How do I transfer info from computer to GPS?

Decision on Gulf amberjack shows federal management on brink of breakdown

Capt. Paul:

I recently purchased a Garmin 545s. Is there a way to mark spots, tracks and bodies of water on my computer then transfer them to the unit?

Kevin Bergeron


Capt. Paul’s response:

Yes there is, but the problem comes with having a mapping program that can communicate with your GPS unit.

Having a Garmin mapping program installed on your computer that enables you to download maps into the GPS as well as having the ability to transfer data goes a long way in simplifying the task you are inquiring about.

At the very least, you will need a spare Secure Digital (SD) memory card, a computer-connected memory card reader/writer that can write to the SD card and Garmin’s Trip and Waypoint Manager or one of their computer mapping programs that can be installed in your computer.

First, download and install the Garmin program in your computer. Then, place a new, blank SD card in your GPSMAP 545 unit while the unit is in the OFF mode. Turn the unit on, and access the memory card using the MENU feature in your GPS unit. This writes an identifying file on the memory card that allows the Garmin Trip and Waypoint or the mapping program to later identify the program.

Then remove the SD card from the GPS unit while the unit is off, and place it in the computer-connected card reader/wirter.

Then turn the computer on, and open the Garmin MapSource program.

From the program, you can mark your waypoints either by clicking on the map program or by clicking on a blank section of the Trip and Waypoint screen. Naturally, all of this info would apply to routes and tracks that are also available.

If you have a mapping program that has the ability to connect and download data to a GPS unit, and not one that has maps that can be downloaded into the mapping screens, then you can download the locations that you marked on the mapping program and transfer them via the above procedure using the card reader and a SD card.

Use the TRANSFER button in the Trip and Waypoint Manager program to transfer the waypoints, tracks and/or routes. Use it to first FIND the GPS unit then to actually do the transfer to the SD card.

This data transfer is the basis for the Capt. Paul’s Fishing Edge of GPS Waypoints files that are offered on the Louisiana Sportsman website.

If you have a computer-installed mapping program that can transfer data as waypoints, tracks and routes, there is usually a way to save the data and then convert it to a Garmin protocol that can be opened by the MapSource Trip and Waypoint program, which is then written to the SD card that is later placed in your GPS unit.

About Captain Paul Titus 192 Articles
Capt. Paul Titus has been responding to G.P.S questions on since 2000. He has been fishing and hunting in Louisiana since 1957. Titus holds a USCG license and conducts instruction courses in the use of GPS for private individuals and government agencies.