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Overview of the CenRut project (Updated December 8, 2018)


See the pictures and read the blog posts from  Mike & Hanna's bike trip in Central America(check out the awesome Guatemala volcano pictures!) Click here: http://www.highlux.co.nz/blog/

Visit and use our Amazon page:


What is CenRut?
CenRut is a community-based project to create and distribute GPS maps of Central America(freely to humanitarian organizations). 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 Garmin method(not free, THANK YOU for your support!): Simplify your life and support the project! If you have a Garmin GPS click on this link:

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. After saving the file to your GPS, disconnect the GPS from your computer.  That's all! 


Cenrut For Android Phone or Tablet: : (not free, contribution required):


The complete Garmin method: please refer to the complete Windows or the complete Mac method below, as appropriate, then download the installer below(not free, contribution required):

Cenrut installer for Mapsource and / or BaseCamp For Windows:

Cenrut installer for Mapsource and / or BaseCamp For Macintosh:


If you have any problem please post it on in our forum. Thank you.

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 a courtesy email(optional) 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(Adobe RentaCar might be an exception). 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 for development organizations and contributors).

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?
We used to be able to generate enough funds indirectly(Google ads, Amazon referrals, donations) but those sources have decreased over 95%, so we are asking for contributions.  Plus the quality of the maps has reached a point that they are well worth the price.

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 Garmin Basecamp and Mapsource programs to see the CenRut/CenTopo/etc maps on your computer:

1) Garmin Basecamp: http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=4435

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

3) CenRut installer for Mapsource/Basecamp(see above):

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 for Mac(see above):

GPS on your mobile phone: Navikey/7Ways is a free App that works very well with the Cenrut maps. We also publish in Navitel format, but the App is not free.

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