I am so giddy for when OpenStreetMaps becomes a viable GPS use case. Right now I’m using Waze, making it my last Google product on my phone.

2xsaiko, avatar

In which way is it not viable yet? I guess it depends a lot on what app you use but I’ve been happy with OsmAnd and Organic Maps.

cosmic_slate, (edited ) avatar

I think the issue with Organic Maps is the lack of real-time traffic data (unless that’s changed).

That said, Organic Maps routing seems good enough without it. I occasionally compare routes from Apple Maps, Google Maps, my car’s nav, and Organic Maps. Organic Maps hasn’t given a route that I’d say is unreasonable.

2xsaiko, avatar

Ah, for realtime traffic, check out Magic Earth.

DeltaTangoLima, avatar

Something about Magic Earth unsettles me. It appears highly polished, but free. It’s not clear how they’re making enough money to stay afloat.

Also, crowd-sourced realtime traffic is only as good as the crowd it’s sourcing from. I’m speculating, but I somehow doubt there’s a big enough crowd using Magic Earth where I am.

Helix, avatar

It’s not clear how they’re making enough money to stay afloat.

Yes it is. It is basically marketing for their embedded products which they sell as whitelabel apps for makers of cars, satnavs and other GIS applications.

2xsaiko, avatar

I think I once read they sell it (including the real time traffic data) for use in car infotainment systems and other specialized hardware that needs GPS navigation.

DeltaTangoLima, avatar

Looking through the list of data collected, most of it is anonymized. For now.

What concerns me is that their privacy policy only says they’ll publish variations to it on their website - no mention of proactive notification to users.

For me, that’d be a hard pass, but others might not share my concerns. It definitely looks like a nice, polished alternative to the big G.


I’m very happy to see OSM moving in the vector tiles direction. I was glad to contribute.


This will be a great change. I wonder how expensive it will be to pull off

Fisch, avatar

This is great! I was actually wondering why they weren’t doing this already.


And download faster as vectors take up less data space than raster bits


Probably, but that kind of depends on level of detail and how the raster data was encoded. I’m guessing initial download may actually be comparable or a bit slower since they’d probably send most of the data for your requested area, but interactivity will be a lot better (no need to download higher res chunks as you zoom).


Now will it even work on the 10+ year old GPS I have?

cosmic_slate, avatar

The significance of this is that it should make seeing updates to OSM data a lot quicker, and I’d assume making the “look” a better too.

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