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Questions Regarding Garmin Custom POI's

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Ok, after a few days of research, numerous google searches, and several searches here on the forums, I'm finally ready to swallow my pride and ask some questions. I obviously can't figure this out on my own, so I'm hoping someone(s) around here may be able to help. I'm trying to load some custom POIs I've set as waypoints on my Garmin 60 csx. I've managed to do that with the POI loader software using a GPX file of waypoints i've received from the device. The problem is, when the waypoints are loaded as POIs, all that shows is a gray dot, rather than a symbol. I've done the necessary research and found out that each GPI file needs to have a BMP associated with it, with the same filename, for a specific icon to show on the unit. So, i guess the question is, where can i get BMPs so that my POIs will have symbols? I've checked every directory i can think of on my laptop looking for mapsource symbols and have come up empty. I've even searched around on the 'net to try and find BMP databases and still, no luck. What i would ultimately like, is to have custom POI's that have the same symbols as if they were waypoints. I'm trying to do this because I use GSAK and a macro for symbol generation when loading caches onto my unit. When i do this, i get a list of about 8 different symbols, of which i have to delete by symbol in order to clear them from the unit's memory prior to loading new caches. I have a bunch of random waypoints set (relative's homes, trailheads, spans of forest, things like that) that I would like to load as custom POIs so that when clearing caches, i can just "delete all waypoints" but still have my POIs intact. Is there a way i can get mapsource symbols as BMPs to use with the custom POIs? I'm assuming they're on my harddrive somewhere, but can't find them in any of the directories i've searched. Maybe there's a database, or list out there on the 'net where i can "save images as" or something like that. Like i said, i'm a little lost here and any help is much appreciated in advance. Thanks for looking :P


All the best.



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Can't do that with the 60 series. You've gotta use a transfer tool like mapsource or GSAK to get waypoints onto the unit. Only the newer models allow you to copy GPX files directly to the GPX directory on the unit. Once on the 60, all the waypoints are lumped into one category. That's why i was trying to mess around with the whole POI thing, so i could keep my permanent waypoints as POIs, and the ones that get refreshed as waypoints. Still i really appreciate you keeping up with the post, and i'm really not trying to be a PITA, it's just frustrating. I can usually figure these sorts of things out on my own, but i'm having fits with this one. I wish garmin had the option to download icons from their site, but, no such luck.

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I have a bunch of random waypoints set (relative's homes, trailheads, spans of forest, things like that) that I would like to load as custom POIs so that when clearing caches, i can just "delete all waypoints" but still have my POIs intact.


Great idea! :P


I adopted that method a long time ago when I realized it would make things easier on my Colorado 400t. Even loading GPX files, with their associated child waypoints, left a lot of clutter in my Waypoints...as deleting the geocache doesn't delete the associated child waypoints (bad move Garmin). I have my friend, family, favorite spots for astronomy and birdwatching, Geocache Finds and Geocache Hides as POIs. It makes hiding geocaches easier having my Finds/Hides as POIs because I have access to ALL that data (over 2,500 find). And it makes cleaning up my Waypoints easier, as you mentioned I can simply Delete All and start fresh knowing my important info is safe being it is stored as POIs.


Sorry I can't give specific help with your BMP issue...other than to say, BMPs are really easy to create. If you're on MS Windows you can use Paint to edit any of the BMPs from that BMP library to customize to your liking...or simply create something from scratch.

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yeah, i actually just finished that, i did take Chris CA's advice and look on the POI factory site for a couple of icons but, i couldn't find a "house" icon there, so i just used paint to make a rudimentary depiction of a house. I'm no artist, or graphic designer, so it looks like a 2nd grader did it, but it works. Once i created the custom graphic, i opened the file with microsoft picture manager, resized it, saved it in the proper directory and sent it to the unit as a POI. Now i have separate POI databases in the custom option for Residences, Trailheads, Forests, and a few other random things. It makes finding regularly used waypoints so much easier! These advanced features are great!

Edited by DeadHead82
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If you don't have any graphics programs or experience with making custom graphics/icons you can take a screen shot or use the print screen command to save any thing you see on your pc screen (the entire screen) and then cut and paste using MS Paint to get just the individual object (such as a Mapsource symbol) that you want to create. Multiple MS Paint screens can be opened at the same time and copy and paste between them


Still using MS Paint to "Stretch/Skew" (Stretch/Skew won't leave out part of the image in resizing) to get the pixel size to the appropriate size required.


Absolutely everything you need to do to copy any object and turn it into a custom icon can be done in MS Paint. MS Paint is very basic but it will get the job done.

edit: There are some situations where the Horizontal and Vertical Resolutions have to be changed to 199 dpi for the magenta background to be transparent... Paint is not good for doing this one step, but only comes into play if your getting more involved with transparent backgrounds.

Edited by eaparks
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Cool! Thanks for the tips, i didn't know it would be so easy. I just went thru microsoft word and found a few clip art files i thought might work. Went ahead and copied and pasted them into paint, did a few adjustments and saved as a .bmp. Then i opened them with microsoft picture manager to get the pixel size correct and shipped them to the unit using the POI loader. It actually works out rather well except some of the images look a little funny due the tiny size on the screen. I'm happy with what i've managed to come up with thus far. Plus, now that i know a little more about it, i'll be making all kinds of custom icons to put on the devise. Everyone who's replied has been a huge help! A million thanks to everyone who offered advice.

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what about:


xImage software version 2.3




i just uploaded a resized EARTHCACHE icon, which my legend HCx did not have, it worked great.


there are NO garmin instructions for using it, but they can be found here:




basically it just:


Whatever editing you do to the icon, in order for it to be uploaded back to the GPS unit it has to be in the following format:


* 16 x 16 in pixel dimensions

* BMP file, 256-color (8-bit, not the usual 24-bit; indexed color, not grayscale)

* 96 dpi

* Saved under the original downloaded name (”Waypoint Symbol 000.bmp” in this case) or 001, 002, 003 etc

Edited by brucered
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Yep, I've totally done that. That was the procedure i used in order to get different caching icons uploaded to my 60. Now, i just use GSAK and a macro for symbol generation when i upload caches to my unit. Once they're on there i can see right from the map screen if a cache is a traditional, multi, mystery, earth, etc. That's a pretty cool feature too. What I was talkin' about earlier were necessary steps for custom POI icons, which is a little different. However the specs are the same for the symbol images. The latest version of Garmin's POI loader made changes so that one can use the 255, 0, 255 (RGB) magenta for background transparency. Without it, all symbols had to take up the full 16x16 grid. Otherwise, the background color would show. Now, by filling in the empty space surrounding the image with magenta, all one sees on the screen is the image itself.

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