Mac OSx – Openmtbmap Beginners Guide

In general I try to keep the installation on Mac OSx as simple as possible. And in general it's no more difficult compared to Windows. However some things might not be easy at the first time, so here comes an installation with screenshots for each step (mind I personally don't have a mac, so I took the screenshots from a remote computer running OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) and Basecamp v. 4.0.4.

This is a guide for Dummies, so it is quite long. You will actually find all of this very easy I hope and keep in mind, this guide is written for people who never used Garmin format maps on their Mac. If you have experience with other maps, You will only need to read through Step 1, Step 2 and Step 5. However you might find the general information at the end useful too.



So as a prerequisite get Basecamp 4.0.4 or newer from here:

This should include, Garmin MapManager for Mac, and Garmin MapInstall for Mac. We need all three programs installed to continue...

If they are not included in Basecamp download (seems to be the case lately) - get them from here:


If I talk about right-click, I mean secondary click. If you don't know how to do that on your Mac, google it up - you miss out on many features without it in general. In general it is done by  CTRL & Click if your mouse has no right click button.


1. Step - Download - then Unarchive Maps:

You will need Unarchiver (or any other unarchive program with support for lzma2 !) to unarchive your downloaded maps, Get unarchiver here:

During the setup, the settings page should popup, tick: "7-zip Archvie" - as shown below.



during install, also make sure that under "Extract archives to: Same folder as the archive" ---> Create a new folder for the extracted files:

either "Never" or "Only if there is more than one top-level item"  is selected.


Then just doubleclick on the mtbCOUNTRY_macosx.7z (in this example mtbtawain_macosx.7z). It will be extracted as mtbtaiwan.gmap.

extract with unarchiver


2. Step - Install the map:

Double Click on the unarchived download. It is called mtbCOUNTRY.gmap (COUNTRY standing for the country you downloaded).

Note on newer Mac OSx version doubleclick may not open MapManager - use right click instead - then select "open with Garmin MapManager".

Garmin MapManager


Now you will see MapManager pop up. Click on the blue button to continue. You will see the mapname again



Usually, but not always, once installed MapManager will popup - here you can see the full name of the map (in this case openmtbmap_taiwan_11.01.2013) and on the right site the place where it is installed to - this place is /Users/YOUR_USERNAME/Library/Application Support/Garmin/Maps/mtbtaiwan (taiwan in our example, germany would be mtbgermany, and so on). If we click on an entry, and then rightclick, we could uninstall a map from here. Also we can open the installation directory for any map from here - which is very useful and needed later on.

If it doesn't pop up, installation should have been successful too. Here you can see all your installed maps, and if you want to remove a map, open MapManager, right click on the map, and Remove/Uninstall it.

MapManager - Overview


In case of Problems:

If on clicking on mtbCOUNTRY.gmap (COUNTRY is a placeholder here for the name of the country - e.g. Germany or Taiwan) the package is opened in Finder (or your File explorer) - instead of MapManager popping up here is what to do:

First Try: Open Garmin MapManager, and find the mtbCOUNTRY.gmap folder you want to install - and open it from within Garmin MapManager! (see Prerequisites about Garmin MapManager installation)


Second Try: If installation from within Garmin MapManager should fail too (I don't know why it would) - you can move mtbCOUNTRY.gmap into the following folder: /Users/YOUR_USERNAME/Library/Application Support/Garmin/Maps/

Alternatively you can install them to: /Library/Application Support/Garmin/Maps/ (top level - not inside your user folder). Both Locations are perfectly fine - but best only use one of them for all of your maps. If you have the same country map in both locations - you are asking for trouble.

(also see the map manager Screenshot above - actually MapManager does nothing else than move the .gmap package (folder) for you - once it is placed there - it will be found by Basecamp).




3. Step: Use the map with Garmin Basecmap for Mac

When you startup Garmin Basecamp for Mac, it will show you the last installed map (or the map you last used Basecamp with). In our case - this is the map of Taiwan. Now you can zoom in and work with the map just like any other map. If it's your first time, best play around a bit and read the manual if you're unsure.



