Trailforks Basemap for Garmin

Mar 6, 2017
by Todd Neumarker  
I have been using the Garmin Edge device for a quite a while now. Once basemaps made their way into the Edge series back around 2009, I purchased the Edge 705. The maps back then were similar to what you might see in your car, and like all maps available at the time, they were designed mostly with automobiles in mind. Since then I have continued to upgrade my bike computer in hope that the maps would improve, not only to include mountain bike trails, but for the theme to be specific to bike riders as well.

Trailforks Basemap for Garmin

Since the release of the Trailforks Mobile App, the need for my Edge series unit has waned. However, I often still find myself throwing it onto my stem and relying upon my latest version, the Edge 810. There are some areas that it shines and continues to provide the following benefits where my phone would sometimes fall short:

1) Battery life
2) Mounting convenience – Didn’t have to bust it out of my backpack
3) Durability – That unit flew off my bar when I hit a cattle crossing and it skipped on the pavement for about 10 meters. Only scratched the corners, and didn’t even scratch the screen.
4) Map – If I was riding somewhere new, in town, on paved roads, it helped a little, sometimes.

Trailforks Basemap for Garmin
For all intents and purposes, the map provided little help out on the trails. I had just about given up on any hopes of a real bike-centric map, until I heard that the Garmin Edge 1000 was based upon OpenStreetMap. I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity for Garmin to revamp the theme from the old NT series Automobile Maps to a true bike-centric map. And while the update did improve with the advent of some actual trail data, the theme was still basically the same.

Here at Trailforks, we decided to take a crack at creating our own Garmin Basemap theme. Now keep in mind that these devices are low resolution with a reduced color palette as compared to a modern smartphone. This is mostly to accommodate rendering of large maps on a small device, all while maintaining the battery life. And dare I say, keeping costs low. Well, ahem, moving on and without further ado, we present the Trailforks Garmin Basemap.


MOUNTAIN BIKE THEME

Once again we find ourselves trying to figure out how to de-emphasize roads, and emphasize all things bicycle related. As we did with our Traiforks Custom Basemaps, all paved roads are stripped of their flowery designations, and are reduced to a grayscale line. Dirt access roads are given a hint of dirty color, but the real colors are exactly where they should be, on the trails. And no more zooming down so low that you can only see the trail and nothing else. I like to see an entire trail system glowing bright revealing all the connections and ride options.

Trailforks Basemap for Garmin
This being an initial (beta?) release, we started simple and are only including POI's that we feel make a real difference. We have always liked to keep our maps very clean by not enabling every POI, route, and layer, but provide maximum utility by allowing the user to pick and choose what they want to see. Such an approach is more difficult with a single base map, so we started by only including the bare minimum: Trails, Parking, TTF, and Bike Shops. Of course, the most important feature is the trails, but there needs to be some clarification on how we display them.

STANDARD DIFFICULTY COLORS

This is where we had to deviate from the “standard” green, blue, and black. Initially, my first version of the map used the IMBA Difficulty Rating System, but this proved difficult to read on a Garmin summer map. I am not sure of the history of how these colors and symbols came into being, but it has never made logical sense to me. And with the limited color variations on the Garmin, providing different shades of the same color simply did not work:

Green (Easy) – This color makes sense and is mostly acceptable to display on the map if you do not use strong shades of green as landcover for parks and forested areas.

Now here is where we run into problems:

Blue (Intermediate) – This makes less sense to me. Why would you choose the color of water to represent the most common trail color? In Trailforks we did our best to mitigate this issue by changing our basemap watercolor to be more of a gray-blue while changing our trails be a more distinct blue. This was not an option on the Garmin, anything blue simply looked more like a river than a trail. Imagine all those trails that travel up and down canyons and hollows. How many follow a river or stream? No version of blue was discernible at a glance and some intersections were even confusing after a long hard stare.

Black (Advanced) – A Black trail has multiple problems.
- Emphasis – To emphasize anything on a thematic map it is most easy for the eye to isolate it when it is the only item in a picture with color. We use this concept heavily in our basemap, and while a thick black line does stand out, it still exists within the grayscale spectrum. So when compared to trails with color, it does not catch your eye the same way.
- Contour Lines – While not available yet we tested our map using transparent backgrounds against a terrain map that employed contour lines. Contour lines on the Garmin are black lines, and with many trails following along with contours, this was also confusing in mountainous areas.
- Night – Our theme works well at night, but it would not have if we used black. Garmin does provide the ability to provide different colors for night, but we wanted consistency between night and day as much as possible.

