[OSM-dev] Call to mobile developers: OSM binary file format

Chris Browet cbro at semperpax.com
Fri Aug 8 02:40:05 BST 2008

2008/8/8 Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>

> Are you saying that you want to remove the distinction between the
> transport format and the format actually used on the device? This would mean
> that you would, for example, expect the API to provide index lookup tables
> and other stuff that is derived from the payload but required to make the
> data usable as-is.

Well, that would be perfect but it's not the goal right now.

> Or do you simply want a very lean transport format that saves every bit
> possible, but would then require some unpacking, index generation etc. on
> the client?

Actually I'm thinking 3-tiers for now:

Server -> XML -> Desktop -> binary(including indexes, ...)  -> Mobile     or
more practically
Planet.osm -> Desktop -> binary(including indexes, ...)  -> Mobile

In the long run, we can imagine bypassing the desktop and having servers
delivering already prepared binary to different clients (not necessarily

but that's the idea.
BTW, unpacking is not desirable due to memory constraints. Rather random
file access thru indexes.

- Chris -
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