Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Route Planning
Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 15 Jan 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 23
Open Street Map for Overlanders

Navigation for Overlanders
We just completed a one-year overland trip from the Netherlands via the Middle East to South Africa. We intend to continue the trip in a few months. For almost the entire trip we had at least five map sources: a country and a region paper map and three digital maps: Open Street Map (OSM), Google Maps and Tracks for Africa (T4A). None of them was perfect and the relative quality differed a lot per country, but overall Open Street Map has been the most valuable for us. We use an Android tablet that is mounted on an overhead rack above the windscreen for navigation (see pictures). Because so many people work on OSM I expect that it eventually will replace many specialized maps.

Open Street Map
OSM can be compared with Wikipedia. It is an open global map database that is filled by volunteers with aid of satellite images (Bing), aerial photographs, GPS uploads and local knowledge. A number of free apps are available for navigation with OSM, for Android a.o. OsmAnd+, MapsWithMe, Navigator and OruxMaps.

In some countries in Africa, for example parts of Rwanda, maps are available up to building level while in rural parts of other countries, for example Uganda, only the main roads have been mapped. However, OSM is expanding very quickly. HOT (Humanitarian Open Street Map Team) coordinates African mapping projects in which people from anywhere can participate. Objective is to create maps for local support organizations such as the Red Cross and Médecins sans Frontières. Amongst the many projects that are presently in progress is mapping in ebola infected countries in West Africa, completing the Lesotho OSM and mapping Africa's National Parks. Such maps are of course very useful for overlanders too.

Apart from mapping roads and rivers also points-of-interest (POI) are defined in OSM. For overlanders campings are amongst the most interesting POIs. Like all overlanders during our trip we maintained lists of potential accommodation, retrieved from various internet sites and blogs of other travellers, but it would be much easier if there were one database holding most of the sites. Unfortunately in OSM the camping "keys" (defining characteristics of a camping) are more geared towards campings in western countries than to camping possibilities in developing countries where camping can be at full facility campsites, but also at the courtyard of a hotel (with a room key for shower and toilet), a beach with public toilet and beach shower or a bush camp with no facilities at all.

A few years ago a German group has worked on a proposal for the OSM camping definition, but mainly with European campings in mind.

OSM by overlanders

Uploading GPS tracks
Almost all overlanders store GPS tracks. Because for many roads few local people collect tracks these tracks are valuable to improve the OSM roads, mainly to validate against satellite data. For many of the road sections that we drove our track was the only one in OSM, especially in East Africa and the Middle East. Overlanders can help by uploading their tracks and POIs. Uploading POIs can be done easily with OsmAnd+ or with OsmTracker.

Map creation
I am currently making our trip again on OSM, checking roads and POIs against the GPS data we collected and the things we have seen. In this way I want to improve OSM. The more overlanders do the same the better OSM will be for all of us. See the Beginners Guide to get started.

POI definition
If other overlanders are involved in map creation I would like to get in contact to make a joint camping definition that is suitable for overlanders to propose to OSM.

Please contact me if you are interested in any of these topics.

Last edited by Jan van Bekkum; 18 Jan 2015 at 08:26.
Reply With Quote
Old 15 Jan 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 4,343
Apps are good?

Originally Posted by Jan van Bekkum View Post
A number of free apps are available for navigation with OSM, for Android a.o. OsmAnd+, MapsWithMe, Navigator and OruxMaps.
That is a thoughtful and useful summary concerning the status of OSM and how the maps are built from the data of the users.

Regarding the android apps that you list, as above, most of them are identified within the thread that I link below but by no means all of them have received comment about how they work in practice.
Also, the comment that does exist about many of the apps is not in any great detail.

Perhaps you would like to contribute your knowledge about how the apps that you used perform in the real world while you travelled.
Reply With Quote
Old 16 Jan 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 23
Hi Walkabout,

Thanks for your reply.

I put a summary of my navigation tool experience on our website www.DeEinderVoorbij.nl. I have added the text of it to the post you refer to.

For the images and links to apps and sources please visit our website.
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Jan 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 23
Tool for easy upload of overlander info to OSM

I made a prototype of an android tool for easy upload of overlander information (mainly camping) to OSM.

Please have a look here.

Sample pages:

Reply With Quote
Old 10 Feb 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 23
Camping for overlanders commented in OSM wiki

I made an overview of camping needs for overlanders on the campsite wiki pake of OSM. It is here. Useful for people who want to do some camping uploading themselves.
Reply With Quote
Old 10 Feb 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,131
Originally Posted by Jan van Bekkum View Post
I made an overview of camping needs for overlanders on the campsite wiki pake of OSM. It is here. Useful for people who want to do some camping uploading themselves.

Some of your suggested tags won't work. Some are manipulations of already existing tags ... just use the existing tags! The people who produce the end maps use the existing tags .. they won't adapt to your suggestions .. particularly when there are already existing ones in use.

Some of your suggested tags .. well 'hot shower' does not exist .. it is simply shower .. I'm presently trying to add the tag 'temperature' .. for use with showers, baths, water_taps etc. That is presently open for comments .. will move to voting and hopefully be voted 'in'. Then there have to be enough people using it and then enough features with that tag for the renderers (the end map makers) to think it is worth adding. Not easy to add new features .. harder still to change existing tags to some thing else.

If you have an interest in adding things or changing things in OSM tags then join the tagging talk group .. I'm active there at the moment .. 'temperature', 'reception_desk' and a 'new' grouping of 'waste_collection' ... once those are finished .. well I might move on 'tents=yes/no/number'? But consider joining ... https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging

OSM campsite tags..
The page https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/...sm%3Dcamp_site
shows the documented tags .. in blue! The tags in red are undocumented .. and may change.... I'm for changing 3 of them, removing one .. and adding another.. but it takes time. If you want to add data (tags) to OSM camp sites .. use the blue tags on that page and they may appear on the OSM maps.. use something else and that reduces any chance of the information appearing on an OSM map. The data is there .. but won't appear.
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Feb 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 23
See response on OSM wiki talk page

Thanks for your quick and extensive comments. I have copied them to the OSM wiki talk page and replied there in order to keep the discussion at one place.
Reply With Quote
Old 16 Feb 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 23
The comments have resulted in a substantial update of the tagging proposal.
Reply With Quote

camping, navigation, open street map, osm, poi

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Downloading and Installing Open Street Maps (OSM) colebatch Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS 168 31 May 2023 09:41
Allegedly "Official" CdP map: Your experiences? chris Trip Paperwork 10 13 Jun 2013 09:15
Getting to grips with Open street map Fantastic Mister Fox Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS 16 15 Jan 2013 17:12
Garming map + OpenStreetMap? artia Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS 6 14 Sep 2012 23:28
Death Penalty for Street Racing in China Fern The HUBB PUB 0 7 Mar 2012 11:05



Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.


Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!

Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.

Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:24.