GPS is a topic that I have not touched because I still haven’t got one. A good GPS unit can be quite expensive and I am still waiting when I have saved enough money for it. GPS is very impressive but scary at the same time because the satellites can actually track where I am. Think about it, if the US military uses GPS to hit their target, it is surely very accurate.
I do have some experience with GPS because I borrowed from my friend a few times and managed to know how to find a location, updating the unit software and also looking for the latest maps. The menu on the GPS unit is pretty straight forward and easy to understand but the technical part such as putting more than one gmapsupp.img file on the GPS unit or even using the JetMouse keygenerator can be pretty tough and confusing to a novice user.
Anyway, since I do not have a GPS unit, I am sure I can somehow view the maps in my computer without the GPS tracking capability. I found out that MapSource, a software provided by Garmin is able to create, view and edit waypoints, routes and tracks as well as to find items, addresses and POIs.
All sounds good and I actually found a link to download the latest MapSource from Garmin’s official website. When I tried to install, I got the error message:
Previous MapSource not found! Setup will terminate.
It seems like the file that I downloaded is an update and not the full installation setup. Luckily there is a trick on how to install MapSource without having the original installation CD.
1. Download the latest MapSource from Garmin.
2. When finished downloading, if you use archiving software such as 7-Zip, WinRAR or PowerArchiver, you can right click on the file that you downloaded and extract. If you’re unsure, you can use Universal Extractor to extract the MapSource installation file.
The extracted files can also be found in the Windows Temp folder if you know how to get there because some folders in the Temp path are hidden. Run the installer and when you see the Welcome screen go to the Temp folder. Look for a folder with 7zxxx.tmp (the x’s are random characters) for a name which contains a file called MSmain.msi inside with several other files. Copy that whole folder to your chosen location.
3. Open the extracted MapSource folder . You should see a number of files and folders. Now run MSmain.msi first, wait for it to complete (there will be no windows to click on) and then run Setup.exe. Follow the instructions to complete the installation.
If you do not have any maps installed for MapSource, you might see an error window that says “MapSource could not find any installed MapSource map products. Please install one or more MapSource map products and start MapSource again”. There are some maps for MapSource that cost money and some free. If you want to take a look how MapSource works, here’s a free Australia map. Just download, install and then run MapSource. The Australia map will be automatically loaded in MapSource.
I have found a site with free maps to cover a large proportion of the world, just make sure to read the FAQ on how to install and select the map in MapSource. The website is OpenStreetMap and all you do is select your area in the dropdown boxes, click the link to go to the download page. Then download the Windows file and install it. I’ve tried a few and they seem to work.