OSM is a wiki-style world map, similar in style and coverage to Google Maps, and with much fuller world-wide coverage than Garmin's own maps - but relatively free of copyright restrictions. |
The completeness and accuracy of the coverage is very variable, but improving all the time. In some areas it's simply better than any other map available - in others it's still very sketchy. In the UK it's pretty good, in France it's patchy (some areas very good indeed, some almost non-existent), in India it's variable but often better than any other map, paper or otherwise.
Anyway, if you zoom in hard enough on your area of interest on the online world map, you'll see for youself what the coverage is like.
The OSM map is constantly being updated, but secondary versions such as the one linked here are 'snapshots' taken at intervals, sometimes weekly or monthly. So you might want to check the 'last updated' date printed below the map - if it's more than a week or so old, there might be a refresh due soon.
It's easy to get this map onto your Garmin if you have a GPS that uses a data card (usually a microSD card) - if not, it's also easy to get this map into Mapsource and then get it onto your GPS that way. Here's how:
* Go to OSM Routable Maps.
(Actually, by all means take the time to read the excellent advice on the rest of that page - it's such a fine, useful resource ...)
* Some time later (usually within an hour, but it depends how busy the site is) you will receive an email with web address - usually this is a clickable link, so just click it.
* To put gmapsupp.img on your Garmin - if you have a card reader and an adapter for microSD, this is the best way. Remove the card from your GPS (or, much better, use a fresh one) put it in the card reader and connect to the PC. You'll find on it, a folder \Garmin\ (or if you're using a fresh card, you must first make this folder - \Garmin\ ) and inside that folder is the existing map file called gmapsupp.img
If you don't have a card reader, then you can connect the GPS and switch it to 'USB Connect' mode, and copy the file that way.
If your Garmin GPS supports maps but doesn't have a card, you can download the .exe file instead. Run it on your Windows PC and it will install the new map into Mapsource (alongside any other maps you already have). Now you can get the map into the GPS.
If you don't have Mapsource or Windows, then you'll need to try the other downloadable files and the various online help pages linked on the main map page. There are lots of ways to skin this cat - what I've described above is just the easiest one.
Some basic stuff:
Living with a Garmin: Etrex Basic Setup
Living with a Garmin: Battery Runtime and Etrex Jitter
Living with a Garmin: The Waypoints Limitation
Living with a Garmin: The Follow Road Trap
Living with a Garmin: The Circular Routes Problem
Living with a Garmin: Declutter the Page Sequence
Living with a Garmin: Living with Metroguide Maps
Living with a Garmin: Waypoint Naming (for direct-style routes)
Living with a Garmin: Colour your Tracks and Routes
Living with a Garmin: Create a Route on the GPS
Top 5 GPS Tips (pdf) reprint of Arrivee article published Feb 2007
Some GPS FAQs web version of Arrivee article published Nov 2008
NEW - Garmin Etrex 20/30 essays:
Etrex 30 review reprint of Arrivee article published Jan 2012
Etrex 20 & 30, Basic Setup
Taming the Etrex 20/30: Restore the 'Page' key.
Dakota 20 review reprint of Arrivee article published Feb 2010
Living with a Garmin: Waypoint Naming and the Dakota 20 / Etrex 30
More Garmin essays - not-so-basic:
Garmin Etrex C Menu Map (pdf, July 2008)
Living with a Garmin: Full Reset
Living with a Garmin: Track, Route or Autoroute
Living with a Garmin: Three Ways to Beat the Waypoint Limit
Living with a Garmin: Three Ways to Beat the Trackpoint Limit
Living with a Garmin: Less is More
Living with a Garmin: Add Contours to your GPS Maps
Living with a Garmin: Struggling with GPX &... More GPX
Living with a Garmin: Screens you don't see every day
Living with a Garmin: Downgrade your Mapsource
Living with a Garmin: Put an OSM Map on your Garmin
Living with a Garmin: GPS Soak Test files to test your GPS waypoint capacity
OpenStreetMap and Mapsource Add OSM to your Mapsource collection
A Google Maps Workflow Create, Edit, Save, Share and Export a route