Why not ask your question on the new OpenStreetMap Community Forum?

My question is related to, but not the same as, this one posted a couple of years ago by someone else: https://help.openstreetmap.org/questions/884/application-or-web-interface-for-freehand-plotting-tracks-on-osm-as-saving-as-gpx. One of the answers pointed to a list of "track drawing websites", but they all seem to relate to "sports activity" sites that allow one to upload a GPX track, not edit manually "on the map itself".

I want to draw long travel routes, for completed as well as planned trips. At the moment I'm using Google My Maps, but it's not ideal. Here's an example of a trip to Andalucia in 2008: https://drive.google.com/open?id=155sh7BgtEABwG2nx73rnlGdQ_Qo&usp=sharing.

If possible, I would like to differentiate (visually) between different legs of a journey. For example, sections travelled by train in one colour, sections travelled by boat in another, etc. I also want to add markers ("round blobs with labels") at specific locations, such as towns, landmarks, places of note. I also want to indicate direction of travel, such as by showing arrows on lines, either in the middle or at the end of some line segments.

I can think of many other things I would like to be able to do but these are the essentials.

Nice-to-have would be addition of links, to lines or place markers, to link back to diary entries on my site. For example, a line on the map between Bariloche and Salta, in Argentina, would link to this entry on my site: http://www.aaltenvoogd.com/index.php/trips/argentina-2001/35-sun-25-mar-2001-salta-to-bariloche.

Can anyone please help?

Many thanks!


asked 01 Aug '16, 09:45

Stefan%20Aalten-Voogd's gravatar image

Stefan Aalte...
accept rate: 0%

edited 01 Aug '16, 09:47

The answer Hendrik links to is more thorough, but I tried to simplify it a bit more.

What you want to do sounds almost exactly as what umap offers.

You can of course make rough outlines like you did, but you could also use a service like GraphHopper to make a gpx of the route you actually took. Here's a simple example. There's an export to GPX button, and those can be added to your umap. But you can also hand-draw lines within umap.

Even better would be to use an app like Osmand to navigate AND track your trip while you're on the road. Here's an example of what you can make in a couple of minutes if you do that.

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answered 05 Aug '16, 09:17

joost%20schouppe's gravatar image

joost schouppe
accept rate: 12%

Hi Hendrik, Joost - thank you both for the answers. uMap looks spot on! I also really like the Osmand example of your Italy trip Joost, showing a highly detailed track and I will definitely use it for future trips while "on the road".

I still have questions though - I hope you can help?

How to add arrows to the the polylines. This will make it much easier to follow a detailed long itinerary as it meanders around. I think this is now my main question - maybe it's a request for the developers of uMap?

How to differentiate (using line colour) between different sections of a trip? I guess the answer is to draw separate polylines for each section of a trip, for example overall trip from Edinburgh to Brussels by car (Edinburgh>Newcastle), boat (Newcastle>IJmuiden) and car (IJmuiden>Brussels) would need three polylines? Or is it possible to change the properties of a individual "polyline segment"?
(05 Aug '16, 11:45) Stefan Aalte...

You can add custom markers to the map. You could make some with arrows and use those.

To have different styles for different lines, you use Layers. Each one can be designed separately. So you could put trainrides in a certain layer and busrides in another. Or you could make a layer for each week of your trip.

Also, if you record GPX tracks yourself, don't hesitate to upload them to the OSM GPS database, it can be really helpful.

(05 Aug '16, 11:53) joost schouppe

Dankjewel Joost! :-) I'm not convinced by the custom markers in the shape of arrows approach though. For example, to represent a flight between two places, Edinburgh to Brussels say, I would draw a polyline between these two places and additionally put a custom marker in the shape of an arrow on this line somewhere, over the North Sea in this example, but the line and the arrow custom marker would not be linked in any way. So, let's say I want to change it - perhaps I have made an error and what I actually wanted to show was a flight from Edinburgh to Oslo instead, then I would adjust the polyline and separately move the arrow custom marker. So, yes, it would work but it would not be an ideal solution. It would be much better if there was some way of controlling the properties of line segments. I'll definitely upload GPX tracks in future - just need to go somewhere first! :-)

(05 Aug '16, 14:58) Stefan Aalte...

Hi Stefan, take a look at this old qestion and the answers https://help.openstreetmap.org/questions/27621/personalised-maps.

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answered 01 Aug '16, 12:57

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

Hi Stefan,

I may have a solution for you for this issue as this sounds very similar to what we offer at Alpaca. Anyone can sign up to our platform and create interactive maps and travel itineraries (for free!). Our platform supports multi-leg journeys, within which you can upload all your photos, stories, and nearby places of interest.

We use OSM data, and also support a wide range of travel modes, from hiking, to mountain biking, to dog sledding!

Once your map is complete, you can embed onto your blog or website, or share via a link.

Hope this helps – let me know if you have any questions.

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answered 23 Apr '18, 23:13

chryssie's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Unfortunately, (despite all really rich track/itinerary creation abilities provided) I found Alpaca almost unusable for planning and drawing hiking tracks/waypoints. For one very simple but absolutely crucial reason - the extra pale rendering style. Colours on Alpaca map are so pale, that most elements on the map are almost invisible. Even small roads are rendered as white on light-light-light gray and are barely visible. Small paths, cliffs, border of forest/meadow/etc are invisible at all.

(11 Sep, 12:16) Autumn Fox
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question asked: 01 Aug '16, 09:45

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last updated: 11 Sep, 12:16

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