• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources

Barcelona map

Now that you know How to upload track logs to your phone in our previous tutorial, we'll show you how to use free offline maps for hundreds of places in the world. For example going to Barcelona Spain and want to lay out a city walking tour before you go? It's easy, so lets look at it step by step so you can make your own track map to follow.

1.) Download a mapping programme

First we need a program that will load maps and allow you to draw a track to follow for your walk.


Start by going to the Garmin.com site. Look for Maps>>MapSource>>Updates and Downloads and download Mapsource software version 6.16.3. This is the final version and Mapsource is no longer supported but is still available. if you prefer the newer Mapsource replacement called Basecamp, you can download that instead. Personally I find Mapsource easier to use -perhaps becasue I've used it so much. Install Mapsource (or Basecamp.) Both programmes are free. Note that these Garmin programmes are only available for Windows Xp or later. If you are using an Apple computer, you will need the Windows emualator or read on for more info in 3.) below.

2.) Now we need some maps

Not any old maps but maps that are i) free and ii) compatible with Garmin and Mapsource. By the way, you don't need a Garmin GPS for any of this.
The best source I could find for free maps of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America are from OpenStreetMap. Go to garmin.openstreetmap.nl. There you will see "Free maps for Garmin brand GPS devices." Don't worry if you don't have one of these -but if you do, you can download the maps to your Garmin SD card as well.

There are four questions to answer:

a.) Choose your map type. Choose Generic Routable (new style)

b) Choose a predefined country. In my case, I chose Spain.

c) Perhaps you'd like to add some additional tiles? Check the Enable manual selection box. Use the directional arrows to move around the map to find the area desired and the + and - slider to help. In my case, I moved the map until I could find Spain and then zoomed in to the Barcelona area. I selected two tiles as the dividin line between the two seemed to run through the middle of town. You can select as many tiles as you need for your journey. When you click on a tile (a rectangular area on the map), it will darken so you can see what you've selected.

d) Request your map or download directly? Enter your email address and then click "Build my Map."

3.) Let OpenStreetMap build your map

You will receive two emails: i) Where you are in the map making queue. My first email told me there were 5 requests before mine and that my map would be ready in 25 minutes ii) A second email (about 15 min later) telling me my map was ready and giving me a link to download it. There are seven files available. You want the one that is named: osm_generic_new_windows.exe

However there are some other items that could be useful to you: i) osm_generic_new_gmapsupp.zip. This is a compressed file that contains a single map image that can be placed directly onto the SD-card of the GPS if you have a Garmin GPS. This puts the map into your gps. ii) osm_generic_new_macosx.zip which is the map installer for BaseCamp/RoadTrip on the Mac OSX platform.


4.) Download the appropriate files

For my Barcelona map, I downloaded the osm_generic_new_windows.exe file which I double clicked on and it installed automatically into Mapsource (or Basecamp.) Inside Mapsource, my map has the same name. I should have renamed the file to Barcelona.exe before installing to give the map the Barcelona name.

5.) Select your map inside Mapsource

Now you can locate the area you plan to walk in and draw a route in Mapsource. In my case, I zoomed zoom into the centre of Barcelona. Then I used the drawing tools to draw the route given in my travel guide and added waypoints for particular locations. It may take you a while to gain a working knowledge of Mapsource or Basecamp. Once you have the trail drawn, save the file in gpx format.

6.) Now upload the gpx file to your phone

Now you can use the other tutorial on how to upload this gpx track to your phone for offline navigation on your trip. Enjoy your free navigation maps.

Also see our tutorial, How to upload track files to your phone.

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