As we know that OpenStreetMap is a free and open world map. There are a lot of communities all over the world develop their application or software using OpenStreetMap data with many purposes. One of them is OsmAnd which made by Victor Shcherb and contributors.
OsmAnd is a free and open source based on linux and can runs in android smartphone and tablet. OsmAnd has functions to showing map, navigation and routing, search for Point of Interest (POI) around us. The pros of this application are it is FREE and it can be used offline which means we can use it without internet connection so we can use it anywhere and anytime.
Here is the main look of OsmAnd :
In the OsmAnd main look you will see 4 primary menu, those are Settings, Search, My Places, and Map. Let’s explore these application features one by one :
Same with another application and software, we need to setting some things in the application before we use it. When you touch settings you will a look like this :
- Manage map files
As has been said before that one of pro from this application is you can use it offline therefore we need to download OpenStreetMap data first. Go to Downloads tab then search OpenStreetMap data that you want to download. This data divided into country region form. If you want to download Indonesia for example go to Asia –> Indonesia. After you successfully download your data, you can find your data in Local tab where it will store all of data that you have downloaded. If your data need to be updated then you can see it in Update tab.
In this general setting we can setting some general things for this application such as Map Orientation, Screen Orientation, Display Language, Map preferred languange which function to show local name/alphabet in some area where does not use latin alphabet such as Thailand, China, Japan, etc, Unit of Measure, Voice guidance, App theme, etc.
We need to setting this thing before we doing navigation in some area. When you touch this setting, we need to choose we navigate by what. Is it by Car, Bicycle or by walk (Pedestrian). We also can choose what roads we want to use (Prefer) and what roads we do not want to (Avoid), there are also Auto zoom map, Auto-center map view, and many more.
This setting is to add some plugins that can be used in OsmAnd. There are some plugin such as we still can use OsmAnd by Online using Online maps plugin, save our track and keep it in GPX File format using Record your trips plugin, OsMo advance live monitoring plugin can be used if we travel or tracking by group and we can monitoring and tracking our friends position and location to keep their position in where it should be, Take pictures or sounds of the object with Audio/video notes plugin, and editing OpenStreetMap data using OSM Editing. Note that, everytime you activate a plugin there will be a new seting option in Settings menu.
Show information about OsmAnd application
This feature can be used to search certain location or object in OpenStreetMap. The difference between search feature in OsmAnd with search feature in OpenStreetMap website is search feature in OsmAnd more flexible and complete. If we want to search object or POI we can search it with many options for instance we can search POI by its type (Custom filter) or we search for POI around us (Closest POI) or we also just can search it by its name (Search by name) beside that we can search by object tag like is it fuel or Accomodation or Restaurant) and many more.
We also can search in different ways such as we can search objects or POI by its address (Address search) or by its coordinates (Coordinates) and if we want to find objects that we have used it before we can see it in (Search history).
If you have search an Object for example National Monument based on its name you will have some result related with National Monument and you can choose the most appropriate result. If we want to go directly navigate to the result choose Direction To, or we want use the result as a destination (Set as destination), or we just want to see the object on the map (Show on Map), are we want to add the result as favourite place? we choose Add to Favorites or see the description of the result use Show POI description.
3. My Places
This is a shortcut feature if we want to find object that we have to used or use it frequently without search it first.
It is the main feature of this application because in this feature we can do all the things like search objects, navigation, routing, and many more. This is the map feature looks :
In left bottom corner of the map you will find menu button. This button is to show many options that you can use with the map. Here is the look of menu in OsmAnd
Here is the explanation for each menu in the Map Feature :
- Where am I?
This menu allow us to see our current position in map. You need to note that our position can be shifted from actual position. To make it more accurate you can activate your GPS in your smartphone.
We use this menu to navigate to certain object or location. This feature very useful to see how far the distance between our current position with our destination also we can see our time estimation to reach our direction. These are the steps to use direction feature :
– ) Choose the waypoints either it is starting point (From) and destination point (To). Usually for starting point it would be automatically from our (Current position) but if you want to change it just choose your starting point in map. Touch your point about 2 seconds and it will show the location coordinates.
-) To change the setting about waypoints please touch button which has board direction symbol and to choose which roads we want to avoid and what transport we use when navigate please touch Car symbol and to start the navigation simulation please touch the blue arrow symbol in bottom right corner of your screen. After that you will see the route to your destination with your distance and time estimation.
-) If you still in navigation mode, please check your menu to see some options for navigation such as to activate or deactive voice guidance (Sound is on), to Pause Navigation or Stop navigation, setting waypoints (Waypoints) and to avoid specific roads (Avoid roads). If you finished your navigation, you can go to menu again and choose Clear destination to delete your waypoint on the map.
This search menu same as search feature in main page of OsmAnd where we can see POI based on its name, distance, adrress and coordinates easily and fast.
- My Places
This menu same as my places menu in main page of OsmAnd where shows our POI that we have added as favorites.
- Use location
This menu allow us to use our current location/posisiton for some purposes such as use it as a destination point (Direction To), or as a starting point (Direction From), or as destination (Set as destination), we also can share our location to other people (Share Location), and add it as a favorites (Add to favorites)
- Configure map
We can use this menu to make some changes and settings about map look such as show POI, Points labels, GPX track of objects in Map. Furthermore we can choose design of the map (Map style), show railway (Tram and train) or (Show cycle routes) even to show (Hiking symbol overlay) and many more.
- Configure screen
This menu to setting what tools we want to show on the map such as GPS (GPS info), (Compass), Our current location (Where am I), (Street name), (Speed), Time estimation (Time to go), etc.
This setting similar like setting menu in main page of OsmAnd where we can setting options related to OsmAnd such as download OpenStreetMap data, Add Plugin, General setting and Information about OsmAnd.
- Show GPS Status
This menu is a tool to show our GPS status. There are plenty of application options related of this menu. You need to remember that when you choose one of the options, you are going to download the application separately. To see information for each options please click GPS Status & Toolbox, GPS Test, inViu GPS-details, AndroiTS GPS Test.
This menu takes us to help page that has sort of informations about OsmAnd such as FAQ, Plugin and related articles about using OsmAnd.
Those are some steps how we can use features in OsmAnd. The more often you use this application in your daily activities, The better you understanding and familiar about those features in this application.
This OsmAnd application available for free in android Play Store android or you can download it here and you can visit the official website of this application for further information here. This application also has paid version with some additional features such as offline wikipedia articles related with POI in map and there is no limitation to download map data and use it offline (in free version we only can download 10 map)
So, There is no more reason to not explore your area and afraid to get lost, isn’t it? hehe.. Happy Mapping 🙂