EDITED question: I'd like to use the Openstreet map on my phone for hiking in Europe (I'm based in The Netherlands). Suggestions for a hiking app are welcome!

Previous question: Is there a way to use the Openstreet map on my phone in full screen, showing only the map with a predetermined route on it? I'm using firefox and 80% of my screen space is occupied by stuff I don't want to see. I would like to see only the map, and not the large navigation panel with info on the departure and destination points.

asked 17 Apr, 12:20

Andy128's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 18 Apr, 06:14

There are various OSM-based maps and apps designed for hiking. Where in the world would you like to see maps of?

(17 Apr, 13:31) SomeoneElse ♦

Locus Map and OruxMaps are very popular apps among hikers (I use the former one). In each you have to chose which map layer you like to use. As many others I use the OSM based maps from OpenAndroMaps which have a very dedicated team behind and are constantly improved in regards to style and content. For routing I use BRouter which comes as a web application and a plug-in into Locus. Thes apps have a multitude of configuration and display options and might be a bit difficult to master in the beginning but are also very powerful.

Komoot is also a very popular service and app which combines a OSM map with trip suggestions. That's a subscription service, though.

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answered 18 Apr, 11:33

TZorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

I tried Locus Map, it looks great. It also found the right path immediately that OsmAnd didn't find, and I didn't need to search for or download a map. However I found the intrusive Google ads too much, and don't want to pay monthly or yearly subscription fees.

I'm happy to pay a one time purchase, so I tried OruxMaps, but it looks like it's much harder to use. It doesn't have a decent pre-installed map and the one I downloaded from OpenAndroMaps looks like it's low resolution: very blurry at high zoom levels. I'm still trying to figure out how to create a route. It's not very intuitive, Locus maps was much better in that sense.

Can anyone point me to a good map of Europe I can install in Oruxmaps? And any tips / guides on how to use it are welcome!

(24 Apr, 12:02) Andy128

I am surprised you find OpenAndroMaps blurry. I have not noticed that, and I have just tried it now on the map of Spain and do not see any blurriness even extremely zoomed in (of course if you zoom in fsr enough you get mostly empty space) . I don't know what might cause that. Note that there are several styles available for OpenAndroMaps, e.g. Elevate, Elements, that emphasize different aspects of the map data. But I don't think the choice of style should influence blurriness.

For other maps, maybe you could try the Online maps to get an idea of what is available, and if you find one you like investigate whether there is an offline version.

I don't use Oruxmaps as a real tume router. I do sometimes load GPX files from other sources if I intend to follow a particular route.

(24 Apr, 13:39) alan_gr

It seems I had just a base map showing. Even though I had downloaded the Elevate4 style, I needed to select a few things in the settings and the navigation drawer for the detailed map to show. But now it's fine. I'm going to test Oruxmaps in the field (once I understand a few basics) and see how it goes.

(24 Apr, 14:00) Andy128

Oh yes. With the change from version 3.5 to 4 Locus became a subscription model. I'm still on 3.5 which has all the functions you need. You could give it a try but in the long run version 4 will of course be the one with new features and compatible with new phones and Android versions.

(24 Apr, 21:51) TZorn

Indeed, there is : https://osmand.net

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answered 17 Apr, 13:38

Monterossa's gravatar image

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I'd like to use the maps in Europe (I'm based in the Netherlands) for hiking in nature areas. I like the idea of having a dedicated app for using the maps offline. So suggestions are very welcome! I tried osmand very briefly and I've already had a few problems: it selected an impossible route in a hiking area I know well and will not allow me to change the position of a marker.

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answered 17 Apr, 16:04

Andy128's gravatar image

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edited 17 Apr, 16:06


Come to think of it, I should have asked directly for hiking app suggestions in the question title, is there a way of editing the title?

(17 Apr, 16:16) Andy128

If you edit the question, you'll be able to edit the title.

OsmAnd is extremely powerful and versatile, and thus a bit difficult at first. But they are doing a great job at simplifying the most used functions, I think. You should start by reading the doc, or watching a few tutorials.

(17 Apr, 16:37) H_mlet

Thanks, I changed the title, and question a bit.

I didn't find OsmAnd difficult actually. It looks great, but as I said it created a route that is illogical and actually impossible to follow, in a nature area I know well. When I wanted to change the departure marker to see if that would help, that function is greyed out and can't be used. However even when I created new departure and destination points, it still creates a route with the same mistake.

(18 Apr, 06:21) Andy128

To change the depature point, you have to be in planning mode, not navigation mode, might be the trouble. You can click somewhere, and in the actions, choose "start from".

When there is no path, it just goes straight across fields...

Would you share the place, and try with online routers with the same parameters, to see if it's a problem of router or of the data.

(18 Apr, 10:44) H_mlet

There is a very obvious path to follow and both OSM and Locusmaps found it immediately. OsmAnd can't figure it out. (the route is this one: https://www.openstreetmap.org/directions?engine=fossgis_osrm_foot&route=52.4545%2C5.4144%3B52.4515%2C5.4006#map=16/52.4532/5.407

Also, I tried OsmAnd in the field yesterday in a different location and it found the routes pretty well, but at a certain point, without warning the app crashed, freezing my phone. I had to do a hard reboot to get my phone working again. Also on the map the pathways are harder to see than in the OSM, Locusmaps and Orusmaps

(24 Apr, 12:07) Andy128

IMHO OsmAnd is the best.

