Getting Started with OSM and an Android phone

Hello Everyone,

I’ve just signed up for OSM and would like to start adding/editing features. Can anyone recommend a workflow for using an Android phone to record points, then inputting those points into OSM? For example, I’d like to add a new roundabout near my home.


There are three editors which are widely used:

  • Vespucci. This is a full featured editor which enables you to do pretty much anything a desktop/browser editor can do. It is quite complex although it does have a simple mode for adding POIs etc. If you try this out I’d suggest doing your first edits at home to get the hang of it.
  • OSMAnd. Provides a map and POI editing. Quite widely used, although I dont use it. Some complaints about UI, but many people like it.
  • StreetComplete. Is a task or quest-based editor restricted to given tasks where you answer questions. A good way to contribute small things in a well-defined manner (things like speed limits, road surfaces, number of building storeys etc).

If you can, try these out & see which one works for you. I personally prefer Vespucci, but I came to it as an already experienced contributor. I think this is also the best one if you are editing road layouts.

There is also Maps.Me or it’s fdroid version Maps which allows limited POI editing or additions.

I would never recommend a smartphone for replacing crossings with roundabouts or complex things like that.

Record on the ground situation, fix small things. But then use desktop applications like iD, JOSM etc. for editing such things.

For adding roundabouts i would make notes with pictures (StreetComplete is able to do that) and change that at home with JOSM.

I find Vespucci perfectly adequate for that sort of operation (I wouldnt do it ‘in the field’, but sit down somewhere, perhaps a coffee shop, or wait until I get home). The reality is that it’s not just in poorer countries that people don’t have PCs. One of our local mappers only has an iPhone & is mapping just fine. Much of the future of OSM editing will be on mobile, but particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Assuming that desktop is the only way to edit just limits horizons.

Ever tried to split und cut those crossings at the correct point, replace with the correct geometry, validate 10 relations of bus or hiking etc?

I don’t say it’s not possible with Vespucci, but any desktop editor is more handy and much faster than doing such things on a smartphone.

In general, you know about the OSM-Wiki about ??