How to download a FREE C-MAP Genesis map from the “Promo Uploads” tab

Promo Uploads ImageFrom time to time, C-MAP makes available for download FREE highly detailed, custom C-MAP Genesis contour charts. This article will teach you how to download those maps for use on the water in your compatible* Lowrance, Simrad or B&G sonar/GPS device.

C-MAP Genesis helps anglers find fish fast by offering them free downloads of community-sourced contour charts from C-MAP Genesis Social Map, enabling them to create their own custom contour maps of un-mapped bodies of water, and helping them discover and dissect potential tournament-winning “sweet spots” that don’t show up on off-the-shelf marine maps.

The game-changing C-MAP Genesis bottom-hardness layer shows anglers the location, size and shape of fish-holding hard-bottom to soft-bottom transition areas – dark orange areas are the hardest bottom; a lighter orange indicates the next hardest bottom; tan is the next hardest bottom; and pale yellow shows the softest-bottom spots. The vegetation layer maps out exactly where the lake’s submerged vegetation is growing, making it easy to locate deep weedlines and grass on flats and humps.

To learn how to download a FREE C-MAP Genesis contour chart from the “Promo Uploads” tab on the C-MAP Genesis dashboard, click “Read More” below.

Before you can download your free C-MAP Genesis map, you must first register for a free C-MAP Genesis account HERE. If you are a college student who competes in B.A.S.S. or FLW college-series tournaments, register HERE. If you are a high school angler, register HERE. College and high school anglers can compete for valuable prizes through the College Cup and Varsity Rewards programs, respectively.

If you already have an C-MAP Genesis account, log in to your dashboard with your email address and password. If you need a refresher course on how to login to C-MAP Genesis and access your dashboard, read the article HERE for step-by-step instructions.

Your C-MAP Genesis dashboard will show three displays at the top: “My Uploads,” “Merged Uploads” and “Promo Uploads.” If you have not yet uploaded any sonar logs, you will not see any entries under “My Uploads” or “Merged Uploads.” However, most users will see several entries under the “Promo Uploads” tab — these are contour maps provided to users for free during promotional campaigns.

Follow the steps below to download to a free C-MAP Genesis map from the “Promo Uploads” tab. (Article continues after the image below)

  • 1. Log in to your C-MAP Genesis dashboard following the step-by-step instructions detailed HERE.
  • 2. Navigate your cursor to the top-middle of your C-MAP Genesis dashboard screen and click on “Promo Uploads” (see the image above
  • 3. After you’ve clicked the “Promo Uploads” tab, you will see a list of all the waterbodies for which there is a current free map available for downloads (see image below). Click on the name of the waterbody in which you are interested.
    Promo Uploads Image
  • 4. After clicking on the name of the waterbody, a box will open that includes a “view trip” button (see example in image below) in the lower right-hand side — click that button.
    Promo Tab - View Trip image
  • 5. After clicking the “view trip” button, an online display of the map will open (see image below). This is a great tool for off-the-water pre-practice for fishing tournaments. (The red lines you will see when the map first opens show all the boat paths followed in creating the map. To turn the red lines off, and also back on again, click the word “Track” in the light-gray bar located in the upper left-hand corner of the map. (See image below)
    IMG_3353
  • 7. If your free promo map comes with a bottom-hardness layer, you can view it on the online display (for off-the water review) by clicking on the “Layers” button and then clicking on “Composition” in the pop-up window that opens. (See images below)
    IMG_3358 IMG_3359
  • Note: You can use the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons to zoom in and out of areas of interest on your map
    • To adjust your map’s position in the dashboard window, press and hold the left-click button on your mouse and navigate your mouse in the direction you want to move
      • Using a laptop without a mouse?
        • Press and hold the left-click button on your touchpad with your thumb and move your index finger on your touchpad in the direction you want to move
How to download a FREE Promo Tab chart

To download the free map to use on your Lowrance, Simrad or B&G sonar/GPS unit, follow these instructions:

  1. Start by inserting a blank SD card into your computer’s card-reader slot
    • If your computer does not have an SD-card slot, you will need to purchase an external card reader that plugs into a USB slot on your computer
    • If you are using an HDS Gen3 or an Elite unit, you must first insert a MicroSD card into the empty slot in an SD-card adaptor, or use a USB-slot adaptor that will accommodate a microSD card
  2. Direct your attention to the gray box in the top middle of the screen with the heading “Map Generation” (See image below)
    IMG_3354
  3. In the first drop-down menu, select the sonar/GPS sonar unit, AKA “Target Device,” in which you will use your downloaded map (See image below)
    IMG_3355

    • Haven’t registered your sonar/GPS sonar units (AKA “chartplotters,” “MFDs,” “plotters”) yet? Click HERE for step-by-step instructions on how to do so.
  4. If the promo map comes with a bottom-hardness layer, you can add that to your downloaded map by choosing “Composition and Contours” in the 2nd drop-down menu, labeled “Include Layer.” (See image below)
    IMG_3356
  5. In the third drop-down menu, “Contour Interval,” choose how precise you’d like your contours to be on your onboard map.
  6. Next, click the button labeled “Generate” (See image below)
    IMG_3357

