The Renaissance of the fixme-tag ... via Osmand and

Posted by stephan75 on 9 May 2015 in English (English)

In the last weeks there has been some noise about the release of Osmand 2.0 as one of the most popular Android app for offline map display and navigation.

Besides that, Osmand is now also available for iOS devices since April 2015 … check your appstore if you want.

Discussing the pros and cons of Osmand’s app features or user interface issues can be a day filling task (but be sure that the core developers are very active for many month!) but I discovered a new feature in the map setting (not display setting) that is listed under “Details” and there called “OSM mapper assistant”

By enabling that feature there are at least three kinds of objects from the offline vector map that are displayed now:

  1. purple (or magenta?) points and lines, when zooming in enough to them, some text is printed also in purple. And its content is derived from OSM data tagged as fixme= … (see attached screenshot)

  2. same feature with dark green icons looking like a written piece of paper … zoom in really more to view any OSM content tagged with note=*

  3. Pairs of two capitalized letters like AM, EM, SH, TO, MM … I assume that those are abbreviations for Amenity, Emergency, Shop etc. Maybe Osmand itself has no own icon for those POIs?


About feature 1) and 2):

I never came accross any map display where fixme= and note= objects are displayed with corresponding text from the tag’s value …

BUT: don’t forget about the rich-featured web service where you can display certain OSM objects according to special own queries.

So I wanted to know how many fixme= objects are around in my home town via overpass-turbo …

Nothing easier than this: zoom and pan the slippy map there to the place or town you want to examine, enter the Wizard mode there and type “fixme=*” … (without “” of course) then press “build and run query”

After some processing time you will get some coloured points and lines as result wich have a tag like fixme=*

(In case of no data display, try to zoom out one level, or move to another town)

overpass-turbo has a nice feature to display any output data styled via a MapCSS schema, see

Thus you can easily add markers to each result data object with content from the object’s value from the fixme tag. Simply add the following lines at the bottom of the query on the left screen of overpass turbo:

{{style: node, way relation { text: fixme } }}

and re-run your query once more via the upper left button … Success?

Hint: You can do this query also for any objects with note=* … just edit the query where needed.

Why can this be useful? In my opinion I can better have a look at OSM objects with fixme=* to see whether a fix is already there, thus remove fixme tag from that object via an OSM editor. Or try to fix OSM data itself when examining each fixme object.

Side effects: become familiar with Osmand’s new features and map layers, and with overpass-turbo and its MapCSS features.

PS1: I don’t know whether the iOS edition of Osmand can already display the layers like OSM mapper assistant … can anyone report?

PS2: If you don’t own any android or iOS device, but you can use Chrome internet browser on any desktop PC, you can install any android app where you have an apk installation file available in your browser … this works with Osmand!

See how to install the needed tool “ARC Welder”, and download Osmand apk file via … scroll down to releases or nightly builds.

Comment from glibbertorsten on 11 May 2015 at 10:20

Nice Tutorial! Now I know what is “Mapper Assistent” Keeping the map clean when you are outside.

Comment from marczoutendijk on 17 May 2015 at 07:37

Hello Stephan!

With openpoimap (previously: taglocator) you have also the option of showing fixme’s!

Being a browser/desktop application, it was not designed in the first place to be used on a mobile device, but it does work!


Comment from tyr_asd on 18 May 2015 at 09:56

There appears to be a small typo in the MapCSS code above. To display the text for all features (not just nodes) there must be an additional comma between way and relation: {{style: node, way, relation { text: fixme } }} should do the trick.

Comment from stephan75 on 27 May 2015 at 19:29


indeed … I added that missing komma in the wiki article about MapCSS in overpass-turbo.

But source was:

The comma was missing there already?? :-)

Comment from Alan Bragg on 4 November 2015 at 16:52

I’ve been waiting for the ios version to mature and just started using the new 1.1.2

I’m finding a steep learning curve. I was puzzeled by the mapper assistant found the sub-menu “Overview-Details-OSM mapper assistant” .

Thankfully, I found your diary by searching google OSMAND “OSM mapper assistant” and now understand the usefullness of this setting.

I hope the OSM Editing plug-in arrives soon.

Thanks for posting.

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