In-car navigation with OpenStreetMap data

In-car, on-bike and on-foot navigation is the goal of a few different OpenStreetMap projects at the moment. By offering free downloads of routable data formats from our downloads site we’re aiming to support routing in OSM.

The idea of the downloads site is to provide easy to access OSM geodata for all of the countries of the world to give a helping hand to people who want to use OSM data and hopefully lower the barriers to entry for people who want to do cool things with OSM. Last week we added a new file format to the downloads area – Navit format data. Navit is an open source (GPL) in-car navigation system that does lots of the things other in-car navigation software does – routing you from place to place calculating time and distance, with a rich set of map data that comes from OSM. Navit is very much a work in progress – its not ready for general use yet, but if you an intrepid mapper of hacker it could be just what you’ve been looking for.

Calling Mappers and Hackers

If open source in-car navigation, powered by OSM’s open geodata sounds like your sort of thing, there are a few different ways you can try out Navit. The project’s wiki has details of the program running on various Linux based devices like the Nokia n800, the Asus eee PC or the OpenMoko Neo. We tried it out on an Ubuntu laptop which lacked the ability to make the most of Navit’s OpenGL powered 3D rendering. Even in 2D, being able to route through the streets of Munich whilst sitting at a desk on a Friday afternoon was a lot of fun.

Mappers – grab a Navit file for your country from downloads.cloudmade.com and head over to the Navit wiki for help getting Navit setup. Try routing through an area you know well and see what the result is. Maybe there are few one-way streets you’ve missed out ;-)

Hackers – Take a look at the Navit mailing list or jump on their IRC channel to see how you can help.

Downloads from CloudMade

Our downloads service includes the following files, by country:

  • OSM XML – Raw OpenStreetMap data
  • Garmin error files – special edition files for Garmin GPS units that highlight errors in OSM data, such as un-named roads.
  • Shapefiles – OpenStreetMap data in one of the most widespread geodata formats

If there’s a geodata format you’d like us to support, please get in touch

September 20th, 2008 - Posted by Nick Black in openstreetmap |