OpenStreetMap a two way street or not?

Is it currently possible, or is it intended to be possible at some time in the future to enable downloading of maps from OSM to GPS devices?

The reasons I ask are because…

I’m new here and only just beginning to find out about this project.

If Contributors can also be Users then this would surely motivate more people to become involved.

I’ve put off buying a GPS for many years. If GPS units with the capability to both Upload and Download exist, then those ones will be at the top of my purchase list.

Well, that depends mainly on the brand of GPS device. Most companies like TomTom, Garmin, Magellan try to protect their map protocols in order to protect their map selling business. Luckily some (parts) of the Garmin map protocol is known and there are some OpenSource navigation programs for use on a PDA and such.

There is lots of info about using OSM for GPS devices and GPS devices in general.

You can find software to be use with OSM maps (at least some of them) here:

I use trekbuddy on my Palm PDA with a WinTec GPS device. It doesn’t offer navigation, but shows you where you are.
I have written a small program for myself that downloads the tiles from OSM and creates the tared atlas.

OK, so there’s no barrier to downloading maps from OSM. The Beginners Guide doesn’t mention downloading at all. I guess what is lacking at this point in time is an open protocol GPS unit which is capable of using those maps.

For now, the Garmins seem like a good choice until something like the OpenMoko becomes commonly available.


You can also try a Nokia Nseries tablet like the N810,n810 which has a GPS unit and also uses Linux as OS

For this platform is already an application that uses OSM as the main provider. It caches the tiles so the maps can also be available offline