Garmin Basecamp vs Garmin Explore vs CalTopo

Discussion in 'Garmin GPS' started by AndrewC314, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. AndrewC314


    Aug 25, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Hello everyone! I'm terribly sorry if this is a question that has been answered elsewhere, but I'm in a bit of a pickle and I'm not sure how I want to proceed.

    I'm an avid outdoorsman that loves to make maps. For the past few years I've been using CalTopo which I love to create routes, mark waypoints, and look at slope angle shading. I would then import these maps onto my Garmin 66i for use in the field, or onto my iPhone via geospatial pdfs. This is all fine and dandy, but I recently started using the Garmin Explore app/web portal to mark waypoints and create lists of data. I've found that it is also very easy to mark a point in the field with the app and add some quick notes to refer back to later.

    What I would like is to meld all of these functions together, which I believe BaseCamp will do. I want to be able to create an organized list of points and tracks to keep track of my travels and different places I've been to. I would love to be able to upload a photo with the waypoint to help jog my memory. However, I'm new to BaseCamp and it seems very cumbersome that I can't (or at least I don't know how) to quickly sync with my 66i/explore account to capture only the new waypoints I've created in the field since the last time I synced. Additionally I don't love that the device needs to be plugged in to get any maps worth looking at. i.e. I would like some of the functionality and ease of use that comes with Garmin Explore (autosyncing and decent basemaps) but with the higher end functionality of BaseCamp. Is this a pipe dream? Or am I missing something?

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

    AndrewC314, Aug 25, 2021
  2. AndrewC314

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

    Aug 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    At least some of what you want can be achieved in Garmin Basecamp, the Garmin maps you have on your 66i can be loaded onto your computer so that they can be used without having your 66i connected to the computer, there are several ways to do this
    1. When downloading maps using Garmin Express (free updated or purchased maps), there is an option to download to the computer see below: -


      Any map that is downloaded to the computer will be available in Basecamp without the 66i being connected

    2. Any Flash drive connected to your computer will act like your 66i, so if you create a folder on the Flash drive called Garmin and copy the *img file from your 66i to this flash drive, Basecamp will 'see' the maps on the Flash drive, e.g copy files [66i] /Garmin/My-Map1.img or [66i MicroSD] /Garmin/My Map2.img or [GPS/Satnav] /Map/My-Map3.img to [Flash Drive] /Garmin My-Map1.img + /Garmin My-Map2.img + /Garmin My-Map3.img

    3. You can create a Virtual Flash drive on your computer hard disk that emulates a Flash drive and then use this drive as you would in 2) above

    4. You can copy *.img files to a folder on your computer and then 'register' them in the computer's registry so that Garmin Bascamp will 'see' them, this is what Garmin Express does when downloading to a computer drive, the registration process is usually carried out by a batch file, here is an example batch file, please note this file would need to be tailored for each map installation
    echo off
    echo -
    echo -
    echo -  This batch will install map for Mapsource
    echo -
    echo -  Map:  "TT STD British Isles+Contours"
    echo -  FID:  1232
    echo -  PID:  1232
    echo -
    echo -  Press Enter to continue or Ctrl-C to abort.
    echo -
    if exist "%~dp0mapset.img" goto :INSTREG
    echo File missing: mapset.img, aborting install.
    exit 1
    echo Adding registry keys.
    set KEY=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Garmin\MapSource
    if %PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE% == AMD64 goto key_ok
    set KEY=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Garmin\MapSource
    reg ADD %KEY%\Families\FAMILY_1232 /v ID /t REG_BINARY /d D004 /f
    if exist "%~dp0mapset_mdr.img" (
       reg ADD %KEY%\Families\FAMILY_1232 /v IDX /t REG_SZ /d "%~dp0mapset.mdx" /f
       reg ADD %KEY%\Families\FAMILY_1232 /v MDR /t REG_SZ /d "%~dp0mapset_mdr.img" /f
    if exist "%~dp0mapset.typ" reg ADD %KEY%\Families\FAMILY_1232 /v TYP /t REG_SZ /d "%~dp0mapset.typ" /f
    reg ADD %KEY%\Families\FAMILY_1232\1232 /v Loc /t REG_SZ /d "%~dp0\" /f
    reg ADD %KEY%\Families\FAMILY_1232\1232 /v Bmap /t REG_SZ /d "%~dp0mapset.img" /f
    reg ADD %KEY%\Families\FAMILY_1232\1232 /v Tdb /t REG_SZ /d "%~dp0mapset.tdb" /f
    exit 0
    Nuvi-Nebie, Aug 25, 2021
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