OSM and Navigator
  • I cant help but notice that after "the purge", a lot of metadata that's critical to navigation is gone from OSM. I only recently upgraded from navigator free 11 to 12.1.

    What would help is a way to log missing information in real time as I keep driving through areas With no street names, max speed or other useful pieces of information for navigation.


    Feature #1)

    Add a button / hotkey to Navigator which logs the current GPS position to a GPX file with a location name. The location name would be an auto incremented number (001, 002 etc).

    Visual feedback, or an audio voice yells out the number. The passenger can then write down "5 = Norton St", "8 = Shell", etc etc.

    The GPX is uploaded to OSM and I can follow the breadcrumbs and enter missing information.


    Feature #2 builds upon feature #1)

    Add recording so the driver yells out "Caltex" or "Cambridge St". For position #004, the recording could be logged to a file called "004.mp3" etc.

    The audio format is not really important, the smaller the file the better as quality is not an issue here.


    Users could then either copy out to a USB stick, or use Dropbox / Skydrive to sync the files "to the cloud" and use the audio and GPX files to add missing data to OSM. This could be made to work on all Navigator platforms. For me, only the PC platform matters as I run Windows on my carpc.


    While I realize this is not really a navigation feature, it would help Navigator's OSM map quality significantly and hopefully doesnt take too much effort to add to the product?



  • 6 Comments sorted by
  • Hi JJ, I am not sure, but I thought that you could see what is missing at OSM.
  • tomas,

    Maybe if we turn this around, and you share how you log missing streetnames while driving?



  • this could log nameless streets, but not missing streets - is that what you would want?
  • An alternative navigation software based on OSM has created http://www.mapdust.com/ which is similar to OpenStreetBugs but optimised for reporting issues with navigation. In theory, this was really nicely thought out, as the software automatically records a short GPX trace around the bug showing how the user actually drove, as well as showing what the software suggested. It also allows you to categorize the map bug reports into different types. E.g. "road is missing", "speed limit is missing / incorrect" "turn restriction is wrong".

    Surprisingly many people were willing to report bugs this way to help improve the data quality and so could have been a really great tool to improve and ensure the quality of OSM data for navigation.

    Unfortunately it turned out to not work that well in the way it was implemented. As you needed to type in the information for the bug report, many bug reports where in the wrong location, as it isn't really possible to type in a bug report while driving. Especially not if you SatNav has just sent you down an invalid path and you need to figure out where to go. Also many people didn't give precise enough instructions to be able to fix the issues, and on top of it the routing software doesn't update very often to take the newest mapdata from OSM. This caused many report dupplicates or reports of errors that were already fixed in OSM. So overall too many reports were not helpful resulting in a rather low signal-to-noise ratio of reports. This then led the OSM community to not adopt the system particularly widely, which is a shame, as there were nevertheless many useful reports to improve the data for navigation.

    An audio based system, as johnjore suggested, is perhaps more likely to work. I.e. rather than typing in the information, you record a small audio note about what went wrong. Furthermore, if those notes are only to one self and not publicly available, non of the above issues apply.

    You can of cause see what is missing on OSM, but by the time you get back to your PC to check the data on osm.org you have likely forgotten where exactly the speed limit begins and ends, which road had the turn restriction, what the names of all of the roads you traveled on were and so on. So you need to record some information while driving to aid your memory when you do get back to a PC to check and fix the data.

    So it would be rather cool, if mapfactor had a(n optional) hotkey, which if pressed automatically recorded a small gps trace of where you currently are / were and how you are driving, and in addition records a little audio message.
  • @ tomas: Yes. This is to tag nameless streets as well as other missing metadata like maxspeed, oneways, turn restrictions etc.

    When driving, Navigator will do a very good job of showing what metadata (relating to satnav activities) is missing from OSM.


    As apmon also points out, its impossible to write this down while driving along with the GPS position, or remember for when I get back to a computer.


    hotkey support would be a very usefull feature as I would assign a button on my steering wheel control to this function (I connect the two using RC JoyCon). Much better user experience compared to trying to hit the CarPC monitor.


    To capture new streets, I already log all driving activity with GPSBabel and I think Navigator free also has this feature. GPSBabel allows me to output the data to my Skydrive for cloud sync and does not depend on me remembering to start Navigator.




  • I created a plugin for Centrafuse (www.centrafuse.com) that does what this thread outlines. (Only took a few hours one rainy evening)

    A press of a button, touch screen or steering wheel, and recording starts. Another press, recording stops. A GPX file is created with a waypoint using the current GPS position. Audio filename and GPX waypoint names are identical and both are stored on a Microsoft SkyDrive.

    Took it for a test drive and recorded a few missing streetnames, http://www.openstreetmap.org/edit?gpx=1441440. Uploaded the GPX to OSM (the orange dots labeled ###) and used the recordings to enter a few missing streetnames and a couple of navigation errors. (Footpath was logged as a road)

    (Ignore the first 10-15 waypoints, I had some Bluetooth issues. :)  Happy to share with anyone who uses CF and I'll upload it to CF's forum in a couple of days. Need to field test it a little more.


    Point being: It worked great. Would have been even better if it was a MapFactor feature so "everyone" could use it. Hint, hint :)



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