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Navy salad
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PostSat Dec 08, 2018 2:03 pm 
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My wife and I are visiting Italy in about 6 months. We'll mostly be just doing the tourist thing on a Rick Steves' tour, but I'm also hoping to do some hiking. I'm wondering if anyone knows of any free downloadable maps I can load either onto my handheld GPS (a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx) or a Nuvi.

It sounds like the OpenStreetMap project may be my best bet, but I'm unsure. Can you use OpenStreetMap to download maps that will work on either type of Garmin GPS (eTrex or Nuvi)?

Are there other sources I should look at for free maps?
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Dec 08, 2018 3:02 pm 
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If you have a phone you can get Gaia GPS and download maps worldwide if available. I was able to download maps of remote Peruvian areas both here and in Peru. I am sure Italy would be easier. You can also do a google search and probably find some it was harder back in the day when you had to torrent.

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Riverside Laker
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PostSat Dec 08, 2018 3:12 pm 
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Or take your smart phone (be sure to turn off the cellular service to avoid charges) and download the Google maps for the area before you leave home. That's what we did on our recent European trip. See if Google maps have trails (many trails are on it). It works really well for wandering around civilization. I've found many popular trails have good signage.

In our hotels where we had WiFi, we would start Strava and look at our tracks on the map screen. Really handy with street names, etc. But you need to start it when you have WiFi and scroll around the area to load the maps on your phone. Then start walkin'.

I've abandoned my hiking GPS for overseas travel. Phone mucher more better. If you really prefer a hiking GPS, look here: https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/

Rick Steves' books have good tips on phone use. We got the Orange Card which was super handy in France, E40 for two weeks.
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ejain
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PostSat Dec 08, 2018 3:58 pm 
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http://garmin.opentopomap.org/

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Joey
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PostSat Dec 08, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Map opens at a random spot in Italy.  The basemap is OSM +  trails.  The map tiles were produced by Andy Allan (https://www.thunderforest.com/about/) and are displayed with permission.

To turn  on geolocation do Menu ==> My location

For updated documentation do Menu ==> Help

https://mappingsupport.com/p2/gissurfer.php?center=45.824373,9.139681&zoom=13&basemap=OSM_cycle_world
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FredV
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 8:06 am 
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I recently went overseas to do some  long  hiking and biking adventures.
I had very good success doing the following on the smartphone.

While in the USA and within wifi.

Install the app OsmAnd on the smartphone.  (free)

Load the a map for  each  country(s) you will be traveling to, includes all known streets and trails. (free).

Load the topo for the entire country(s) (free).

Seems like the free account is limited to 12 map downloads.

Optionally,  load any GPX files into the OsmAnd app that you have/create of your intended routes  (for hiking or biking or driving or walking).

While overseas.

Put phone in airplane mode.

Open the OsmAnd app.

It will show your location on the maps.

The map shows:  roads, trails, topo.

Option to display your previously created/loaded gpx file.

Option to show "breadcrumb" trail of your movement.

Option to do turn by turn navigation even though offline.


Is was a life saver for me.  Highly recommend.
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Navy salad
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Thanks for the excellent suggestions, everyone!

It's sounding like a smart phone is the way to go, especially since I doubt my GPS has enough capacity to store detailed maps of all of Italy, whereas I have over 40 GB free to do this on my phone.

FredV: So are you saying that OsmAnd lets you download both a map and topo for an entire country onto your smart phone for free? Does this mean that, without leaving Airplane mode, you can travel anywhere in the county and zoom in to your current location to see streets, etc.? Does it operate similarly to Google Maps (pinch to zoom in/out, search for addresses, etc)?

Riverside Laker: Can you download all of Italy onto your smart phone into offline Google maps? And does it operate just like when it's online, except for no need for anything other than a GPS connection (which generally works in Airplane mode)? For example, can you zoom in to the same level of detail? And can you have it navigate you from point A to point B?
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FredV
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 3:55 pm 
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Navy salad.    Yes to all that.   Hard to believe but true.
   Plus more.  You can load/display any  gpx file(s)  you have pre-created for your planned adventures.

Cons: 
1)   You only get 12  map downloads for free. But one "map"  is a big area,  like the entire State of Washington or the entire country of Italy.  I think the one-time paid price of $9 gives unlimited map downloads.
2)   The contour lines are in meters not feet.
3)     The contour lines are displayed rather  faintly making the lines hard to see when outdoors.
4)    Takes  some extra learning with so many features.     

I am still learning so maybe there are options to fix that issue with contour line display.
 
More details here:     https://osmand.net/
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Jaberwock
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Would recommend Maps.Me app for international travel.  Free, based on OpenStreetMap data, lets you download countries for offline, navigation works offline, search for POI etc.  Modern.
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Navy salad
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 4:57 pm 
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Joey wrote:
Map opens at a random spot in Italy.  The basemap is OSM +  trails.

...

https://mappingsupport.com/p2/gissurfer.php?center=45.824373,9.139681&zoom=13&basemap=OSM_cycle_world

Joey: Wow, these are really detailed, more so than most of Google Maps (at least outside of the big cities it's more detailed than Google), PLUS it shows trails! Can this map of Italy be downloaded onto a smart phone, accessible in Airplane mode? Can you search for a street address with it?
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FredV
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Navy salad.  Yes to all that.
Not sure about searching for an address.
You can search for POI or street name.
Get turn by turn navigation.
All offline.
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ejain
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 5:15 pm 
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The OpenStreetMap for Garmin is 830MB for all of Italy. For OsmAnd it's 600MB + 350MB (contour lines) + 113MB (shading). OsmAnd's map rendering and interface is much nicer than Garmin's, but my phone is useless when it's cold and wet or I'm outside for more than a few hours...

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ejain
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 5:20 pm 
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FredV wrote:
The contour lines are displayed rather  faintly making the lines hard to see when outdoors.

Have you tried using the "Topo" rather than the default "OsmAnd" map style?


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FredV
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 6:40 pm 
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ejain,

Thanks for that idea.
I have not tried different selections for "map style" before.
I switched mine to "Topo"  and still not as good as your image.
My screen image below still seems to have faint topo lines.
There definitely are more settings than I know of.

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ejain
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 7:04 pm 
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FredV wrote:
My screen image below still seems to have faint topo lines.

Not sure why your "Topo" map looks different from mine... Under "Configure map" > "Contour Lines" you can change the line width, density, and color scheme. Mine are all set to "default"; make sure the color scheme isn't set to "light brown".

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