This post is relevant to anyone who wishes to have Israel tiles synced offline to the GPS.
JTileDownloader has an option to update existing tiles (as OSM maps change very often due to loyal members of this forum). I thought of a way to use this feature as a boot-strap and an ongoing update tool for anyone who wishes to hold a set of tiles covering Israel. Disclaiming again, this is probably useful for people with GPS devices that don’t connect wireless-ly, and have enough storage space to hold the needed data.
If you are reading this with intent to use the directions, you probably played around with JTileDownloader already. In the main tab you can set the directory where the tiles are placed (Output folder). Move on to the “Update Tiles” dialog, and press “Search”. This will scan your tiles dir, and show how many tiles of each zoom level you currently have. Click on “Update” to fetch the latest version of each tile for the selected zoom level.
But you have only the tiles you downloaded so far, and I promised to cover all of Israel… Here is what I did, and how you can use it. Read until the end, including the tips, before trying this out.
I divided our small (thanks God) country into 9 boxes (stating the northern and southern limit of each box):
Metula, Ashdot Yaakov: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=35.5&minlat=32.64&maxlon=35.896&maxlat=33.355&box=yes
Zar’it, Tamra: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=35.05&minlat=32.838&maxlon=35.5&maxlat=33.11&box=yes
Kraiyot, Yokne’am: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=34.92&minlat=32.64&maxlon=35.5&maxlat=32.838&box=yes
Afula, Netanya: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=34.8&minlat=32.3&maxlon=35.6&maxlat=32.64&box=yes
Netanya, Gedera: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=34.6&minlat=31.8&maxlon=35.6&maxlat=32.3&box=yes
Jerusalem, Dimona: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=34.2&minlat=31&maxlon=35.6&maxlat=31.8&box=yes
Negev north: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=34.33&minlat=30.5&maxlon=35.45&maxlat=31&box=yes
Negev south: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=34.52&minlat=30&maxlon=35.2&maxlat=30.5&box=yes
Ovda, Eilat: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=34.72&minlat=29.4&maxlon=35.12&maxlat=30&box=yes
Using the “Export Tilelist” feature, I created a list of all tiles of these boxes, with zoom levels of 12 to 15. Total of 46,897 tiles… More on this later. If you need the list, here it is: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=K11ACY3V
I wanted a boot-strap version that will be as light as possible, so with some scripting I created ‘empty’ tiles - files with no data, but the right names. This is the boot-strap I was talking about, and you can download it here: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4MW54H4K
Unzip it into your tiles dir. You can use specific zoom levels if you want to, or take all I made. Be sure to create a backup of your tiles in case something goes wrong… It can take some time to unzip zoom 15 - some 35K files there. More on time consumption later on.
So, now that you have the empty tiles you wanted to have, use the “Update” feature of JTileDownloader to update them! It can take quite a while for the 15th zoom level - be sure to have enough time. The unzipping took me some 17 minutes, and all the updates took a few hours to complete.
Juggling so many files is a time hog. Just copying empty files to my SD card took a while, let alone download small files and overwrite the empty ones. Pay attention to the following tips:
- Use the newest, fastest SD card that you have. In addition to capacity, the latency of these devices improved a lot, and will save you time.
- Unzip the empty tiles directly to the SD - no need to unzip them and then copy.
- Update the tiles directly on the SD - again, avoid copying.
- If you absolutely have to copy files, use TeraCopy (http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php), at least you will be able to work on your computer during the copy process.
- Consider space. With tiles, the number of files takes more space on your file system than their data. Here are the numbers I have (FAT32 on my SD card):
Zoom Files Data size Size on disk
12 614 3.4MB 19MB
13 2,289 10.1MB 71MB
14 8,899 24.3MB 278MB
15 35,095 56.7MB 1*GB*
Hope you will find this helpful. Let me know how this works for you, and if you need any additional help.