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How to prepare and upload points/lines to GPS using QGIS 2.8

How to prepare and upload points/lines to GPS using QGIS 2.8


I would like to upload some points (e.g. locations of transmission towers) and lines (e.g. streams, roads) in .shp format to my Garmin Oregon 600, using QGIS 2.8.2.

Could anyone provide with step-by-step instructions?


  1. Only vector points/lines can be uploaded on a GPS unit
    • transform polygons into lines using Vector - geometric tools - polygons to lines
  2. Convert .shp layer into a .gpx layer (GPX is a default format for GPS)
    • the names of the points/lines of your layer must be listed in a column called “name” in the attribute table of the .shp file. GPS won't recognize the name of a point/line if the column is called “label” or “id” or anything else!
    • use Table Manager Plugin • rename the column and “Save” or “Save as… ”
    • right click on the layer you want to convert to .gpx and choose “Save as… ” • a dialogue window will open, where you need to specify the format (GPX) and coordinate system (WGS 84 - the default for Garmin units) • specify also FORCE_GPX_TRACK - YES if you're converting a line vector • choose a folder (“Browse”) where you want to save the GPX layer • leave the rest as it is • click OK
  3. Once you've saved the GPX layer in a folder on your computer, just copy-paste it on your Garmin that is turned on and connected to you computer
    • paste it in the folder Garmin - GPX (not Current!)
  4. On the Garmin device, the points (waypoints) will be listed in “Waypoint Manager” and the lines (tracks) in “Track Manager”
    • to show the tracks on a map, you need to click on the track and enable “Show On Map"

To further expand on the answer edit the tracks and waypoints you might want to use Garmin's BaseCamp Software wich serves as a preview of what you will see on your device. Here you can edit waypoint/track Styles . Also after doing this, at least in my garmin, for the tracks I have to "activate" them from the track manager on the device.

Also in adition to a "name" field, you could have several outher wich will be recognized by the device yet most usefull would be "desc" a string field to further describe the waypoint.


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