Android, OsmAnd and GPX Tracks

Posted on 17 April 2014

I have recently added a new section to my website showing my favourite cycling routes. I used Viking to produce the GPX files (a truly excellent application!) and then wanted to navigate them using my phone. There isn’t a way of importing premade GPX routes into google maps, so we need to use another application, and one that has all the features we need (and many more we don’t need) is OsmAnd, which is a great offline map viewer powered by OpenStreetMap. Unfortunately it has a really bad user interface (to my mind its only flaw really) so actually setting up and using OsmAnd for GPX track navigation is difficult. The official how-to guide is here, and is fairly brief (there are other how-tos cover the installation). I summarise the process as follows for inclusion on each ride description:

The process of navigating a route on Android is a bit complicated so I’ll give detailed instructions. First, we need to install and set up the GPS mapping software. This part only needs to be done once.

  1. Install OsmAnd. It’s a great app with all the features we need.

  2. Launch OsmAnd, and go to Settings->Navigation->Voice Guidance and select your language.

  3. In Settings->Data Management download the maps for the area you are interested in (e.g. your country or state).

Next, we need to get the route into the phone. This is best done when the phone is connected to a PC rather than directly on the phone.

  1. Download the GPX file for this route.

  2. Copy the GPX file to osmand/tracks on the phone’s sd card. You may need to make the tracks directory yourself.

  3. Launch OsmAnd and go to the map.

  4. Click the menu button (three lines on top of each other).

  5. Click Configure Map and then GPX track.... Select the track from the list. It should now display on the map.

  6. Finally, click the menu button again, and click Directions. Answer yes to the dialog that pops up, and then to actually start the navigation, press the blue triangle symbol in the bottom right corner.

All done. Enjoy your ride :-)