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

Best OSM app for Android?

(10 posts)

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  1. ejstubbs
    Member

    I've decided that I need to add OSM to the mapping apps on my Android phone, to provide additional info cf Google Maps and OS Maps. Trouble is, there seem to scores to choose from. Anyone able to recommend a particular one, or is accessing OSM via Chrome as good as anything? I'm not looking for navigation or route planning features, just access to the maps at a level of detail sufficient for cycling and walking off the obvious road and tracks.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    I’m iOS so don’t know, but presume you’ve looked at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Android_applications

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. Frenchy
    Member

    I didn't realise there were that many.

    I've been using the open-source version, "OsmAnd~" (note the tilde), which I downloaded via f-droid. It has a limit on the number of maps you can have downloaded at a time (6, I think), but unlike the free "official" app, has no cumulative limit on how many you can download.

    (Been a few years since I actually installed it on my phone, so I may be remembering details wrong.)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. wingpig
    Member

    OSM via chrome is OK if data volume is no issue, but I find OSM data very slow to load. I would usually just look at Cyclestreets if I didn't need any particular fancy filtered set of layers. I usually install and download some stuff in OSMand before going on holiday then never use it as it's not particularly usable.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. rbrtwtmn
    Member

    There's lots to say - but I'll try (and fail) to not say lots...

    Understand one thing first (which is relevant, not just theory). Openstreetmap is just a database of mapping information. You can see this mapping information turned into several styles of map on http://www.openstreetmap.org - but there are hundreds of other styles of map which are created from the information too (you can even make your own if you're clever enough). The reason this matters is because one question is what you want to use the maps for - different maps are designed to show (or hide) different information. If you're mountain biking it's good for tracks to be obvious. If you're in a sports car tracks may as well be hidden completely. You want a map that shows what you care about.

    Second interesting fact - if you download almost any free mapping app it will probably be showing you maps based on the OSM information. There are some obvious exceptions - but most free apps use OSM.

    But more to the point...

    If you just want a map on the phone, then I'd start with "maps.me" - which is wonderfully simple, but which has some hidden power.

    What's good about this is that it makes it easy to download maps to the phone (so you don't need a phone signal to view them later). Hidden power includes its ability to search the map data (nearest Greggs? Toilets in Amsterdam? Bookshops in Paris? - all done offline). And it makes it trivial to add points (and lines if you know how) to show things that you want to remind yourself of.

    There are many many other apps and services (like Strava or Cyclestreets) which are all based on OSM mapping - but which are for more specialist purposes.

    There are other apps which are essentially just for using and viewing maps, like OSMand - Locus - Oruxmaps (the free version) which are also really good - but they are more powerful and more complex (and often not so user friendly). One of the biggest things they do differently, which matters a lot, is to allow you to have different styles of OSM based map (as described above).

    So - long story short - 'best' depends on what you're trying to do.

    Generally what I'd recommend people do is to start with is to use Maps.me to get a feel for something different from Google or OS based products - and when you hit the limitations in this to come back to ask "how do I find an OSM based app which lets me do X?"

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. chrisfl
    Member

    What rbrtwtmn said, maps.me is fast simple and all offline and the one to start with.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. prog99
    Member

    Orux maps is worth a look.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. acsimpson
    Member

    I use osmand+. You pay a few quid up front and get unlimited regions on it.

    I use it to show a route plot and which veloviewer squares I'm aiming for. It's a little fiddly to do it as it can't support kml files but I'm a creature of habit so stick with it.

    However I might give maps.me a try and see if it's any simpler.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. cb
    Member

    I'm another OsmAnd+ user.

    I use it all the time, along with Google Maps and OS Maps.

    When visiting other cities the public transport overlays are very useful. So for example turn on/off bus routes and tram routes.
    Being able to show metro *routes* as well as just stations is incredibly useful IMO.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. steveo
    Member

    I use OsmAnd (no bloody a,b,c or d) and paid for the contour pack which is very useful.

    Last time I was in NZ it took longer to download the contour data than it did the base data.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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