Compiling into Garmin Map

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When you have finished editing your map with GPSMapedit, it is time to convert your map into a Garmin map (extension .img). You will need cgpsmapper.

Compile with own PC or at Mapcenter2?[edit]

You have 2 options for compilation:

  1. Compile with own PC with downloaded cgpsmapper freeware land version or paid version
  2. Compile at Mapcenter2, a free online compilation service

The freeware compiler works and can compile a usable and working map which can be uploaded into your GPS receiver. All the roads and the POI's will be in the map. With the Mapcenter2 compiler however, you have some additional bells and whistles. Some of them include: fully indexed POIs, ability to "Lock On Road", full search ability, routing capabilities (if so coded), identifying upcoming roads etc. The drawback of compiling at Mapcenter2 is that your data will be freely accessible and there is a waiting time for the compiling to be done.

If you are making a small map of a hiking trail or a particular area for example, going for the online compiler is overkill! You wouldn't need fully indexed POIs, ability to "Lock On Road", full search ability, routing capabilities (if so coded), identifying upcoming roads if your map is small has just a few roads / trails and a handful of POIs. The Mapcenter2 compiler becomes very useful if your map is large and has has hundreds of POIs and roads. Also if you need to compile a map quickly, you should do it locally off your PC and have the product immediately. The online compiler on the other hand can take days to compile.

Compiling with own PC[edit]

If you choose to compile your map with you PC, you should already have a copy of cgpsmapper, either freeware or paid version, residing in your PC.

Exporting/Compiling from GPSMapedit[edit]

If you are not compiling a routable map with shapefiles as source, you can compile your map directly from GPSMapedit.

  1. Go to File -> Export -> Garmin IMG / cgpsmapper
  2. Name your Garmin map and select the appropriate target folder
  3. Another dialog will appear asking you the location of cgpsmapper. Enter its location and click Run
  4. Once compiling is completed, GPSMapedit will prompt a message.

Using command prompt[edit]

If you are using shapefiles as source, you have to compile your routable map via the Windows command prompt or batch file. It is simpliest to have both cgpsmapper and your mp file in the same folder. Else, you have to specify the folder path where cgpsmapper is residing.


There are also several additions to the command above:

  • cgpsmapper > compile.log - output compilation log to a file for easier error checking
  • cgpsmapper ac > compile.log - map created will be named according to you MapID instead of source file name
  • cgpsmapper ac -l > compile.log - output with logfile parameter better log format and info
  • cgpsmapper ac -e > compile.log - commands cgpsmapper to continue with error so that your log contains all error and you can fix them at one shot

Compiling at Mapcenter2[edit]

  1. Register an account
  2. Click Your Account followed by Add new map
  3. Fill in the spaces. You can refer to the example below

This example applies to compilation of a routable map using shp files and file uploaded as a zipped file called as described in the previous section.

If you are compiling directly from, upload only your file and indicate as your source file.

Once you have successfully uploaded your files, your map details will be displayed in the "Recent Maps" section of MapCenter2. The map image will not be displayed until compilation is succesfully completed. Compilation is run once a day starting at about 9 - 10am Malaysia/Singapore time. It takes the compiler 2 - 3 hours to complete compilation of all the maps uploaded over the last 24hrs.

If compilation of your map fails, you will not see a map image displayed. Go to your account and click on "edit map" and check the compilation log. The error will be reported in the log.

Make the necessary changes and resend for compilation. If the compiler is still running for that day, you stand a chance of having a second go. If not, you'd have to wait till the next day to see the results of your work.