Compatibility with new Garmin devices and Unicode Maps

Last week I changed all maps of countries which do not use Latin as main script to Unicode. Before this was not the case for the Europe, Asia and Africa continent map. On the other hand all unicode maps - are now also available the respective main script of the country. This even seems to work quite well for countries like China which has no alphabet at all. All modern devices - should be quite fine displaying them. Mapsource sometimes shows garbled text however - as will very very old GPS devices - which unluckily also don't support unicode. So I'm sorry - but Garmin devices that are pre ~2006 will only work with maps from countries with Latin script now (e.g. Vista C, or GPS Maps 60C, I'm not certain about Vista Cx or GPS Maps 60Cx - I think they support unicode maps). I don't think there are many people using them still anyhow. 

I will still put more effort in reworking the naming depending on language in the next couple of weeks. All non Unicode maps are available to download via the Non Unicode tab on the respective download pages. Only a couple of countries (Sri-Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Cambodia) have no proper non unicode script support - and will be therefore either Unicode or a latin - which is not too useful.

You will need to download the Non Unicode Version if you have one of the following devices:

  • Edge 1000
  • GPS Maps 64 series
  • Etrex 20x / 30x (not "etrex 30")
  • Etrex Touch series
  • Some recent Nuvi devices - as well as some super old devices that do not support Unicode. (E.g. Garmin Vista C, GPS Maps 60 C)

If you have other modern or semi-modern devices like any Oregon, any Dakota, etrex Vista/Legend HCx or etrex 20, etrex 30, or GPS Maps 62, any edge but edge 1000, then of course you do not need non unicode maps. Stick to the normal Unicode (or for latin countries - latin maps).

This is due to a firmware bug that Garmin introduced as part of their efforts to cut down on people "pirating" their maps. However by doing that they also cut down on Unicode maps produced by mkgmap or even some of their old (legitimate) maps which are not running anymore on these devices. You will know that you need to use the Non Unicode map if on boot your GPS device tells you to "unlock maps". Why is the Europe Map in Unicode? Well for example in Greece and some Eastern Europe countries the script is Cyrillic not latin - and only Unicode maps can contain both scripts in one map. So the non unicode map will not correctly show labels in such countries. Use the country non unicode map instead. They are always in the predominant script of the country.

Note1: if you install the non Unicode version of a map - you will overwrite the Unicode map. You can only have either or installed.

Note2: The contourlines are identical for openmtbmap/velomap and unicode or non unicode. You only need to download them once. On updates it's enough to re-download and reinstall the map installer.

Besides I've added again quite a few new countries - especially in Asia - so that you do not need to get the continent map for these countries anymore.

6 comments to Compatibility with new Garmin devices and Unicode Maps

  • Klaus Konrad

    Hallo Felix,

    nur zur Klarstellung ich habe dir am 12.01.2017 per Post-Banküberweisung € 28,– für 2 Jahre auf dein Konto AT93——-52 überwiesen, mache dir bitte die Mühe und prüfe es nach. Erbitte deine Bestätigung!!!

    Viele Grüße

    • extremecarver

      hab grad deinen Account geupdated – das mit der Banküberweisung ist halt sehr blöd – weil mir dann oft Daten für die EU VATMOSS Richtlinie fehlen. Daher biete ich die Zahlweise halt auch nicht mehr an. In deinem Fall hab ich zum Glück ausreichende Daten.

  • pken

    32GB micro SDHC card already has velomaps of Germany, Austria and Great Britain installed (by a friend).

    Map install confirms installation complete overtime I try it but does not show on the card.

    • extremecarver

      Try zooming into France – and set all velomaps to “enabled” in the map setup menu on your etrex. Maps sent by Mapinstall are not visible into Basecamp (maybe your friend sent the maps with mgkmap directly).
      Usually Mapinstall just adds maps now to an existing gmapsupp.img (watch the size of SD_Card/garmin/gmapsupp.img if it increases vs before sending when you send some maps).

  • pken

    Downloaded velofrance_macosx, opened with unarchiver, chose/highlighted 14 maps of southern France and sent them to a 32gb card on my etrex 30x. Mapinstal says installation complete but not showing on the card. Did`nt find the maps under non unicode. Please advise what you think I am doing wrong/what I should be doing?

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