Custom Garmin Edge Map Panels – Part 1: Introduction

Garmin Edge 810

Several years ago, I volunteered to be a beta tester for Adventure Cycling. At the time, Adventure Cycling had converted their Northern Tier route map panels to custom maps and GPX files that could be displayed while navigating the route on my Garmin Edge 810.

I started my test at Bar Harbor, ME riding the Northern Tier westward across Maine. However, I couldn’t resist starting from the top of Cadillac Mountain. Still, I was able to pick up their route a mile or so from the bottom of the mountain and I continued on their route without looking at the paper maps. In my opinion, being able to view their route map panels on my Garmin Edge while navigating turn by turn with the GPX files was a fantastic enhancement to Adventure Cycling already excellent maps.

Evidently, Adventure Cycling didn’t fully agree with my assessment and a few years later I was a beta tester again. This time I tested Route 66 on my phone with their new Bicycle Route Navigator app. While this app was another fantastic enhancement to their already great cycling maps, I prefer to use my GPS for navigation and not my phone.

Fascinated by the first test with the GPS, I began to research how to create custom maps and GPX files that could be displayed while navigating a route on my Garmin Edge (I am now using the Garmin Edge 1030). Surprisingly, I found that it was much easier than I thought. Now I create my own files for the Garmin. Over the next several posts I will demonstrate how it is done using a map for the upcoming Sea Gull Century that I will be riding September 2018.

Ken Whittaker