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I use android phone.

I started to use OpenStreetMap for a hiking today. When I walking, the GPS location is not very stable, sometimes correct, sometimes wrong. The GPS location always jump to the wrong position, then after some time, it jump back to the correct position.

This problem do not happens in Google Map.

Any idea and suggestions to fix this problem?

Best regards


asked 05 Nov '21, 13:08

BackpackerWebs's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 05 Nov '21, 13:10


Which exact app are you talking about? OpenStreetMap is just the data, not a particular app. There are many different apps based on OSM data.

(05 Nov '21, 13:13) scai ♦

GPS signals will be degraded if the signal is obscured by a pocket, a bag, a case, totally by a radio data pouch, by your body, high buildings, or tree cover.

(05 Nov '21, 13:37) andy mackey


I am sorry to make such a confusion!

I use chrome browser to open the OpenStreetMap. Then enabled the "Show My Location" as the GPS guide for my hiking.

Can I use this as the GPS guide?

Best regards


(05 Nov '21, 14:32) BackpackerWebs

It isn't the map that's giving you the problem, it's the phone's internal GPS. Some are very accurate, others not so much. In addition, if you use your phone in an area where there is no cell phone coverage, the accuracy will probably be negatively affected. AFAIK, high-end phones combine the GPS signal AND several cellphone tower signals to improve their positional accuracy.

(05 Nov '21, 15:01) AlaskaDave

I kniw this is not really part of the question, but using a map in the browser is not necessarily the best way of navigating. You might find you get a better overall experience from a dedicated app such as Osmand, or an app aimed at hikers that allows use of maps derived from OSM data such as Locus, Oruxmaps, or many others.

(05 Nov '21, 20:58) alan_gr

Hi all,

Thanks for your great help. Your information is really useful. I now know what is the problem.

I will try some dedicated apps as suggested. I really like to use OpenStreetMap as the hiking trails are more details than Google Map.

(06 Nov '21, 02:15) BackpackerWebs
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

It is possible your phone was struggling to get a good GPS signal and the positions it showed were not very accurate. This can happen in heavily clouded days or if you are walking in thick woods with a poor view of the sky.

It is also very possible that the trail was badly plotted on OSM. That is an error that you can fix for yourself and for everybody else, by collecting your own data and editing the trail yourself. You can collect data by using a tracking tool in your phone to save the co-ordinates of the trail as you walk. I use OSMTracker, and I mount my phone on top of my backpack to get the best signal.

If you repeat this tracking process on the same trail a few times it will help you see how a simple phone GPS is not that reliable and even under perfect conditions it can occasionally give answers up to 10m off the trail. When plotting the trail don't trust one trace, rather use an average of several GPS traces.

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answered 14 Nov '21, 14:53

cRaIgalLAn's gravatar image

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question asked: 05 Nov '21, 13:08

question was seen: 1,818 times

last updated: 14 Nov '21, 14:53

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