Yes, you can use completely legal and FREE mapping on your Garmin Edge 800. Welcome to the OpenStreetMap, completely free maps for your GPS! The basic version of the Garmin Edge 800 comes supplied with a “basemap” which isn’t much use at all. It contains a basic routable map of major roads, but lacks detail. If you’ve got the money, there are excellent commercial products you can buy – either the Garmin City Navigator maps, or the Ordnance Survey Discoverer series. Both are excellent, high quality, routable maps. See some screenshot comparisons here. But – if you don’t want to pay for mapping, you don’t have to, thanks to the amazing open source project OpenStreetMap.OpenStreetMap is a free worldwide map, created by people like you. The data is free to download and use under its open license.
Not only is OpenStreetMap data free to use and share, http://hesca.net/soma/ it’s always being updated by the community, so in theory it should be more up to date and accurate than commercial products.
So, how do you get the OSM data on to your Garmin?
There are two main methods, one is quick and simple and the other is a bit geeky. Quick and simple method – follow my tutorial here for downloading the talkytoaster map
Geeky method – follow the guide here to roll your own .img file using various java programs to process raw OSM data. A bit complicated for most people! Wherever you are, there’s a free OSM garmin map for every part of the world. Find a big list of free Garmin OSM maps here.
Other useful links:
http://www.cyclestreets.net/ – Cycling intelligence for the UK, all based on OSM data
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Potlatch_2 – Wiki for Potlatch2 – the editor which lets anyone contribute updates to the OSM map.
Velomap, an alternative to TalkyToaster also contains some very helpful tutorials about making your own garmin .img files from the basic OSM data.