Black-Black (Expert) – So this is a total mystery to me. Not only is black a less than ideal trail color choice, but the color is already taken. Now your map is required to have some kind of floating icon along the trail to differentiate.

The above standard works good for ski/piste maps, where water is frozen or covered, and the runs are big and wide enough to accommodate big double diamond icons.

TRAILFORKS GARMIN DIFFICULTY COLORS

My first efforts in tuning this map was to create local extractions, where I tested many trail combinations on the trails around my house. Part of the area is within the US Forest Service boundaries, so I could test how these colors looked on both a plain background and a green forest polygon. Some colors looked great while sitting at my computer, but out on the trail, I could not tell the difference in colors. I tried straight colors, tracks with borders, and even bitmaps with various patterns on many many rides.

Trailforks Basemap for Garmin

But even after trying all these color combinations, and even though I was the one that created the color key, I could often not remember all these different patterns. I had to boil it down to the basic trail colors that stood out the most and provided the most contrast between each other. What I found was that a simple “Severity” system appeared to work the best and provide a simplistic understanding that was easy to remember. Basically, green is the easiest, and the colors become more severe as the trail gets more difficult:

Trailforks Basemap for Garmin
Green (Easy) – Same as the standard, but I had to make it brighter and with a dark outline on the edges to be sure that I could view it easily in daylight while riding on green shaded park polygons.

Yellow (Intermediate) – In a severity system, this is like a minor alarm (not blue), still probably easy, but watch out for some difficult sections, narrow trail, maybe even some exposure.

Orange (Advanced) – This is like a major alarm in a severity system, and provides a nice bright color (not black).

Red (Expert) – This is the same as what we use on Trailforks to denote an Expert trail, because in a tight trail system it is difficult enough to pack in trail labels, much less a floating double diamond icon. Even the red here had to be a bit of a darker red (like maroon), because on the Garmin it was difficult to differentiate between orange and red out on the trail in the mid-day sun.

POIs

We wanted to display some important points from the Trailforks database on the map, but with a smaller screen, we did not want to clutter up the map with icons. So we decided to just include the points of interest that really matter. We considered the map as 3 zones: One the trail, at the trailhead, and in town. To keep clutter to a minimum, we only show one POI in each zone. So in town we display bike shops. Trailheads serve as navigation both to the trails and back to your vehicle. When riding out on the trails we display TTFs.

Trailforks Basemap for Garmin

Parking/ Trailheads: The blue dot on the map serves as a great guide to get you to the trailhead when riding your bike from home or a hotel in town. Besides color, our chosen POI markers are shown at high and low zoom levels so that they stand out as you roll into town and are hot to get out on the dirt.

Trailforks Basemap for Garmin

TTF: I like to see a TTF on the trail when I am in a massive trail complex that I know has some jumps, but I can’t remember exactly which track to take. This is common in the desert, where often many trails exist, but if you miss the jump line, you have to pedal back up. Also, a TTF can sometimes be just slightly off the main trail. For this reason, we made this icon an upside-down triangle that points its tip to the exact location. A fat icon has the tendency to obscure the TTF as you approach, not knowing which side of the trail to look for the option.

Bike Shops
Not something I would typically want obscuring a trail, but since these icons remain mostly in town, they don’t clutter up the trail, but come in very handy when tools and an expert hand is required. We placed the bike shop icon at high and low zoom levels so that when you are arriving in a new town, you can easily see where all of them are in relation to you and the local trails. I am sure it never happens to you, but I always seem to forget something I need, and I remember it en route.
Trailforks Basemap for Garmin

STRAVA
Now this was kind of an added bonus. Up until I started testing our new Garmin theme, I could see strava segments that I had starred, except that they were floating around in outer space. I kind of knew where they were, but it wasn't always clear how or exactly when I would get to the start of one because I could not see the trail leading up to the beginning. I had been testing this all through the summer of 2016, but it was only part way through that I started to use the Garmin/Strava feature. One ride after doing a firmware update on my unit, and I noticed some of my favorite Strava DH flowy segments appear right in the context of the trail.
Trailforks Basemap for Garmin


ROADIES

OK, I admit, I do not like riding a fatbike and I like to ride my cyclocross bike on local paved paths, gravel roads, and around town for training purposes. When I ride into the city I don’t remember which roads have a nice shoulder or bike lane, and which roads will probably kill you on site. So to help navigate around town and to trailheads, I added 2 additional colors.

