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My mapping setup

JOSM on netbook on site

I wrote a more general article on my mapping approach. This section shows the details of my own setup.


My netbook is probably the cheapest netbook currently available on the market (150 Euro). The design is pretty much a clone of the first eeePC, yet it features a bright display.

IL 1, in Germany this is called "One Mini Notebook A110", available at
7" only, but bright enough in the sunlight
Mass storage
2 GB SSD built-in + additional 16 GB on a SD-Card
Sluggish and unprecise. This slows me down, when mapping.
1.1 kg, including SD card and bluetooth adaptor.
Ubuntu netbook remix

GPS device

My GPS receiver is a Blumax 4043. In short, it features:

  • USB and Bluetooth connections
  • records tracks within its own memory.
  • logs readable with mtkbabel on linux

When I am mapping tracks for OSM, I log trackpoints each 1 second.

Connections to GPS device

I use both the USB and the bluetooth connection.


In my car, the bluetooth communication seems to be jammed, so I must resolve to the USB cable here. No, I don't edit the map while I'm driving ;-)

Bluetooth adaptor

When on foot, I use the bluetooth connection. I use a tiny Hama Nano-Bluetooth-USB-Adapter, which only is 6mm in length outside the USB port.


Editing the map on foot

I use the netbook to edit the map using JOSM, see Mapping on site using a netbook . The netbook is pretty slow and sluggish, so I walk at a pretty low speed.

Mapping house numbers

Mapping house numbers is a highly fine-grained task, where I often need to double-check things. JOSM on the netbook shows the map with all my edits and current position, which makes mapping house numbers and similar details much easier.

For instance, I added a house number (29 it was) only to find the same house number on the next house. Did I skip a house? Have I lost my orientation (or my GPS-Signal, which amounts to the same)? I went back and double-checked. There were two houses with the same number painted on, but they belonged to different streets (one house had the street name painted on, too. I guess, their mail delivery is as confused, as I was.) Without the netbook, I probably would have had to start counting houses over again.

In the car

While driving, I run Navit

  • as a basic navigation system
  • for quality assurance (yes, I eat my own dogfood!)


I also use the GPS device to create GPS tracks to remind me, where I have been. Thus, I can later enrich my photos with location data. For photo-tagging and tourism, I usually set the GPS logger to intervals 6 sec to make the capacity last the whole day.

de Dieser Benutzer spricht Deutsch als Muttersprache.
en-3 This user is able to contribute with an advanced level of English.