Updated Workflow for OpenStreetMap + MozStumbler

After being dead for a long time my Galaxy S3 performed a miraculous recovery so I decided to bring it back as part of my Open Street Maps workflow. This post shares my experience in using these tools for capturing data for OpenStreetMaps and Mozilla Stumbler

I have 3 pieces of equipment

  1. Samsung Galaxy S4
  2. Samsung Galaxy S3
  3. Garmin Etrex 30

Galaxy S4

The S4 is my general smartphone. Its advantage is that GPS satellite locking is faster than the S3 but the camera takes too long to open (Update: this problem seems to have been resolved with 4.4) and the battery life is too short. Therefore I decided that rather than using the S4 as my primary capture tool I will use S3 instead because the camera is much more responsive and I get to save battery in the S4.

Galaxy S3

I just leave MozStumbler on for 24 hours to send information to Mozilla Location Services because I don’t see any harm in doing so and since I don’t have a sim card in this machine seems to make the cell scanning functionality much more effective perhaps because it is not limited to scanning cell towers of the network provider. I did a short experiment by opening MozStumbler for 20 minutes to see how many cell towers were picked up. The S4 containing a sim card picked up only 2 towers while the S3 picked up 5.

The other function that I use is the camera in combination with DropBox which makes it very convenient alongside Open Street Maps since the photos are made immediately available for me to use in my computer when I return to base.

Etrex 30

I started to use the Garmin Etrex 30 instead of the GPS in my phone because I find the plots of the Etrex to be much smoother and the battery lasts a really long time (two AA batters will last me the whole day). I changed the settings as recommended by the OSM Wiki for stability in capturing and I then transfer the tracks for use in JOSM.

Overall I think that the extra equipment has brought about an incremental but significant improvement to my Open Street Map workflow and the investment I’ve made in the equipment is definitely worth it.


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