CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Computers, GPS, 'Smart' 'Phones

Finding bike parking with Openstreetmap and GPS

(12 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by Stephan Matthiesen
  • Latest reply from Stephan Matthiesen

  1. Thought I share this recipe. Finding bike parking isn't always easy in areas that you're not familiar with - racks are not so easy to see from a distance. So here is how I extract a list of bicycle parking facilities from Openstreetmap and convert it into a POI file for a Garmin GPS so that it can direct me to the nearest rack.

    Get the list of bike racks from Openstreetmap.

    • Go to
    • Copy the following code into the left panel

    • On the map on the right, zoom in/out to the area you are interested in (technical note: the bbox command selects the map area as "bounding box" for the search)
    • Click on "execute" - you should see all the bike parking marked on the map
    • Click on "export", select GPX and save the resulting file.

    Convert the gpx file into a Point of Interest (POI) File. This is for Garmin, but it should be similar for other GPS

    • Garmin has some programmes on their website that do that, but I haven't tried that
    • Linux users can use gpsbabel with a command like:

      gpsbabel -i gpx -f export.gpx -x duplicate,location,shortname -o garmin_gpi,category="Bike parking" -F "bike_parking.gpi"

    Copy the resulting file "bike_parking.gpi" onto your Garmin. On my eTrex 30 it then appears under "Extras".

    Similarly, you can use [amenity=bicycle_rental] for bike rental or [shop=bicycle] for bicycle shops.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. Arellcat

    On my Garmin I have a custom POI file with all the campsites in the UK. I took it from Archie's Campings.

    There, the POI files are provided in .csv format, with the following columns:

    Comment (optional)

    and I used Garmin's POI Loader program to put them into the device. It's been a while, but I think it will take a GPX file as well. POI Loader creates the Garmin-specific .gpi file, including any custom waypoint icons along the way. Archie's campsite files include one.

    The cool thing is that once I'd done that I made a disk image of my Garmin to duplicate everything that was installed (POIs, plus my City Navigator street map). That means I can run the image, and BaseCamp treats it as a separate GPS device, showing all the maps and POIs, which means I don't have to rely on the awful basemap for planning and reviewing my routes.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. Thanks @Arellcat that's useful - I'm a Linux person so I never tried the POI Loader, but it looks good!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Min

    If you don't mind I will also add a link to the open street map site for the less technologically capable (ie. me) as the site looks dead useful.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. @Min thanks! I use Openstreetmap (OSM) so much that I hadn't thought of giving a link...

    Especially for cycling (and walking) I find OSM much better than Google, Google is perhaps more car-centric? Everybody can add information to OSM so it tends to be really up-to-date and has footpaths etc where the Google car doesn't go :-).

    If you find an error or missing info on OSM you can either correct it, or you can use the "report error" feature (the speech bubble on the right) and usually some other volunteer picks it up.

    OSM maps have also been converted for offline use:

    • for Android, I recommend OSMAnd - I can't remember if the free version also works offline, but in any case the paid version is only a few pounds and the actual maps are free
    • For Garmin GPS I use Freizeitkarte, they convert the OSM maps to Garmin format with emphasis on leisure/outdoor features (as opposed to pure streetmaps). New maps are produced every 3 or 4 months, the UK is under "More countries" and all British Isles under "Regions". All free of course.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. chrisfl

    Also worth noting, for cycle specific stuff, you can choose the cycling layer, using the layer picker on the right hand side, to choose the cycle layer. Worth noting in this context that bike parking is shown as a blue square in the cycle layer.

    If you see errors or things that can be added, then it's possible to edit yourself, or add a note or post something here - there are quite a few regular OSM editors on the forum.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. acsimpson

    Not really bike parking related as I only added one Sheffield stand (I assume it's a stand not a rack on OSM). I have changed Maybury and Queensferry roads from Trunk to Primary as I believe that is the correct designation (White signs not green). There are others such as Telford Road in the same boat but I've saved them for another day.

    Is there a simple way to change a large number of lines at once as some of these roads have lots of individual sections.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. Cyclingmollie

    I've just added three bike stands that were missing.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. rbrtwtmn

    The following link might be helpful as it automatically inserts the correct code into Overpass Turbo for the bike parking query.
    I've left this set so that you still need to click the 'Run' button as this enables you to select the area you want to query first. This will work internationally by the way...

    Another note - You can also download the data ('Export' button) as a kml file. Google maps likes KML files. Quite a few smartphone navigation apps (e.g. , Locus, or Oruxmaps) will accept kml files as an overlay. These can sometimes be easier to handle in an app than a set of gpx points (typically it may be easier to deal with the one file as a single thing - making it possible to turn all bike parking markers on and off in one go).

    Would it be helpful to have some other links to Overpass Turbo queries? The number of things you might want to download from the Openstreetmap data is huge. Any requests? (I'm no Overpass expert by the way - really just a beginner with Overpass Turbo - but I do know my way around Openstreetmap - as do others on this site).

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. rbrtwtmn

    acsimpson you may want to look into (if you haven't already) a more powerful editor. One of the favourites is 'JOSM' ( ). This will allow you to select a set of lines or other objects and change a common element in their data (e.g. road type as you suggest).

    By the way - if you're thinking of changing something more major like a whole set of road classifications can I suggest making some attempt to contact the wider community of OSM mappers around Edinburgh. It's not unlikely that you'll get agreement to make the change - but it's just worth a quick check for opinions about such a major change as it sounds like you have in mind. This may also work in your favour - it's not unlikely that there will be someone available who has the skill to make a larger set of changes even faster than you would with an editor like JOSM. See here for one way towards such contact:

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. rbrtwtmn

    How about bike shops?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. Bicycle rental includes stations of bike hire systems:

    Not so useful for Edinburgh yet, but great for travelling to Paris, Vienna or almost any other city. Here is Glasgow:

    Posted 8 years ago #

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