[Talk-us] Looking for GPS with voice annotation?

Steve Friedl steve at unixwiz.net
Fri Feb 16 21:50:28 UTC 2018

I received a number of really useful notes that have been really helpful.

I purchased a Columbus V900 from eBay – about $100 – and will play with it over the weekend to see if I can find a workflow that works for me.  

A number of folks suggested OSMTracker and KeypadMapper, but – alas – they are Android and I use an iPhone. I do have a Samsung tablet that runs Android, but it’s a bit large to be walking around a neighborhood – I worry about getting called out until I have a bit more experience doing this.

I do notice that for both OSMTracker and KeypadMapper note “This app may not be optimized for your device”, but I don’t know if that’s serious or not.

I have played with Vespucci, but it’s also Android only. I guess I should buy a cheap old phone and just use it for wifi where I don’t care about a SIM or a carrier or whatever.

I’ve been using Go Map!! on my iPhone, which is a lovely app by Bryce Cogswell, and I found a workflow that mostly works.

At the start of a block I’ll manually add house points for that block on top of the aerial imagery (each node on top of the house itself), entering everything *but* the house number. Now I have a block full of partial entries. I do this while standing out of the way and it looks like I’m sending a text message.

Then I walk the block and enter the numbers: this is made easier when most blocks have uniform numbering that I can just mentally note “plus 10… plus 10… plus 10…” and enter most of them at the end of the block.

When I get home I use JOSM to clean everything up.

The bummer with Go Map!! is that it hasn’t been updated in several years, and it’s an *amazing* battery hog. I assume that there are battery optimizations that haven’t been done yet, and I hope Bryce picks this back up sometime.

It was also suggested that I take pictures of the house numbers and correlate them later: I do this now for points of interest or odd things, but I’m not sure this would scale up to hundreds of houses in a busy residential neighborhood. 

Thanks again, all. I’m about to head out for another foot survey mission.


From: Martijn van Exel [mailto:mvexel at gmail.com] 
Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2018 5:03 PM
To: Steve Friedl <steve at unixwiz.net>
Cc: OSM US Talk <talk-us at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] Looking for GPS with voice annotation?


I have used the Columbus V900[1] for that purpose. It is a nice little unit, the main drawback being that it does not save tracks in GPX format. There is a plugin for JOSM that loads its CSV track files, though.

The audio files are of pretty low fidelity, but good enough. JOSM shows the audio clips as points on the map. 

There is a newer model which is much fancier looking but lacks the audio recording feature, as far as I know.


[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Columbus#Columbus_V-900

On Feb 10, 2018, at 8:05 AM, Steve Friedl <mailto:steve at unixwiz.net> wrote:

Happy Saturday, all,

I have a Garmin GPSmap 64st unit that does a fine job of recording tracks, but I’m looking to do foot surveys of house numbers in an area, and for that I’m hoping to find something that has both GPS and audio recording.

Proposed use case is walking along a sidewalk and pressing a button to mark a GPS location, then quietly speak the house number.  I’d use some kind of playback in JOSM to enter all this data. 

I've tried using a standalone audio recorder, but it's way too easy to get out of sync with the waypoints. Actually *entering* house numbers (in Go Map!! on my iPhone would take too long and attract way too much attention.

Rafts of google and bingle searches have brought up nothing except how to spy on my spouse with a covert GPS audio recorder: that’s not what I’m looking for 😊

I can’t be the first to want this: anybody seen such a thing?


Stephen J Friedl  | Security Consultant | UNIX Wizard | 714 345-4571
mailto:steve at unixwiz.net | Southern California | Windows Guy |  http://unixwiz.net

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