Installing Shonkymaps onto an Garmin eTrex 20 GPS

This is a guide on how to install the software, and then obtain Shonkymaps for your eTrex GPS device.

I’ve seen it appear in the weblogs a few times, and had a few emails wondering how to do it, so I’ve decided to write a quick little guide. Hopefully it’ll make it easy for you. Keep in mind, this is a guide for WINDOWS.

Install the base software

Firstly, you’ll need the software to do it all. This should work for versions Windows 8 to Windows XP. I’ve done it with both operating systems so you should be able to as well.

Mapsource is the program I use. You can see how to get a copy of it here:

guido_p_schmidt writes:

I found a way to get mapsource for free, legally.

First install the trainings center software.

this installs a basemap in the mapsource directory, now that the directory is there install the mapsource update.

You only get a pc basemap, but you can use custom maps now to get more detail.

Install the Training Centre software. Then install the Mapsource update. Click “yes” if it asks if you want to install the drivers too.

Now it’s time to get the Shonkymaps. Go to the website, follow the links to download, and download the correct file. For the record (because it’s Windows) I downloaded “”. It’s 388mb all up, so it might take ten or so minutes to download.

Extract and install Shonkymaps. There’s a .exe file you can use in the .zip. It’ll unzip all the audio and copy all the files across to the computer as required.

Open you Mapsource and in the top left of the screen, you’ll see a dropdown of the Shonkymaps!


Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 3.41.40 pm

Now it’s just a matter of selecting the maps you want to send. As part of Shonkymaps there are:

  1. Large-scale overview maps of Australia. When downloaded to the unit, these maps have a zoom range of approx 5km – 50km. They are particuarly useful where the GPS unit does not contain an Australian Basemap.
  2. Detailed maps of Australia. These are smaller in scale and contain significantly more data. These are the main maps you would use from day to day. The zoom range is approximately 200m – 5km, depending on the area and size of the map. In remote areas the zoom range is slightly higher. They have topographic (contour) information at 50m intervals (100m in Tasmania). These maps will display as “Shonky Full Topo” in MapSource.
  3. A transparent contour (elevation) overlay map. These maps only contain contour elevation lines. The map will appear on top of whatever is being displayed at the time, but may only appear when zoomed in to a detailed scale such as 300m or less. This is displayed as “Shonky Transparent Contours” in Mapsource.
  4. A detailed map MINUS the contour layer. This series contains the same as series B, but without any elevation data. These maps use less memory than series B), although you can always download the transparent contours in addition to this series if you want both.

I have selected maps (for Tasmania) on all four sets. There are maps for all parts of the country. You select what kind of maps you want. Here’s how you do it.



There’s a similar thread over at, which says “Also be aware that it MAY overwrite any other maps that you have on the card so be especially careful if you have something such as OzTopo or Garmin Topo on the same SD card. Its a bit model dependent.

So keep that in mind. But it all worked for me on the eTrex 20.




7 thoughts on “Installing Shonkymaps onto an Garmin eTrex 20 GPS”

  1. I am interested in your comments about Garmin Etrex 20 which I have just bought.
    I want to download Shonkymaps for Tasmania but am having terrible trouble with my Mac. Do you know anyone who can help? I have tried many forums but cannot get it going. I have downloaded Garmin Basecamp, MapInstaller and MapManager. They all say Shonky Topo has been a “bad installation”. I cannot get the Shonky maps up on my screen at all. ….HELP…..PLEASE…

    1. Hi Jill,

      I’m not sure how to do it on a Mac. As you can see, I’ve done it via a Windows computer – even though I use a Mac on a day-to-day basis.

      I’ll have a think and see what I can come up with.

      Can you find a Windows machine?

      1. I have found a post on the Mac forum. It seems it might be something to do with Security settings. I will try his recipe and see what happens.

  2. New reader to your blog. First off thank you for posting this info on shonky. I bought a etrex 20 andwas really surprised at the poor quality of the map it came with. Then to top it off Garmin wants my first born and a kidney in exchange for a better map? What’s up with that. Foundquite a few utube tuts on how to down load free maps. Just couldn’t get my head around it. Your explanation was clear easy to follow. The only thing missing is contour lines. But hey l’m over the moon with what l now have. Thanks again and l look forward to following your journeys.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Glad it was useful.

      I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I think there are contour lines in the ShonkyMap package. I think they’re visible once you zoom in a bit. Maybe.

      I have seen them on the eTrex so it must have been possible. I think it was the 5-10m contours.

      Anyway, probably not a very helpful reply. But good luck sorting it.

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