GPS Voice Recorder or Contributing while cycling


Apologies if this is answered elsewhere but I’ve done a fair amount of searching and haven’t had any luck.

I spend a lot of time cycling and would like to start contributing to OSM, adding detail to tracks and editing tracks where OSM doesn’t reflect the real world.

I track my rides with ridewithgps and I’ve always wondered if I could make notes about different sections of the route in order to go back and make edits to OSM. For example, if I ride a bridleway it would be great to be able to highlight this section when I look at it on my desktop at home and then be able to add a surface tag.

One of the best ways I think this could be done is by adding GPS tags to a voice recording. I record my rides with a Wahoo bike computer and carry an iphone as well. If the iphone could be recording throughout the ride, or even just when I turned it on, and a GPS tag was added to this recording, I’d be able to shout out information about a track I was on in order to add this at a later date.

Is such a GPS voice recorded App available? If not, would there be another alternative to this method? While I could use a GPS app for logging tracks I would have to keep stopping and starting while on the bike to make tag edits which isn’t really feasible.

I’d appreciate your thoughts.


Iphone used to have plug in earphones that had a button on the cord to start and stop the Voice Recorder. I was able to tape the button part to my fore finger and activate it readily with my thumb while riding to make voice recordings. When I got home I downloaded the recordings, converted them using Human Media iirc and then added them and the track into Josm to edit the osm. But not long after this process was perfected Apple changed the function of the Voice Recorder app and the new headphones i bought for $35 for this purpose no longer activated by the button and it sits in a drawer unused ever since. I am still haven’t forgiven Apple for this and spent countless hours trying to get something else to work but could not find a good solution.
There are some voice recording apps that operate with a big button on the app and that was the best I could find but it was more dangerous having to push the button every recording. Others are voice activated but could not find a free one that would make individual recodings to align with the gps track on Josm or the app or they ran continiously and flattened the battery before the ride was ended.
I think a separate note taking device would work but costs lots $s
I have given up trying to solve that and now i use an etrex and stop take a photo as required. It was a bit dangerous taking the photo whilst riding. Using you camera with Mapillary may work but battery likely runs out before the ride finishes.

I think the police may treat this like using a mobile phone, i.e. not concentrating properly on the road. I would advise you to stop in a safe place before making any recording.

Thanks for your help.

I might explore the possibility of using a bluetooth headset that can control a voice memo app. Or at least allow me to record my voice while recording an entire ride’s worth of audio.

Be careful that it does work with the app as I bought one to try, but though it stated on the packaging that it was compatible, I was unable to get it to work with my phone and app. I does sound like it should work well though.

How about a cheap old phone with a dedicated hardware button to start the voice memo capture? Certainly my 1990s Motorola had that, and pretty much every BBOS Blackberry did too. Pick one with a GPS on it and you could record tracks too…

Obviously common sense applies to not “fiddling with a phone instead of paying attention to the road”. In the England and Wales there’s also a specific offence of using a mobile phone when driving (though there has been at least one high-profile case been cleared while using a phone to record memos - ). Other juristictions will vary (and obviously IANAL).

I record all my bike rides with video or timelapse photos so I can recall at home what I have passed on my survey. Just mount an action cam on your bicycle and off you go. At home, I add geotags to the recorded images (usually I do a 2s timelapse) with Fotogeotag and upload them to Mapillary. Advantage of this is that other mappers can benefit of those images, too. My region is now densily covered with images taken by myself and other mappers so we can always check mapillary for the latest images. If you record videos you can upload that directly to the Mapillary site with your GPS track. Just point one image of that video to the exact location is all you need to do. Another advantage from video is that you can talk while recording and (a device with an external microphone is recommended) you can hear afterwards what you have noticed. All geotagged images can also be used in JOSM. You can also use a smartphone to record voice notes, record your track and navigation like Osmand (there is an Iphone app too). With OSM tracker you can make audio notes or add pre selected pois to the map with one click. You can customize those buttons for frequently used notes, like traffic signs, tracktypes etc. Dont know if they have an Iphone app though.

Mapillary will even send out a free bike mount for your camera so nothing to lose by trying it out.

Well, I’m not so convinced about the quality of their free car mounts, so you can risk to lose your smartphone or action cam :wink: Always use a lanyard to secure these things.

Hi…my iPhone to record my rides for a few months now, then upload them to Strava once I’ve got back home. I then noticed a couple of weeks ago that the distance covered according to the cyclemeter was significantly higher than on Strava once I’d uploaded it. I am not sure why this issue happened but I think next time I can use another camera module which would have all the extra components on a single PCB Assembly and it would be handy to use. As it will be a separate module, i believe I will get accurate results on this.