How to Upload GeoTIFF Maps to Garmin GPS Units

Written by grace grimm
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How to Upload GeoTIFF Maps to Garmin GPS Units
(handheld gps image by Christopher Dodge from

A GeoTIFF file is a type of georeferenced raster image often used as the format for maps, including topographical maps. Displaying a GeoTIFF-format map on a Garmin GPS unit is problematic, as Garmin devices are not really designed to support raster imagery. However, two programs, Moagu and Mapwel, can convert GeoTIFF files into a format readable by Garmin devices. Neither program is free, but both have a limited demo version available for free download.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • GeoTIFF map
  • Garmin GPS unit
  • Moagu or Mapwel software
  • Computer
  • Data cable

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  1. 1

    Download and install the demo version of the Moagu software program from Run the trial version and click the "Buy the program" option on the left side of the menu to purchase the full version of the program.

  2. 2

    Open the full version of Moagu. From the Utilities menu, select "BMap2MP." Click the "Load GeoTIF" button and browse to your GeoTIF map. Click "Create Map Code," and then "Compile Map."

  3. 3

    Connect the Garmin unit to your computer and turn it on. Within Moagu, click the "Send Map to GPS" button.

  1. 1

    Download and install the Mapwel program from Open the GeoTIFF map in Mapwel using the Import command in the Image menu.

  2. 2

    Select "Auto Vectorize" from the Image menu in Mapwel to convert the GeoTIFF to a Garmin IMG file. Make sure the Export to IMG file box is checked. Click "Vectorize."

  3. 3

    Turn on your Garmin unit and connect it to your computer. Select "Upload Map to GPS" from the File menu to use Mapwel to upload the new IMG file to the device.

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