Trailforks Basemap for Garmin
Purple (Paved Paths)
They are thick and bright, and appear to be a highway in comparison to the actual automobile highways, but isn’t that what they are? A highway for bikes should be the most prominent track on a road map for bikes.

Cyan (Bike Lanes)
I love having this layer when I am riding around the city or connecting between two trail systems. It tells me exactly which are the best roads to ride a bike safely on, similar to our Trailforks basemap bike lane theme.

Note: A couple things to keep in mind. First, these are not a collection of courses or jpg images, these are Garmin basemap IMG files. They have to be or else we could never cover such large areas and have the unit tell you which trail you are on. Also each geographic area is calculated based upon the trails in that region with a bit of margin. Some locations this area should maybe be bigger or are even too big. Please keep in mind that this is a first release, and we welcome input that we can incorporate into subsequent releases. Also to improve these maps we suggest contributing to the OpenStreetMap project by lining up roads and dirt roads (tracks). By doing this the Garmin map (and Trailforks Basemap) will be more accurate in showing trail to road connections. The trail & POI data is from the Trailforks database, we will updated the Garmin maps maybe twice a year.

DOWNLOAD TRAILFORKS GARMIN BASEMAPS


MENTIONS: @trailforks




125 Comments

  • + 21
 Amazing! I've been waiting years for something like this. Can't thank you enough for making this happen.
  • + 2
 Agreed - that was always the catch for me
  • + 6
 I see this is a beta release, does it cost 10 trail karma points for each individual download, or just each region? if there is an update or issue ironed out in beta will we have to pay for a new download?
  • + 7
 10 karma points per region. So once you download that region once, you can download it again without needing more points the next time.
  • + 2
 HELP! I have donated the Karma $ and hit download for the BC map - it just shows a bunch of symbols/code! It does show the map in my Downloads section, but again when I click on that link it takes me back to the massive amount of computer code type stuff -- no image file. Has anyone else had this problem or know what to do? Thanks!
  • + 1
 If you have the map in your downloads folder, you should be able to copy it onto your Garmin, either into the base memory or by way of the SD card if your Garmin has that option. Then, I think you should be able to select the map in the Garmin device?

Question for you: did you have trail karma before downloading? I have existing karma points, but they don't seem to be applicable to the Garmin download. So, I was wondering if you donated today specifically to get the Garmin download, and if so, if you got the points immediately?
  • + 1
 @TEMPLE: It shows the map in my downloads folder, but when I click it there is just a bunch of code/symbols. It isn't an image file. Plus the karma amount is still showing as available. What I did was donate $15 to the karma points (today) and these points showed up right away, stating I could download one map. The problem is definitely with the map image file I think. Did you get a map to download?
  • + 1
 So first, existing Karma points should work. If you are having trouble with it, we'll take a look and see what is going on.

If your browser is displaying garbage (binary), your browser may interpret the extension "*.img" as an actual image and try to display it. Try right clicking on the link for British Columbia and doing a "Save As". Save it to your local disk then copy it to your Garmin unit.

If you still have trouble, send me a message on PB. In future release, we may just zip them up so that browsers don't get confused by the IMG extension.
  • + 2
 @KirbyNanaimo: the download is not a photo image. .IMG is just the file extension Garmin uses for their map. It's not a file you can click and open. You need to just copy this file to your SD-card on your Garmin device and put it inside the /Garmin folder.

Existing Karma points should work, but we encourage you to donate a new Wink
  • + 1
 @todd: I think I have it - had to use Google Chrome. It looks like the file is 97 MB and the Edge 800 only has 105MB of space. Does that seem right? What is a PB message?
  • + 1
 @KirbyNanaimo: BC is really big, who knew? For a big area I use a microSD card. I meant email me with your pb account, the little "inbox" link at the top.
  • + 1
 @canadaka: I have the file copied to the SD card - when I turn on the GPS it is not showing any map. I have deleted my old map file --- when you say copy to SD card and "put it inside the /Garmin folder" what do you mean? Sorry this is tricky for me! Thanks!
  • + 1
 @KirbyNanaimo: Plug the garmin into your PC or Mac with a USB cable. They drag or copy & paste the file onto the SD card in the device, make sure it goes inside the "Garmin" folder.

