Drakensberg GPS maps

31 Oct 2017 14:53 #72302 by AndrewP
Drakensberg GPS maps was created by AndrewP
For years now, I have realised one way or another that my GPS is just not up to the task of navigating in the berg. It took a long time to realise that the real reason for this is not related to the GPS unit itself, but rather due to the fact that the map loaded on it was woefully inadequate.

The recent emergence of OSM data, maps and related Apps gave me an idea - would it be possible to create my own map of the Drakensberg? This could then include all the extra features I want and I could then use the routing functionality on my GPS.

A year of really hard work has passed, and I now have a map loaded on my GPS. Well, along the way, I accidentally erased the map I bought from Garmin, so I had no choice really.

The map is specific to the Drakensberg, and is really aimed at hikers. So, instead of showing 20 road types, I show 2 road types and 4 path types, including the all useful way-to-go (seriously! this helps with routing across terrain with no path). Which means that I can even include a routable GT. And, features such as caves and passes show up while still zoomed out.

I plan to make the map available to the masses. But first would like to ask for a few volunteers to help test it out. I am fairly comfortable that the map content is good, but have no way of knowing what the map will look like on a unit other than an eTrex 30. And, after all that time, things that seem obvious to me may not be the case for others - so, a bit of testing the waters is a wise idea before opening it up to chaos.

If you are willing to help, please shout.

I will probably release the map in December / January, depending on feedback. And, have plans to release a version for OSMAnd as well, which will open it up to Android devices as well. But, that will still take a bit more time.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SakCyb, Stijn, tonymarshall, pfoj, AnthonyB, saros, Biomech, mayake, leeuw, GriffBaker, Rhinoandhedgehog, HannesT

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31 Oct 2017 16:22 #72304 by Rhinoandhedgehog
I am happy to test with my CSX60 or phone if that's the case. However will not be in the berg till February now....

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01 Nov 2017 08:05 #72306 by leeuw
Replied by leeuw on topic Drakensberg GPS maps
Thank you for your hard work. I use Osmand and can test it for you. Will be at Injisuthi and Monks Cowl for two weeks end of December. Cheers Anton

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01 Nov 2017 11:43 #72308 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Drakensberg GPS maps
Hi Leeuw,

Also happy to help with testing. I can test it on both my Montana 650 and my Fenix 3.
Will in all likelihood be in the berg again around middle December.

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02 Nov 2017 13:57 #72317 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Drakensberg GPS maps
Happy to give it a bash on my garmin dakota 20

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

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04 Nov 2017 04:53 #72322 by Fferr
Replied by Fferr on topic Drakensberg GPS maps
I have hiked in the Berg for a long time; I would really appreciate an accurate GPS map to prevent getting lost from time to time. I also use an eTrex 30 GPS. Have a nice day.

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09 Nov 2017 11:40 #72337 by MarkT
Replied by MarkT on topic Drakensberg GPS maps
I would like to test too, please. :)

I use the KZN Wildlife berg maps themselves, scanned, digitised and georeferenced onto my Android phone. This video shows what it looks like:

PM me.

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15 Nov 2017 10:51 #72376 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Drakensberg GPS maps
Thanks for the offers to help test

So, I am still struggling with the OSMAnd Maps. I just cannot get my map to integrate with contours, which is of course rather important.

I have broken down the Garmin maps into blocks about 2-3 MB each. Can anyone who would like to try them out please PM me your email address and I will send you a Dropbox link and instruction to install. If you do know your planned route, please also let me know that, and I will test it out on the map first

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08 Feb 2018 14:40 #72776 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Drakensberg GPS maps
I feel that the GPS map of the Drakensberg I have been working on for a while is finally ready for mass consumption. It can be downloaded from:

The map covers an extended region of the Drakensberg and Maluti mountains that includes:
- The entire eastern escarpment of Lesotho from Golden Gate in the north through to Tiffendell in the south;
- All Drakensberg parks are covered;
- It goes deep enough into Lesotho to include all 3300m peaks in the Maluti mountains;

The contours are based on SRTM-1 data at a resolution of approximately 30m squares and have a 20m interval. In practise this is fine for just about any hiking purposes in the Drakensberg.

Other data such as path networks, rivers and features both man made or natural is obtained from OSM. This is the source used for almost all Android Apps. The great thing about this is that it is possible to edit any information on this, either to correct errors or to add new features, so over time the map will get significant updates.

To this, I have added a few extra details, such as a way-to-go type route for the GT and many of the passes. (OSM reflects what is really there, so for a way-to-go when there is no path, you cannot really put it onto OSM, but it is great to have it built into the map).

The map is fully routable, which gives extra options for advanced navigation when out in the hills. To get for example the walking distance between Giants Hut and Bannerman Hut, simply create a route between them and the GPS or Basecamp work out the details for you!

I have also tweaked the map symbols and the resolution at which they show in what is to me a more meaningful way than the default for Garmin maps. For example, caves show from a distance but an ATM only shows when you really zoom in.

Please give it a go and let me know what you think. I will point out at this stage that I can actually edit literally anything on the map, so please provide feedback both positive and negative and I will try incorporate that into the next release.

At the moment, the map is only available as an executable file that can be installed into Basecamp and thus onto a Garmin GPS. There has been a significant interest in a map for Android devices – I am making progress on getting it loaded onto OSMAnd, but it is slow going. I have also found out the hard way that Mac users will not be able to run the .exe file. I can help you out with a back door approach, if you want.

The 3 files below give a few details on how to install the map, use it inside Basecamp and how to use it on your GPS.

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09 Feb 2018 09:35 - 09 Feb 2018 09:37 #72779 by mayake
Replied by mayake on topic Drakensberg GPS maps
Thank you a lot Andrew.
I downloaded your map. It looks great. I already have two good other maps from there. In Basecamp I needed to set the detail view at maximun as you told.
But unfortunatly I couldn't install it in my GPS. I have the last BC and Oregon 600 at the last update. JavaWa GMTK (tool kit) gave me this error : name of TYP files too long.

Do you have any idea I may fix the trick ?
-Thks. ;)

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Last edit: 09 Feb 2018 09:37 by mayake.

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