Why Use VeloMap maps for cycling?

  • High Contrast layout optimized for small size screen of Garmin GPS (1.8-4"). Clear differentiation between all street types. Separate low contrast Layout for tour planning on your PC/desktop.
  • Paved or Unpaved? Easy to spot road type. Bridges and tunnels shown. Cycle tracks and cycle lanes shown. Arrows for one way streets...... See the map legend for more.
  • Cycle relevant information like drinking water, city bike stations or bicycle shops searchable and shown prominently.
  • Cycle routes shown prominently BESIDES the streets differentiated by colour and size based on importance (other maps show cycle routes instead of streets so that you don't know what kind of street the route is on, bad for planning).
  • Navigation - Highly sophisticated Autorouting specialised for cycling. Don't cycle on big streets anymore because you got lost. The VeloMap focuses very strictly on road cycling, commuting and touring/trekking. Maps trying to focus for many purposes can never be as good.
  • Easy installation to Garmin Mapsource, Garmin Basecamp or Qlandkarte GT for on PC planning.
  • Good Documentation because everything you want and need to know for using the maps is found on VeloMap.org
  • Contourlines based on the best free (as in beer) data - viewfinderpanoramas.org - as separate download for most countries. Much higher quality in mountainous regions than the mostly used void filled SRTM3".
  • Map Incomplete? You can participate and Add missing to Openstreetmap. Every Week the maps become better and more complete! If you think anything "bicycle relevant" features are missing (but recorded and documented in OSM), drop a comment and I will try to add it.


New Here?:

Lots of information, don't get lost, Get Started!


Navigation - Find the shortest nice route -- or find the most cyclefriendly route.

Garmin offerst two seperate Autorouting modes supported by all GPS and Software. Shorter Distance will actually be shorter than on any other Garmin map I have tried (even though high traffic streets are avoided). Faster time finds nicer routes with even less traffic and makes some detours if needed. Autorouting using  Mapsource 6.16 or Basecamp v3 up to 200km trip distance without via-points. Around 100-150km with Oregon/Dakota/2010_Generation_etrex/GPSmaps. If you route over longer distances, cities are avoided except for cycleroutes crossing cities.  

Map Layout

Clean map layout 100% optimized for readability on GPS. Be assured that on the GPS maps therefore are very well readable. As for desktop use the layout has too much contrast, there is a second layout optimized for planning with Mapsource/Basecamp/Qlandkarte GT.


You can Improve the Maps!!

These maps are based on the freely available wikipedia like Openstreetmap Map Database. You should consider uploading your GPS tracks to openstreetmap and/or help out if you find errors or missing data.  There is a short introduction here listing the most relevant links to get you startet: Participate  

Who can make use of the maps?

The maps offered here are of course, currently primarily used by Garmin GPS users, but you don't need to have a Garmin GPS to use them. Qlandkarte GT an opensource and freely available Map Viewer can display them in all their pride, and also if not owning a Garmin GPS or buying maps from Garmin you can install the free Garmin Basecamp or Mapsource software and enjoy autorouting like you have not enjoyed before.  

Need a map for Mountainbiking or Hiking?

Head over to https://openmtbmap.org and get it. Whereas the Velomap showss non paved tracks and trails in very subtle colors, on the openmtbmap you can see difficulty gradings both for Up- and Downhill. Also mtb and hikingroutes are prominently shown.  

Reintroduction of Thin .typfile and adaptions for Garmin edge x40 firmware bugs.

Garmin recently released a very buggy new firmware for edge 1040, 840 and 540. There are two huge problems with this new firmware (21.x) concerning map rendering. All maps published June 02 or later are therefore adapted.

a) Layout in the maps is defined via a .typ file. In this typfile there are two ways to define how streets should render. One is by setting two colours, one for the line and one for the border. And the other is by using two colours and creating a simple bitmap (32x32px). Likely to increase contrast or whatever Garmin decided to render the border in 4x the width that is defined in the .typfile. This doesn't affect most of their modern maps as they only used a line color without border - but in many older maps Garmin also uses a border colour. Now it sounds like the obvious solution to just switch to bitmap instead of line/border - but the problem is that most garmin devices render bitmap lines different and it looks worse. As I believe that about half of my users use the openmtbmap/velomaps with Garmin edge devices I decided to remove the borders and render most streets in single colour only. Before most roads hat a grey/black border. The alternative to use bitmap lines instead I felt is worse. 

b) the 21.x firmware devices do not respect the settings regarding labels correctly. Nothing I can fix here. You can chose however unter map layout to not show labels for certain categories.

