Geeky and easy digital maps
I never did get the programs referred to (Velomap and OpenMTBmap) to work. I came across two very useful sites dedicated to Open Street Map: www.talkytoaster.co.uk and http://sites.google.com/site/openstreetmapgarmincycleuk.
I now have a fully working GPS with the entire UK mapped using OSM (National Cycle Network included) and am looking forward to planning some rides using bikehike.co.uk as Chris suggested.
I’ve had a few other complaints about that recommendation, which came from the Forum. Now I’ve tried Velomap/OpenMTBmap myself, I must agree: clever stuff, but user-friendly it ain’t! Referring to a well-thumbed copy of Get by in Geek, I nevertheless installed mapping of Iceland on my Etrex and appreciated how I could tailor it to either hiking or biking.
Perhaps the user-friendliest open source mapping comes for a straightforward but small fee (rather than the usual ‘donation’), pre-loaded on SD card – or to download – from http://shop.opencyclemap.org. Another useful link is: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin/Download, where you’ll find a comparative list of who does what for where. That’s how I found mapas.alternativaslibres.es (click English), where I got better maps for my last cycle tour than I could have bought in Stanfords, not just of the Himalayas but the whole of India, which was also useful when sightseeing in Delhi.
Other folks will have other favourites. Tell us yours – but tell it how it is, considering that GPS is for everyone now, not just geeks!
This was first published in the June / July 2013 edition of Cycle magazine.