Here is what my SD card looks like: i.imgur.com/novLs18.png

You also need to select the map on the device.
Menu -> Tools (bottom right wrench) -> System -> Map -> Select Map
  • + 1
 @canadaka: I'm having the same problem. I've got the file on my SD card in the Garmin folder but it doesn't show up in my maps list. My Garmin also does not show up on either my Mac or PC when I plug it in via usb.
  • + 1
 This article is making me consider buying a Garmin Edge 1000 bundle. There's a great deal on a UK spec with UK preloaded maps. For the experts and owners, would I be able to wipe the UK maps and load it with US maps? Would I be able to do it free or would it cost money? Would I always need to have my SD card inserted to use the U.S. maps or can I replace the U.K. maps in the built-in memory? Thanks in advance.
  • + 1
 This is really sweet! I would encourage everyone to contribute to your local bike advocacy groups. After you have done that . . . it is actually not too tough to make your own version of these maps. Color code, line style, all available in formatting these paths. They are based on text files.
  • + 1
 I'm double posting this here and in the Trailforks forum!

So, having basemaps for Garmin is a totally brilliant idea. And, I see that each map costs 10 karma points. No problem there, except that I have donated recently using Trailforks ($50, February 1st) and my Trailforks karma for that donation is indicated to be 35.

However, when I go to the Trailforks Garmin Basemap page, my profile says that I have no karma. I will be donating more through Trailforks (I just started using it for donations, rather than my previous method of making direct contributions to the local trail angels) but I'd like to know why the Trailforks Garmin Basemap page doesn't recognize my karma.

What am I am doing wrong?

Thanks!
  • + 1
 There was a bug a couple weeks ago for users that donated that had not yet earned any TF contribute points. It's fixed and I added the Karma points to your profile now.
  • + 1
 @canadaka: That's great, thank you! Looking forward to trying out the map!
  • + 2
 I love my edge 520. Have it mounted on the top tube right up the the Steer-tube. easy to see, no handlebar clutter, great navigation and feedback and best of all I never have to pull out my phone.
  • + 1
 I have a question regarding TrailForks itself. Currently it is possible to add OpenStreetMap way ID as a link to the OSM world, where many trails are mapped quite accurately. Would it be possible to add also an option to insert OpenStreetMap relation ID? The reason is that many trails are actually mapped and multiple segments with different properties (e.g., different difficulty grade) and the OpenStreetMap relation is what glues it all together. Thanks!
  • + 1
 That is interesting. One thing we have found with OSM data, is that the tagging and use of relations can differ between areas of the world. In the US, relations would probably apply more to routes than individual trails. But we have been throwing around ideas on how to better coexist with OSM so that both can benefit from all this work done by all contributors to both systems.
  • + 1
 @todd: That would be really good if we can improve the collaboration - I personally prefer to contribute to OSM so that the data can be used for general use, and then if I could only add additional/more detailed information to TrailForks, it would be quite helpful. The OSM allows me to do more precise definition of trail shape (I routinely use 10Hz GPS recordings for that - alebeit is also has some issues in the OSM GPS traces) and interconnect this the to rest of road networks, as well as to other geographical features. While the detailed MTB information (e.g., dry/wet difficulty, trail reports) is fine having of general purpose OSM data.

As for changes around the world - you have typically some local rating adjustments in all the difficulty rating in other sports too: from what I do, climbing and white water have it as well as biking has it. It should not deviate dramatically, but some regions tend ot underrate difficulty, for instance.
  • + 1
 @todd: In the opposite direction, benefits for OSM, providing notification of significant discrepancy between OSM mtb:scale=*, mtb:scale:uphill=* and mtb:scale:imba attributes to what is stored in TrailForks would be helpful, so that suspicious data can be resurveyed and fixed.
  • + 1
 I have always liked the idea of directional difficulty, especially where I live most all the trails are bidirectional. For this reason we tag trails primary uphill or primary downhill. I know, not really the same thing. These are good ideas though, and I'll add it to my list. As for the trail detail, we don't reduce trail import data or simplify it in any way. So if you upload detailed trail data, that data stays detailed. We provide a ride-guide in our editor so that you can correct any inaccuracies, like if you are using a phone to record a ride. Our editor also snaps the ends to connect them, even to roads. We import part of the road data from OSM so that our trail editor can snap to them as well where trails connect to pavement.
  • + 1
 @hopet: mountain biking trails in many areas of the world are a tricky situation. OSM is kinda the wild west for posting illegal or sensitive trails with no moderation or easy control. Trailforks offers a lot of features to handle the problem of sensitive trials. This is a big reason to map trails on TF rather than OSM.

