Hello everyone. I’ve just recently found OSM and I’ve taken a look at a local park with some VERY outdated trail data. Unfortunately the park is rather forested so I can’t just trace Satellite imagery for most of it.
I don’t own any kind of dedicated GPS device, closest thing I have is my phone. I was hoping for advice on how I would go about recording GPS data (any dedicated apps, or pulling GPS history straight from me phone), it would be great to use a map file and not have to count out my steps. Any tips would be appreciated.
Edit: I use an Android phone. I’ve been looking at an app called Geo Tracker, which also allows you to choose how precise the sampling is and is supposed to export files in either GPX or KML formats. I’d still appreciate any tips anyone might have before I spend the time mapping the trails, only to find out it doesn’t work
If the trails are used by people interested in fitness there are very likely Strava heatmaps available for the area. Not sure about the current situation, but there was a prototype version of the iD editor with “slide” that actually moved paths to match the heat maps. There are Strava heat map imagery layers available for JOSM that allow you to do a similar manual operation. Those layers are also good for verifying Bing imagery offsets, etc.
But with all that, SomeoneElse is correct: Let us know what type of phone you have and you will get a better answer about apps that you can use for mapping. I use OsmTracker on my Android phone for general purpose stuff and an older version of KeyPadMapper (I compiled myself to avoid some unfortunate background operations) to collect address data.
Thanks everyone. I use an Android phone. I’ve been looking at an app called Geo Tracker, which also allows you to choose how precise the sampling is and is supposed to export files in either GPX or KML formats. I’d still appreciate any tips anyone might have before I spend the time mapping the trails, only to find out it doesn’t work
GPX files can be opened in the OSM editors. You can then manually trace your recorded trails. This is needed to improve the recorded data. GPS have a certain precision, which drops near tall buildings or in forests. I think KML cannot be used in the iD editor.
Quite popular for Android are Locus or Oruxmaps with openandromaps and its custom style. OAM are offline vector cards in Mapsforge format, with some tweaks, but the catch is they are updated only once every 4 weeks for Europe and 3-4 times per year for the rest (wich area do you need, America?) There are other sites like bbbike.org to get newer map versions for individual spots, but their free version lacks some important tags for Mapsforge.
Used in flightmode battery consumption is rather low too, as long as the screen isn’t switched on the whole time.
If you can, I wouldn’t rely on a single phone and a single app and a single battery. In wooded areas, or worse, wooded mountains, the gps-signal can get rather weak sometimes. Some day I’ve finally started taking 3 phones along when needing better gpx tracks and it’s much better Even with exactly identic gps-conditions those 3 phones create slightly different tracks, especially in critical spots. And the average of 3 is a lot more reliable as only a single one, where you never quite trust if it’s 30m off to the left or right in difficult spots
If the gps-signal is at its limits, under dense trees and clouds etc, it seems to get a bit better when holding the phones backside up towards the free sky. Ah yeah, and additional protective covers can weaken the signal quite a bit too! Personally have even cut little wholes in the thick rubber case where the gps-antenna is placed, but sometimes it seems to help and other times not, so not sure…