Record GPS with OsmAnd

TrackExplorer, Tips & Tricks

During our tests we found out that the OsmAnd app is a very reliable tool to record GPS data with your smartphone. The fact that today’s smartphones use all GNSS, Google uses WLAN and mobile network data to improve the accuracy, makes it possible to display your position data very precisely.

The high accuracy of the position data allows a perfect interaction with TrackExplorer.

As far as the accuracy is concerned, we are talking about 1 to 3 meters under the most difficult conditions for determining the position data. These are negative effects like multipath (reflections from houses), weak signal and all natural attenuations (weather, ionosphere, etc..). In this article I will show you how to adjust the OsmAnd app to get the best user experience in connection with TrackExplorer.

OsmAnd Plugin Trip Recording

First you have to activate the trip recording plugin in OsmAnd. Then you can record GPS with OsmAnd – sounds logical and is easy. A little more attention needs to be paid to the configuration of the recording parameters (e.g. logging interval, etc…) In the video I show you how we set it up and used it for the tests.

OsmAnd Trip Recording Plugin Configuration

OsmAnd in Car

We mounted the smartphone in the vehicle with a mounting unit from Brodit. Thus the smartphone has a direct connection to the sky, but still there is a damping, just through the windscreen. Of course this is a disadvantage compared to an extra, external antenna. But when the additional data from WLAN and mobile network are added to optimize the accuracy, the result is really amazing.

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Brodit Smartphone Mounting

OsmAnd Recorded Data

You can find your recorded trips in the OsmAnd menu under “My Places”. In our example you can see that we have already recorded some trips and on closer inspection the data is of very good quality – in terms of accuracy.

OsmAnd Recorded Trips

TrackExplorer Upload

Once you have recorded data, it can be used in TrackExplorer without problems. The requirements (accuracy and GPX data format) are fulfilled thanks to OsmAnd. Once the data is available on your smartphone, you have two options to upload the data to TrackExplorer.

1. Upload by Smartphone

Just go to the TrackExplorer upload page, select the file and start uploading. You can define the location of your recorded data in the OsmAnd app. If it is an OsmAnd GPX file, you don’t need any timestamps. OsmAnd records the rides with a speed/timestamp that is displayed correctly in TrackExplorer. Once you have successfully uploaded your data, you can view your trips in the TrackExplorer app. That`s it!

2. Upload by PC/Laptop

Here you have to make the file accessible for the PC/laptop in the first step. How you do this is your decision (USB, LAN, NAS, …). Once your PC/laptop has access to the file, you can easily access it via the TrackExplorer upload page on your PC/laptop. Then you can select the file and start the upload. Once the file is uploaded, your browser will automatically switch to the WebGL TrackExplorer app and start the TrackExplorer directly in your browser. WebGL works really well these days, only Chrome/Edge and/or Firefox are required.

OsmAnd on Bycicle and Motorcycle

Yes, also the data recording with OsmAnd on a bike or motorcycle works very well! At this point it should be mentioned that we only tested it while riding a bycicle (unfortunately we don’t have a motorcycle). But you can use the same OsmAnd settings for the bike and the motorcycle as described above for the car.

We use a holder from Bovon. The bracket is really cheap, flexible in mounting and holds very well. The mount is especially important when riding a bicycle. The smartphone should not jump out of the cradle at the first edge of the sidewalk. As soon as you have recorded GPS data, you can view it, as in the example below.

Grand Canyon Bycicle Tour

Jogging, Horse Riding and Hiking

This is another story about the devices for recording position data. Of course Smartwatches and stand-alone loggers are a good choice here. How this works or what results can be achieved with them, I describe in a separate blog article. To be continued…

Author: OJ

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