Begin with OsmAnd
When you launch OsmAnd for the first time, all the parameters will be set to default settings. You can configure them by changing features in the menu. As you launch the app, you'll see the map screen with the main menu button. You can also switch to view dashboard on start. A dashboard is a starting screen with different cards containing information about different groups of settings or files. The dashboard shows your Favourites (favourite places), your GPX tracks list, the plugins information, etc.
Also, you have to download a World basemap. It is a basic map that will later help you view the maps of the regions and countries. The free version of OsmAnd allows 7 free downloads. After the map is downloaded, please tap the 'back' button to go to the map screen.
The OsmAnd+ version allows unlimited downloads and map updates with all the new details. The application uses OpenStreetMap resources - the maps created by contributors from all over the world. People add new items to the map, refine the details and delete the points of interest (POI) that are no longer there. Thus, the updates will provide the freshest information available. To download the map of the region you need, go to Settings - Manage map files - All downloads and choose the one you need.
Setting up OsmAnd for your region
To set app language, please go to Settings - General - Display language. Now all your menus will be in the chosen language.
To change the map names language, please go to Configure map - Map language. You can set it to Local names and the map names will be displayed in the language of the region or you can choose one language for all names.
This parameter will affect the units of length used on the map, the appearance of the speed limit sign shown when navigating, and right-hand or left-hand driving.
Units of length: Select kilometres/metres, miles/feet, or miles/yards as desired. This affects all distance and speed information widgets and announcements. You can also change this later in Settings - General Settings - Driving region and Settings - General Settings - Unit of length.
The ways to download maps
There are several ways to view maps. For offline use, you need to pre-download your maps. The OsmAnd native format is a compact vector .obf format.
There are two main types of maps you can download.
You can download pre-fabricated "vector" maps in OsmAnd's native format. They are very compact (about 10% compared to tiles) and allow zooming in to very high zoom levels without losing detail or resolution. If you have a relatively slow device, please note that zooming out to "overview" levels usually takes more time and CPU.
To download the maps you need, just go to Settings - Manage map files and select the country. There, you'll see all maps for this area available for downloading. The free OsmAnd version has the limit of 7 downloads (including additional voice prompts, etc.) while OsmAnd+ allows an unlimited number of downloads.
Also, you can make your own maps using OsmAnd Maps Creator, a tool designed for this purpose. You'll need to prepare the maps on your PC and transfer them to the "osmand" folder on your device. You might need to restart the app then.
As you install OsmAnd iOS application, you'll be able to view and manage offline maps of virtually any country of the world. To do so, you need to tap the menu button on the left, then select Maps & Resources, choose the continent and then proceed to the map download. You can also use the Search field to find the necessary map. Besides the general map itself, you'll see a contour lines map, a Wikipedia file, a hillshade map, etc. They can be downloaded together with the main map to add layers of information. If the downloads are inactive, you'll need to turn on the contour lines plugin first. Tap Plugins menu and switch it on. To download the map, just tap the download button next to it. As soon as the map is downloaded, tap Go to the map and start viewing the map you need. You can also start downloading other maps and view the one that's already installed while the download is in progress. Just go to the map by tapping Back.
Types of maps
OsmAnd offers you numerous map styles and data layers to fit the purpose. Let's take a glance on the main ones.
Main map styles
- OsmAnd style is the default style of map rendering. It offers details about the city such as streets, buildings, transport stops, etc.
- Touring view is created to meet the needs of tourists and has higher contrast than the regular one.
- UniRS and LightRS styles are author styles that render the basic map information but in different color schemes. May be quite useful for cyclists.
- Nautical map style will come in handy at overwater travels: you'll see the details of infrastructure like ports, sailing routes, navigation lights, etc.
- Winter and ski style is designed to help you navigate on winter sports locations: you'll be able to see ski pistes and other details such as complexity of skiing tracks and ski lift markers.
To switch to one of these styles, just go to Configure map — Map style.
Online maps and layers
You can add an over- and underlay to the basic map style you're viewing. To do that, just turn the Online maps plugin on, then go to Configure map menu and check over-, underlay or both. Note that when you return to the main screen, you'll see a small slider allowing you to adjust the opacity of the layer and switch to the new layer completely or use it together with the base map.
There are tens of online layers. To install them, just go to Configure map — Overlay (or Underlay) and press Install more. Some of the maps are only available for certain regions, but others have a world coverage. You can find satellite view, cycling routes and even location of fire hydrants there. Just explore the list to find the ones you prefer. These layers require an internet connection and will be stored as raster maps in osmand/tiles folder. Please read more about the difference between raster and vector maps here .
You can also prepare your own raster maps.
Adjusting voice prompts
If you select a tts voice, you need to have a respective text-to-speech engine in your Android operating system. These are partly included in Android or can be installed separately. Please go to your Android (device) settings, find Language and keyboard / Text-to-speech output or similar. Select or install an engine, then also install the language support for the language you need, this may be an extra setting or small download.
Please test ('Listen to an example' or similar test button provided) if your Android tts is working ok. Then you may also test if your OsmAnd voice prompts have been selected properly by going to Settings — General — OsmAnd development — Test voice prompts in OsmAnd. (OsmAnd development plugin must be activated to see the setting).
- How to use the map
View, customize and use your map easily.
How to find something on the map
Choose the map style, find your location and change options to use the maps the best way possible.
Drive, cycle or walk using up-to-date voice navigation with turn-by-turn prompts in your language.
- Trip planning
Make a route, plan your course, save the track of the trips.