Ever since my first smartphone 12 years ago, I have used Here as my offline maps mobile app for driving, public transport, walking and cycling. I use the driving mode for cycling because the cycling mode is useless. I have looked at other mobile maps over the years, but I have always returned to Here. One thing I noticed common to all the apps was Open Street Map in the credits.

When Here “upgraded” their online public transport mode with real time schedules, they broke the offline public transport routing. So, this time I decided to look for an offline “Open Street Map only” mobile app. I installed OsmAnd.

My experience of OsmAnd was disappointing. The map download took way too long. The number of settings are overwhelming. However, the biggest disappointment is the missing street numbers to make the app useful for directions. I did have one friends address on the map and the offline driving routing mode was excellent. The offline public transport mode routing was broken. The cycling and walking mode routing looks good, but untested by me.

I tried to add the address for my GPS location to the map, but this proved to be too difficult. Rather than complain about the missing data, I’ve decided I will try to contribute my local knowledge and my contact addresses to Open Street Map through In time, I may even add my public transport routes. However, for now it’s back to using Here Wego maps until I add those addresses.

Comment from Fiftyfour on 24 April 2021 at 14:33

Hi beautifulplaces,

I’m not importing official addresses. I didn’t even know that was possible. I’m using the iD editor to add addresses that I have visited such as friends, family, shops, cafes, restaurants. My intention is to add nodes with street numbers for my area and maybe buildings later. Somebody was kind enough to add the street number for my friend. I am returning that favour in my local area.

Hopefully, I can also add public transport routes I use, but that really looks complicated.

I’m surprised to learn OSM doesn’t cooperate with municipalities because I am using my local state aerial photos in the iD editor to map my neighbourhood. I’m assuming the aerial photos are legit.

Comment from gileri on 24 April 2021 at 19:59


In France (for example), a lot of street names, adresses and buildings have been imported successfully. What’s blocking the import is most often an incompatible license between cities’ data and OSM.

OSM do cooperate with “government entities”, see Tiger, French cadastre, and a whole lot I can’t think of.

Anyway, thank you for joining us and contributing !

Comment from ChristianA on 26 April 2021 at 06:11

The reason that the map download took longer than other apps may be that OsmAnd contains more map details and hence the download is larger.

Regarding addresses, OsmAnd only contains Openstreetmap data (plus elevation contours) and so if the adresses are not in Openstreetmap, they will not be found in OsmAnd. So let’s all work towards more complete adresses in Openstreetmap.

Comment from pangoSE on 26 April 2021 at 16:49

@beautifulplaces2020 I think you misunderstood the policies. There is a pretty strict import policy, but if your municipality has CC0 or CC-BY with a waiver of the attribution, it totally possible to add official addresses. In DK they added them in bulk for most of the country a while back. Please contact the local mapping community and help get involved. I contacted the Swedish authorities and open addresses for all of Sweden is on their roadmap in the near future. Your government could probably be persuaded to release the information as well. I add addresses using the AddressIntrapolation plugin after scouting them out. It’s pretty fast once you get the hang of it. Cheers

Comment from Fiftyfour on 4 May 2021 at 10:56

Thank you all for your comments. I have also read your diary’s. Both have been inspirational and provided me with food for thought.

Just to clarify for you @ChristianA the OsmAnd data download size was less than Here, but it still took considerably longer to download.

It was interesting to learn that it has only been in the last few years with the emergence of open data policies that OSM has gained access to Aerial Imagery and the permission to bulk import “addresses and buildings” with varying degrees of success from different jurisdictions. It was also interesting to learn there are OSM AI tools (which require powerful computers) that can now map the outline of buildings these days creating even less work for mappers.

The key learning from your comments are to use tools such as the “AddressIntrapolation plugin” and the “AI tool” to automate the mapping process as much as possible before doing manual mapping.

I have heard my government use the buzzwords “opening up data for the digital economy”, but I must confess I do not know the specifics of licensing that data. However, I will reach out to my government to find out if its possible to do bulk imports of full address data to OSM. I must admit the street numbers and buildings have not been mapped in my area and it really took the winds from my sails seeing the amount of outstanding work. Still, you have inspired me to try a different approach.

Thanks for your Encouragement.

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