All maps support autorouting - I recommend you to use the "routing-function". It's the easiest and quickest way to create routes.

I recommend to set the profile to "Car" (German Auto) or "Bicycling" for best results - Read through here for understanding how the Openmtbmap works with Autorouting and which avoidances you should activate/deactivate.

- here you can see a quick sample route. After planning wit the Routing-Function, you can finetune the route using the Select Function and drag it around like on Google Maps.



If you want to switch between maps (this will only work if your have several maps installed) - make sure you got the MapSelector Tool in the Basecamp iconbar active, it is not active by default - here is how it looks - Globale Karte (third item from the left in the top list), you will have to get it from the toolbar menu with all items. I also recommend you to put the Routing-Function (here Routen-Funktion) from the very top right on the screenshot into your toolbuttons active all the time (I put it besides the map selector). You might also find the Track-Function very handy:

Map Selector


4. Step: Choose the layout of the Maps

The Openmtbmap currently comes with 6 different Map Layouts - unluckily this is not as easy to choose on Mac. But I tried to make the selection as easy as possible. Please read up which layout(s) best suit you here in the: Map Legend or on the Screenshots on Desktop or Screenshots from GPS

First - Open the installation folder. The place of installation you can find out with Garmin MapManager. It should be: /Users/YOUR_USERNAME/Library/Application Support/Garmin/Maps/mtbtaiwan.gmap (taiwan in our example, germany would be mtbgermany, and so on) - You can do so by Opening Garmin MapManager, and clicking onto "Show in Finder" (here Im Finder anzeigen)

MapManager - Overview


Then rightclick on the map (in this case mtbtaiwan.gmap): and choose "Show Package Content" - it should the third entry. In German on the example here it is "Paketinhalt zeigen".



Now the Map Package will open (note, that in principle any map package is just a simple folder, but Garmin MapManager makes you see it as a so called package - with Finder alternatives like MuCommander you can just open the map package, without right-click):

Here you see how the Mapinstallation folder looks like. In the "Layout Files" section - the different map layouts are saved. Open the folder Layout Files, then choose the desired Layout folder (e.g. Classic_Layout), go into it, and copy the typXX.TYP file. Go up again to the main folder (mtbtaiwan.gmap) and just paste it in, overwriting the old (in this case) typtw.TYP.

Map Installation Main Folder


Here is a quick overview about the folders inside Layout_Files:

a) Two folders to enable/disable showing the contourlines. "Integrate Contourlines"  with an Info.xml inside to enable the contourlines and "Remove_Contourlines with an Info.xml to disable the contourlines in the map. Just copy/paste the Info.xml from here to the main folder, i.e. mtbtaiwan.gmap and overwrite the Info.xml in there. by default the contourlines are active for all maps that have contourlines integrated and not in a separate download of course.

b) The map layout folders with a .TYP file inside. 

  • Classic_Layout (typical openmtbmap layout - optimized for high contrast and lots of information),
  • Easy_Layout (easy openmtbmap layout for mtbiking - for those who prefer a cleaner easier to understand map compared to classic layout)
  • Hiking_Layout,
  • Thin_Layout (based on Classic but thinner lines),
  • Wide_Layout (based on Classic but wider lines and streets)
  • Dekstop_Layout - low contrast for working with Basecamp.

The Velomap has the following layouts right now:

  • Dekstop_Layout - low contrast for working with Basecamp
  • Velo_Layout (typical velomap layout - optimized for high contrast and lots of information),
  • Race_Layout (high contrast for race cycling, only paved ways and streets are shown prominently)


So you copy the typXX.TYP and then paste it inot the main map folder - i.e mtbtaiwan.gmap, then you have the new layout activated. Note, you must no have Basecamp open at the same time, else the file is locked and cannot be overwritten!

Here I'm copying typtw.TYP from the Classic_Layout.

Map Installation Main Folder


Now Going back up to "mtbtaiwan.gmap" (or mtbCOUNTRY.gmap) and pasting the .TYP

Map Installation Main Folder


and finally confirming the overwriting - that's it. Once you've done it once, it's easy.

