Hi, as per the title I need help in downloading my country's map and 'feeding' it to my navigation software.

I can download my country 'map' from geofabrik.de. However this is a .pbf file. I need to convert this into the several little .png tiles the navi software uses. I am looking for the simplest solution, at this point I don't want to customize the maps. Please take into consideration that I'm a computer layman. Any how-to (for non-IT professionals) or pointer would be greatly appreciated.

As a side-note, I have extensively read the OSM wiki pages, used google, however I'm more confused now after a day spent searching around than before I began.

TL;DR what is the simplest way to download/refresh a country's map at several zoom levels?

asked 03 Mar '14, 15:51

perdon's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 03 Mar '14, 16:44

iii's gravatar image



What "navi software" are you using?

(03 Mar '14, 15:52) SomeoneElse ♦

I use FoxtrotGPS. I didn't specify it since any other other software that works is acceptable.

(03 Mar '14, 17:01) perdon

... and for completeness what platform are you running it on? The wiki suggests Openmoku and Linux (but presumably other -ux like options are also possible)?

(03 Mar '14, 17:08) SomeoneElse ♦

I use Ubuntu (desktop is 64-bit, netbook 32-bit).

(03 Mar '14, 17:12) perdon

"since any other other software that works is acceptable." – so, please mention what you want in the end. And, by the way, highly likely your question has already been answered (older question).

(03 Mar '14, 17:16) aseerel4c26 ♦

What I'd like is to download a country extract from geofabrik.de which has an .osm.pbf extension and want to simply convert this file into a format that, preferably Foxtrot, can recognize and use. In the case of Foxtrot these are .png files. I want the whole process to be as simple as reasonably possible since I would need to update the maps every other month or so. I wrote any other software, because I need a solution that is simple and works.

I guess my question is already answered somewhere, however I don't even know how to phrase my question beyond what I've written above.

(03 Mar '14, 17:34) perdon

@perdon: hmm, okay. So you specifically want to use a pbf extract in some "navigation software". Well, not that easy. Why I am asking: because there are other options to use a "navigation software" with frequently updated maps/routing data.

(03 Mar '14, 18:47) aseerel4c26 ♦

@aseerel4c26: let me rephrase. I want to use pbf (or osm) files because I found a site where I can download country extracts. Downloading extracts and somehow feeding them into a "navigation software" is a convenient (as in usable) way of getting/updating maps of countries. I don't insist on file formats, software, anything really. I need country maps, and I need to use them with GPS. So, if you know of other options, please share. (Also the proper term for "navigation software", so we can stop using quote marks.)

(03 Mar '14, 19:10) perdon

@perdon: Well, I am just trying to get you the most useful solution. By the way: "use them with GPS" is a new requirement. ;-)

(03 Mar '14, 22:21) aseerel4c26 ♦
showing 5 of 9 show 4 more comments

.pbf is essentially a software format for developers, and for command-line tools, rather than for end-user tools accessible to the "computer layman". In short, .pbf is highly compressed raw map data without any styling information (such as colours, line weights, or text styles), whereas .png is a fully-formed picture.

That said, you might find the occasional app that supports .pbf (Monav, perhaps). Navit also offers a command-line conversion utility that can take a .pbf file and convert it into Navit's own format. Bear in mind you may need more than "layman"'s knowledge to use this successfully.

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answered 03 Mar '14, 18:21

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%


I tried Navit and it is extremely easy (using their wiki) to convert either .osm or .pbf into .bin files that Navit uses. Thank you for the suggestion.

(03 Mar '14, 20:01) perdon

Excellent - glad it works!

(03 Mar '14, 21:53) Richard ♦

@perdon: Navit even offers a own download service (I did not try it).

(03 Mar '14, 22:18) aseerel4c26 ♦

According to your comments you are looking for a desktop software. The wiki has a long list of desktop software for OSM. Unfortunately I haven't tried any of them yet but I suggest to take a look at Navit, Basecamp and maybe Gosmore.

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answered 03 Mar '14, 19:36

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scai ♦
accept rate: 23%

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question asked: 03 Mar '14, 15:51

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last updated: 03 Mar '14, 22:21

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