A GPS is one of the indispensable tools in any fieldwork. Depending on your work, you would normally want a background map showing you e.g., the terrain and of course roads and towns. Not all GPS models come with (detailed) maps though. So, the first step is to find your maps. Below some examples where you can get data. Not all is free and availability will of course depend on the platform / device. If you know of others, please let me know in the comments so I can add them.
For your Garmin
I have used a Garmin GPS for my fieldwork, so here are some sites where you can get maps for your Garmin device (depending on your model):
- There is the GarminCustomMap plugin for QGIS, which will allow you to export the canvas as a Garmin custom map (.kmz file)
LOCUS map viewer
Another tool I have used during my recent fieldwork in Kenya and Uganda is Locus , a map viewer for Android. It isn’t open source, but besides the paid version there is also a free version. Of course, like most if not all Android map viewers, it offers access to a number online data providers. However, it also has the option to download data for offline use from within the app (options are a bit limited right now, but hopefully more will be added):
- OpenCycle maps (paid download from within app)
- Open Street map vector maps generated from planet.osm file (paid download from within app)
- You can also create your own data from OSM from raw data OSM using the Osmosis program and MapsForge library (never tried myself)
- It is also fairly easy to create your own tiled raster maps – Note, I am not talking about downloading or catching online maps, which you can do too (but should do with care). I am talking about converting raster layers to a format which Locus can use (you can do the same for many other Android map viewers). I’ll post a short overview how to do this shortly I hope.