Confirm Replain .TYP



5. Step: Send the Map to your GPS using Garmin MapInstall

NOTE: on Old GPS all maps have to be sent at once. And can then be activated/deactivated via Menu on your GPS. (old GPS e.g. Vista HCx, GpsMaps 60 CSx). On new generation GPS (e.g. Dakota, Oregon, edge 800, GpsMaps 62, Montana), you can send the maps one at a time as you like.

Make sure you connected your Garmin, or put the memory card into a cardreader on your Mac (that is what I recommend on older devices - as they have very slow USB 1.1 connection so sending maps takes a long time). If not it will look like this - with the selector empty so you cannot continue:

So here we go:


We choose the region not by left clicking into it, but by dragging the mouse over the region we want - while holding the left mouse button (else you miss the contourlines)!

Confirm Replain .TYP

I selected a second map, by choosing another map on the MapSelector in the image above, and also choosing the region I want. Note that you shouldn't overload your GPS device with maps. I recommend max 2GB for old Garmin GPS, and 4-6 GB of Maps maximum for new generation Garmin GPS devices. Note also there is a limit of 2048 or 4096 maptiles depending on your GPS device. If you put too many maps onto it, then starting the device will be slow, and using the search function will be slow too.


Then I click on "Send Maps" (Karten senden) and MapInstall asks for Confirmation - showing me what will be installed - which we confirm again:

Confirm Replain .TYP


And we can go and have a coffe while the maps are sent (depends on the size of the map, how long it takes). Especially on older GPS - best send the maps to the micro-SD Card that you use with it, and put that micro-SD Card into a cardreader on your Mac, so it sends much faster (old Garmin GPS units only have USB 1.1)

Garmin MapInstall



General information about he Openmtbmaps and using them

Using the maps on your GPS

Please read through the following three topics:

howto-setup-your-gps/ and autorouting/




Participate in Openstreetmap and help to make the maps better:

The Openmtbmaps are based on Openstreetmap, hence you can help to improve the map data!




Activating 2d view in Basecamp:

The 3D view is confusing to many users, and slower than the 2D view - I advise you to switch to 2D view in general using Basecamp:

Garmin MapInstall


120 comments to Mac OSx – Openmtbmap Beginners Guide

  • boss

    Ich habe auf meinem MacBook (neuestes BS) die Europakarte (alle 3 Teile) nach der Anweisung installiert.Beim aufrufen der Karte über BaseCamp sehe ich eine Karte mit den Hauptstrassen (keine Details) und die Höhenlinien (bei entsprechender Zoomstufe). Wieso sehe ich keine Kartendetails??

    • extremecarver

      Dann sind die Kartendaten nicht im richtigen Ordner (oder evtl Download von unterschiedlichem Datum?) – bzw nicht entpackt. Installiere etwa mal die Deutschlandkarte – und schau dir dort die Struktur/Installationsverzeichnisse an. Die Europakarte muss genauso ausschauen (nur halt deutlich mehr Ordner).

  • RaSti

    wenn ich der Anleitung folge, wird bei mir mit Unarchiver ein Ordner erstellt. Und diesen kann ich nicht installieren.
    Ich habe die Karte für Hessen heruntergeladen.
    Mac OS X 10.9.5
    Unarchiver 3.10.1 (der aktuellste)

    • extremecarver

      Siehe unter Schritt 2: Im Fall von Installationsproblemen:
      Unter 2a) ist das ganze dann noch bebildert – wobei du die Höhenlinien ja nicht einfügen musst. Nur den Ordner an sich richtig verschieben.

  • lokutus25

    Hi, big question: in step 2a should I copy the full content of mtbeuropefile archive in the Product1 folder as for the contour line?

  • lokutus25

    I have a problem. If I unarchive the file mtbeurope_macosx.7z the result is not a .gmap file but a folder named mtbeurope.gmap. Sure I have the the “Create Folder” option as Never. Same result if I use the command line “unar -no-directory …”.
    Now I’m downloading the Italy maps archive but do you know about this problem? I could not find hints on other comments.

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