Meshtastic

Offline maps on Meshtastic

Hi just for info re hiking with offline maps. I would use openandromaps.org to download maps and use them on cartograph. Usually I do this on my iphone but cartograph do have an Android equivalent although I have not tested it.
Openandromaps offer mapsforge maps which are great for hiking. You also get POIs.
Cartograph allows you to record your track.
I have no idea how you could code the Meshtastic app to allow you to have a selection of offline providers unfortunately. So I cannot help much!

1 Like

the mapbox API has support for automatically downloading and using offline maps that cover wherever you are. Alas, we just don’t call that API yet :wink:

Hey guys, have a look into API for Locus Maps. They were helpful when I tried to design a prototype of LORA based tracker integrated with their maps and API. They offer free version and of course the paid one (for approx. 10USD per phone installation). They have great offline maps and huge community.

2 Likes

thanks for the pointer!

Hi guys,
thanks @slavino for notification on this topic. As Locus Map dev, I’ll just give you a quick info here.
From my quick reading, seems you are looking for replacement for offline MapView system. Not sure why you want to replace MapBox system, but from the free alternatives, this is currently most easy to achive with MapsForge library (that Locus Map use as well). Anyway there is still some work with map distribution etc.

Locus Map and it’s API are not! replacement for the map view. App only offers API for displaying and work with app data on the map. Locus Map is mainly about maps, so if you want and easy and quick solution how to get maps to more people, you may give it a try. It is possible to simply create a service on your side, that will every second send new list of points to the Locus Map (if is running) so users may see content on many of available maps etc etc.

I’m not advertising Locus Map here, maybe opposite: warn you in case, you are really searching only for replacement of the MapView system.

If there will be any questions, feel free to ask, I’ll gladly help ;).

PS: btw nice example how this works is LiveMap offered by add-on Geocaching4Locus (geocaches downloaded from internet and refreshed on the map when user moves with the map).

2 Likes

Ehm, sure but your ecosystem delivers also possibility to see all that map information even on smartwatch (for me it works on your free app on Samsung’s Gear S2 and latest Samsung Watch as well).

Other than that - the map layer is fantastic and is available offline. I don’t even count the situations when I am out of GSM coverage and any hint about terrain, forest roads, etc. were urgently needed :slight_smile: You did a fantastic job with this app - Thank you!

The only downside is missing iOS port of Locus - but that’s another story as I don’t care much about Apple.

1 Like

I wonder if it would be somehow possible to make use the extremely great osmand offline maps app. :world_map:

Specially when it is about hiking :walking_man: :hiking_boot: , biking :biking_man::mountain_biking_woman: , skiing :skier::ski: , boating :sailboat::rowing_woman: , flying :parachute: :small_airplane: etc. there is nothing comparable out there to osmand imho. Topgrapic maps with hill shades, contour lines and navigation profiles for all ways of mean - everything extremely customizable - all offline!

With Osmand recently made custom packages/plugins available it should be possible to bring the meshtastic location data into osmand with a little plug in if I’m not totally wrong.

Also Osmand already supports “online gps tracker” so the function (to show people/trackers on the map) is already present :artificial_satellite:

And I just found this useful github post

4 Likes

I suggest the best Offilne map is CivTAK. They SHOULD be releasing the SDK as open source this week.

Discord site for discussion: https://discord.com/invite/xTdEcpc

Video on ATAK and alternative Off-Line maps: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU-ljC8EvKZFhJ-pct_5rMQ

1 Like

You are suggesting writing a plug-in for CivTAK to support communications with Meshtastic enabling placing nodes on the map? Does CivTAK support text messaging with something other than say XMPP or CoT, or would this capability need to be embodied into the plug-in development?

Some conscious thought will have to go into avoiding the bias of using urban areas for map examples. 4 of 5 OpenStreetMap basemap layers, which are the main source other apps draw from, are almost completely useless when there are no roads to display. For example, this is the 4km surrounding my home… completely blank…

If the off-the-beaten-path use-cases (hiking, search and rescue, etc.) are to get any value from the maps, the only OSM layer that’s useful in likely locations is the Cycle Map, which at least shows topographical lines.

This is the Cycle Map for roughly the same area as above. Transport, OPNVKarte, and Humanitarian are also blank here.

That’s part of why I defaulted the current mapbox map to their hiking map. (And if someone wants to turn on their off-line map support it looks fairly easy)

2 Likes

Yeah, the current basemap is totally workable, and probably low enough resolution to cache multiple zoom levels without too much memory pain. There’s talk in the various map/app threads about switching to OSM, and I just wanted to flag this after scrolling through the pretty maps of urban areas.

1 Like

The current default mapbox map is pretty good for typical usage. Unfortunately, I don’t have the skills to enable offline features.

When this topic was started, the question was less about a certain map or a map provider, and more about the map engine used within Meshtastic.

Many map engines allows the user to specify both online and offline sources, including in app map downloads. Moreover, they can handle raster, vector, and PDF maps. Not to forget overlays (KMZ, KML, GPX…).

If such a engine was implemented, Meshtastic could still offer the user one solid default map, without locking out other needs.

We could start with enabling mapbox offline maps, as @geeksville suggested. Then, continue with adding a versatile open source map engine to the app, for allowing the users to specify their own sources and offline maps.

There are still many other parts of Meshtastic to be developed, and changing map engine might not be on the top of the priority list (understandably). Therefore, I courage this skilled community to help in developing this. :wink:

2 Likes

Noting a feature of both OsmAnd and ATAK is the ability to import additional images to overlay onto the map manually. This is pretty nice.

I have just come across eos.com/landviewer which allow free access to satellite imagery.

It would be amazing to think we might be able to download a satellite image only 24 hours old and use with Meshtastic. On some of the larger farms in Australia, a six month old Google Maps image is completely different to what is on the ground due to water drying up etc.

3 Likes

Using a locus is a fantastic idea !!! I tell you this as a long-term user of your program. Indeed, a COMMON MAP system is VERY NECESSARY for all local stations on the meshastic system. In fact, it will help a lot to create long-distance networks and plan locations where to place intermediate stations for interconnecting local networks.

Hi @menion. Would it be possible to use https://www.locusmap.eu/live-tracking-chat/ through API? Because basically this can provide everything what we need - it can share location and send messages to a group, jut it needs to utilize LoRa radio through Meshtastic APP (or any through other app that can communicate with other radiomodems) instead of data. On the end we can have the same solution like goTenna Pro X with ATAK app provides.
This will bring benefit to your app as well - any search & rescue or adventure app needs off grid communication features.

1 Like

I’m very new to all of this but looks really cool and would love to do some testing of it. Can some own put up a video of running atak on Meshtastic off grid and how you did it. Doesn’t need to be a good video

1 Like

Welcome @Electric2u!

You can find pictures and information here: https://github.com/paulmandal/atak-forwarder

2 Likes

OsmAnd is the best option from what I’ve seen. Going try ATAK hopefully (never done this before) Mapbox doesn’t work well with out a network connection from what I’ve tried.

3 Likes

I added a little POC for a minimalist Locus Maps integration. All known nodes are displayed in Locus Maps as POIs. I personally like Locus for it’s excellent support of various open source maps.

If anybody likes the idea feel free to improve it and add what you need :slight_smile:

5 Likes