using osm on a phone

Posted by Mark Newnham on 3 August 2013 in English (English)

I’ve been mapping for 8 months now and I never realized that the android app osm tracker existed. It took a night of insomnia away from home trolling through pages deep in the wiki to find it. It needs to be on the front page. The front page, incidentally is a nightmare to read on a phone sized screen. Why is there no mobile version? The focus of use for the data is very mobile oriented so the project should present at least a basic mobile interface


I’ve put in a request to have the MobileFrontend framework installed on the wiki, (thanks aseerel4c26 ) and added to a similar forum request asking for suggestions on getting this project started

Update 2

Posting the question on the forum led to a suggestion that it be posted on the dev mailing list. A discussion on that list evolved into a review of a video upcoming product development at at State Of The Map 2013 of which I remain skeptical, but also a request to obtain some server log analysis from As an old-school IT professional, I’ve always felt that whilst unfettered, imaginative, proactive R&D should never be restrained, good money and business relationships can always be made by giving the customer what they already want.Some logfile analysis to find out how and why people land on when using mobile devices should give some insight about how a mobile interface should do. I’m letting this diary entry go dormant for a few weeks while logfile data accumulates.

Comment from MdMax on 3 August 2013 at 18:40

Hello !

I’m using OsmAnd+:

The free version is here:

You can download the maps, so you don’t need the network. In the Plugins menu, you can find options for OSM editing and recording gpx files, so it’s also a very good tracker.

Happy mapping.

Comment from Mark Newnham on 3 August 2013 at 20:53

The comment wasnt really about a specific application, more about the invisibilty of links to applications that use osm. I suspect that many people who are looking for an alternative to Google who land on openstreet are lost as potential users simply because they dont understand what’s going on on that page.

Looking at osmand it looks like it has great features but is mind numbingly complicated to use. It seem that none of the current osm based apps so far on android has a user interface designer on the team, they are all designed by people with a love of mapping.

Comment from CloCkWeRX on 4 August 2013 at 05:21

I agree with you. The pathway should be: New person? - Hey, this is OSM - Want to edit? – Want to tell your friends? – iD — Potlatch/JOSM - Want to edit, from your mobile? –> Foursquare to use some of the map data in a fun way, then move onto admin / updates –> Vespucchi/GoMap!! for data collection –> Keypad mapper 3 - Want to edit with your friends? -> mapcraft - Want to fix errors? -> keepright - Oh, here’s the wiki and huge list of tools

Comment from CloCkWeRX on 4 August 2013 at 05:22

facepalm That’ll learn me not to use markdown

Comment from MdMax on 4 August 2013 at 11:17

The list of services is available here:

But Mark is right, you need to go “deep in the Wiki” to find it.

Comment from aseerel4c26 on 4 August 2013 at 17:24

“Why is there no mobile version?” - I really think it is very simple: because nobody did one! There are only volunteers at OSM and it is much work to maintain everything - so be the one who does it! ;-) I guess Talk:WikiProject Cleanup would be the best place to discuss it (trac ticket system mentioned on top of Talk:Wiki for a direct technical solution/code/whatever). Wikpedia has a mobile version which is AFAIK powered by the MobileFronted extension (installed in Wikipedia but not in the OSM wiki).

Same goes for the front/main page - help to improve it! Make your suggestions there (if there is not already a section discussing that). :-)

Comment from smsm1 on 7 August 2013 at 12:01

If you narrow your browser window, you’ll find that it becomes the same as the mobile version as it already uses the window size to determine what to show and how big it should show.

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