GPS Mapping

This page summarizes a few items that are available to enhance the use of GPS units that support mapping, such as the Garmin 60csx.

Ibycus Maps

Dale Atkin of Calgary has created a set of topo maps from public domain data. These are equal in quality to the Topo Canada series, and have a few niceties such as showing treed terrain in green. His website is here.

Hereis a sample of the Ibycus Topo 4.0 compared with the Garmin Topo Canada v2.

The maps can be downloaded from the internet as a torrent - IbycusTopo40.iso, or by purchasing the DVD from Dale. Should you end up using the maps, I'm sure Dale would appreciate a contribution.

Once the maps and associated files are installed on the PC, the tool MapSetToolKit is used to register them with MapSource. Dale covers this in his videos described below. Also, here is additional detail on the use of MapSetToolKit.

Dale's site provides links to YouTube videos in which he describes the installation of the maps.

Video 1 introduces the maps, and covers downloading the torrent, burning a DVD or using 7ZIP to extract the files to a directory, and installing the maps into MapSource

Video 2 covers the use of MapSetToolKit in more detail and discusses map numbering.

Video 3 continues with map numbering and installing the maps from MapSource to the GPS unit.

Southern Alberta Trail Mapping Project

The Southern Alberta Trail Mapping Project (may be slow to load - click on reload, if necessary) compiles trail data for southern Alberta and has created a map that can be loaded onto a GPS unit. The map is transparent, containing only the trails, and displays with the topo map.

The map can be downloaded from their website, as a zip file. Run the setup program in the zip file and the map is installed into MapSource.

Here is a sample, showing the difference between their mapped trails (red) and the conceptual trails shown on the topo maps.

Custom Points Of Interest - Peaks and Huts

Custom Points of Interest (POI) can be added to GPS units. The GPS can navigate to these points, or simply show the distance and the direction.

A list of the peaks can be loaded as custom POI. They can be useful useful in determining which peaks are nearby.

Here is a file of 3625 peaks in the southern Rockies and Interior ranges, with their elevations. In the ZIP file, is a CSV (comma separated value) file listing the peaks and their locations.

Custom POI can be loaded with Garmins POI loader, found here.

I found the current version (2.7.1 for Windows) wouldn't install for me, but I was able to find the older version 2.5.4.

Also of possible interest is a set of custom POI for the ACC huts - huts.

Here is a file with both the huts and the peaks in it. The custom POI loader replaces all custom POI, so they all must be loaded at once.