OpenStreetMap – Part 1: Routing on OSM

Osm-routingNot being a fan of being tracked online, especially not location wise, I've been using OpenStreetMap (OSM) and OSM for Android (OSMAND) a lot over the years. I've grown especially fond of OSMAND as it enables navigation with offline maps and both the program and the map data is open source and open data respectively. There are some things, however that others could do better on the PC, so I still had to resort to Google Maps if I wanted to get a first idea how a route could look like or to find out the distance between two locations. I don't use a Google account, my browser forgets Google's cookies whenever I close it and I regularly get a new IP address so privacy is more or less still retained. Nevertheless I would always have preferred an open solution. So you probably understand my joy when OpenStreetMap recently announced that they have integrated routing on their main page. Look for the arrow icon next to the "go" button. It's not a new feature, I take it that it's been available for quite some time on Open Source Routing Machine but I have to admit I didn't know until recently.

Actually there is a lot of stuff I didn't know about OSM and OSMAND and after watching the recording of the OSM presentation at 31C3 (in German only…) I had a closer look and found lots of amazing things that I have since made good use of. That's why I titled this post "part 1" and I will write down some notes about other topics such as editing the map via OSMAND and on the desktop, adding features, services that use OSM, etc. in a couple of follow-ups.