘mkgmap:display_name’ instead.
{Err I am using a style that the http://www.mkgmap.org.uk link to so have they got it wrong?}

SEVERE (MapBuilder): tasmania.osm.pbf: Non-routable way with routable type 0x1b starting at http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=-43.33924&mlon=146.08557&zoom=17
is used for a routable map. This leads to routing errors. Try --check-styles to check the style.
{is this a problem with the pbf file creation or something else wrong with the style sheet}

My directory gets filled with 24 small IMG files and one big one called gmapsupp. Renamed it and copied it to my Garmin 62S. Map came up minus the contours (the file the Linux person created was 25MB and mine is 9MB)

So massive progress but errors with what I hoped would be a clean style sheet to start playing with and no contours loaded plus a file size that should without contours be 5.7MB or 25MB with contours.

So steps to fix the above?

And thanks for the help to date. Native Windows tools make simple things in Unix that bit harder.

Cheers Brett

The latest styles you can copy from http://www.mkgmap.org.uk/websvn/listing.php?repname=mkgmap&path=%2Ftrunk%2Fresources%2Fstyles%2Fdefault%2F&#a455f5589e26da3437dea128578b3843f
Non-routable way with routable type 0x1b can lead to routing errors if you use address search to route to this road, but since it is a unnamed path you can ignore this error.
Contours: the highest draw-priority that garmin accepts is 31, and you must put --draw-priority=31 --transparent before tasmania_lon*.osm.pbf

Ok thanks for the information. Meantime I found adding this to the line style sheet from another one that I found on the web generated the contour lines without any other changes to the running java mkgmap that I gave previously.

Contours take their name from the elevation setting.

contour=elevation & contour_ext=elevation_minor
{ name ‘${ele|conv:m=>ft}’; }
[0x20 resolution 23]
contour=elevation & contour_ext=elevation_medium
{ name ‘${ele|conv:m=>ft}’; }
[0x21 resolution 21]
contour=elevation & contour_ext=elevation_major
{ name ‘${ele|conv:m=>ft}’; }
[0x22 resolution 20]
contour=elevation | contour_ext=elevation
{ name ‘${ele|conv:m=>ft}’; }
[0x21 resolution 20]

I clicked on the link to style sheets but I am using Windows 7 and could not find any zip file to download. I read that styles should be packaged as zip files but can not find any. All Firefox wants to do is download links not actual files. www.mkgmap.uk website does not give any links to any style sheets from their home page. Talk about dumpster diving to find things! Am I now expected to learn fttp protocol as well?

Sorry to be so painful but there appears to be a huge assumption that anyone that actually wants to use OSM needs to Linux system programmer. I am a mapper that wants to encourage other people to map but honestly the process of creating maps suitable for hiking means very few will ever do, so they give up and walk away from OSM. I see in my own state numerous inactive mappers and the ones that I can contact all make the same comment that it looks pretty on the screen but they do not take their computer when walking or even driving so could not see the purpose once the novelty wore off. I hike, MTB, road bike, kayak and occasionally go out 4WD driving and can state that one img style can not serve all purposes. Mkgmap is looks like a brilliant tool for this so trying to learn it but just getting the basics to work is a nightmare as there are more conflicting instructions than OSM has dead end mapping tags.

I have spent numerous days mapping my state as Ent but still can not find any sensible walking img files so forced to create my own but find sample styles years out of date, missing stuff and website that with a few basic human touches could help. Sorry people but something needs to be done. I am happy to help and write documentation as the moment any information is scattered across the web. Does anyone know the site owner of www.mpgamp.uk and is it possible to have zip styles accessible from standard browsers? Even a willingness to have a help section would be brilliant. I do not expect the site owner to write the help merely have a place for people to go to in order to get started.

Thanks for your help so far and it would be great if some simple instructions could be developed and more importantly maintained for the Windows world and even just www.mkgmap.uk having default styles accessible from their home screen in a format that can be download by a browser would be a huge start.


