Download/update maps | Import locally, bots and Overpass API

I was thinking that download or update maps it could be a problem in Cuba when you use the on-demanding streaming location option as they are loaded from internet in a maintained connection and set an option to download the maps from the internet just once is not a real option in many cases (big file size even for regions).

It would be great if the api bot could support a way where new maps versions or the download of other maps were made from the bot and send it by a message to the user to import it manually.

As download maps from internet was already discussed by some contributors and devs and it was suggested here Mapbox sends too many data to their servers, I wanted also suggest that the way maps are downloaded when you request it could be like when you download them from using Overpass API or maybe use also the same api from them.

With Overpass API you can select which area you want to download without the dependence of already build data for regions or countries. You could only download your own town or maybe just a part of it.

Overpass API has a problem if you use it directly because XML data has a big size even for a little island like El Hierro (from Canary Islands) and this is why must be converted before receive it (from other server in Internet download case and bot server if you request it to a bot).

There are free software apps and libraries that could do that. I used mkgmap to convert a *.osm 120 MB size file to use it in a Garmin Etrex 10 (over 10 MB storage).

Edited: A compressed .gpx or .osm file could reduce the size a lot since they are just data in plain text. ~ *.osm 696 MB --> *.osm.gz 69,2 MB and *.gpx.gz 41,4 MB

Edited 2: and explain some good things


currently maps are cached in delta chat, so actually once you load a region you can use it offline, but a way to import that maps offline so they can be shared offline, or using the Cuban intranet, would be awesome, maps could be downloaded by regions like other apps do.

Your post is also about kicking out mapbox maybe we should collect all threads about that and make a new meta topic to list them and further discuss it… Or we just make this topic the new meta topic, changing the title to sth like “Replace Mapbox with sth. better” and listing all other topics and re-mentioning some of their important points here…

Even saving cache, loading from the internet is a problem. The maps are reloaded in every zoom level even you can not load just a part of the maps but all is represented in your screen. Also, there is a problem when the maps are updated from servers and that happens very often in many cases. (Maybe just using a Firewall to prevent updating it would be partially solved)

Also, many apps which download per-region use prebuilt images, you must download everything they added even if you don’t need it. In my case I needed to download all Canary Islands map and that is why I finally used Overpass API only to download my island.

With Overpass API you don’t have that problem, you can set which part of the map in which zoom level is downloaded and you don’t need to download every map in every zoom level because it’s downloaded just once all that is represented in the square you set in that zoom level (not all the screen). I could also download just my town.

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I read that mapbox could use offline maps but I didn’t understand how it was that. I thought it was just a flexible library where you could use gpx or osm files. If it uses an specific format I dont think it would be a problem, but if it’s needed maps only from mapbox server to be downloaded in their conditions as they pre-built them, then, it could be a problem.

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Sorry, @Simon I forgot reply to your question: this is a proposition, so I think it should be create a new meta topic to list these things instead of use this.