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de-N Dieser Benutzer spricht Deutsch als Muttersprache.
en-4 This user has near native speaker knowledge of English.
it-3 Questo utente può contribuire con un livello avanzato in italiano.
es-2 Esta persona tiene un conocimiento intermedio del español.
lt-1 Šis naudotojas gali rašyti ir skaityti pradinio lygio lietuvių kalba.
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Equipped for piste mapping
My video mapping setup in the car, view from inside
My video mapping setup in the car, view from outside
Analysis: the video with GPS data as subtitles, created with GPSBabel
No need to despair over street names - sometimes even the city authorities have trouble getting it right

Mappers don't get lost - they just discover new areas to map.




  • Mitac Mio 168RS
  • Neo Freerunner, running Android (fixed the GPS timestamp bug, now it's usable for mapping)
  • Geeksphone One (for recording tracks and for taking pictures when I don't have the Ixus with me)
  • Canon Ixus 70 for still images
  • Panasonic SDR-S26 for video

As far as I'm concerned, there is no real need for a dedicated GPS unit. Get a PDA or smart phone with a GPS receiver and the software of your choice (you might also be able to hack a sat-nav device) - this will give you the most flexibility, though that depends on the software. Storage space is not really an issue with these - the Mio and both my smartphones each have a 2 GB SD card (for the Mio this is the upper limit) and even after months of mapping without deleting a single GPS track, there was still plenty of space left on all of them.

Only caveat: quality of the built-in GPS can differ greatly. The Freerunner can take a long while to get a signal and may return erratic readings for a while after - but once it has stabilized, it has decent precision. The Mio (in my opinion) is slightly faster to get a signal and has good precision, only slightly below that of the Freerunner. The GeeksPhone, especially with a data connection and GPS assistance data available, gets a fix almost instantly but precision is rather shoddy - it is acceptable in open areas but degrades noticeably in the vicinity of obstacles.



  • Navit (on Mio 168RS)
  • NaviPOWM (on Mio 168RS, substitute for Navit)
  • OSMtracker for Android (on Freerunner and Geeksphone)
  • GPS Status for Android (gratis but non-free - I use it to display GPS time and to download GPS assistance data with my Geeksphone)

Altogether, I have not found the perfect tracking software yet. My dream would be:

  • vector map display (for quick comparisons of what is mapped and what is not, basically a navigation system, except it does not need routing capabilities)
  • ability to start/stop tracking (Navit doesn't allow it, the other two do)
  • ability to record waypoints (OSMtracker for Android does an excellent job at that, lacking in the other two)
  • immediate writing to file - no in-memory caching of GPS output (NaviPOWM does a good job at that, Navit mostly does, OSMtracker used to be really bad at that but has improved - but once your device has crashed after an hour of mapping, you'll know how badly you need this)
  • GPX output format (OK for Navit and older OSMtracker versions, later OSMtracker versions require an extra step to export tracks, manual conversion needed for NaviPOWM)

If I have some time on my hands and get Navit for WinCE to compile on Cygwin, I might hack up a version of Navit which finally makes my tracking dreams come true. I have capitulated and installed Ubuntu on my laptop and Navit compiles fine, right now I am adding tracking capabilities to it.


  • JOSM
  • GPSBabel for any conversion (NMEA to GPX; video subtitles from tracks of either kind)
  • VLC for video mapping (waiting for the JOSM plugin)