How To Change a Garmin Basemap

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Garmin is one of the most popular producers of GPS navigation devices. Their GPS units are sold with pre-installed "basemaps" that are tailored for the geographic area that the unit is intended for use. Although the basemap can not be changed, you can purchase additional mapping products from Garmin that provide the same level of detail for your use as the alternative basemap.

  • Navigate your web browser to the Maps home page at Garmin.com.

  • Choose the mapping product that is listed for the geographic area that you are interested in. A common task for Garmin users is to download the MetroGuide for an international city that is not pre-loaded in the Garmin.

  • Open the Garmin Maps application on your computer after purchase. Select the "Scale" menu option on the Maps program and choose the scale desired for the area you are going to import into your Garmin. 10 miles is a common distance to choose for the map selection blocks if you do not know what distance to choose.

  • Left click on each 10-mile area you desire to export to your Garmin. The size in megabytes for the selected maps is listed at the lower left portion of the Garmin Maps display.

  • Connect your Garmin to the computer using the USB cable that came with your GPS device. Then choose the "Export to Device" menu option from Garmin Maps.

  • View the feedback dialogue on Garmin Maps when the upload is complete. If your Garmin's memory is full, you will see an "Upload Not Successful" message dialogue and will need to reduce the size of the map upload.

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