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besem

OpenStreetMaps.org

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I was uploading my tracks and editing the maps on OpenStreetMaps.org after my weekend caching spree around the Hartebeespoort dam, and noticed that the area is very poorly mapped. I normally assume that main roads will already be there, and focus on uploading the tracks for footpaths, but around the dam even some of the main roads are not on the map!

 

This makes me wonder... how many geocachers are uploading tracks to OpenStreetMaps.org? I noticed the Walter Sisulu Gardens aren't mpped at all, so a nice project for the upcoming event. (;

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I have started mapping the whole of Edenvale. I have about a quarter of the road names added. I plan to comeplete it sometime, but since buying my Garmin handheld (almost a year ago), I have spent very little time updating.

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I had a brief look at openstreetmaps and was wondering: How are the urban areas (or other well mapped areas) updated in openstreetmaps - surely not by physically driving with your GPS and writing down street names? I assume the info is collected from existing data somewhere? Or should one rather not ask?

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I had a brief look at openstreetmaps and was wondering: How are the urban areas (or other well mapped areas) updated in openstreetmaps - surely not by physically driving with your GPS and writing down street names? I assume the info is collected from existing data somewhere? Or should one rather not ask?

 

One way is to drive around, and upload the GPS tracks.

 

There is a map overlay where one can copy from to the OpenStreetmap canvas, but this still does not contain the street names. Copying the names from a Map Book, or Mapping software program is not allowed, as OpenStreetmap (as per its name) must be "open", and not infringe on any copyright.

So the sections of Edenvale we have done, we have actually driven around the subburbs and written down the street names, and then added them to the maps.

 

For sections where there are no roads on the map overlay, one would need to upload tracks.

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For sections where there are no roads on the map overlay, one would need to upload tracks.

 

Yep, and therein lies its power, in my opinion. I used openstreetmaps extensively in the Netherlands when I went out caching in nature areas. The Garmin maps almost never had footpaths and trails indicated, but openstreetmaps often did. It does rely on a critical mass as far as mappers are concerned, but even simply uploading your tracklogs from driving or walking around helps. The big centres in South Africa have a fair number of active mappers, but we need better "offroad" coverage.

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Mapping via Open Streetmap is a great activity to do in parallel with your caching. By default I collect tracks when out caching. While it might not sound all that exciting driving every street in a town, one does get a feeling for what a town is like, and one makes wonderful discoveries of little shops or pleasant restaurants and cafés in the process. What better way to get to know a town or a suburb a little better? And by contributing your tracks, you may be updating maps quicker than the commercial providers can.

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I had a brief look at openstreetmaps and was wondering: How are the urban areas (or other well mapped areas) updated in openstreetmaps - surely not by physically driving with your GPS and writing down street names? I assume the info is collected from existing data somewhere? Or should one rather not ask?

 

Good Question Pooks

 

A lot of the information in Cape Town was provided by the City and imported. Other municipalities have allowed import of their data as well.

 

Trev

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I just got into the openstreetmaps thing last week and am already hooked. I've spent the last week uploading my archived tracks and tracing the ways onto the map. It's really fun to then download the updated map to the GPS a day or so later and then drive the roads that were previously "missing" to see how accurate you were. I quickly learnt that putting a one-way (by accident) into a road plays havoc with the routing! Makes you realise just how difficult it is to create a routable GPS map.

 

The map of Cape Town seems to be fairly well developed already. Out my way around Durbanville, some of the newer roads (last three years or so) were not shown, but now some of them are. It's an excellent by-product of geocaching to be able to help build something for use by anyone for free. It would be great if more cachers could get involved.

 

As a special note to all the serious mountain cachers around Cape Town, it looks to my untrained eye that the trails already mapped on the Table Mountain chain are way superior to those on Garmap or T4A. I'd like to know a "mountain man's" opinion. If you don't agree, you can just upload your track and fix the trail. Strikes me that the table mountain chain's trails could be almost perfect in no time if everyone did that.

 

To help those who are interested, here is a link to the zipped .img file for Garmin GPS's. If you are able to, rename the map before you upload it to your GPS. You can then have it to turn on or off as you wish in addition to your normal map. I know this is possible on the Colorado, Oregon and Dakota range. Not sure about the others. Can anyone advise?

 

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=e...2FosmGarmin.htm

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Thanks for providing the links gr8scott ! Hadn't looked at OSM stuff for a while.

 

I went over to the site, and from a glance it seems a bit off a toss up between OSM and T4A. OSM certainly has better data over T4A for Orange Kloof. I have just submitted a whole load of tracks to T4A which should make the Oct release. Thanks to your link I can use both mapsets for now.

 

I also had a look at the Silvermine area - the OSM maps certainly have the lower MTB tracks well covered, while I see that around the dam some of the tracks that have been closed by the TMNP are still shown.

 

Personally I prefer to send my data to T4A and let them do the processing.

But the OSM stuff will definitely be useful.

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Personally I prefer to send my data to T4A and let them do the processing.

But the OSM stuff will definitely be useful.

 

Yes then they sell it on to others.

 

If you contribute to OSM you do not have to do anyhting other than upload your data - then its available to everyone for free. You do not have to trace your tracks and add to the map - when someone else looks at the areas covered by your tracks they can then use them to create ways or even just to corroborate their own data.

 

So please do sign on at OSM and upload tracks - epsecially in areas that are missing info!

 

Trev

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Is there any way that I can load OpenStreetMaps and regular Garmin maps onto a Nuvi 205 and chop and change between the two at will?

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Personally I prefer to send my data to T4A and let them do the processing.

 

 

I also contribute to T4A, but get a little irritated when they sometimes don't process the tracks into their maps. Their focus is more 4x4 trails and overland routes (naturally) and so it's hardly surprising that new roads in suburbia are not high on their list of priorities. That's why OSM has grabbed my interest, as I can upload the track and then do the processing myself, which is pretty simple.

 

Yesterday I deliberately chose back roads between Bonnievale and McGreggor to get to a cache, just because they didn't exist on OSM, so that I can be the one to put them there.

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Yesterday I deliberately chose back roads between Bonnievale and McGreggor to get to a cache, just because they didn't exist on OSM, so that I can be the one to put them there.

 

He He - Come on gr8scot - any road to get a cache - we've all tried to convince our fellow passengers that we're trying a different road just sommer and then there just happens to be a cache along the way - surprise surprise!!

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Is there any way that I can load OpenStreetMaps and regular Garmin maps onto a Nuvi 205 and chop and change between the two at will?

 

From what I've read it can be done by combining Garmap & OSM into one gmapsupp.img file using Mapsource. You then use the Map Info button on the Nuvi to chose which map to display. Trouble is that I haven't come across an OSM compiled map that can be loaded into Mapsource yet. The link I gave above doesn't have the Mapsource file. Anyone know of a site?

Edited by gr8scot

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He He - Come on gr8scot - any road to get a cache - we've all tried to convince our fellow passengers that we're trying a different road just sommer and then there just happens to be a cache along the way - surprise surprise!!

 

Normally I'd agree, but this time we were headed for the cache anyway and had the choice of boring tar road (mapped) and "exciting" dirt (unmapped) so my OSM mapping quest made the choice easy!

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Is there any way that I can load OpenStreetMaps and regular Garmin maps onto a Nuvi 205 and chop and change between the two at will?

 

From what I've read it can be done by combining Garmap & OSM into one gmapsupp.img file using Mapsource. You then use the Map Info button on the Nuvi to chose which map to display. Trouble is that I haven't come across an OSM compiled map that can be loaded into Mapsource yet. The link I gave above doesn't have the Mapsource file. Anyone know of a site?

 

When I was in Europe I used this site to generate maps that are MapSource ready. I don't know how detailed the SA maps are, however. This site is a useful resource for getting OSM maps when you travel elsewhere. Some are Garmin ready, some are not. I've been happy with the mileage I get.

Edited by besem

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Is there any way that I can load OpenStreetMaps and regular Garmin maps onto a Nuvi 205 and chop and change between the two at will?

 

From what I've read it can be done by combining Garmap & OSM into one gmapsupp.img file using Mapsource. You then use the Map Info button on the Nuvi to chose which map to display. Trouble is that I haven't come across an OSM compiled map that can be loaded into Mapsource yet. The link I gave above doesn't have the Mapsource file. Anyone know of a site?

 

When I was in Europe I used this site to generate maps that are MapSource ready. I don't know how detailed the SA maps are, however. This site is a useful resource for getting OSM maps when you travel elsewhere. Some are Garmin ready, some are not. I've been happy with the mileage I get.

 

Thanks besem

 

The reason I was wondering about having access to both is because it seems that the OSM might have better coverage of the hiking trails, so then when out hiking I could swop over and take advantage of the more detailed coverage. I have not had chance to test it yet, any comments?

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When I was in Europe I used this site to generate maps that are MapSource ready. I don't know how detailed the SA maps are, however. This site is a useful resource for getting OSM maps when you travel elsewhere. Some are Garmin ready, some are not. I've been happy with the mileage I get.

 

Wow - cool site! I've sent a request for just the Western Cape and will report back on the state of the map. This looks like it'll solve Malo Mystery's problem, as it generates a Mapsouce installer that can then be combined with the Garmap tiles for the Cape to create the .img files needed to download to the Nuvi.

 

The second site is the same as the one I listed previously, but it only supplies the whole of SA in a .img file with no Mapsource loader.

 

Thanks

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I got e-mailed the link to download the map about a hour after requesting it. The map contains all the changes I made last week, so it's really up to date. The mapsouce file also installed itself no problem. This looks like Malo Mystery's answer :) .

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Also checked out the site - great one - had one problem though set up two maps - DC in the States and Holland - they downloaded okay, but both had the same name after I tried to install them and as a result nothing showed in Mapsource. Deleted one and then it was okay - tried to rename the folder during install, but no go - any suggestions?

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Also checked out the site - great one - had one problem though set up two maps - DC in the States and Holland - they downloaded okay, but both had the same name after I tried to install them and as a result nothing showed in Mapsource. Deleted one and then it was okay - tried to rename the folder during install, but no go - any suggestions?

 

Are you not meant to pick the tiles you want on the world map (those covering DC & Holland) at the same time? You will then receive one installation file with those two areas in it rather than two separate files.

Edited by gr8scot

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Also checked out the site - great one - had one problem though set up two maps - DC in the States and Holland - they downloaded okay, but both had the same name after I tried to install them and as a result nothing showed in Mapsource. Deleted one and then it was okay - tried to rename the folder during install, but no go - any suggestions?

 

Are you not meant to pick the tiles you want on the world map (those covering DC & Holland) at the same time? You will then receive one installation file with those two areas in it rather than two separate files.

 

I thought they came from different sources, but you may be right - will have to wait till next month's cap however as 170MB together!

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I've found the following site which allows one to chose a small area of the free Open Street Map and download a series of img files that can be copied directly to any Garmin GPS capable of handling "non Standard name" files (Colorado, Oregon, Dakota and I think the newer Nuvis).

 

This allows quick downloads of small sections of the map covering an area of interest to you. This could be very useful if visiting somewhere for which you have no map, but don't want to buy one or need a whole country for example.

 

The site is at: http://touren.mospace.de/kachel.html

 

You just choose the area you want and it gives you links to the zipped img files you need. Unzip and copy these to your \Garmin folder on your GPS and enable the map.

 

For those in Cape Town, the following two files cover the area from Cape Point to Saldahna and inland to about Paarl. Total download size shown in kb.

 

IMHO the OSM map of Cape Town is far more up-to-date than any commercial map.

 

Southern Cape Town (562kb)

 

Northern Cape Town (980kb)

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Thanks for the links gr8scot. Managed to get some maps for Hurghada and Marsa Alam, Egypt that I need for an upcoming trip.

 

I will get round to adding some tracks for hiking trails on the Peninsula not shown on the OSM site. Will post here when it is done.

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I use a bit of free software called "img2gps" that can load the various tiles as one stitched file directly into my Garmin Etrex Vista. Because it loads onto my micro SD card, I can transfer that same card to a Nuvi.

