National Forest Travel Management Garmin maps - and for Android and Apple's i...


Wow, where to start...

The Coconino National Forest Travel Management Plan starts tomorrow in northern Arizona:

What's particularly interesting in this complex issue is that the Forest Service is offering a Garmin-compatible (and Android/Apple devices) map add-in to guide users where travel is permitted--ditto for camping, elk retrieval, etc. The file size is apparently 2.6MB so it shouldn't burden most devices--and can be installed to SD cards as well:

For anyone planning to install this Garmin-compatible MVUM map, be sure to read all the instructions since it is possible to delete all current maps on your GPS when installing this map!

I think I'll try it on my nuvi 750 before attempting it on my 855. (Of course, my GPS units are computer backed up--and if all goes wrong, the next Garmin City Navigator update is due soon.)

I'll report back on my findings in time. This will take getting used to. I wonder if other national forests will do similar things in the future. Has anyone seen anything like this before today?

[1 Year Update - posted April 26, 2013]

The new 2013 Travel Aid map is now out and much improved. The issues discussed below in this thread (pink screens, etc.) have been resolved, so I'm starting a new thread for the 2013 map. Let's move future discussion of the 2013 map to the new thread. Thanks.

New thread for 2013:

[2 Year Update - posted April 16, 2014]

The 2014 MVUM map is now available. As for last year, don't reply here regarding the new map but post to:

Update 5/1/2012

Aha. I was having problems with installation to my Garmin devices but a visit to the Forest Service office and a chat with an employee working on this app has resolved things. It works and will be quite handy for Forest travellers.*

On Garmin GPS units, the Travel Management .img file created by the installer creates a Supplemental Map for units that don't already have one (i.e., gmapsupp.img). [A decision to later delete the Motorized Travel map in this case can be done by simply deleting the file.]

On Garmin GPS units that already have a gmapsupp.img, the installer adds the Motorized Travel image file to the existing file. [A decision to delete the Motor Travel map from a combo supplemental map file will require the use of the Mapwel 2012 program to extract the Motorized map but leave the other supplemental maps intact.]

There is one major problem with installing the Motorized Travel map to a Garmin device. The problem exists when after installing the Motorized Travel map, you only see a solid pink or green background. The instructions for a cure of this will appear in the Forest Service's instruction soon, but here it is:

For GPS units that allow you to Hide Basemap, just hide the basemap and all will work as it should. For nuvis and other models that don't allow basemap hiding, find and alter the filenames of the basemap; i.e, change gmapbmap.img to gmapbmap.img.disabled and change gmapbmap.sum to gmapbmap.sum.disabled (or similar action or moving the original files off the GPS).

*Why will the Travel Management map be handy? See my next post.

Thanks for your efforts, CraigW

Thanks for posting this, and thanks for trying out the Garmin map. It would be great if something similar were produced for each of the National Forests in the US. ButI think I'll wait for a while before I give installation a shot.

As someone once said, "You can always recognize the pioneers; they're the ones with the arrows in their backs." grin

Why are Forest Service Travel Management maps important?

...Because they may save you from receiving a citation and fine.

From my chat with the Forest Service today, I gather that several National Forests have similar plans and others are coming.

The purpose of a Travel Management Plan is to reduce the number of roads, trails and areas where travel is permitted.

At least here in the Coconino National Forest, there will not necessarily be any signage indicating which areas are closed and if so, to which vehicle type(s). It is possible to come to an intersection and see an official numbered Forest Road and not be permitted to drive down that road. Only with a paper Travel Management map (very large and hard to handle) or this Garmin app can you determine if you can legally drive down that numbered road.

Here's a link to a web page indicating the existing areas with active Travel Management plans and maps:

One more thing

I forgot to mention this earlier.

It is possible to have City Navigator NA and this Motorized Travel map active at the same time and see both. Having both active should allow for normal nuvi "Where To" routing while still identifying which roads and areas in National Forests are able to be traveled legally.

[Update after a test drive] Unless you really need GoTo routing on Forest Roads which requires City Navigator to be active, I suggest driving forest roads with these MVUM maps to be done with only the MVUMN map selected; i.e., unselect City Navigator. My reason for suggesting this is that a road may be displayed from City Navigator making you think that road is legally drivable when in fact, it isn't.

A second benefit to using only the MVUM map and not City Navigator simultaneously is that at least for the roads I traveled in the Coconino NF in northern AZ, the MVUM maps tend to be more accurate than City Navigator (at least 2012.40) in the location and track of roads displayed.

One added benefit to using MVUM maps, at least the one I've tested, it that they identify areas that are federally-owned vs. state or private lands as well as IDing wilderness areas vs less restricted federal lands.

Not in PA yet

The Allegheny National Forest is still just one hugh PDF map. Nothing for the GPS or smartphones yet. I would love to see one here soon.

Thanks for the review.

Harley BOOM GTS, Zumo 665, (2) Nuvi 765Ts, 1450LMT, 1350LM & others | 2019 Harley Ultra Limited Shrine - Peace Officer Dark Blue

Coconino NF

bear007 wrote:

The Allegheny National Forest is still just one hugh PDF map. Nothing for the GPS or smartphones yet. I would love to see one here soon.

Thanks for the review.

I chatted again today with the FS GIS fellow who's handling the Garmin app for the MVUM maps. He states that there's a lot of interest in the app and that future annual MVUM map updates will most likely continue to have a Garmin map app. That's great to hear.

There's also a new update to my 5/1/12 update (and my One More Thing reply) posted above. When renaming the BaseMap which is done to remove the pink or green screens on some GPS models, a new issue arises in that City Navigator can't be disabled. Actually, in the MapInfo page, City Nav. can be unchecked--but it doesn't disable the map. If anyone experiences this, there's a workaround for it that I'll share. The FS GIS guru plans to see if future Garmin MVUM map apps can be designed to avoid pink screens and the need to tinker internally with nuvi file names. I wish him well. (He's pretty busy now packing to travel to NM to help fight the Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire. I wish him and all firefighters the best!)

New comments

Note that the new 2013 version of the map is now available and many issues discussed in earlier replies, above, no longer apply. For comments on the new 2013 map, don't post here but rather, go to:

...and now for 2014

CraigW wrote:

Note that the new 2013 version of the map is now available and many issues discussed in earlier replies, above, no longer apply. For comments on the new 2013 map, don't post here but rather, go to:

The 2014 map is now out. I've tested the Garmin map on several nuvi models and it works great. There are slight visual differences in the map even among the various series of nuvi models. The most problematic nuvi I've found is the 2460 which fails to display road numbers, icons and text in Navigation mode. For this model, you need to tap the map to go to the static map to see these additions. For the other nuvi models I tested, road numbers, etc. will appear directly on the map in Navigation mode.

As before, don't post 2014 map replies here but instead go to the 2014-specific thread:

2015 map