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I am travelling to the UK shortly, I do not have a GPS but since I will need it on arrival I will buy one in the US before leaving.

Can any GPS unit be loaded with free maps or only certain models?

Needless to say the model names/numbers over here are different from those in the UK. Any clarification much appreciated


asked 25 Sep '13, 17:17

DavidA's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 25 Sep '13, 21:53

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


Are you interested in using a GPS for navigation (finding out where you are and where to go) or for collecting data to contribute to OpenStreetMap?

Also, if you've already got a phone with GPS capabilities, you might be able to get OpenStreetMap-based free maps for that, so it might be worth mentioning that too.

(25 Sep '13, 17:28) SomeoneElse ♦

I'm interested in getting around without getting lost. As for my phone it's no smarter than I am, I might be the last person left alive who uses a phone to make phone calls, plus nothing.

(25 Sep '13, 17:36) DavidA

meta: there are those similar older questions which would need to be updated or new answers. how-do-i-use-osm-maps-in-my-gps and which-gps-device. I am not sure if it is good to make a new QA here. Well, this question is more focussed on buying a new gps device and not about using the device to contribute to OSM (as the latter prev. question is). So, let's go.

(25 Sep '13, 22:13) aseerel4c26 ♦

Okay, I don't live in the UK, I am visiting the country. Therefor I will not be in a position to contribute to OSM I made the mistake of thinking that a forum that deals with downloadable maps would be a a good place to find helpful answers. Instead I found you

Thank you for your input.

(25 Sep '13, 22:23) DavidA

Hi David - I was about to attempt to assist you, but you may want to review your previous retort as I'm reluctant to do so if that's an example of your response.

(25 Sep '13, 22:35) NicMic

hmm, David, I think you have misunderstood, if you are reacting to my comment above. You are on the right site - please just wait a bit more for answers (no express service here). We are happy for new users of our maps. My comment was targeted not necessarily at you - therefore prefixed "meta". I have changed it a bit to make it more clear.

(25 Sep '13, 23:50) aseerel4c26 ♦
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

Get one of those Tablets, e.g Galaxy 7 inch (or perhaps 10 inch) by Samsung. You can download OSM maps ( I think for 5 countries for free), the GPS 'feature' is included and once you turn it on, open your OSM map you will always see (via a big blue dot or a triangle if moving) where you are. You can't get lost.

permanent link

answered 26 Sep '13, 03:28

slover98's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

I've been fairly impressed by Osmand. But there are other app options that have reasonable ratings too.

If you are cheap, you can bypass the free version's map download limit by downloading the map files through a web browser and putting them in Osmand's directory on the SD card.

(26 Sep '13, 05:49) n76

let me linkify that: OsmAnd. That is, I think, the most popular "OSM app" for Android devices. As stf says, there are also other apps for Android (and also for other mobile systems) which also use OSM-based maps and data.

(26 Sep '13, 13:12) aseerel4c26 ♦

David, Google is your friend. However, here are a couple of articles that I found that are quite good and should answer most of your questions:

How to choose a gps

and older article but still relevant: choosing the right gps

For getting around on foot or for collecting data in order to contribute to OSM, I would not recommend any system designed primarily for in-car navigation. Any handheld device that is suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities should be suitable.

Garmin is by far the most popular manufacturer of consumer gps devices. Newer models are very good and are capable of handling multiple maps. They have a wide range of handheld devices

Good luck with making your selection.

Ps: I posted this answer on the wrong thread somehow. - trying to delete it there.

permanent link

answered 26 Sep '13, 07:57

rovingmedic's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

edited 26 Sep '13, 08:21


google is no friend … At best google is a false friend.

(26 Sep '13, 13:08) aseerel4c26 ♦

true, but it does help you to find stuff ... not sure if any of the other search engines are any better or worse though.

(26 Sep '13, 13:51) rovingmedic

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question asked: 25 Sep '13, 17:17

question was seen: 7,099 times

last updated: 26 Sep '13, 13:51

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum