Internet stuff since 2003
OpenStreetMap Downloads

General information

What is OpenStreetMap (OSM)?

The project OpenStreetMap (abbreviation OSM) was founded by Steve Coast in 2004. It´s goal is to provide geodata stored in a database that is freely available for everyone (Open Data) and is licenced under the Open Database License. The license allows you to create free and even commercial maps from that data. Everyone who is interested can edit the map, and that is how it works. The so called mapper around the world correct and expand the map constantly. The OpenStreetMap Foundation (founded in 2006) is a non-profit organisation that make decisions and control the whole project. When you are interested in contributing in OSM, feel free to sign up and help the community to grow.

Is it really all free and why?

Yes it is, because of the above mentioned licence. The map data is like Wikipedia. Freely available for all. But sometimes it may be necessary for companies and also private individuals to get professional support directly from the GPS unit vendor. In that case you need to buy a commercial map for example TOPO from Garmin. Those maps may also have other advantages, special features, that you can benefit from. So try it out.

What is the Global Positioning System (GPS)?

The Global Positioning System (abbreviation GPS) is is a satellite-based system owned by the US-Air Force. The geostationary satellites send geolocaion including time information to the earth like a radio broadcast station. A GPS receiver (GNSS) receive such singnals and they are able to calculate its own position with the maturities of the pseudorange from that signal. A pseudorage is the distance between a sender and receiver determined of the duration of the radio signal.

It is always necessary to receive signals from 4 satellites at the same time, otherwise a precise position determination is not possible. So when you activate your device, it can take some time before you get a clear position. Not only the determination of the location, but also the speed of the receiver can be ascertained from this satellite data. This technology opens up many possibilities of use.