With that said I've though I could create a feature that scanned OSM for gps tracks closely matching a hidden/sensitive trail on Trailforks and then notify a regional admin of this. So they can go on OSM and edit or delete it. So Trailforks could be used as a tool to monitor OSM content.
  • + 1
 @canadaka: That's an argument I heard from the beginning. I think that the concepts here differ - and differ for good. The perspective of OSM is to have mapped what matches physical+legal reality - and from this perspective, I believe that it is better to have illegal trails mapped and then marked as "access=no" and/or "bicycle=no". Because you could start hiding a lot of objects that somebody has a problem with (e.g. shall we delete private roads?). While Trailforks acts also as an advertisement, hence hiding some things that people do not want to have advertised makes sense to me. So to your suggestion: it would be better if regional admins just edit the corresponding attributes that the given trail is illegal (= not allowed to be accessed), instead of deleting.
  • + 1
 @todd: Primary uphill/downhill - in OSM, we are also using "oneway=yes" together with orientation of the way. Just FYI.

As for the GPS tracks: so you store even sub-second precision from the GPX/NMEA files? The problem is not that the OSM GPS traces storage simplifies anything, but it just cuts off the decimal time values (i.e., tenths of second) and thus the result relies on correct ordering of points only. This decision was obviously done in the time when the 10Hz GPS devices were as common as yeti...
  • + 1
 @hopet: We save all the original data in our DB. But we mostly display trails using the Google encoded polyline format, which rounds all lat/lng to 6 decimal points. So the tracks you see on the website might be simplified if you have points closer together than that. But the original data should still be there, if one were to say download the GPX for a trail.
  • + 1
 This is an awesome concept. Once people start populating all the trails, I will get some heavy use out of this. To fill in the gaps between trails for those epic enduro loops, make sure everyone knows that you can get free bike maps based on OpenStreetMap from garmin.openstreetmap.nl or just google around to places like mtbmap. Those maps are the best for getting around if you end up in a new place.
  • + 1
 So technically these maps include OpenStreetMap (Roads, Tracks, Water, Parks, and hike only trails) along with the Trailforks trails. Many of the regions on Trailforks also have the dirt roads that are necessary for connections added as well. But the roads are not colorful, they are muted grayscales so as not to obscure the trail data.
  • + 1
 @todd: It doesn't look like it. These maps are very sparse compared to openstreet maps in my area so clearly they don't include the openstreet map trails.

I personally don't see the point. At least in my area Openstreet maps are much more comprehensive and you can already download the maps to your Garmin for free (openstreetmap.nl)

Is the point of Trailforks to provide a new smart phone app for mountain bike specific trails without paying for Openstreet map license?
  • + 1
 @eharvey2: No, we don't include OSM trails, what I meant was that the non-trail data is included for reference. We only include hike trails if they are correctly tagged, but our filter is fairly aggressive so that we don't have overlaps. The filter is similar to the basemap on Trailforks. Some areas the trail data in OSM will be more comprehensive. But those areas are becoming fewer and fewer. Like here in Utah, OSM trail data is very fragmented and incomplete. Ideally we want both OSM and Trailforks to have a comprehensive trail dataset with the correct attributes.

The idea is to simply provide a way for Trailforks users to view the trails in Trailforks on their map capable Garmin Units. The theme is meant to be very simplistic and easy to remember so that you can view it at a glance, and we didn't want to include everything in the OSM database, only things that help a bike rider navigate to a trail, while on the trail.
  • + 2
 @todd: Understood. But the OSM are routable to get me to the trails and trailforks will get me down the trails. I love it!
  • + 1
 @todd: that all makes sense to me. To one of your points, I found the one of my local areas to be very sparse on OpenStreet Maps (and therefore very sparse on pretty much every app or system using Openstreet maps as a base.) This was also the case on MTB Project so I gave up on that site/app and ended up taking it upon myself to get schooled up on how to correctly created and edit openstreet maps. I have now added most of the trails in one local based on my and many other GPS tracks and have also updated and correctly tagged parking areas, ponds, etc... Since then, i've found and corrected multiple issues with trails at other mountain bike spots in my area (Rhode Island) so the maps are starting to come around.

However, the major issue I have found with the maps have been trails that we drawn by others near each other but not properly connected. But it sounds like the filter trail forks is using is purposely leaving off connecting trails to keep the maps uncluttered and feature the best mountain bike trails? Is that correct? If so, i can see the benefit but wouldn't that prevent proper navigation?

