OpenStreetMapping on an iPod Touch

Posted by dankarran on 28 January 2008 in English (English)

On my way back from getting some lunch today I tried out my new iPod Touch as a tool for quickly taking notes of roads that I passed (all of which had already been skeleton-mapped using the Yahoo imagery). The handy little Notes application allowed me to tap out the street names as I passed them so I could enter them onto the map when I got back home.

- Small and very portable
- Nice on-screen touch keyboard for taking quick notes

- Spell checker corrects things automatically, which doesn't work well for street names and abbreviations
- No direct access to OpenStreetMap for immediate editing
- Easy to walk into lamp posts or trip over broken paving stones
- Prime target for thieves

I think I'll stick to the traditional pen and paper for now, at least then I can draw little sketches to aid my memory as well as just taking notes of street names.

Comment from Brian Schimmel on 28 January 2008 at 15:40

If you had an older iPod, you could install linux on your iPod, which will not work on the iPod touch. But I heard that you could install software made for the iPhone on your iPod... don't know if anyone is developing OSM editor software for the iPhone. Or you simply try taking audio notes.

Comment from rorym 🏳️‍🌈 on 28 January 2008 at 16:05

I'd love to have some kind of openstreetmap editor even viewer for the iPod touch.

Brian Scimmel, it's true you can install iPhone appliations on the iPod Touch. dankarran has done this as 'Notes' is an iPhone-only application.

There's a Google Maps application for the iPhone, and someone has hacked it to show openstreetmaps tiles (, but that's a poor imitation of what could be possible.

Comment from dankarran on 28 January 2008 at 17:25

Brian Schimmel: I think I'd rather keep the nice iPod interface :)

rorym: the Notes app actually comes with the Touch now as well, so I was just using it as it comes out of the box.

It would be great to have an OSM app/webapp for the iPhone/iPod that at least allowed the viewing of maps, but imagine if you could feed back even just simple textual/PoI updates from the field that automatically got uploaded next time you were within reach of wifi.

Comment from dankarran on 28 January 2008 at 18:07

@testing : (ignore this comment)
@testingagain: (ignore this comment)

Comment from rorym 🏳️‍🌈 on 29 January 2008 at 12:57

dankarran, yeah an openstreetmap on ipod would be great. It'd be great to have access to maps while not in range of wifi. You can't do this with Google Maps (say) because the tiles are copyrighted.

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