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I'm Steve Clark from Arlesey, Bedfordshire, UK. ...not to be confused with the other Steve C's. Even I get thrown when I see their names.

I've been participating in OSM since September 2006.

I'd read about the project, but finally got involved after inviting some OSM people to the HertsLUG presentation 2006 (Herts LUG). You may gather from this that I'm a Linux user, favouring Ubuntu at the moment and using it as my main home OS.

I have a blog at Bag of Spoons and a presence on all sorts of systems. Just Google my username.

Acer N35


I borrowed an Acer n35 for a holiday, but had some issues with it. One was that the windscreen of my car (Vauxhall Zafira) may have been blocking the GPS signal, another was the short battery life. It seemed to give inaccurate altitude readings (checked against sign at a railway station), but I understand this is a common issue. I liked the fact that it was all nicely integrated.

I gave it another try as I decided I could make it work in the car if I got an external antenna for it. I bought an antenna from ebay for UKP10. I have confirmed that the area behind the rear view mirror in the Zafira is not shielded. Sticking the antenna there and routing the cable around the windscreen and under the dashboard resulted in a system that works well. I have a multi-way power adaptor to run the Acer and allow me to charge other devices. It also allows me to mount the PDA on a holder that plugs into a lighter socket. That came from a pound shop and leaves no tell-tale signs on the windscreen for GPS thieves.


I'm using outdoor-gps to record my traces. It's free and seems fairly capable, but the way it stores waypoints seems incompatible with JOSM and OJW's loader. I'm using GPSGate Express so I can collect traces whilst using Tomtom.

Issues with ODGPS:

  • Waypoints do not work with JOSM, but I did read somewhere that they can just be renamed. Not tested that yet
  • There seems to be a maximum file size of around 128kB. When that is reached the program shuts down, but still seems to write a valid file with closing tags

Noni GPSPlot

Another app to look at could be Noni GPSPlot. The author's site is all in French so I'm not sure of the full features.


As of 09/2007 I'm playing with BSGPSPDA. This meets a couple more requirements from my list including the major one of displaying OSM maps. I've written a short script that retrieves tiles from OSM based on it's list of those that are required for areas travelled through. I'm posting to the author's forum with my comments.

Wish list

I've no idea about how to write PocketPC applications, but I would like to see one with the following features (OGPS/BSGPS indicates already in the apps I have):

  • Generate gpx files (OGPS/BSGPS)
  • Graphical display of current trace (OGPS/BSGPS)
  • Clear indication of current signal strength/quality (OGPS just shows number of satellites, BSGPS also shows signal quality)
  • Waypoints in OSM format. (May be able to rename those from OGPS)
  • Quickstart mode, i.e. hit one button to start tracing with a file name based on date and time (BSGPS)
  • Automatic tracing, i.e. if got a good signal then start a trace.
  • Copy current coordinates to clipboard. Useful for logging for Free the Postcode
  • Ability to import from OSM and show existing traces on screen. That would be really nice to work out what needs mapping. Displaying the maps may be good enough
  • Display OSM maps. The ultimate to make the PDA into a location finder. (BSGPS)

HTC Tattoo

As of April 2010 I have this Android phone that includes a GPS. I've yet to use it for OSM mapping. I'm looking out for suitable software. AndNav2 looks interesting as a SatNav system.

Mapping Arlesey

There was hardly anything of Arlesey in OSM before I started. I started with the streets around my house and am working outwards. If I could find the time to get out on my bike I could probably do the whole place in a day, but family commitments do not generally allow that. The results so far seem to be at least as good as Google, but with extras like footpaths.

I'm still getting the hang of editing and tagging, so please feel free to point out where I could make improvements.

I may also be able to collaborate on other local places, e.g. Letchworth and Hitchin.

Mapping other places

I travel aboard for work and leisure now and again, so I will do my best to collect traces in other countries.

  • October 2006 - In Dublin and got some traces, but then my PDA crashed and I lost them :( I'll have to look at logging direct to the SD card.
  • February 2007 - Skiing in northern Finland, but didn't manage to get any traces.
  • August 2007 - Western Ireland around the Shannon estuary. I collected a few traces around there and also traveling across Ireland from Rosslare. Ireland does not seem to be mapped much generally, so I hope to at least improve those areas.
  • September 2007 - Tel Aviv. Mapped a few streets around the southern part of the city, but did not manage to collect the names.

OSM Spotting

BBC on maps A brief mention and a link 16/10/06


My OSM links on