[Talk-transit] Osm and Android = Osmand

andre van atten andrevanatten at gmail.com
Mon Dec 6 20:21:59 GMT 2010


Let's talk transit instead of lawsuit. I want to draw your attention to
Osmand, which is a nice app for android phones. It has a high potential,
because it combines cached tiles (in a sqlite database) with the ability of
vector rendering. And there is a lot of transit possibilities.
It handles very compact prefabricated osm databases. So for instance,
Netherlands which is more then 7 Gb osm xml is packed into 300 MB. You can
switch styles on the fly, like realtime mapnik ;-)

The nice part: the Mapcreator allows the creation of transit indexes. Look
on the Google code site, and see screenshots. Try the beta version 0.51 in
download section http://code.google.com/p/osmand/ and download some indexes
from the interface. Indexes are map indexes or maps, poi data and transit
data indexes. These transit data consists of point and click busstops, and
train tram metro of course. When you click on one of them you see which
lines are stopping and their destinations. You can set a destination, in
which case you can ask a direct route between your position and the
destination. Then it tells you which stop to get on, which line to take,
which stops are between, and the closest stop to exit. All stops between are
highlighted. You can even plan from there with a second trip. No timetables,
no frequency, but very nice. You can put a openbusmap cached layer beneath.
And you can tell Osmand to fetch the most detailed level from the internet
only from the place where you zoom in with your phone.
There are plan to dynamically render the bus lines with the route = bus tag,
and to label them with the related buslines. Very cool. This could be the
killer app for osm and transit in osm. Btw: it let's you edit pois and their
tags and upload them to osm instantly with your osm login. Cool!
The project is opensource, anyone can help, simply become member of the
group and help the project members with actual information, or submit your
own java code to enhance it. And please explain how to use relations in the
transit part.

Concerning the data. Just ask!! There are a lot of agencies giving their
data to Google transit but still have sympathy for osm guys struggling to
serve the community. Just say you ate serving mankind, and giving free
publicity to their transit company, enabling a link to their site is enough,
that's what they want. Explain that if only 1 of the 10 visitors on osm site
buys a ticket for the journey, they will earn substantially. They are even
able and willing to pay servers or will host some osm data. Sure.
Your unique selling point is that you can promise to look into bike and
footways around stations and stops, and publish info about stops, if you can
reach them if you ate disabled, if it is safe, if it had an abri, stuff like
The better part of osm is that Google or navteq or teleatlas will never beat
osm with detail for walking and biking. Simply because they won't get out of
their cars with video, and 12 cameras. Osm people do. They do the
handwork,.and they do it well.

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