How to add custom maps from Google Earth to a Garmin Fenix 5X

TLDR: If you know what you are doing and just can't get your maps to load:
1. Source overlay image must be less or equal to 1024 x 1024
2. Source overlay image must encoded as Not Progressive

Software

This guide will allow you to load custom satellite maps on your Garmin Fenix 5X with free software. In order to do this, you will need the following:

Thats it!

Google Earth Pro

  • Open google earth pro
  • Under "Layers" turn off terrain, and other features if you do not want them in your final map
  • Select the Save image icon, and be sure your resolution is no more than 1024 x 1024 .
  • Anything above 1024 x 1024 will cause the map not to render on the device.
  • Turn off all the map options
  • click Save Image
  • I will call my image copper.jpg

Gimp

  • Open Gimp
  • Open your image, in my case copper.jpg
  • Go to File then Export As
  • Then click Advanced Options
  • Make sure Progressive is Unchecked otherwise the Garmin unit will not load the map. Override your old image

Back to Google Earth Pro

  • Back in google Earth, Click the Add Image Overlay button
  • Set the Name
  • Select the image you just exported
  • set the transparency to around 50%
  • Don't close this window yet! Just move it out of the way.
  • Align your image. At first it will be out of alignment.
  • Once it is aligned you are done, you can click Ok to close the image overlay dialog.
  • Right click on your new place and Save Place As

Save as type kmz

Upload to GPS

This is the easy part.

  • Plug in your Garmin to your PC
  • Navigate to /Garmin/CustomMaps and drop your new .kmz file in there.
  • Unplug the watch
  • On the watch navigate to Maps > Menu > Map Settings > Map > Configure Maps
  • At the bottom Custom Maps should be a new option.
  • Select it and ensure your map is enabled. Enjoy GPS maps from google!

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