 

The tiles from free routeable maps for Garmin have id numbers, so you might have to write them down so you know which tile is which. Even though one single "imgsupp" file is loaded, in the GPSr I can switch on and off the tiles as necessary. The only nuisance is that they all have the same name, so you have to try a bit to see which tiles are switched off when you deselect them on the GPSr.

 

I have not tried using Mapsource to load the files, but I hear that's also an easy way.

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I have downloaded the img file but cannot get it to open with Mapsource. How do I do that? Thanks in advance.

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I have downloaded the img file but cannot get it to open with Mapsource. How do I do that? Thanks in advance.

 

The img file is for loading directly onto the GPS in the \Garmin folder (if yours has that capability). If you need to do it via Mapsource, use this link. You will need to choose the 4 tiles that cover SA, supply an e-mail address and click the "Build Map" button. You then get sent a link (valid for 48 hours) to download the files, one of which is a Mapsource installer file. You can use this to view the map on Mapsource and from there transfer it to your GPS.

 

Note that if the SA map is already available (i.e. someone has requested it within the last 48 hours) , instead of getting a box to fill your e-mail address into, you will get a link marked "Download the map now"

Edited by gr8scot

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I have downloaded the img file but cannot get it to open with Mapsource. How do I do that? Thanks in advance.

 

The img file is for loading directly onto the GPS in the \Garmin folder (if yours has that capability). If you need to do it via Mapsource, use this link. You will need to choose the 4 tiles that cover SA, supply an e-mail address and click the "Build Map" button. You then get sent a link (valid for 48 hours) to download the files, one of which is a Mapsource installer file. You can use this to view the map on Mapsource and from there transfer it to your GPS.

 

Note that if the SA map is already available (i.e. someone has requested it within the last 48 hours) , instead of getting a box to fill your e-mail address into, you will get a link marked "Download the map now"

 

Thanks - I will give it a bash and see how it goes. :grin:

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I know the folk at Geocaching are not keen on encouraging downloads of software to do caches, but I was just wondering...... Some caches have long hikes with many waypoints, having to look out for various cairns etc and sometimes having to scramble across rocks etc where a path might not otherwise be easily visible. Is it possible for the cache placer (or other cacher) to map the route and then upload the route to a point where others could download that specific route, upload it to the GPS and then follow the route directly to GZ without any chance of going astray?

 

So basically the cache page would have a link to download the recommended route to the cache

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I know the folk at Geocaching are not keen on encouraging downloads of software to do caches, but I was just wondering...... Some caches have long hikes with many waypoints, having to look out for various cairns etc and sometimes having to scramble across rocks etc where a path might not otherwise be easily visible. Is it possible for the cache placer (or other cacher) to map the route and then upload the route to a point where others could download that specific route, upload it to the GPS and then follow the route directly to GZ without any chance of going astray?

 

So basically the cache page would have a link to download the recommended route to the cache

 

I've got a similar situation at the moment with a cache I have permission to place that would involve driving on unmapped roads on private land. I want cache hunters to stick to the route approved by the landowner, so need some way of giving them a map. A downloadable track would be the answer.

 

I seem to remember reading in a recent Groundspeak newsletter that it is possible to upload a gpx file of a track for download by others. This would solve our problem, but the rider was that the file would be deleted after 7 days, which seems a shame. I can't find the article now though. I just (yesterday) deleted all my old Newsletters (typical!). Can anyone assist?

 

This could also be done in OSM, but the difficulty would be in doing it in such a way that the portion of a trail that you would be interested in would be identifiable. However, if the trail isn't currently on OSM, it could be added and maybe named with the cache name. Of course, a later mapper may later change the name!

 

I'd like to invite anyone with gps tracks of mountain trails or back roads that are not already on OSM to send them to me if they don't wish to map them themselves. I'll then trace them onto the map. All I need is for the "tidied up" gpx file and a brief description to be mailed to me. Let's see if we can get the Table Mountain chain's paths fully mapped. It can only be of benefit to the Geocaching community.

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