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Using OpenStreetMap

Author: Rachee Singh
Published? true
FormatLanguage: WikiFormat


You want to use OpenStreetMap (OSM) map data to display maps in your application.


Use the third-party osmdroid library to interact with OpenStreetMap data.


OpenStreetMap is a free, editable map of the world. The OpenStreetMapView is a (almost) full/free replacement for Android's MapView class. See the osmdroid googlecode page for more details. The capabilities of OSM and Google maps are similar; some people prefer OSM because of the fewer limitations on what you can do with the data. For example, you are forbidden from using Google Map data for turn-by-turn navigation, because much of Google's data is licensed from commercial GPS data services. See http://www.openstreetmap.org/about for more information.

To use OSM in your android app, you need to include two jars in the Android project namely, osmdroid-android-x.xx.jar and slf4j-android-1.5.8.jar. OSMDroid is a set of tools for OpenStreetMap data; SLF4J is (yet another) simplified logging facade. These can be downloaded from the links below:

Or you can use the Maven artifact (see Hello World - Maven Version), which is currently:


See Referencing libraries to implement external functionality to learn how to use external libraries in your Android project.

After adding the JARs to the project we can start coding.

  • You need to add a OSM MapView to an XML layout like this:
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
  • Also include the ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE and INTERNET permissions in the AndroidManifest:
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
  • Now we have to use this MapView in the Activity code. This is done exactly as you would do in the case of Google maps.
private MapView mapView;
private MapController mapController;
mapView = (MapView) this.findViewById(R.id.mapview);
mapController = this.mapView.getController();

Once you are done with the code, go ahead and run it! This is how the application should look:


The source code for this project is in the Android Cookbook repository, http://github.com/IanDarwin/Android-Cookbook-Examples/,in the subdirectory OSMIntro.
TedHill 2012-01-20 15:51:29.477 Please add a paragraph or two explaining what advantage(s) there is to using OSM instead of using Google Map's MapView. For example, what can you do with OSM that you can't do with MapView.
idarwin 2011-12-15 15:45:43.007 It would be great to see some discussion of how to get from the lat and long displayed on the OSM web page to the GeoPoint coordinates, both the 1e6 multiplier and other conversion issues.
racheesingh 2011-08-19 10:43:43.803 Colin, there is no API key for OSM. The application does require the Internet permission though. I apologize for not having mentioned it in the recipe. So I have updated the recipe and also uploaded the code (which I checked works fine). Thanks for bringing this to notice!
NavaronUK 2011-08-19 07:31:44.103 how about running on a device? Is some kind of key needed like Google maps as all i see is a blank grid