Mapping la vida loca




Garmin maps for GCC countries

From this page you can download maps for the entire set of GCC countries (Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE) suitable for use on Garmin GPS devices. These maps have been customised to suit walkers and climbers, in particular.

These maps are based on the gcc_states extract from OpenStreeMap provided by Geofabrik. This file is updated once a day by Geofabrik, and I tend to grab a version once or week or so and compile it using my custom mkgmap style and TYP file which you can download from here. Jump to the next section to download the latest version of the maps.

Get them here

Updated 2nd December 2012
  1. GPS device map For installation directly into GPS units, 51 MB
  2. Mapsource installer Use if you want to install the GCC maps into MapSource, 30 MB

How to use these maps

GPS device map

Different Garmin GPS units work in slightly different ways. Some have flash storage, some only have internal storage. Some require you to rename the map file to gmapsupp.img for it to be recognised, others have different conventions. Here are some generic instructions (based on how it works with my GPSMap76Csx) but Google is your friend if these don't work for your particular model. Alternatively email me and we'll work it out.
  1. Connect your GPS unit to the computer using the USB cable
  2. Activate USB storage mode (Main Menu->Setup->Interface->USB Mass Storage)
  3. Copy the gmapsupp.img file to the garmin folder on the GPS unit (which should be visible under explorer as an external drive)
  4. Disconnect the GPS unit and restart it
  5. When it reboots you should see the OpenStreetMap attribution notice
Warning!!! Make sure you back-up any existing files on your GPS before copying the new files over, particularly if your GPS unit doesn't have flash storage. If you're worried about accidentally deleting expensive maps that you have bought, then do some more reading on this topic before you proceed.

Mapsource map

Just double-click the .exe file and this will automatically copy the maps to C:\Garmin\Maps\CF OSM Map (GCC) and add suitable registry entries so that the map is visible in MapSource. (Just select it from the drop-down list in the top-left of the MapSource window).

More details on the maps

The GPS map is compiled using my custom style and TYP file designed for GPS units. It looks like this:

The MapSource map looks like this:

For any climbers using these maps, you will see that I have added a POI (point of interest) for both indoor and outdoor climbing areas. These are listed and searchable under Recreation->Golf Courses. Currently, it's just the outdoor wall at Dubai WTC, Wonderwall and the NPZ. As more locations are added to OSM, they will appear here too. You can use your Garmin to navigate to these POIs if you don't know how to find them.

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