To one of your other points, some of the free maps I've downloaded have started to get a bit cluttered due to different surface tags or difficulty level tagging as well as points of interest. In some areas marked as forest, the trails can be difficult to read on my Garmin, so I started using OpenMTBmaps. Like what you are doing with Trailforks, these maps use a different filter to de-emphasize roads and certain points of interest in instead emphasize hiking trails. (I have been using their "thick" design which uses nice an think brown lines for standard single track trails)
  • + 1
 @eharvey2: Trailforks does provide a "snap to" connect in the editor, and I think this is very important to making Trailforks a real map instead of a loose collection of rides. We added this feature along with our route builder, and it makes for a much cleaner and obvious map. Like in Utah some trails do not connect because there is a huge cliff, and a true connection is very important. Our printable maps look way better when the trail system has been connected. But if a user simply submits a trail and does not connect it up, then it looks a bit like amateur hour in that area.

Check your pinkbike inbox, I sent you a message with more detail.
  • + 1
 I'm looking at getting and edge 820 partly for these maps and partly for the crash notification feature. The 820 doesn't have a sd slot but says it has 16gb of memory. Do you know if it'll work on this model too?
  • + 1
 To make this work with a 520 do we have to delete the garmin base map image, copy one of these in its place and then rename it? I just got a 520 but I see no place to select maps
  • + 1
 Great work! I downloaded the WA basemap and it looks great. only thing that threw me off was that the map appears to be named "Portland" once it's in my Edge 820. No biggie, though.
  • + 1
 Yah we will fix the name on the next update.
  • + 1
 Ya I downloaded the Arizona map and its called Tucson and I also downloaded the South Dakota map and its called Sioux Falls. It threw me off for a but but I have it figured out now.
  • - 1
 I cannot imagine a garmin on my trail/enduro/fr/dh/whateaver bike. Do you want to clutter your bars? NO. Do you ride with your phone? There is no point in having a garmin in your pocket+phone. The smartphones are better than garmin in almost every aspect. (i have used both extensively for mtb navigation).
  • + 9
 If you need to call someone for help, you don't want a dead phone battery because the GPS ate it up. I don't navigate or listen to music off my phone when I ride. You need your phone to...be a phone
  • + 3
 @mnorris122:

I also want to save my battery to use trailforks offline. It's super handy when learning a new area.
  • + 1
 I'm currently riding in Finale Ligure exploring some new trails that I've never ridden before. I have navi on top tube of my en bike and especially during uphill it's super helpful. In areas with dense bike/hike trails you would need to stop and check your phone every 2 minutes.
  • + 1
 I've got a slick mount that replaces the top cap for the steertube. Garmin clicks right into it and nothing on the bar. Much better than pulling the phone out the pocket or bag multiple times per ride.
  • + 1
 The Barfly Mtb mount is right next to the stem and places it over the stem. I wouldn't call it clutter, it just covers something that is just there
  • + 2
 I use the K-Edge mount that goes right on top of the stem. I almost never look at the map on my Garmin unless I am in a large riding area like Park City, or on new trails and I don't want to miss a turn-off. At a lot of ski resorts, lift service roads serve as connecting trails, and I will look at the map as I approach an intersection, so I don't miss a trail.
  • + 1
 My Garmin doesn't clutter my bars the way a smart phone would. And it is way better for navigation than my phone ever was. I have and edge 820 and it sits right on top of my stem for easy access and no clutter. It provides actual turn by turn navigation when needed and is extremely accessible without having to risk mounting a phone to your bars. (but the screen is much smaller so more difficult to pan around and get your bearings than a larger smart phone. This is the price of a more compact device for less cluttered cockpit.)

Before buying a Garmin, I tried putting my phone in my pocket, placed in my pack and even one of those arm bands but it's just to inconvenient to use for navigation and is much less accurate When I compare GPS tracks from friends using a phone, at times their course is dead on, but their track will wildly veer away from the trail randomly and much more frequently than friends that use Garmin devices. This is likely the result of the addition of GLONAS - or could be a result of the phones being packed away in packs?? or both??

...and of course there is the battery issue with smart phones that others have mentioned.
  • + 1
 @todd: Agreed on the K-Edge mount. Nice way to mount it without exposing it too much to potential damage, and in the event of disaster the plastic insert just breaks. I've only had to replace it once after a crash.
  • + 1
 @DrPete:

