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Overview of the CenRut project (Updated 20 January, 2016)


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What is CenRut?
CenRut is a community-based project to create and freely distribute GPS maps of Central America. The project covers El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and Panama.

How do I load the maps onto my Garmin GPS?
The simple method (recommended): If you have a Garmin GPS, right-click on this link: IMG_file_for_Garmin to save the GMAPSUPP.IMG file onto your computer.  Then connect your GPS to your computer and save the file in the /Map/  folder on your GPS(you may need to create this folder). Note that older devices use the /Garmin/ folder to store the maps.  After saving the file to your GPS, disconnect the GPS from your computer.  That's all! 

The complete method: please refer to the complete Windows or the complete Mac method below, as appropriate.

Note: addresses in Latin America are unreliable, so you need to search by the name of the Point of Interest that is your desired destination.

After loading CenRut onto your GPS(with either the simple or complete method), the file should be in this folder on your Nuvi:

Nuvi folder with gmapsupp.img file

How do I know if the Cenrut maps are correctly loaded onto my GPS?
Start your GPS and go to Tools>Settings>Map>Info.  You should see the following:

Cenrut on Nuvi

OK, I have verified that Cenrut is loaded onto my GPS and appreciate all the hard work, now what?
Send me an email and tell me where you are going! My email address is at the bottom of this page.

Random note about car rental in Costa Rica:
Be warned that car rental insurance is a bit of a racket. Even if your rental company swears that the quoted rate is all-inclusive, this is usually not the case. More info here

Can I send data corrections for the maps?
Yes! Please send waypoints and tracks you have recorded, or just describe in an email the item that needs to be corrected!

How good are the maps?
In six of the seven coutries, they are better than the other options we have seen.  The seventh country is Costa Rica, which is lucky enough to have three great options: TRACKIT (commercial), NAVSATCR(commercial) and CENRUT(free).

Why do you do this?
We believe that this is an immensely valuable project that allows us to apply modern technology to help raise the standard of living in Central America. Plus, we enjoy it.

Who are you?
The project leader is Willy, who lives in El Salvador.  CenRut also works with similar projects in other countries, including Venezuela (gpsyv.net), Argentina (proyectomapear.com.ar), and Peru (perut.org).

How do you finance all this?
The cash required for the project(software, hosting, etc )  is generously provided by donors. Please let me know if you would like to donate directly to the project.

How else can I help?
Send me an email after you use it, and tell me if anything needs to be corrected! Also please send any favorites/waypoints that should be added! Email address is at the bottom of the page.

The complete method por WINDOWS users:

This will install the Mapsource program to see the CenRut/CenTopo/etc maps on your computer. If you already have Mapsource, you can skip to step 3:

1) Mapsource preinstaller: http://www.perut.org/Otros/Prepara.bat (If using Win7, save to your desktop then Right Click > Run as Administrator)

2) Garmin Mapsource: http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=209

3) CenRut installer for Mapsource/Basecamp: https://files.secureserver.net/0sbCHc047oH4gr

CenTopo(Topographic map of Central America)To download the Topographic installer for Mapsource(released 2011), please click here:
CenTopo installer

It is a 50m contour line map that is derived from NASA’s SRTM data.  If you want it to work together with Cenrut, be sure to load both onto your GPS at the same time.

Images courtesy of Jack Yeazel:

Centopo+track in Mapsource Centopo on Garmin 76cx Cenrut+Centopo on Garmin 76cx


The complete method por MAC users:   

You need to install the Garmin MapManager and RoadTrip or BaseCamp for MAC.

1) Install software Garmin RoadTrip or BaseCamp ( for older Macs you may need the Legacy version of Basecamp)

2) Install software Garmin MapManager

3) Install Cenrut 3.1 for Mac: https://files.secureserver.net/0s14JWYCSWGZf9

GPS on your mobile phone: Android, iPhones, Windows Mobile and Symbian phones can use the CenRut maps in the Navitel, CityGuide and 7Ways formats.  Please see the CenRut website for further details.

What if I have additional questions?
Please feel free to post questions in the forum, and we will be happy to help!

Have you had any press coverage? 

A little, but please help us get more press coverage of the project!:
Article in Honduras paper
October 2014 article in AAPG Explorer

Feel free to drop me an email:
David Krause          Washington, DC          dakrause(at)hotmail.com

Cenrut on Nuvi in Arlington