image

image
 
image

image

Contour Maps for Garmin GPS

Program History

This page provides information about the contour maps which are available from this site as a free download - what they are, how they came about, and what use you can make of them.

A Dedication from Dave Storey, who compiled the maps: Dave Storey's father, Bert Storey, died suddenly, at home, on 22/January/2006, at the age of 78.  This page is dedicated to his memory, and to all the others who have gone before us - truly we can achieve what we do only because of them ...

This page is also, following the suggestion of Dave Storey, respectfully dedicated to the memory of SMC member Rob Milne, who died of a heart attack on Mt Everest in June 2005. Rob encouraged Dave to compile the data, and tested early results.

Changes from 1.2 to 2.0

I'm now using revised NASA SRTM V2 height data - 75% less voids (although area North of 60N is still mostly absent)

Added 'Water Body data' from NASA to each tile. This is LARGE lochs, lakes, oceans, and rivers. NASA also used this to zero the height data in most of the oceans. As a result the previous 'coastline' overlay is no longer required (except for the small part of Shetland North of 60N which has usable contours - no Water Body Data for that area.)

Contours are now derived from a finer height grid. The 3 arcsecond * 3 arcsecond SRTM grid (about 60*90m at our Latitude) has been subdivided into 2 wide by 3 high (thus about 30m square) points, which are interpolated using a 36-point spline (i.e. taking account of the nearest 6*6 grid of SRTM datapoints). The resulting finer grid was then contoured as before (using 3DEM and DEM2TOPO). This gives 'rounder' contours, which take account of local gradients and gradient changes .. however small features will still be missing, since you can only 'round' what was seen to be there, not 'invent' things which were too small to get measured in the first place.

I've changed the tile numbering from 13xxxxxx to 14xxxxxx, just in case you really want to install both 1.2 and 2.0 versions into the same mapsource installation (if tiles have the same number, mapsource will die, very messily). Since the new tiles are, on average, only 200KB larger than the old ones, I really don't recommend having both installed.

Tiles also have names like 'Kent and Essex' based on some local feature. Bear in mind though that the tiles are 1 degree square, so the 'Manchester' tile has 'Chester' on the same tile!! Apologies if your favourite town is on a tile with some other name - that's the way it goes!

I also put Dublin and Limerick back where they are (the US Geographical Intelligence database has a few problems!). If you spot any other towns miles away from where they really are, let me know.

Zip File Name

Map ID

Parts

Landmark

V2N4950

14203049.img

N49W003, W003N49e

Channel Islands

V2N4950

14202050.img

N50W001, W001N50e, N50W002, W002N50e

The Isle of Wight

V2N4950

14203050.img

N50W003, W003N50e

Dorchester

V2N4950

14204050.img

N50W004, W004N50e

Torquay

V2N4950

14205050.img

N50W005, W005N50e

Plymouth

V2N4950

14206050.img

N49W006, W006N49e, N49W007, W007N49e, N50W006, W006N50e

West Cornwall

V2N51

14000051.img

N50E000, E000N50e, N51E000, E000N51e, N51E001, E001N51e

Essex & Kent

V2N51

14201051.img

N51W001, W001N51e

Slough

V2N51

14202051.img

N51W002, W002N51e

Oxford

V2N51

14203051.img

N51W003, W003N51e

Bath

V2N51

14204051.img

N51W004, W004N51e

Bristol

V2N51

14206051.img

W005N51e , N51W006, W006N51e

Cardiff
V2N51 14209051.img N51W008, W008N51e, N51W009, W009N51e Cork
V2N51 14211051.img N51W010, W010N51e, N51W011, W011N51e South Kerry

V2N52

14000052.img

N52E000, E000N52e

The Wash

V2N52

14001052.img

N52E001, E001N52e

Norfolk

V2N52

14201052.img

N52W001, W001N52e

Northampton

V2N52

14202052.img

N52W002, W002N52e

Warwick

V2N52

14203052.img

N52W003, W003N52e

Shropshire

V2N52

14204052.img

N52W004, W004N52e

Llandrindod Wells

V2N52

14205052.img

N52W005, W005N52e

Cardigan Bay
V2N52 14207052.img N52W006, W006N52e, N52W007, W007N52e Wexford
V2N52 14208052.img N52W008, W008N52e Waterford
V2N52 14209052.img N52W009, W009N52e Limerick
V2N52 14211052.img N52W010, W010N52e, N52W011, W011N52e North Kerry

