Hello everyone,

I'm relatively new at map editing and so I have basically no idea about it, but I'm a fast learner. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 which has a relatively good GPS and I have an iPad 1 which also has a really good GPS.

How can I best use these to collect GPS and map data, upload these data, edit, view and navigate through the maps using these devices.

Any help will be highly welcomed.

P.S. I don't have a personal computer.

asked 31 Oct '14, 11:46

Sprime's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 28 Sep '16, 14:48

Kozuch's gravatar image


Somebody else would have to chime in if the openstreetmap.org and iD is usable on an ipad 1 [see comments].

If good GPS is actually that relevant really depends on where you live, in many areas of the world we have good aerial imagery available and GPS usage is limited to:

  • documenting where you were (ok that just might be my old age)
  • aligning the imagery
  • surveying tracks that are not visible (aka in a forest or similar)
  • geo-referencing information

The later can have many forms, but one of the most useful is simply taking geo-referenced photographs which you can do with any modern mobile phone. Additionally you may be able to access additional information like the direction your phone was pointing when you took the photo (see for example Open Camera for such an app for Android).

On Android for example you can use

  • OSMTracker for collecting tracks and associated information
  • vespucci for editing and tracking (vespucci is a fairly advanced and complete editor, I have some doubts about recommending it to a complete beginner. Disclosure: I'm currently the main developer of the app).

On iOS, GoMap! seems to be the editor of choice, there are simpler programs like PushPin which however are not full blown editors.

Naturally, particularly on the phone, you will not really be able to edit large scale features, particularly not relations with 1000s of elements, just from a pure pratical point of view.

More information (to be taken with some grains of salt):

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Android http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Apple_iOS


  • creating an account you will have to do that with your browser on the mobile device. Connect to openstreetmap.org and simply create the account. This is needed so that your edits can be identified, even if in the end you never use the website again.
  • collecting and editing data see above
  • vespucci has some on device help and some further docuementation here: https://code.google.com/p/osmeditor4android/w/list the on device material is however far more current
  • OSM in general has been lagging a bit in the mobile world, if you have any specific problem, for example with the website please -do- report the issues.

Note: while IMHO not quite so useful for normal surveys, you can use http://www.mapillary.com/ (has at least an Android app) for streetview-similar photo storage.

permanent link

answered 31 Oct '14, 12:16

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 19%

edited 01 Nov '14, 09:54


I've just tried iD on an iPad 2 (on the dev server) and it doesn't seem to work there:


As well as having very little control over what is added, I thought that I had selected "residential road" for that line before saving.

(31 Oct '14, 12:40) SomeoneElse ♦

Thanks again SimonPoole :). I just installed OSMTracker for Android and Vespucci on my droid.

OSMTracker looks promising and I've read on Vespucci before now. I'll try them and see how it goes and I hope they dont use too much mobile data as wifi isn't available here.

Its really cool that you're part of the developers for an app like Vespucci, I hope to some day develop a map app which centers on my country, but I'm a newbie in app dev and I have absolutely no idea on how to go about it.

Thanks all the same, and any tips on how to develop a map app too will be highly welcomed ;).

(31 Oct '14, 12:44) Sprime

@Sprime note that downloading map tiles for the background is what uses most mobile data. Vespucci does cache them though so you can zoom in to an area and pan around there on wifi if necessary. Or you can turn off the background completely.

(31 Oct '14, 12:50) SimonPoole ♦

@SimonPoole thanks a million, you've just made my mapping journey more feasible than I presumed :)

(31 Oct '14, 13:06) Sprime

PS: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9pKLmh8s1h8bFI5bGd4VnhYWkk&usp=sharing will typically have the current beta version of vespucci available of you are feeling adventurous (actually now days the beta builds tend to be very stable).

(31 Oct '14, 13:47) SimonPoole ♦

Over there is an alternative beginners' guide to OSM which is centred on mobile devices: http://learnosm.org/en/mobile-mapping/

permanent link

answered 31 Oct '14, 13:45

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 31 Oct '14, 13:52

Thank you very much @aseerel4c26, that was really helpful..

(31 Oct '14, 14:46) Sprime

Hi Sprime, start looking around in your own street, neighborhood and region and add things that are wrong or missing to OSM. Use ID one your mobile, but first read the beginners pages. You made the first steps by making an account, welcome. The pages are here, http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Beginners%27_Guide

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answered 31 Oct '14, 12:13

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%


I've read through the beginners page. What I really need is how to do each of those individual tasks on the beginners page using my mobile devices.

That is how can I do "Create a free account so that you can contribute. Collect data using a GPS unit or by other methods. Upload GPS data (skip this section if you are not using GPS). Edit maps to make changes to OpenStreetMap. Edit data, add tags and upload changes." All that with my mobile device.

(31 Oct '14, 12:34) Sprime

I've added some specifics in my answer.

(31 Oct '14, 12:37) SimonPoole ♦

@Sprime: in general: these steps on the beginners' guide have links inside (usually coloured blue). You are meant to click them to get further information. If you mean that those linked pages are missing some information specifically for mobile devices ("apps") – yes, that may be. Once you've made your way here, you are welcome to help to improve those steps.

(31 Oct '14, 13:36) aseerel4c26 ♦
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question asked: 31 Oct '14, 11:46

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last updated: 28 Sep '16, 14:48

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