What style are you looking for?
Style “default” is included in mkgmap package, look on your HDD.
Other styles embedded in mkgmap are accessible in repository, you can download all in a zip form here:


I clicked on your link and sorry I cannot see any files with the zip extension. The first thing I see is a folder icon with the name idea, followed by doc. If is dig down in doc I can see a directory called styles and even read the text files in it. What am I missing?

Yes I have looked at the default style but it does not have contours as I have previously posted. I am using the style from the link that I posted earlier for my base as it suggests it is optimized for hiking. It is written in many readme files that very few people create a style from scratch. So I am looking for a sensible hiking style from someone that actually hikes and does not ride a bike or drives a car from campsite to campsite. Outside Europe wilderness areas extend for hundreds if not thousands of kilometres but surely someone walks remote areas in Europe as it is not completely paved yet.

Ok what am I after. A style that supports

  1. Contours as it helps to know if a cliff is in your path.

  2. Proper zoom levels for things like mountains and huts and that does not decided that at 300 metres zoom footways should disappear. A walking track can be over eighty kilometres long in my small state. Mountains are what you navigate from when you are thirty kilometres away from the nearest vehicle track. Finding a hut in a blizzard means life or death. In dense scrub a campsite is highly important to pitch a tent when the weather cracks up.

  3. One that does not fill up space with building outlines that I add are render white on off white on my Garmin 62S and Rino 650. Remains me of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy with a black button on a black panel that when pushed lights up a black light!

4, One that uses generic Garmin icons as “tourism=alpine_hut [0x2b05 resolution 18]” does not render as 0x2b05 does not appear to be a standard Garmin icon. Is is it custom POI? I have no idea? I would dearly love to use the standard map icons that appear on the OSM website but that does not appear to be in the standard set for my Garmins. My reference is for “standard” icons is http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDIQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cferrero.net%2Fmaps%2Fdownloads%2Fgarmin_feature_list.xls&ei=RjzlUfnXAcTpiAfA2oC4DA&usg=AFQjCNG2VoJM0tD2TFKeykbRWQksy3_bkA&bvm=bv.48705608,d.aGc I notice screen dumps from Garmins with lovely hiking specific icons but despite looking long and hard can only get a slight grasp of what is required to use them. It would be great to use them as one style uses a bed for an alphine_hut so rather vague compared to a walker in a hut that is rendered in OSM website.

I am happy to play with resolution levels but can not work out why some paths are render white on a off white background on my Garmin 62S and Garmin Rino 650. I played with the detail levels on my Garmin and streets go from white on off white to solid colours when I zoom in to around 300 metres.

Have not found any reference to deciphering say
highway=footway {add access = no; add foot = yes} [0x0b road_class=0 road_speed=0 resolution 19]

Sure I understand resolution levels but finding a table for 0x0b alludes me. Is it a colour code and line style?

What amazes me is many hikers carry a GPS but I can not find a sensible hiking style. I read of great things with OSM Composer but actually have no idea if this is just hope rather than creating on my Garmin 62s what they show on the web pages. I have my doubts as unless you can extend the Garmin Icons from an IMG file and can mkgmap support contour shading as OSM composer uses mkgmap?

So that is what I am after. As I said given the high concentration of Garmins amongst hikers I would have thought that there would have been numerous styles for hiking but the ones tyhat I have seen are useless in the real world with huts not rendered, footways disappearing at 300 metres, and mountains at the same level.

Finally all the above minus contours and routing for simple Garmins like the Extrex 10 and Fenix as they have limited space.

If I can do all the above then fellow hikers will see merit in OSM. Believe me it is dangerous trying to use OSM standard styles in the real world as you get lost having to zoom into grass level to find huts and mountains assuming that they are rendered. My issue is I see lovely claimed displays on Garmins but find nothing to generate them.

Thanks again for your patience but this is an import area for OSM that I want to get right.

You dont need any zip file, just right click and download every text file you see on https://github.com/openstreetmap/mkgmap/tree/master/resources/styles/default
And dont forget the inc subfolder because this one contains the contour style:


Exactly on this page, down on right column, do you see big button with text “Download ZIP”? Use it and get whole source for mkgmap, including all styles.