    • While the map file is downloading, you’ll see a rotating progress icon in a blue box above the text “NOTE: Large waterbodies may take a minute to generate.”
  7. Once the progress icon stops rotating, you will get the message “Successfully Generated Map! CLICK ‘SAVE.” Click the button labeled “Save” directly under that message.
  8. If you’re using a PC, after clicking “Save” a box will open allowing you to choose where you want to save the file
  9. Choose “SD (D:)” — you’ll see it listed under “Computer” in a vertical menu of options to the left-hand side of the window that opened
  10. Type in the name of the waterbody
  11. Don’t make any changes in the next field, “Save as type” — leave it as is
  12. Click the “Save” button
    • If you’re using a PC, after clicking “Save” a box will open allowing you to choose where you want to save the file
      • Choose “SD (D:)” — you’ll see it listed under “Computer” in a vertical menu of options to the left-hand side of the window that opened
      • Type in the name of the waterbody and, if applicable, what additional layer it contains, like this: “Long_Lake-with-bottom_hardness.exe”
      • Click the “Save” button
      • If your web browser is Chrome (which we recommend) you will most likely see, in the bottom left-hand corner of your dashboard, a small, red circle with a white dash in it, next to a message like this: “Long_Lake-with-bottom_hardness.exe is not commony downloaded and could be dangerous”
      • To the right of that will be a white button labeled “Discard” — do NOT click that button
        • To the right of that “Discard” button will be a small down-pointing arrow. Click it to open a dropdown then hover down to and click the word “Keep” … proceed now to Step #13 below
    • If you’re using a Mac, as soon as you click “Save File,” a compressed/zipped folder containing your map files will download to a pre-ordained spot on your computer, most likely your “Downloads” folder 
      • If you have not manually re-set your downloads to be saved somewhere else, it’s going to be in your “Downloads” folder
      • The folder that downloads WILL NOT display the name of the waterbody — it will be named something like this: “1234567.zip (the number will be different for every waterbody)
        • You should re-name that folder now with the name of the waterbody
  13. Before your map files will work in the Lowrance, Simrad or B&G sonar/GPS unit(s) on your boat, you must first extract the files (PC terminology) from the downloaded .exe folder/file or unzip the folder (Mac terminology) in which the map files are located.
    • Depending on what kind of computer you are using, follow the PC-file-extraction or Mac-file-unzipping directions at the bottom of the page and then proceed to step #13 below
  14. Remove your SD card from your computer’s SD-card slot
  15. Insert your SD card into a card slot on your Lowrance, Simrad or B&G sonar/GPS unit while the unit is turned off
    • If you have a unit with two card slots, it does not matter if you use the top or bottom, or right or left slot
  16. Turn on your sonar/GPS unit
  17. Soon after your unit powers up, a dialog box will open and ask if you want to load the map that you saved onto your SD card — it will reference the waterbody by name
  18. On a HDS Gen2 Touch unit or on an HDS Gen3 unit, simply touch the button that is labeled “Yes”
    • On non-Touch Gen 2 units and Elite units, press the appropriately pointed arrow on the circular keypad in order to move your cursor to “Yes”
    • Once “Yes” is highlighted, click the button labeled “Enter”
  19. Your map will then almost immediately load onto your unit’s map-display screen for your review
  20. Study your map and pilot you boat to where you’d like to fish
PC instructions: Extracting your map files

If your computer is a PC, follow these steps to extract your map files from the .exe file/folder you downloaded and saved to blank SD card

  1. Double-click the .exe file that you downloaded/saved to the blank SD card in your (D:) drive
  2. After double-clicking, a dialog box will open — just click the “Enter” button on your keyboard (or, you could click the “Extract” button), and your map files will extract and save themselves onto your SD card
      • A total of five (5) additional files will extract and save onto your SD card. In addition to the original file you downloaded (the one with the .exe extension), you will see new files labeled exactly like this (depending on whether you use a Lowrance HDS or Elite unit):
        • at5.xml
        • permits.txt
        • HDS_Large.at5 (or Elite_Large.at5)
        • HDS_Medium.at5 (or Elite_Medium.at5)
        • HDS_Small.at5 (or Elite_Small.at5)
    • ALL 5 of those files must be on your SD card for your map to display on your sonar/GPS unit.
  3. At this time, we recommend creating a new folder on your computer, naming it “Lake Map Downloads” (or similar) and then dragging the .exe file off of your SD card and into that folder.
    • The .exe file is not necessary to display the maps once the file map files are extracted from it
    • However, it’s a good idea to save the original .exe file for each map you download
      • Because if you should ever misplace the card onto which you saved the five map files detailed above, you can re-extract those files back onto another SD card at a later date, without having to download a fresh .exe file
    • This is an especially important back-up process if you are traveling to fish in a remote area in which you will not have Internet/wifi access
  4. Proceed to Step #13 above
Mac instructions: Unzipping your map files

If your computer is a Mac, follow these steps to unzip the folder you downloaded and access your map files:

  1. Depending on your Mac’s operating system, your map’s file folder might un-zip itself while downloading. If it doesn’t, proceed to step #2
  2. Double-click the zipped folder
  3. A progress bar will briefly appear on your screen as the folder un-zips. Once that progress bar disappears, your unzipped folder will appear in the same folder that the zipped folder is located (in most cases, your “Downloads” folder, as explained above previously)
  4. After making sure your SD card is inserted into your computer’s SD-card slot (or external card reader) find the icon for your SD card on your desktop and drag the five files in your unzipped folder onto your SD card
    • Rather than dragging and dropping, you could also copy and paste the five files in your folder onto your SD card.
    • The five files should be labeled exactly like this (depending on whether you use a Lowrance HDS or Elite unit):
      • at5.xml
      • permits.txt
      • HDS_Large.at5 (or Elite_Large.at5)
      • HDS_Medium.at5 (or Elite_Medium.at5)
      • HDS_Small.at5 (or Elite_Small.at5)
  5. Proceed to Step #13 above

* To use C-MAP Genesis maps on the water, you’ll need a compatible Lowrance, Simrad or B&G chartplotter.

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