V2N53

14201053.img

N53E000, E000N53e, N53W001, W001N53e

Hull

V2N53

14202053.img

N53W002, W002N53e

Sheffield

V2N53

14203053.img

N53W003, W003N53e

Manchester

V2N53

14204053.img

N53W004, W004N53e

Rhyl

V2N53

14205053.img

N53W005, W005N53e

Anglesey

V2N53

14207053.img

N53W006, W006N53e, N53W007, W007N53e

Dublin

V2N53

14208053.img

N53W008, W008N53e

Westmeath

V2N53

14209053.img

N53W009, W009N53e

Roscommon

V2N53

14211053.img

N53W010, W010N53e, N53W011, W011N53e

Connemara

V2N54

14201054.img

N54W001, W001N54e

North York Moors

V2N54

14202054.img

N54W002, W002N54e

Darlington

V2N54

14203054.img

N54W003, W003N54e

East Lake District

V2N54

14204054.img

N54W004, W004N54e

West Lake District

V2N54

14205054.img

N54W005, W005N54e

Isle of Man

V2N54

14206054.img

N54W006, W006N54e

Belfast

V2N54

14207054.img

N54W007, W007N54e

Armagh

V2N54

14208054.img

N54W008, W008N54e

Fermanagh

V2N54

14209054.img

N54W009, W009N54e

Sligo

V2N54

14211054.img

N54W010, W010N54e, N54W011, W011N54e

North Mayo

V2N55

14202055.img

N55W002, W002N55e

Morpeth

V2N55

14203055.img

N55W003, W003N55e

Northumberland

V2N55

14204055.img

N55W004, W004N55e

Dumfries

V2N55

14205055.img

N55W005, W005N55e

Kilmarnock

V2N55

14206055.img

N55W006, W006N55e, N55W007, W007N55e

Isle of Arran

V2N55

14209055.img

N55W008, W008N55e, N55W009, W009N55e

North Ireland

V2N56

14203056.img

N56W003, W003N56e

Dundee

V2N56

14204056.img

N56W004, W004N56e

Perth

V2N56

14205056.img

N56W005, W005N56e

The Trossachs

V2N56

14206056.img

N56W006, W006N56e

Oban
V2N56 14207056.img N56W008, W008N56e, N56W007, W007N56e Inner Hebrides & Barra

V2N57

14203057.img

N57W002, W002N57e, N57W003, W003N57e

Aberdeen

V2N57

14204057.img

N57W004, W004N57e

Moray Firth

V2N57

14205057.img

N57W005, W005N57e

Loch Ness

V2N57

14206057.img

N57W006, W006N57e

Loch Carron

V2N5758

14207057.img

N57W007, W007N57e, N57W008, W008N57e, N57W009, W009N57e, N58W007, W007N58e, N58W008, W008N58e, N59W007, W007N59e

Skye & Outer Hebrides

V2N5758

14204058.img

N58W003, W003N58e, N58W004, W004N58e, N59W003, W003N59e, N59W004, W004N59e

Orkney Islands

V2N5758

14206058.img

N58W005, W005N58e, N58W006, W006N58e, N59W005, W005N59e, N59W006, W006N59e

Cape Wrath

V2N5758

14201060.img

N59W002, W002N59e, N60W001, N60W002, N60W003, Shetland_coast

Shetland Islands
V2Essentials 14900005 Names
V2Essentials 14900001 UK Trig Points
V2Essentials 14900002 Irish Trig Points
V2Essentials 14900003 UK Summits
V2Essentials 14900004 Irish Summits
V2Essentials 14900009 Voids
V2Essentials contours V2.img
V2Essentials contours V2.reg
V2Essentials contours V2.TDB
V2Essentials readme.txt
V2Essentials make preview.bat
V2Essentials test_pv.txt

 

Changes from 1.1 to 1.2

Fixed problems with incorrect contours in some areas where 'Blackart' had generated artefacts (probably driver error by me) Added .reg file to improve ease of installation.

Changes from 0.1a to 1.1 ..

There is now a 'voids' map showing where the srtm data did not exist.
Contouring in 'void' areas is better.
Some peak/mountain/hill grid references have been fixed (and many spellings). Much more remains to be done.
The overview map has actual place names, and a coastline.
Zooming in/out in Mapsource should work better.

The files are for use with a GPS unit, and you will need to be conversant with the use of these and the software accompanying the unit. This page is written in conjunction with Garmin models and software. Also, we are almost certain that the .reg file will only work with Win XP and Win 2000. Please let us know if you find out otherwise.

Using the free Contour files

Background

Basically they are transparent contour maps covering the whole of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. David Storey started doing this because he couldn't get any topo maps for his Garmin GPS for Shropshire, where he's surveying rights of way for the Council for amusement. Contour maps for the rest of the UK just sort of happened. He's a retired computer science type.

What Dave did was take the NASA public domain (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) data and turned it into contour maps. This NASA data is a grid of 'height in meters' for each 3-arc-second point across the planet (well, only as far as 60 degrees N and S, since the shuttle orbit was not polar). It's distributed in one degree 'tiles', labelled by their lower left corner for the regions we care about .. i.e. N54W001.hgt is the file covering 1 degree west, 54N through 0 degrees (E or W .. take your pick) 55N. You actually get 1201*1201 points in the file, since they measured 'fence posts not fence panels'.

The processing involves 'patching in' any known heights into regions where there is no SRTM data (the files contain 'voids', where the radar didn't get a sensible return signal). You then have to clean up some really dud points, like sea which is 25m below, or 9m above sea level, (anything between -15m and +9m gets set to zero).

