Garmin Custom Maps – Create Your Custom Map

Before downloading your custom map, you must install the latest software for your device. Visit for more information.

When creating your custom map, be responsible and only create a custom map from a map that is in the public domain, that you hold the copyright in, or that you have permission to use from the copyright holder.

To discuss custom maps with others, please visit our Garmin Custom Maps developer forums. For a printer-friendly version of these instructions, click here.

Step 1: Save the Map in JPEG Format

Garmin Custom Maps require your map be saved in JPEG format.

If your map is printed, scan the map at an appropriate resolution?, and save the image as a JPEG.
If your map is electronic, such as a PDF, it may require conversion using GIMP or another suitable program to save it as a JPEG.

Step 2: Create an Image Overlay

Using Google? Earth, locate the approximate area? where your custom map is located.

From the top toolbar, click Add > Image Overlay. The New Image Overload dialog box appears.


Step 3: Link the JPEG

In the New Image Overload dialog box, complete the following tasks:

Provide a name.
Set the Link field to the path of the source JPEG to georeference.
Use the Location tab to adjust the draw order, if necessary. The draw order is used to determine the order in which maps appear (draw) on your device. For example, if the draw order for your custom map is set to 50 or higher, the custom map will draw on top of the Garmin map.


Step 4: Georeference the JPEG

Before closing the New Image Overlay dialog box, you need to adjust (georeference) the JPEG so it matches the satellite imagery beneath the image overlay.

Move the green marks to adjust the corners, edges, center, or rotation of the JPEG. You may need to adjust the transparency of the JPEG so the satellite imagery can be seen beneath the JPEG. Use the Transparency bar near the top of the New Image Overlay dialog box to adjust the transparency.

Click OK to save your custom map.

Step 5: Send Your Custom Map to Your Device

Connect your Garmin outdoor handheld device to your computer.

In Google Earth on the left side of the screen, right click on your custom map.

Click Save Place As.

In the dialog box that appears, find the drive for your connected handheld device and save? your custom map in the /Garmin/CustomMaps/ directory. Save the file in KMZ format.

Your custom map will appear as part of the map on your Garmin outdoor handheld device.

Disable Your Custom Map

By default, Garmin Custom Maps are enabled on your device.

To disable your custom map on Dakota or Oregon:

Select Setup > Map > Map Information. Deselect the check box for your custom map.

To disable your custom map on Colorado:

Go to the Map page, and select Options > Select Map. Scroll to your custom map and deselect the check box.


?Oregon and Colorado have a native solution of 155 dpi, and Dakota has a resolution of 110 dpi. Use these resolutions as guidelines in determining your image size.

?The closer the viewing area is to the location and coverage of your JPEG, the easier it will be to georeference.

?The file can also be saved to a microSD card and installed in your Garmin outdoor handheld device.

Compatible devices: Dakota, Oregon, Colorado

Source: Garmin International