But if you like simple, Maps.me does that (with some advertising unfortunately).

Recently I discovered Windy Maps, designed for hiking and biking, which propose round-trips calculations. Only drawback, the downloadable data was not updated since some months, and they don't say when it will be again...

A (rather long) list of Android apps is on the OSM wiki !

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answered 17 Apr, 16:42

H_mlet's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

Simple is good, but powerful is no problem, so I'm open to learning to use a powerful app even if it's a little complicated. As long as it does its job properly. I prefer an app with good map and navigation functionality and don't usually rely on predetermined round-trips. I normally carry a paper map and compass (and even pace counting beads), even in places I know well, so I'm used to navigating. However I'm not an advanced hiker, my trips are short and not through very wild areas.

That list on OSM wiki is huge! How to choose?

(18 Apr, 06:34) Andy128

Once I filter out proprietary and obsolete software, there's not so much left.

(18 Apr, 10:36) H_mlet

For hiking, I haven't found anything better than Windy Maps, which is free for both Android and iPhone. The app is clean and simple, and does a good job of showing contours, trails, hiking and biking routes, and outdoor pois like springs and shelters. It's also usable for automobile navigation.

But as H_mlet says above, the frequency of map updates could be better. I don't think there's any way to see the age of the data on a particular downloaded map, but from changes I've made myself that haven't propagated to Windy Maps I'd guess it's about 3 months out of date in my area. (Could be worse!)

(19 Apr, 20:11) jmapb

Sorry, but I've had negative experiences with apps and content that at a certain point don't get updated/supported any more. I prefer trying to avoid those as much as possible. I'll try Windy Maps out though.

(24 Apr, 12:23) Andy128

Just tried Windy maps, looks good, simple to use, and it calculated the route correctly. But perhaps it's a little too simple: there are few possibilitis for customizing the view and I couldn't get rid of the large navigation bar with information about the route. So just like OSM I couldn't view the route and map full screen. Also you can lose the plotted route very easily if you go in and out of the settings or by pressing back on your phone.

(24 Apr, 13:14) Andy128

Ii seems that OsmAnd is the only one to respect the access:conditional tag on this path and others, which specify that you shouldn't go there before May 15.

So without any usable path, I suppose it goes straight across fields, not really sensible but logical.

As for the path not really visible, did you use the foot mode for the map ? You can customize quite a lot of settings. But the mode, or profile, is the most important I guess.


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answered 24 Apr, 13:44

H_mlet's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

That explains a lot. Pity that the app doesn't indicate what it is doing or give you further options. However it still creates an alternative route that cannot be followed: across a channel where there is no bridge and no possibility of crossing.

Yes, in foot mode the paths are much clearer, thanks!

(24 Apr, 14:02) Andy128

After trying out several apps I ended up choosing Orux maps.

It's going to take some time to learn how to use it fully: Orux maps is powerful but quite complicated. However once you figure out the basic functions, it's great. As suggested, I'm using hiking maps from OpenAndromaps which are wonderfully clear and detailed. The app works fine, with no crashes or glitches, and zooming in on details is fast and smooth. Searching for and creating routes has worked great until now.

What's also good about Orux is that everything works also offline, although downloading what you need and setting it up properly is complicated.

I really like the fact that you only need to pay a small one time purchase fee and you get a fully functioning powerful navigation app with no ads and no subscription fees. That's the main reason I didn't like Locus even though it looked great.

I also liked OsmAnd even though it has crashed on me, and it creates confusion with its alternative routes when access to certain paths is restricted.

For a few friends of mine that need a free and no frills easy to use app I'm recommending Windy.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

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answered 29 Apr, 07:56

Andy128's gravatar image

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edited 29 Apr, 07:57


If you don't want to install any apps, https://maps.tracestrack.com/ is a mobile friendly openstreetmap

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answered 29 Apr, 11:09

strongwillow's gravatar image

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That site is not working at all for me. It is not even loading a map.

(29 Apr, 12:30) TZorn

well apparently it uses openlayers and doesn't support IE, which I suppose is what you are using

(29 Apr, 13:00) strongwillow

Doesn't load for me either (Firefox, Chromium).

(29 Apr, 13:06) scai ♦

Hmm strange.. At least for me from the Netherlands it works

(29 Apr, 13:16) strongwillow

You suppose wrong. I've tried different Chromium and Firefox browsers on Android and Windows. I only see a search bar, a settings icon and an info icon. The latter two work somehow, the search not.

(29 Apr, 14:19) TZorn

It works for me (OpenStreetMap on Android).

I don't think it is especially useful for hiking, which was the original question. It seems to only offer the standard (Carto) layer, and I don't think there is a way of displaying a route.

(29 Apr, 17:51) alan_gr
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question asked: 17 Apr, 12:20

question was seen: 311 times

last updated: 29 Apr, 17:51

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