Using OpenStreetMap.NL to generate Garmin .IMG map files

This is an updated post of If you need to combine, split, or edit multiple .IMG files, the GMapTool in the previous post can still help.

If you are looking at adding OpenStreetMaps to your Garmin device using a 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB MicroSD card and need a fairly simple, and somewhat quick process, look no further than OpenStreetMap.NL. We’ll start with preparing your device then we will generate the map request and add the map files to your Garmin device. We will be using Windows OS for this tutorial.

  1. Connect your 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB MicroSD card to your computer and format it using FAT32.
    • Right click on the MicroSD card and select “Format…”. Select “FAT32” from the “File system” drop down and “Default allocation size” in the “Allocation unit size” drop down.
    • Ensure “Quick Format” is selectedWarning: this will erase everything on the MicroSD. Backup the device depending on your needs.
    • No volume label is required.
  2. Once the format is complete, you’ll get a success message. Click OK then navigate to your MicroSD card directory.
  3. Right click in an empty part of the MicroSD folder window and create a new folder.
  4. Name the folder GARMIN.
  5. Your MicroSD is prepared. Next navigate to and select your options.

    • Under “Choose your map type:” select “Generic Routable”
    • Under “Include a TYP file (Optional):” skip this option
    • Under “Choose a predefined country:” select your country. For me this was “North America” — “Virginia”
    • Under “Perhaps you’d like to add some additional tiles?” I selected the “Enable manual tile selection” and picked the neighboring states around Virginia. Drag and select multiple tiles. Once selected, your tiles will turn dark purple.
  6. Ensure that your selected tiles do not exceed the capacity of your MicroSD card. Enter your email address and select “Build my map”.
  7. You will receive two emails. The first is a confirmation email. If you don’t receive the confirmation email within a few minutes you will need to check your SPAM folder. The second email contains the download links for the maps you generated. The download is valid for 96 hours.
  8. It took about 8 minutes from map selection to generation and ready for download. Visit your download link and download the file “”.
  9. Once your file has been downloaded, right-click on the file and select “Extract to [file name]”.
  10. Right-click on your .IMG file and select “Copy” then navigate to your MicroSD card’s “GARMIN” directory and paste the .IMG file.
  11. Place your MicroSD card back in your Garmin GPS device and power on. If successful, you will get a loading bar on the GPS device and an OpenStreetMaps message on the screen. If not, you might get a loading bar but you will not get an OpenStreetMaps message on your device. You can also navigate to the Maps page on your GPS, open the menu, and select your maps.
    • Unsuccessful load or missing maps will look like this:
    • Successful map load will look like this. Note the loading bar, message, and option to select maps.
  12. You should be good to go. Let me know if you need assistance or if the process works for you!

2 thoughts on “Using OpenStreetMap.NL to generate Garmin .IMG map files”

  1. Hi there John,
    Great tutorial, thank you. any news on gmaptool and osm topo conversions? I don’t seem to get elevation contours on generated maps. otherwise they are great 😉 Are there any other ways to get topo maps onto my edge705? Thanks – Mike

    1. Hey Mike, glad this guide was helpful. Unfortunately I don’t have access to an edge705 to play with. If I come across anything I’ll be sure to share it and let you know.

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