Topographic Map of South Africa for Garmin GPS Receivers
This is a free topographic map of South Africa for use on a Garmin GPS receiver (GPSr), and the Garmin software Basecamp and/or Mapsource.
The map is compiled from Openstreetmap (OSM) data, and 20m contour lines obtained from the South African Chief Directorate: National Geo-spatial Information (NGI).
Since the map is based on OSM data, it is editable and can seamlessly be used together with your favourite OSM-based planning tool such as GaiaGPS or CalTopo.
Why this map?
Since Garmin has discontinued its Garmap Southern Africa maps, there is no longer an up-to-date and accurate (in my opinion) topographic map available for South Africa. While several other topographic maps based on OSM data exist, their contour lines are generated from low-resolution SRTM digital elevation models. The NGI 20m contours offer vastly superior accuracy.
The coverage of the map is currently limited to all of South Africa below the 28th parallel (see image). This is due to some gaps in the contour data from the NGI. Also, some areas of Namibia and Lesotho are included in the map (without contours) since downloading OSM source data which offer the most convenient workflow to me includes them.
- Contains open-source vector data from www.openstreetmap.org.
- Fully routable on all roads and trails.
- Contains 20m contour lines from the NGI.
- Contains a digital elevation model (DEM) for hillshading and vertical profile drawing.
The map is created using the excellent (free) tools cGPSMapper and mkgmap.
Map data © Openstreetmap Contributors.
Elevation Data © 1996-2013 Chief Directorate: National Geo-spatial Information.
Below some screenshots of the map from Basecamp and my Garmin Etrex Legend HCx GPSr (rendering of maps is better on newer and more advanced models).
You can download one of two options:
1. DEM Included which is recommended for newer GPSrs such as the Etrex 20,22,30,32 and higher end models such as the Oregon and Montana.
2. DEM Not Included which is recommended for older GPSrs such as the Etrex Legend and Etrex Vista (these units tend to freeze up a lot when using the above map, and they don't support shaded relief anyway).
For each of the options (1. or 2.) above, you can download either the gmapsupp_xxxxx.zip, which contains a single gmapsupp.img file for placing directly into the \Garmin\ directory of the GPSr SD card. Alternatively, you can download the installer_xxxxx.zip which contains a install.exe to install the map into Basecamp/Mapsource. From here the map can then be transferred to the GPSr.
Note: It is of course possible to install DEM Included version in Basecamp even if you have an older GPSr, to take advantage of the superior map appearance and functionality of this map (in Basecamp).
Editing the Map and Additional Feautures
If you find something not in the map that you'd like to see there, go to the OSM website and click on Edit. I rebuild the map regularly from the latest OSM data. If you need a rebuild contact me.
There are some additional features I can include on request, such as cadastral data (farm, erven boundaries) or custom maps of small areas. Contact me if you're interested.
Feel free to contact me (Philip) with any problems, questions or suggestions by email at 23787082[at]sun[dot]ac[dot]za.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the map!