Garmin Basecamp For Mac

Disapointed - Again

I have been using Garmin devices for many years - BaseCamp for the past 10 years. I keep hoping Garmin will do an overhaul of this aged, unintuitive, overly complicated and frustrating application, but I am disappointed with each new release/update. (BTW, I spent 30 years as a product manager responsible for complex medical imaging devices, so I do feel I have a sense of what makes a decient UI.) I just updated from a ten year old iMac to a new iMac; 4.2 GHz i7, 32 GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive - very fast machine. But, BaseCamp is still about as slow as it was on my ten year old iMac. Within the first 15 minutes of use BC crashed four times. Seems to have become a bit more stable now, however I have not tried to connect a Garmin device and upload routes. Ironically, I did not receive any notice on the earlier version of BC (4.2.2) that an update was available, even after selecting Check for Updates. The 4.2.2 version was completely unstable on the new iMac, so after a web search I found out there had been several updates since 4.2.2. Garmin folks, you have to get it together… Please. You know I’m not the only one who is frustrated.

Garmin BaseCamp is a nice (and free!) software for viewing maps, managing geographic data, and planning routes. There are maps offered by Garmin and there are also free alternatives, usually based on the OpenStreetMap project. BaseCamp for Mac OS X uses a specific format—it’s usually a file ending with gmapi. Sometimes the free maps are not offered in this format, so you first have to convert them. As I always forget how this works, I created this page.


  • 1 OpenMTB maps
  • 2 Garmin IMG format

OpenMTB maps

Apr 21, 2019 This video describes how to download and install #Garmin #Basecamp on your #Mac Computer and how to get the detailed map. Donate to the channel using Paypal. Download BaseCamp™ software to plan your outdoor activities, organize your data and share your adventurers with others. Garmin Autoland. Mac is a trademark. Download the Garmin BaseCamp update file into a directory on your hard drive. (i.e., c:downloads). Change to the directory in which you downloaded the files, (i.e., c:downloads), and run the executable file (.exe). Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the update of your BaseCamp installation. QLandkarte GT is a powerful Open Source GIS application to display your GPS data.

OpenMTBMap is a project based on OpenStreetMap which offers detailed hiking and mountainbiking information. You can download a map for free here. In the following guide I have chosen the Alps map.


You will need a Windows computer (sorry, but I don’t know any other way) with the following free tools installed:

Map installation

Basecamp Download Garmin

Copy the downloaded file mtbalps.exe to the Windows computer and start it.
Click on Next and select Mapsource-Qlandkarte_GT as layout. Choose a directory where you want the map to be installed, e.g., the default one C:Gaminopenmtbmapalps. You should now be able to see the map in Garmin BaseCamp.

Map conversion

Start Garmin MapConverter and select the just installed map. For the Alps map it is called FAMILY_6528. For other OpenMTB maps it will be called differently. You should be able to guess the family id by looking at the beginning of the file names in the installation directory of the map. Click Next and select an installation directory, e.g., the default one C:Garmin. After conversion is finished there should be a directory called FAMILY_6528.gmapi. This can be directly imported into Garmin BaseCamp on Mac OS X: simply copy this directory to you Mac computer, start Garmin MapManager and install it. Finished.

As a last step, I recommend uninstalling the map on your Windows computer. Go to the installation directory C:Gaminopenmtbmapalps and execute openmtbmap_alps_uninstall.

Garmin IMG format

Assume we have a map map.img in Garmin’s IMG format.


You will need a Windows computer with the following free tools installed:

Garmin Basecamp For Mac Catalina

First step (GMapTool)

Copy the map map.img to your Windows computer. Start GMapTool.

Click on Add Files and select map.img.

Go to the tab Options, select MapTk, and select the directory where MapTk is installed.

Go to the tab Split. Select some empty directory where you want to save the parts of map.img created by GMapTool.1 Select Compile preview map and enter some name describing your map. Select Set mapset FID and enter the FID and PID of your map. You should be able to get these numbers when you click on Info in the Files tab of GMapTool. Otherwise, try some random number between 100 and 9999 for FID.


Now, click on Split all. The process should hopefully finish without error messages. If so, you can close all windows and GMapTool.

Second step (Garmin MapConverter)

With the Windows explorer go to the directory you selected in GMapTool for the splitting process. Right click on install.bat and select Run as administrator. You should now be able to see your map in Garmin BaseCamp under Windows. Now, start Garmin MapConverter. Select your map (the one with the FID you have chosen above) and click Next. Choose some directory. After the conversion is done, there should be a directory called FAMILY_FID.gmapi inside the directory you have chosen (where FID is your FID). This file can be used for Garmin BaseCamp under Mac OS X: simply copy it to your Mac OS X computer and install it using Garmin MapManager.

I suggest uninstalling the maps under Windows. Go to the directory of the split process you selected in GMapTool. Right click on uninstall.bat and select Run as administrator.

  1. In case you use Parallels, this directory should lie on the Windows drive since in the next step we have to execute a batch script with administrator rights and this does not work on a remote drive.