I spent a lot of time changing all the different typfiles but I would still recommend you to not update. Rolling back is possible by putting an older GUPDTATE.GCD firmware file into the /garmin folder - however this fully resets the device so is quite annoying. You can prevent updates of garmin edge gps devices by placing a dummy GUPDATE.GCD file into the /garmin folder (rename a text file with no content but a blank/space to this). I don't know if other garmin devices will also roll out in future with this broken fimware. It had been reported to garmin on their beta firmware but they didn't fix it.


I had previously decided to remove the "Thin" layout from the openmtbmaps to save my time adapting it when I change things to the layout. After several requests I have now re introduced the Thin layout for the openmtbmaps and also added a thin layout to the VeloMap. It is 1px thinner than the classic/velo (legacy) layout. I think it's only useful for GPSMap 60/62/64/65 devices with low resolution displays - all other garmin devices have higher DPI. As sometimes people ask about which layout to chose - I add an explanation again here (and in other places in help files/website):


The new layout selector in the Windows installer with additional Thin layout

VeloMap Layouts


Basically the layouts differ on use case, line width and colour of roads. "Legacy" typfiles use the higher contrast blue/green/red/yellow street differentiation - while "modern" layouts use a lower contrast red-yellow road differentiation. The philosophy behind this is that on legacy typfiles you know exactly what kind of classification a street has, while the modern layout there is a more fluid approach from motorways to small roads that subconciously tells you the road class. Google maps is a prime example of modern type of layouts - while typical German road maps are the inspiration for the legacy layout.  Modern layouts give you a better overview when looking at the map on a big screen/display as it's easier for the brain to class importance in an instant  and looks nicer/calmer - while legacy layout gives a more exact classification but needs more time to process the information and looks less nice. The width of the layout should be chosen according to the DPI of your device and preferences. As most currently sold garmin devices (except smartwatches) are optimal in my eyes for the Wide layouts - special layouts like, winter, hiking, easy or topo are only available in wide style.


Which .typ file should I choose (VeloMap) - Sorted from Thin to Extra Wide?

Thin - optimized for GPSMap 60/62/64/65
*vthn --- Thin layout - like Velo legacy but even thinner lines. For low resolution Garmin GPS devices like GPSMaps series.

Medium width - - optimized for Vista/Legend/edge_705
*velo --- Velo - The layout to be used on your GPS Device. High Contrast - for lower DPI devices - red-yellow streets
*vllg --- Velo legacy - same as above - but blue-green-red-yellow streets

Wide - optimized for Oregon/Colorado/edge x30/edge x40/GPSMap 66/67 (and more modern devices)
*velw --- Velo Wide - The layout to be used on your high DPI - e.g. Oregon _ GPS Device. Same but wider lines compared to velo - red-yellow streets
*vwlg --- Velo Wide Legacy Same as above - the Wide Legacy Layout for Velomap - but blue-green-red-yellow streets

*esyv --- Wide Easy - simple layout with (nearly) no additional info over traditional topo maps. Wide width. Modern streets.

*race --- Racing Bicycle - The best layout for race/road cycling. High Contrast - red-yellow streets
*topv --- Simple Topo - Simple topopgraphical map style - Easy to understand - high contrast. Very different color scheme from the other maps.

*trdn --- Desktop - Mapsource/Basecamp/Qlandkarte_GT/Desktop --- General big screen/resolution layout. It is the easiest to understand layout and optimized for big screens (800x600 or

Extra Wide - for 64 colour Display of Fenix watches / watches with MIP Display
*vfnx --- Fenix similar to velo Wide Legacy but optimized for Fenix series 5/6/7 watches which can only show 64 colours



Other recent Updates.