I can't find a garmin mount that works woth 35mm clamp bars. There's no way i could have a 800 ot 1000 series garmin on my bars without it dangling by the elastics in a few seconds. The topcap reolacement seems logical, but then I'd have to get rid of my niner yawyd topcap. Frown
  • + 1
 I know for the most part you're expecting lazy and secretive riders to add in their own trails but could you at least mark all the bridleways in the UK? Thanks
  • + 2
 Nice. Was debating the Garmin purchase but this looks way easier than using phone with gloves.
  • + 14
 It's nice cuz you can store it in your belt between your phone and your pager
  • + 5
 @Warburrito: personally I prefer it on my bars between my bell and cargo basket.
  • + 2
 @Warburrito: Damn pager keeps blowing up. Got to make another delivery. Wait....this aint the 90's.
  • + 1
 @Warburrito: That's too much weight on one side. Phone stays in a shoulder holster and pager stays in the European carry-all.
  • + 3
 Nice work! This actually makes me want to buy a Garmin.
  • + 1
 Also a wiki page for those interested in keeping their maps up to date and loading them onto the GPS devices: wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Garmin.OpenStreetMap.nl
  • + 1
 Any idea if the basemap will work on Garmin eTrex Venture HC? I use Trailforks app often but cell signal is often weak to nil in some areas ride/explore (Mission BC).
  • + 1
 I don't think so, that device doesn't have an SD card and only has 24 MB of internal space.

The Trailforks app works pretty well offline, the trails will show offline and the basemap will show if you load it and pan/zoom around a bit before you go out in a ride (it will cache the google tiles).
  • + 1
 All I seem to get is "the disc image file is corrupted" cannot open or load onto my garmin or micro SD.
This is for British Columbia region
  • + 1
 what model Garmin unit do you have?
you put it in the /Garmin folder on the SD card in your device?
  • + 1
 @canadaka: Garmin Edge 800, loaded it straight on to the sd card then installed it in the 800
  • + 1
 @materials-guy: Hmm it should definitely work on a Garmin Edge 800. Must be in the "Garmin" folder though. It's unlikely but maybe the file was damaged via download. Try download the BC file again. You can download the same region as many times as you want not needing more Karma points.

Here is what my SD card looks like: i.imgur.com/novLs18.png

You also need to select the map on the device.

Menu -> Tools (bottom right wrench) -> System -> Map -> Select Map
  • + 1
 @canadaka: I seem to have success
Thanks Canadaka
  • + 1
 I think the issue is you just need to copy the file. Macs think ".img" is a disk image, which these files are not. Just drag and drop the file to your Garmin and it should work.
  • + 1
 @canadaka:
Hi i have downloaded into garmin folder in sd card on garmin 810.There is no option in settings to change map though??
  • + 1
 @markyboy34: Sorry to speak for him, but on the 820 the option to turn maps on/off is actually in the individual activity profile. Might be the same in the 810. Go to settings/activity profiles and choose the one you use for MTB. In the 820 it's under Navigation/Map. Hope that helps.
  • + 1
 @markyboy34: On the 810 you need to goto the settings then the activity and choose the map in their. Not very intuitive design by Garmin.
  • + 1
 @canadaka: Hi..Ive tried all these things.Will still not show map!..will show in folder on pc but not on garmin?
  • + 1
 @markyboy34: you sure its in the "Garmin" folder on the SD card and not the root of the SD card?
i.imgur.com/novLs18.png
  • + 1
 @canadaka: Hi yes defo in the right folder as you have shown.Im going to try deleting and re downloading.All looks ok on pc but only osm shows on garmin when disconnected.Have tried uninstalling osm with only trailforks on card,still nothing.
  • + 2
 This looks brilliant! Looking forward to trying it out! But WTF does TTF mean?
  • + 3
 Technical Trail Feature. Typically a man made structure, jump, drop, can also be a natural feature.
  • + 2
 Where is the map for France? Can't seem to find it in the list.
  • + 2
 There was a problem with the way the France region was defined in Trailforks. We fixed it, and will be uploading it today. Thanks.
  • + 1
 Will this work with the forerunner 235? I imagine it's kinda the same concept as the dwmap stuff?
  • + 1
 I don't believe the Forerunner 235 has basemap capabilities. The difference here is that adding routes or courses to a Garmin is like adding one route. The purpose of this is to be a true map, with every trail and connection. It is also thematic, so both trails and POIs are painted different colors or use different icons based upon what they are or how difficult the trail is. If you tried to load a set of GPX tracks for every trail, even of a small trail system, most the Garmin units would become so slow they would be unusable. Even a long MTB race like 100K, if it was not grossly oversimplified, will make a lot of units slow down. This map uses a similar binary file format that Garmin basemaps use to mix tiles and vectors and apply a theme.
  • + 1
 We also recently added support for dwmap app on Garmin watches. You can import a Trailforks url to trail,route,ridelog,rideplan to the dwmap website and it will show on your watch.

