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Montana Topo Maps


The purpose of this project is to create electronic topo maps for the state of Montana for Garmin GPS units with mapping capability. This is an on-going project with additional updates performed as time and resources allow.

Also available:

New Mexico


The mapset is created from freely available GIS data and has the following data layers:

- Interstates, highways, railroads, county, local and forest roads
- High resolution water data (lakes, rivers and streams)
- Land use, metro areas
- Elevation contours (40ft intervals)
- Points of interest (summits, mines, falls, dams, cemeteries, towers, populated places, etc.)

Upcoming features in the next revision:

- Better representation of land status data with custom styles

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The mapset covers the state of Montana.


Below are a few example screenshots of the maps on a GPS:

GPS screenshot #1 GPS screenshot #2 GPS screenshot #3

Here is a view of a map from within Garmin's MapSource:

GMS screenshot #1


The installation of the maps is fairly simple. The maps can be utilized from within Garmin's MapSource software (on PCs), Garmin's Bobcat/MapInstall software (on Macs) or simply uploaded directly to your GPS unit (using freely available utilities).


The accuracy of the data used to create these maps varies greatly. These maps are to be used for reference purposes only. The author(s) are not responsible for any inaccuracies and no responsibility is assumed for damages or other liabilities due to the accuracy, availability, use or misuse of the data presented. Installation and use of these maps is at your own risk!


For use from within Garmin's MapSource (on PCs), download and execute the mapset installer below. This program will install the map files and register the mapset with MapSource. Within MapSource a new mapset product "Montana Topo Maps" will be available in the Product drop down selection list (or from the View | Switch to Product menu option).

Montana Mapset Installer (for PCs) (233 MB) Version 1.06 (20 Jul 2008)

For use from within Garmin's Bobcat/MapInstall (on Macs), download and uncompress the converted mapset archive below. Double clicking on the resulting file will initiate MapManager to install the maps for use with Bobcat/MapInstall.

Montana Mapset Archive (for Macs) (233 MB)

GPS Usage

The Montana Topo Maps mapset should overlay any other mapset present on your GPS unit. To switch between mapsets (if more than one has been loaded to your GPS) simply hide/show mapsets as described here.

Support this Effort

This mapset is free to download and use but if you find these maps useful please consider making a donation to help offset the costs incurred in producing and offering them (software licenses, website hosting, etc.)

There are other ways you can help to support this effort.



Special thanks to Matt B. and Tom S. Matt collected the vast majority of data, performed a lot of preprocessing and continues to provide testing and feedback. Tom helped with the processing of NHD data. Their help enabled this mapset to be created very quickly and with a nice set of data layers.

Data Sources

The GIS data sets utilized for creating these maps were obtained from the following sources:

Natural Resource Information System (NRIS)
NRIS actively supports GIS coordination in the state of Montana and works hard to provide products and services to a diverse community of users. NRIS also contributes data to national efforts such as GeoSpatial One Stop and the National Map.

USGS National Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
The GNIS is the Federal standard for geographic nomenclature. It contains information about physical and cultural geographic features of all types in the United States, associated areas, and Antarctica, current and historical.

USGS National Hydrography Dataset (NHD)
The NHD is a comprehensive set of digital spatial data that contains information about surface water features such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, springs and wells. While initially based on 1:100,000-scale data, the NHD is designed to incorporate and encourage the development of higher resolution data required by many users.

USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED)
The NED is a new raster product assembled by the U.S. Geological Survey. NED is designed to provide National elevation data in a seamless form with a consistent datum, elevation unit, and projection.


Several software applications are used, the main ones being GlobalMapper, which is used for the majority of data manipulation/configuration and cGPSmapper, which is used to compile the data into a Garmin map file.

Last updated: 20 July 2008