Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tip: How to use Openstreetmaps for Navigation Systems

For those who are new with navigation systems, I have put up this guide so you would know how to use the maps from Openstreetmaps as a routable map for your navigation systems. The routable map generated from Openstreetmaps is one of the latest map of the Philippines and this is due to its contributors who continue to map the Philippines.

+OpenStreetMap Philippines  is a non profit organization whose advocacy is to make sure the Philippines is mapped and data can be used for free for a lot of purposes. Navigation is just one of the many. Schadow1 Expeditions, has been compiling the Openstreetmap data for the Philippines weekly for use for Garmin navigation systems. This includes the Garmin Nuvi, Etrex, GPSMap, Mobile XT for Symbian and Windows Mobile phones and many other compatible Garmin devices.

The data for Openstreetmaps is updated in realtime as contributors are revising it and changes can be seen via their website at While the compilation of the Philippine data for Garmin devices happens almost every week and it may be downloaded at our #mapPHL page

Here are the requirements before you can use the Openstreetmaps Philippines data for Garmin devices.

  1. A compatible Garmin GPS device.
  2. Garmin Basecamp (downloadable here)
  3. Windows XP SP1 and above.

After you have downloaded and installed Garmin Basecamp on your computer, you can now download the mapsource installer of the GPS routable map of the Philippines at our #mapPHL page. After which, run it and install it on your computer.


1. Open Garmin Basecamp and you should be able to see the map installed on your computer. In the example below, you can see the 20130103 version of the map.

2. Connect your Garmin device to your computer, once connected and detected, it should appear at your Garmin Basecamp.

3. Right click the device itself or the storage medium of your GPS on Garmin Basecamp and click Install Maps

4. A new window will appear. Select customize and place a check mark on the Openstreetmap Philippines Map. Hit next until it will start to transfer the map to your device.

5. Click finish once done.

6. Now, disconnect your GPS device and turn it on then go to Settings > Map (it depends on every Garmin GPS device so ensure you consult your Garmin device manual on how to select maps to be used on your device.). Etrex 30 GUI is shown as an example

7. Disable all other maps then enable the one from Openstreetmap. Some other maps can co-exist as enabled at the same time such as the 10-meter Elevation Contour Map of the Philippines provided by Schadow1 Expeditions; but do not enable two routable maps of the same country at the same time.

How to upgrade the maps.

As mentioned, the OSMPH map gets update almost weekly. All you need to do is to check out our #mapPHL page if the map has been updated already, then download and install the one for the mapsource installer.

8. Do the same steps however when you insert your device and try to install a map, Garmin Basecamp will think that you have already installed the latest OSMPH map on your Garmin device so you would need to delete the map first before uploading back the new version of the map to your device.

9. Right click your device then click install map.

10. Click customize and uncheck the Openstreetmap Philippines map. Hit next until you can push the finish button.

11. Once done, you have removed the OSMPH map on your Garmin device and you would need to do the same steps (1-5) to upload the new version of the OSMPH map on your Garmin device.

If you have seen that there are some incorrect or incomplete parts on a certain area of the map as you use it, you can register to Openstreetmap and contribute so you can revise the data.

To learn more about how I map and which mapping consortia I am active at, you may click here.

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