Also the download page for trails now has a direction link to download that trail to your watch. I'll be adding a new download page for routes soon.
Example: www.trailforks.com/trails/porcupine-rim/download/#watch
  • + 1
 @canadaka: Which Garmin's are compatible with trailforks maps?
  • + 1
 This is rad... has it been tested with the Magellan/Mio cyclo 505?

Thanks!!!!!
  • + 1
 Will my Edge 510 support this?
  • + 1
 I do not believe so, as it does not provide the ability to add basemaps. Some of the 5xx series will work if you hack it by renaming the map the same as the basemap. But I don't think your unit has the standard basemap.
  • + 1
 Has anyone tested this on a Garmin Oregon? It does have an OSM map....
  • + 1
 Awesome. First time I've seen a reason to upgrade from my Garmin 500.
  • + 2
 With a little google searching you can look up how to put maps on the 500. Trick is the storage is very limited so if you have a big region it may not fit without deleting the basemap. If you're shopping and like the smaller form factor with mapping, the 820 is hard to beat.
  • + 1
 Will this work on a Fenix 3?
  • + 5
 I believe mapping was introduced with the new Fenix 5, and I can't say for sure if it will work, only because I have not tried. I don't have a Fenix to test with. But I would be happy to accept one from Garmin if they sent one to me to test.
  • + 1
 i hope so.
  • + 1
 Is it just me or the maps don't have any trail names?
  • + 1
 So right now you have to use the little pointer to display the name. This has to do with the way Garmin displays text for certain types of vectors. This is something we are going to experiment with changing for next version.
  • + 1
 @todd: Open Street Maps when placed on the Garmin have working trail names, so it might be worth checking out how they do it.
  • + 1
 not showing any trail names either. It just says riding on trail.
  • + 1
 What garmin devices can this be run on?

Thanks
  • + 1
 Any device that has a OSM based basemap and has enough storage space to fit the trailforks .IMG file.

For example these all work, but i'm sure many others do.
Edge 810, Edge 820, Edge 1000, Edge Touring, Edge 520 (if the map is small enough to fit this devices small memory)
eTrex 30
  • + 1
 @canadaka: Hiya. I have a garmin 520 but the basemap for australia is 114mb but I only have 110mb on the garmin. Is there a way to edit the maps or delete some of the sub-regions within the map to make it smaller?
  • + 1
 @mrmatt: I used garmin.openstreetmap.nl and you can select which parts of Australia you want.
You have to submit the request and they will email you the map in a day or two depending on the server load at the time.
  • + 1
 Anyone tested this on the Garmin eTrex 30?
  • + 1
 We don't have one to test with, but if you want to test it out, I can send you a map of your area. Just shoot me an message on PB
  • + 2
 I had a user this morning successfully install the maps on his Garmin eTrex 30.
  • + 1
 WTF is a TTF? Will I OTB if I ride one on my MTB which has a PF BB?
  • + 2
 The author said "I like to see a TTF on the trail"...I think we all know what that means.
  • + 1
 OMG thanks sooo much!
  • - 1
 Coincidentally I´ve just decided I want to sell my eTrex 20, if anyone is in the hunt for a good GPS
  • + 1
 What about for France?
  • + 1
 There was a bug in the rendering, it will manually be added this week sometime.
  • + 2
 France should now be there
  • + 1
 Neat!
  • + 1
 Huge KUDOS! Big Grin
  • - 1
 I miss the old days when you found trails by word of mouth and getting invited out to them.
  • + 2
 Do you really think the best trails are on trailforks? Obviously you do
  • - 1
 Rule No.1 No gadgets on my handlebars/stem.
  • - 2
 I'm 100% with you bro keep my handlebars as clutter-free as possible. I even wish my Reverb dropper remote was under the seat and not on the handlebars.
  • + 2
 @properp: personally I dont mind any fuctional levers on bars that help your shredi g. But there is plenty of non remote telesccopic seatpost out there for the hardcorists.
  • + 2
 @IluvRIDING: thanks for the info but none of them drop like a Reverb with a controllable dialed speed that I am aware of.
  • + 1
 @properp: you are lucky, my reverb stays stuck on the higher position all the time... It just got back from service and did it again last weekend.
  • + 1
 @mollow: I've noticed my Reverb will screw up when there is a large temperature change. If you own a Reverb and don't own a bleed kit you may spend as much time at the shop with your bike as you do on the trail. I became quite the master at bleeding the Reverb.
  • - 1
 This article kept me on the EDGE of my seat.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.086987
Mobile Version of Website