I have once again reworked a bit how to draw tracks and ways with mtb:scale information. I had changed this 2 years ago and now went back a little bit to how it was before hoping it's a better compromise. It's always hard to chose the different colours. In general dark colours are better contrast on Garmin GPS devices MIP displays - but some colours like purple, turqoise, yellow, green or red also stand out well.  However purple usually is used for routes/tracks. while turquoise is used for showing the way you traveled for trackback and if used for roads could be easily confused with water objects. That's why I chose green for ways rated with mtb:scale and for mtb routes. Now brown (used for hiking trails sac_scale) actually has better contrast but green stands out more in the map. That's why I decided to use green for mtb trails and brown for hiking trails. As for colouring mtb trails like skislopes from very easy (green), easy (blue), intermediate (red) to difficult (black) - that would just work out for an overlay - but destroy any other kind of information in the map. Also with different skills of mtbikers the classicication in 4 levels is simply not enough, same goes for hiking classification on difficulty.

New contourlines for Italy and Republic of Cyprus. Since 2 months finally all of Italy is available with contourlines based on LIDAR data - before this was patchy for some regions only with the rest based on satellite DEM data. For Cyprus (just the South) contourlines are now finally also based on LIDAR. That kinda only leaves Portugal, Ireland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece and small parts of Romania and Croatia  in the EU without LIDAR based contourlines. And of course quite a lot of bugs or adaptions to OSM keys/terminology I update as always.


The reintroduced Thin Layout

Thin Layout in Gmunden


New Contourlines for Europe – and other recent news

The next map updates - coming over this weekend will include new contourlines. Actually I updated the contourlines already over the last few months for quite a few countries - but this was only for countries with integrated contourlines. So the next map update of countries like Spain, Norway, Turkey, Europe continent will require an update of the contourlines as well. Note that it can be temporarily for a few hours (up to 16 hours in case of Europe continent map, max 13-14 hours for other maps) that only the new contourlines are online, but the map that belongs to it is not updated yet. 


The next Picture shows the coverage of LIDAR DEM sources in my maps after the update (picture by the creator of the DEM files https://sonny.4lima.de/ ). It's the first time for quite a few eastern European countries to have LIDAR DEM data and first update for many parts in Italy as well as other countries. LIDAR DEM sources usually mean that the error in altitude is less than 2-3m even in forest (showing the altitude on the ground, while satellite sourced DEM sources usually have rather the altitude a bit below tree crowns).

Areas covered by high quality LIDAR DEM (by sonny)

Also I changed the 20m equidistance contourlines to show 10m interval up to 50m over sea level. Due to various bugs in the tools used to compile the contourlines - this update took many weeks of work by me as virtually every tool in the toolchain had some bugs that needed to be sorted first.


The other big update was that during the last month I redesigned the layout of the homepage - making it more coherent, exchanging many wordpress plugins that had aged/developped bugs with newer PHP versions - and made a more coherent website layout. I left the overall colour scheme of the website but harmonized many elements, removed many CSS bugs in the theme and some plugins - as well as correct some problems for mobile users. Also finally changed the SSL certificate to Let's Encrypt (I had bought just another 3 year multi domain certificate 3 years ago - as Let's encrypt has no multi domain certificates - and some very old browsers like Internet Explorer on Windows XP were not compatible with SNI - meaning running multiple SSL secured domains from the same IP address using different certificates for each website. However by now there is really no one using those browsers anymore - 3 years ago it was already less than 1% of my visitors and Windws XP is really dead).


Other Updates over the last months were plenty, e.g. updates to OSM usage of valley, railway=halt, adding information=trailblazed and reworked the naming scheme of ways to show a bit more keys/tags concerning road condition (e.g. trail_visibility - shortened as tvVALUE), fixed some access tags, rework of gates, entrances and barriers, improvements to restrooms/toilets, benches, picnik places, remove survey_point (too much clutter) and already last year in October a complete rework of POI visibility on modern Garmin GPS devices according to zoom levels.


Below the Langkofel, Dolomiti in Italy - really close to reality even though it's so steep.

Langkofel OpenMTBMap 3D


And here a typical comparison between LIDAR data and old quite good quality data - on first look it doesn't appear very different - but the crevease of the river is much more exact with the new data:


vs old contourlines

Czech Old contours