In your mkgmap directory, do you have file examples\styles\default\inc\contour_lines?
This is an include, see in “lines” file, at the end you have include command:

include 'inc/water_lines';
include 'inc/contour_lines';

Have you read doc\style-manual.pdf from mkgmap directory?


The large download zip box on my 16:9 screen is rather small out to the side nondescript button. I am unfamiliar with the website screen layout but now understand. I was looking for the zip file in the directory list. Anyway I have now found it. It downloaded a zip file mkgmap-master. I found in mkgmap-master\test\resources\teststyles but have not looked at them in any detail but they do not contain a hiking file I can quickly see.

I am still coming to term with the style syntax and what appear multiple ways of doing things. Your approach is to link to additional styles for contours while others to have them in the main style sheet. So a style sheet can call another style sheet. I wounder of you can have recursive calling of style sheets just to make Pascal programmers feel at home, only joking.

I have had a quick read through the style_manual.pdf and it contained a few hints why I am striking issues but no solutions.

  1. Ok, if I understand there appears not to be a hiking style sheet developed in the entire OSM world that I can download and start work with. So every hiker has to start from scratch playing with a generic default style designed for people that only ever drive cars. Inefficient as Seven of Nine would say. Ok if that is what I have to do then that is what I will do even if seems like re-inventing the wheel as I am sure worldwide there are thousands of hikers using OSM or more accurately hoping before they give up mapping in OSM as they get back no suitable maps for hiking with for all their efforts.

  2. It appears that my white lines on near white backrground is an issue with mkgmap and individual Garmin devices. No idea how to fix that one as white lines on an off white background makes the whole exercise useless for all than those without twenty / twenty-five eyesight.

  3. I am at a loss while you have a style and then type sheet? A friend added on a type sheet that he found at http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/ and his Garmin display looked better as buildings went from faded yellow on yellow background to actually see-able clear blue blocks. I think his default background is yellow while mine is white. I would need a solution to this issue else the whole process is joke and I will give up mapping as hours mapping things not to see them is about as soul destroying as it gets.

  4. I can not figure out why many web-pages show icons such as windmills that are not included in the the standard Garmin point of interest list. I have no idea if it is a result of a type file, or some other process but using a bed symbol to represent an alpine_hut is rather desperate. I would like to have huts clearly defined as huts. Also to icons to represent differences between tourism=alpine_hut and tourism=wilderness_hut.

Anyway as usual any help on the above points but I dearly would love a dedicated hiking style sheet as would every one that ventures off vehicle roads.

Cheers Brett

Try my maps - Openmtbmap.org - with hiking layout which you can choose in the installer. But I don’t publish my styles anymore due to various reasons. I’m right now working on a top50 / Kompass like layout, even though I think aiming for a traditional topo map layout sucks, as they were created with other technical means (often 2 or 4 color print only (including shades of the colors, but not including mixing of colors) - and so on… Also making a map look like a topo map, means losing a lot of information that exists in OSM (e.g. no topo map has oneway information…). For me the only raster maps that are okay to be displayed mobile are Kompass maps - due to much thicker ways, better signage of routes, and more contrast/stronger colors. On the other hand of course Kompass makes maps for childrens - in terms of easy readability - which looses a lot of information - though Kompass got better lately (maps published within the last 5-10 years, older Kompass maps were utter rubbish IMHO).

There are far too many options available, in order to have one map that suites all tastes.


  1. Openmtbmap.org is a user pay site. It does not do premium maps for Tasmania so huge downloads for very little information. I have had three credit cards cancelled due to credit fraud over the internet I do not plan to loss the fourth one paying money for something that I know will be useless! Also they only do Australia. Australia is huge!!! It is faster to fly from England than Turkey to get from my home town to Brisbane and that is considered a short flight by Australian standards. Our contours alone are 2GB of data. Anyone that thinks creating an Australian only map being suitable for Australia has no idea about Australia.

