Sunday, March 18, 2012

Goodbye MapSource

MapSource-discontinuedGoodbye MapSource, hello BaseCamp. Alas, Garmin has stopped development on their MapSource mapping program – no further releases are planned. A Garmin developer let the cat out of the bag yesterday in a post on the Garmin  forum…

…MapSource has not been worked on in quite a while, and there will be no new releases of that software. You are of course welcome to keep using MapSource, we will keep it on the website for the foreseeable future.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for MapSource. It is simple, intuitive and fast, whereas the new kid on the block – Basecamp — is complex and, at least early on, was slow as molasses. It has improved quite a bit, but I’m still getting used to it. And it does bring new functionality not found in MapSource, like the ability to download and transfer BirdsEye imagery.

So I’d like to crowdsource a bit more detail here, asking our readers a couple of questions. What does MapSource still do well that BaseCamp doesn’t? And what, if anything, do you like about BaseCamp? Chime in below.

Via GpsPasSion.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Crap. I have installed and deleted BasseCamp twice, so frustrated with it in about 5 minutes trying, so I cannot really answer your comparison question. I’ll hang onto MapSource and all my GPS File Depot maps in it. Crap!

  2. Well if you use Mapsource and like it, there’s no reason to say “crap”. It’s still there and you can continue using it just like you always have. They just aren’t going to improve it further, and they won’t fix it if Windows 8 (or whatever) breaks it. Geez, I still use nRoute myself on Windows 7 and it works great. This is some really old Garmin software that they have completely removed from their own website.

    I suspect Garmin just doesn’t have enough programmers to support everything they’re doing, and this was the logical thing to cut. It’s been pretty clear for awhile that this was coming. Mapsource does not fully support the new handheld models (62s, Oregon x50, Montana) because they are storing waypoints differently. Last year one of the developers (from the same forum referenced in the article) said they would really like to update Mapsource to support the new models, but realistically he didn’t think they would ever get around to it.

    But I’m like you Rich, I’m used to Mapsource and it seems easier to use. Took me awhile to understand the whole “concept” of Basecamp, but I guess they took a page from Apple’s iTunes book where you have a library and create playlists to organize things as you like.

    Basecamp seems to be pretty fast and stable now, so they have come a long way. But I still tend to avoid it and use Mapsource (or direct file transfers) unless there’s no other way to accomplish what I want.

  3. I prefer mapsource for just about everything. I like it better for building mapsets for my 550 and my wifes 60cx. I admit I haven’t tried loading a new batch of maps like CN 2011 to my machine with Basecamp. I have a 3rd party mapset (Backroad maps ofr BC) and I dont think it likes basecamp. I will have to investigate more.

  4. Unless I’m missing something, MapInstall doesn’t let you save mapsets for future use, unlike MapSource – this is a big drawback. But I can see why they’ve made this decision – BaseCamp supports all their units completely, while MapSource doesn’t work completely with the newer handheld models. Since they’ve discontinued MapSource, maybe now they can release it as freeware?

  5. Wow, would anyone know where I could find a compatibility chart? Will it work on my Etrex Vista? I like Mapsource ok. Mostly Mapsource has all the capability I need, but when I need more options, I usually go with my DeLorme Topo if I need more detail, or 3D etc, Looks like this new Base Camp software covers all that. It would be nice to streamline all my activities to one software. Dream on!

  6. Basecamp should fully support all Garmin models. Mapsource doesn’t provide full functions for the Oregon x50, Dakota, Montana, GPSMap78 or GPSMap 62 series. Since the Edge 800 is new, it is also probably in the same boat. I’m sure the new models that garmin recently announced (eTrex 10/20/30, Astro, Rino) will also have limited Mapsource compatibility.

  7. Although Mapsource development may have ended, Falagar (same Garmin developer quoted in the article above) posted the following today. They are still monitoring the Mapsource support forum.

    Desktop App Developer
    Today, 01:36 PM

    A lot of what applies to MapSource (especially routing, because that has always been shared between MapSource, Win BaseCamp and Mac BaseCamp) also applies to our other applications.

    We will consider MapSource feedback when making decisions about what to implement in BaseCamp.

    BaseCamp should output the same routes as MapSource, it’s the same code. Of course, MapSource 6.16.3 is pretty old right now, so there might be differences.

  8. BaseCamp ‘does’ Macintosh!

  9. I am actually starting to like Basecamp more and more because of its support for custom maps (raster). However MapSource is a lot faster and I liked saving the mapsets so I know what I have loaded.

    I am glad that all the user made maps work in BaseCamp at least. I must say this was foreseen though. Especially with the new models pretty much sending the old units down the road.

  10. Hello All,

    I just bought a nuvi 2460LMT last week (haven’t even received yet).

    One of the reasons I chose it was because of the MapSource capability.

    So in between the time I ordered it and will receive it, I’ve lost one of the capabilities I bought it for !

    Does anyone know where I can find the full MapSource install file, as it has been removed from their site ?

    Thank you very much,

  11. Nothing has been removed from their site. The only mapsource files that ever were there were updates (which in fact are the whole program anyway). Regardless, you have lost nothing. Basecamp will do all the same things and it’s free. Download and install Basecamp here:

    IF you also want Mapsource, download and install it AFTER Basecamp. Otherwise you will get an error:

    Neither program will be of much use without maps though. Basecamp will read the map directly from your 2460 while its connected. But you must install maps on your computer to use Mapsource. After getting your 2460, see if a free update is available. If so, you can choose the option to install the files on both the computer and GPS. If no update is available, you will need to use Basecamp as described above.

    But, not to burst your bubble, users are reporting a variety of problems exchanging routes with the 2400 series. They are evidently not as compatible as the older models.

  12. @Brian – check GPS File Depot. Here is a tutorial on how to install Mapsoource,
    Also there are many free maps there, many better than the Garmin maps, and based on OSM maps. I keep messing with BaseCamp, but it is too complex. I have 12 mapsets loaded into Mapsource, and with my 60CSx and 705, I see no reason to change. If they die, it is another story.

  13. Thank you both Tim & Boyd for the great tips and information. This web-site is the best ! A big thank you to Rich as well !

  14. Hello Again,

    One more question…does anyone know if MapSource (or BaseCamp) will work with the 2360LMT ? I have heard conflicting information about this ?

    Thank you very much in advance !


  15. I switch between both Basecamp and Mapsource. Mapsource is more intuitive to use. Took me a while to figure out how to use basecamp. I haven’t found how to do routing with Basemap yet, and I found it easier to clean my tracklogs with Mapsource.

  16. Hello Guys,
    How to connect my garmin eTrex 10 with mapsource ??? Need your help
    Thx b4

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