Vespucci - how to return to bright background layer

I discovered Vespucci today and was interested to try it on my Moto G 4G 'phone to see what it offered - I have used JOSM on my Windows PC for many years. The background layer appeared as a normal OSM map upon opening following installation. I downloaded a small extract. The area surrounding it became translucent grey. I should like to return to a background layer without this mask. It seems only to revert to that when I zoom out sufficiently. I wondered if the background layer might revert of its own accord when I exited and reopened the app but this does not happen, unfortunately, and I see no other way through Tools, Settings or Help to achieve what I want. Is this the way Vespucci is supposed to operate?

Hi silver mapper,

this happens to show you where data was downloaded into your phone storage and can be edited.
This is standard behaviour of Vespucci. You can still download and edit another area.

If you choose “Download current view”(or sth similar) In Up/Download menu, the previous data is deleted and the newly downloaded area highlighted.
If you choose “Download current view to existing data”(or sth similar) both areas are highlighted and can be edited.

You confirm my thoughts on the matter. I should have liked to be rid of the translucent grey overlay to use the GPS track facility out of interest without downloading an area to edit, necessarily, and to be able to view a Mapnik version of OSM on-screen. I understand this is outside the bounds of the intended purpose of the application, probably.
I thank you for your prompt and informative reply.

Yes the intended use is a bit out of scope. But it is not as if it wouldn’t be possible to highlight downloaded bounding boxes in a different way, but doing it with the dark overlay gives immediate feedback regardless of how far you have zoomed in.

I understand your argument. However, I thought there might have been some sort of option or switch to return to the white background when editing was completed when I used Vespucci for the first time and that the grey surround would return when another area was downloaded. Might something along those lines be a feasible introduction?

Currently there is no real notion of “resetting” the current loaded data , it is simply replaced when you load new data (or merged).

Hello, would it be possible to consider same kind of behaviour that can be found in JOSM? While the OSM data has been downloaded from an area the dark background mask is visible. One option in the same menu that is used to download data would be “discard downloaded” data. That would be same as deleting the data layer in JOSM. That would discard all downloaded data and return back to the white background.
One use case for the Vespucci is to compare the map view and real environment while wandering around. When you spot an error you will download a small area, fix the error, upload changes. Then you would remove the downloaded data and return back to the “clear view” and can continue comparison without the need on continuous downloading of data.

General request: if at all possible, feature requests should be made through our issue tracker

My main concern about providing the requested functionality is that we do have to make it clear that no data has been downloaded and provide a warning that you shouldn’t be adding data before you have done so. Historically this is at least one of the issues users coming from Potlatch 1/2, iD have had. But it is clearly doable.

Potentially a “reset after upload” preference in some form could make sense, any opinions on that?


Hi Simon! Thanks for a prompt answer and sorry not using the issue tracker.

The concern about adding new data before downloading existing data could be an issue in rural areas where you actually don’t have anything yet. Otherwise, if the background map layer has something the user might understand that no data has not yet been downloaded since there is no nodes visible. On the other hand, does it harm to add new data without downloading existing data if the new data has nothing common with existing data? Does this actually correspond the same case when you create a new data layer is JOSM, add data elements there without downloading existing data and then upload those to OSM. Sorry if I am totally wrong in this opinion, it could also that I don’t understand all the necessary details.

If no changes have been done to the data and you try to upload there is just a message “you have not changed anything yet…”. Would the “reset after upload” option work also in that case?

I can write an issue tonight about this and another wish so we can continue the discussion in the proper forum. The other wish is related to have a possibility to provide url for custom tile server providing the background data. Example of the tile server is here ( that has a strong emphasis of MTB features of OSM data. Vespucci would be an excellent tool to modify data while riding and finding e.g. mtb:scale classification errors.

edit: there seems to be discussion already about this topic:


sorry, took longer than expected… here is an issue based on this thread

Thanks … will think a bit about it (after I’ve recovered from a short Fairphone created panic attack :-)).