GPS maps for Ladakh
I have created 2 Garmin compatible GPS mapsets for Ladakh:
- 'Flat' map, routable, searchable for points of interest
- 'Topo' map, routable, searchable for points of interest, with elevation information (contour lines, plotting of route profiles etc).
Both mapsets also include a map for New Delhi.
The Topo map covers a smaller area (see image - blue: flat, green: topo), but is much larger (about 84MB vs 4MB), due to the large amount of contour lines. The Topo map also had to be divided in sections.
The maps where generated using data from the Open Street Map project (OSM). OSM data is usually reasonable/good, and often excellent, but can sometimes be completely wrong. Roads and other features can also be completely missing if nobody has thought of contributing data for that particular road/feature. The level of detail on the Ladakh roads suggests that it is very good, but if a lot of hairpins are shown on a map that does not mean that they are in the right location.
The elevation data comes from the NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), augmented by Viewfinder Panoramas. Contour lines are at 25m intervals. On the maps 'minor' intervals are shown every 100m, and 'major' intervals at 500m. The 25m granularity means that profiles generated with these maps can be a bit chunky.
For both mapsets there is a Windows Mapsource installer, which will install the mapset for use in the Garmin Mapsource software, and a IMG file which can be directly copied to a memory card for use in your GPS unit.
- Mapsource Installer: Download the installer program, and run it. This will install the maps in Mapsource (provided you actually have the Garmin Mapsource program). You can then use Mapsource to view the maps, and select maps for upload to your GPS unit. Note that there are multiple maps to select. The two mapsets have different mapsource identifiers, so they can both be installed. The Mapsource program may crash on 'homemade' maps - if that happens, try upgrading to the latest version of Mapsource. If you want to uninstall the maps, you can re-run the installer, or use the uninstall program which will be located in the directory where the map is installed. The 'Flat' map is less complex than the 'Topo' map, so is less likely to cause problems.
- IMG file: This file can be directly installed in your GPS unit. It is probably best to install it on a memory card (if you copy it to the internal memory of your unit you will wipe out other maps you may have loaded). The bomb-proof way of doing this is to copy the GMAPSUPP.IMG file to a 'GARMIN' folder on the memory card you use. This should work on all Garmin GPS models which support maps. There are GPS units which support multiple map files, maps with different file names or in different folders. I have no idea what they are, or what applies to a certain Garmin model - you will have too google for 'gmappsupp.img' and the name of your Garmin GPS unit.
If you have both mapsets installed on your GPS unit, it is probably best to enable only one of them at a time. With the Topo map loaded in main memory, my Garmin Dakota is very slow to start - but with the Topo map on a card it starts quickly.
Disclaimer: These maps are not tested apart from on my own hardware (Windows 7 64bit, Garmin Dakota 20) where they seem to work fine. I don't think they will, but there is no guarantee that they will not cause crashes or other problems on your computer or your GPS unit. There is no tech support. If you are not willing, or do not think you are capable of resolving any problems yourself, do not use these maps.
The maps were created for a road bicycle trip from Manali to Leh, for which the main navigational challange is making sure you set of in the right direction in the morning. You should not use these maps as your main method of navigation for any off-road/trekking/hiking trips.
Re-use of these maps should be in accordance with the rights of the map and elevation data providers:
Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC BY-SA
Viewfinder Panoramas Digital Elevation Data