The next step is to interpolate (a fancy word for 'guesstimate') the remaining voids, after which the 'cleaned up' heights can be turned into contours. The programs 'Blackart' and 'Dem2Topo' were used to do this, and Dave got a lot of support from the author of Dem2topo, who managed to make the program run 1000x faster on the Scottish Highlands areas (else we'd still be waiting).

Hardware

You need a GPS unit which can load maps and which has sufficient memory to take the file or files you are interested in. One recent example is the Garmin Legend C, which has 24Mb of memory available and can take much of Scotland's contour maps.This model also uses a USB connection which makes data transfer fast and convenient. I have experience using Garmin units and software only, presumably Magellan go their own way too in this respect.

Illustrations below show examples from both version 1.2 (L) and version 2 (R). Areas shown are approximately the same. Note that contours are more rounded, reflecting actual slopes more accurately.

Software

Mapsource is the official Garmin program for handling routes and maps etc. It's recognised as being 'clunky' and 'unforgiving', but you may get a copy when you buy a Garmin model.

To use with Mapsource you will need the .img file for the index sheet, and the .tdb file which records file data. You also need to insert a reference in the Garmin section of the windows registry. To do this a .reg file is provided. Install the files onto your hard drive, usually in the Garmin directory under contours (e.g. C:\Program Files\Garmin\contours v2). Double click on the .reg file and Mapsource should then recognise the contour maps. Load one or more into Mapsource in the usual way and you can then select a map to send to your GPS unit.

After several frustrating days trying to get Mapsource to leave its sandpit and actually do something useful I gave up and found the answer: IMG2GPS. Find it at

http://www.img2gps.co.cc/

This neat, small, and free piece of software loaded my img files in seconds with no whining, crashing, registry error message boxes or any of the mindless crud exhibited by Mapsource. It is not visual, so you have to know what area and hence file you wish loaded, but this is no big deal. Highly recommended for those who wish to retain their sanity!

Registry hacking is fraught with many dangers, and you use these files at your own risk - ensure you have all data backed up and if using Win XP make a System restore point in case everything crashes. Neither the SMC nor Dave Storey accept any responsibility for the use of this data, either with regards to your computer, GPS unit and your data, or to use on the hill. Loading these contour maps will also probably invalidate any Garmin guarantee. You have been warned.

If you would like more information on registry edits, go to http://www.keenpeople.com/index.php?option=articles&task=viewarticle&artid=4&Itemid=3 near the bottom of the page for more information.

If you want to just view the files, and don't have Mapsource (or find it a bit cumbersome, which it is) you can open the .img files with the freeware program 'GPSMAPEDIT' from www.geopainting.com. Turns out you can also edit and recompile them (using cGPSMapper, free edition), should you wish to do so. For instance you can combine several of the 1 degree squares, and use the 'trim' feature to output the region you really wanted. Dave Storey has no problem if people want to do that, although acknowledgement of the source would be nice.

A good Help Site for using the contour maps is here:
http://www.paulmac.force9.co.uk/geo/index.html

We value feedback but do not offer any support on the use of these maps.

Feedback to either us at smc@smc.org.uk, or GSV at quik.clara.co.uk - substitute the 'at' with a @

The Maps

In general the contour files are arranged in the same way as the original data, although the numbering is different (Garmin maps have to have an 8 digit number .. no 'N' 'W' etc. need apply). However for regions where there wasn't much going on, or where it made sense, some of the 1 degree squares have been combined, and we believe in at least one case 'split' to assign part to an adjacent Irish square and part to the UK.

The overview 'Contours.img' file is the index to what goes where, but here is the key to roughly which IMG file contains the original tiles. A landmark is a prominent feature within a map area - not necessarily its centre. It is listed for convenience.

Also for convenience, files have been zipped as groups into ten files for downloading. The groups are arranged by latitude and the file name is obvious, with groups starting in the south of the Uk and working north. Whichever area you are interested in trying, you must download the Essentials.exe file.

The files are listed here with their sizes to the nearest Mb. Each file is a self-extracting archive, so you can simple download and run the file and it will extract all the individual files. No software will actually be installed to your computer. Please try not to overload our server by downloading only those files you really need! As a tentative step to a visual guide, here is a map of Scotland indicating which area the numbered img files cover. The numbers incidentally indicate the Lat and Long of the bottom left corner of each 'tile'. As time allows the remainder of the UK and Eire will be added.

V2N4950.zip (5MB)

V2N51.zip (13MB)

V2N52.zip (17MB)

V2N53.zip (11MB)

V2N54.zip (14MB)

V2N55.zip (11MB)

V2N56.zip (13MB)

V2N57.zip (11MB)

V2N5758.zip (7MB)

V2Essentials.zip (0.5MB) This includes Names, Trig Points, summits & hills, Voids, Readme and several essential files.

image
image
image
image