  2. A mtb is not hiking. I have a mtb and maps for mtb are useless at hiking so are their maps. You are thirty kilometres away from anything that can handle wheels, you have just slid down a 1300 metres mountain range and there is over a metre of snow on the ground and all OSM can offer to its legions of mappers that have slaved over their computer are img files that have paths disappearing past 300 metre zoom, huts with bed icons that you need to zoom into 120 metres to find. Mountains that need to be zoomed into 120 metres to find and nobody cares! In my home state that probably covers as much area as England and Wales has a population of 500,000 and a handful of active mappers. People that map find OSM useless on their Garmins so give up. Before I started mapping there were only three mountains mapped out over 1000 that are over 1000 metres high. There was one hiking trail partly mapped. It would be great to actually have usable maps for my Garmin for all the effort. If I had that then I could show people that their mapping efforts are worthwhile. Instead I load up their Garmins requiring them zoom in to 120 metres to see anything.

  3. I have looked at typ files and styles but yet to find any clear instructions or definitions on what a line code actually draws like on my Garmin. I change a style resolution level and I get paths white on white when I download them to my Garmin. I look at custom ICONS and someone wants to flog me their program for 340USD or it has so many limitations in the freeware versions that is useless only to find it has purely commercial USA business icons when I did through their site But I can produce maps that I can lock to device. Great I can join the legion of crooks that flogged me maps for my Garmin that did not even bother to have the correct name for the mountains! So much for the hundreds of hours that I have spent mapping along with encouraging and helping others to map.

  4. I have a Garmin 62S which is a pretty common Garmin yet nothing I have seen on the OSM sites is any good for it. All I want is a cmd line (shell or bat), style suitable contours with half sensible resolution levels for mountains and walking tracks plus alpine and wilderness huts, and maybe a type file so a hut can be a hut like it is on mapnik, and no white paths on white backgrounds. Despite many post all I can find is way of creating maps only suitable for driving. Google maps can do that!

Please will someone understand the above. All I want is the above three things, cmd, style, and maybe a TYP. If I can get them then I can have the tools to encourage other to map. Else the world will be blank where cars do not go.

Sorry but am I asking for too much?


I think I could faster create a map of Tasmania then write 2 long posts like yours above :wink:

You can look at these maps: http://freizeitkarte-osm.de/en/index.html
They publish full toolchain (0.5GB) to create these maps, as you said: cmd, style, typ. See here:

Somehow I doubt you will be satisfied. Maybe you could take a look at http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html ? This is a funny and wise advice how to extract informations from forums like this one.

  1. not true - about 95% of actually downloaded maps in MB are free. Australia-Oceania map download (without contours) is free. I see no reason to split up Australian maps, as long as OSM mapdata for all of australia is still not even 1/3 of Germany alone. With vector maps, mapsize is about MB you download, not about area covered. Contourlines you only need to download once - they don’t change!

  2. if an area like, Australia outside of major metropol areas is poorly mapped, then Garmin gps offers very good ways of changing detail. In Austria or Germany I actually nowadays usually set detail to low - as virtually every trail and house is mapped, hence too much detail. If you try to bike or hike along a trail, anything above 500m zoom is usually too zoomed out for knowing if you are actually still on the trail, or missed it. The less content is in the map, the worse. 80-120 in urban areas, and 120-200 outdoors are the most usable zoom ranges on Garmin GPS if an area is properly mapped. There is no such huge discrepancy between MTB and hiking that you would need to actually have two different maps. The only thing that you cannot influence in the .typ-file is the name of ways. But you can make POIS or Lines disappear at different zoom levels depending on the .typ-file. So first learn what is possible, then start your rant!

  3. there is plenty of information about it on the internet. Maptk is free and Typwiz 3 costs 8GPB so not much. There are other free editors, that can do everything you need. You actually don’t even need an editor, and can edit in .txt files, and use mkgmap to compile the .typ - this is of course more advanced.

The only thing above like 10€ I know, is cpgsmapper. That is an outdated tool noone needs anymore for OSM data. 6 years ago, or even 3-4 years ago, before mkgmap was really established, it had it’s reasons why you would pay for it.

  1. Well you live in Australia - OSM is mainly a white spot in the nature, your needs are different than the needs of the majority. It has nothing to do with your GPS. OSM is still very Europe focussed, and Australia or America have few mappers and also few users. Asia depends on the country - Japan is well mapped for example.