Mapping, itineraries, roadbooks, GPS…

To the attention of travellers, links and tips to plan one’s itinerary and if possible follow it on one’s GPS.
Beyond Turkey, difficult to find electronic mapping, to plan one’s journey on the computer, not to speak of following a route on the GPS. Even a traveler’s idea is to take his time, to soak in, to share and to flow according to the encounters and events along the way, having waypoints as a basis is a useful anchor point. Some adenturers decide to get rid of the electronic aids and swear only on printed maps. Each one his preferences. It is true that asking one’s way provokes contacts… and also some surprises!  ????


Generalities. Talking about navigation, two serious tools are to be considered: the Garmin GPS of which the biker edition is the Zumo and the GPS cum digital enabled roadbook, the Tripy II. The Tripy is a serious contendent to the Garmin with major advantages, of which a personalised support, friendly and efficient. Here is an exhaustive comparison of both devices (in French).

Regarding digital mapping, a certain number of websites exist, of which a selection follows. There is of course Google Maps. There is also OpenStreetMap, an open source collaborative project, available with help center, documentation, blog and what not.
You will have to consider fiddling and tweaking to combine the ones and the others and finally produce what originally has not been foreseen by the conceptors of these devices.

Webshops of maps of the world, in printed and digital format:
Mobile Atlas Creator makes it possible to create maps for use offline. User’s manual.

Other websites of interest

> This website is specialised on Mongolia and makes it possible to view maps of the country with remarkable detail:
> GPS data of Mongolia. Impressive.
> “Smellybiker” offers a routable cartography of the whole world to its members:
> Stephen Steward’s site, impressive adventurer and traveller, brims over with, in particular on Mongolia:
> Luc and Majella from Antwerp (Belgium) trek on foot. They have a very detailed site on their favourite activity but also brimful with info and advice on the use of GPSs and digital cartography.

Cartography for Garmin GPS devices

1. If you have a Garmin device with the cartography for Europe, it will include maps for the following countries: Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania, Moldavia, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey. One can add India by purchasing it on the Garmin site for 75 €. You will need micro-SD flash cards see the lack of space on the internal memory.
2. Digital maps for Garmin are also available on third party websites like, where you will find for example the map of Iran in 1 map and 1 update, for 44 and 19 £ respectively.
On the same site, you will also find Armenia and Azerbaijan for 99 and 47 £ respectively.
On the site, Iran is not available any more.
3. Please note that the digital MapSource World Map (60 €) is not routable! This means that one cannot define an itinerary or route with it on computer and thus cannot transfer any route to the GPS. The roads are also approximative.
4. If you want to discover and use the new Garmin software for the computer called BaseCamp which replaces MapSource, you will find instructions here in PDF.
5. Openstreetmap is also usable by Garmin GPS devices. See here.

Cartography for Tripy II GPS

1. Want to trace a route on Google Earth and create a roadbook for your Tripy II with the Road Tracer software? Check this out: PDF.

2. To create itineraries on Google Maps and save them by mail in order to import them in RoadTracer, look this up: This allows to create routes on your computer which will be converted to roadbooks for your Tripy in dot/arrow mode. Note that the Tripy has no maps on it and cannot receive maps: it will only contain your route and waypoints.

Specific advice from the TRIPY  support (in French)

N’oubliez pas que vous pouvez importer des fichiers gpx dans RoadTracer (RT) Pro pour préparer vos itinéraires.

A) Nous disposons de certaines cartes tierces sur la boutique Tripy, voir×4-moto-quad/produits/cartes
B) Créez gratuitement votre itinéraire sous Google partout dans le monde pour l’intégrer au GPS TRIPY II :
1) Aller sur  depuis IE ou Firefox ou Safari
2) Entrez un lieu de départ et d’arrivée, cliquez ensuite sur ‘Calculate route’
3) Modifier le parcours à votre guise
4) Quand celui-ci vous convient, entrez une adresse mail et cliquez sur ‘@’
5) Recevez un mail avec le fichier gpx et trb (format Tripy) en pièce jointe que vous pouvez ouvrir depuis RoadTracer Pro
6) Vous disposez à la fois de la trace mais aussi des WP calculés par GoogleMap
7) Créez vos dessins des WP dans RT Pro (ou laissez les cases des WP vides et le GPS Tripy I ou II produira automatiquement sur le terrain un pictogramme simple représentant la trace à cet endroit précis, en profitant du décompte partiel en approche de cette note).
C) RoadTracer Pro 2.1 est équipé d’un fond de carte Google Map/Satt pour vous aider à affiner vos parcours.
D) Il est possible de scanner/calibrer gratuitement vos propres cartes papier pour intégration dans RoadTracer Pro, voir nos conseils d’usage en bas de page
E) Il est possible d’acheter la planète entière en carte Russe (au 1:20.000 je crois) pour quelques € sur ce site ; Importez la carte dans RoadTracer Pro 2.1 qui placera automatiquement les tuiles cartes à leur place.

F) Installez Mobile Atlas Creator et utilisez gratuitement les tuiles souhaitées, importez les formats compatibles (OZI, Touratech) dans RT Pro

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