A nice Free-Software GPS navi app

I came across a pretty good street navigation app called Magic Earth

Apparently they’re in talks with the /e/ project about open sourcing their app code. It also relies on OpenStreetMap data and has some OSMand features I like such as locally caching maps for quicker search. Search isn’t perfect, but it’s loads better than OSMand. And navigation includes 3d. Just another one to check out!


Please remember that OSM is based on our collective efforts to improve map data. An easy way to add street numbers (among other things) is completing quests in StreetComplete (available from F-Droid):

This app finds incomplete and extendable data in your vicinity and displays it on a map as markers. Each of those is solvable by answering a simple question to complete the info on site.

I would love to see a similar app for the Librem 5!

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Hey looks cool. I will try it later. But where did you find the information about them open sourcing the app?

The solution, of course, is to have bought your GPS receiver in 1998, before the concept of “big data” Granted, it may be missing a few features, but…

…but it isn’t that much of an inconvenience, really. Most of my travel is local, and I’m a pretty good navigator once I’m even somewhat familiar with an area.

For longer distance travel, I simply look up the destination address online before leaving the house, punch it into the GPS, and I’m off.

It does navigation and nothing else, which is all I want in a GPS.

That aside, I am excited to get my Librem 5 and run Pure Maps on it. It seems like it’ll be a fine solution, and bring the convenience of tech back to my life without the sacrifice of privacy.


Here you go:
Beta release info, look at the bottom for comment on Magic Earth
Wiki page including official statement from developer


One option for me that I am looking forward would be Mapzen’s VALHALLA 3.0. Here is an Introduction for Developers. Proof of Concept for the Traffic Influenced Routing is in progress and under way. There is currently possibility to use a hosted version provided by Mapbox and Mapbox Demo is available for Android.

Here is an official Intro to Valhalla and information about Valhalla Tilepacks even though I don’t know if there is some broader interest in adjusting it for Librem 5 common usage, but I still hope so.

Valhalla is fully supported by Pure Maps (as a client) and OSM Scout Server (service provider). So, its used for calculation of the routes online and offline. Right now, OSM Scout Server uses Valhalla 2.x series (its linked to it as a lib) and I am planning to update it to 3.x in future. The update will require planet import in a new format and will have to be synced across the platforms by updating OSM Scout Server accordingly.

Right now, traffic info is available in Pure Maps through viewing the maps, without routing influenced by it. Its supporting Mapbox and HERE data. In practice, HERE can be extended now to provide routing as well (so far has been delayed for legal reasons). Mapbox services were not fully incorporated due to high cost and legal reasons. Legal issues can be resolved by Pure Maps now through use of separate profiles, cost is another matter.


Aye, just some relevant URLs:

AlternativeTo Google Maps:


the weakness may hit earlier. todays chips bundle GPS and baseband. GPS in turn needs satelite data which can be retrieved much faster via broadband (takes up to 20min to get that from the satelites) so these chips may include some way to do that. this method may leak privacy data.

as far as i know purism uses such a bundled chip but doesnt use the contained GPS and adds a separate chip for GPS (is that correct?) the blob for the baseband/gps chip isnt known. so you wont know if location data is leaked from the contained GPS via the baseband. such an operation isnt even visible to the main CPU.

depending of the level of assistance for the GPS via baseband the location can be calculated on serverside without having a fix in the GPS (all received raw data is send to the server, calculation takes place there).

The built-in GPS module on the SIMCOM modem on the devkit is not used, as mentioned here. I don’t know whether the Gemalto PLS8 also includes a GPS unit.

According to the datasheet linked here (LTE frequency bands), it does. Since the specifications already include a separate satellite positioning chip, I don’t expect the modem to be wired to any antenna.

Since the GPS unit in the SIMCOM modem was not connected to an antenna, I expect the same will be the case for the Gemalto modem.

Since for me usage of Traffic Message Channel (TMC) was like a lottery (rarely useful throughout whole year), and in order to avoid Internet connection, let me kind of dream about and just as a thought here; ideal-wise would be if Librem 5 GNSS Module (led by Pure Maps) have an additional capability (figuratively saying) of using DAB(+) in Europe or HD Traffic (Nord America) signals of Real-time Traffic Information over USB-C extension so that there, when driving, is no need for using the Internet (at all). Such HW/SW upgrade might bring Librem 5 v2 (or Librem 6) to the markets where professionals (with relatively old cars and, of course, buses & trucks) use the roads. As constant power source and antenna are important for turn-by-turn navigation I would suggest (as an example here and/or for an eventual future expert consideration) accessory for USB-C similar to Garmin GTM 60™ HD Digital Traffic Receiver or GTM 70™ Digital Traffic Receiver (Europe) even though direct integration of digital radio and processing system-on-chip within Librem 5 v2 may be cheap and quality infotainment/entertainment solution as well. Here is an intro (important) to Transport Protocol Experts Group (TPEG) Traffic and Travel Data via the DAB family of standards and here is (just as info) comparison of (Garmin) Traffic Service Differences for North American Automotive Devices.

The GPS part of it must get its data from the satellites. It’s based on timing and triangulation from the satellites themselves to give your location. That is also why the more satellites you can detect the more precise your location can be determined.

The GPS concept is based on time and the known position of GPS specialized satellites. The satellites carry very stable atomic clocks that are synchronized with one another and with the ground clocks. Any drift from true time maintained on the ground is corrected daily. In the same manner, the satellite locations are known with great precision. GPS receivers have clocks as well, but they are less stable and less precise.

Each GPS satellite continuously transmits a radio signal containing the current time and data about its position. Since the speed of radio waves is constant and independent of the satellite speed, the time delay between when the satellite transmits a signal and the receiver receives it is proportional to the distance from the satellite to the receiver. A GPS receiver monitors multiple satellites and solves equations to determine the precise position of the receiver and its deviation from true time. At a minimum, four satellites must be in view of the receiver for it to compute four unknown quantities (three position coordinates and clock deviation from satellite time).

Location data can be determined by applications using you position to cell towers.

Usually that is refered to course granular location while GPS data is fine granular location.

Very long reply… Sorry.

Interesting addition to the OSM sphere:
Some new open-sourced components by Qwant.


In order to plan and have overview of some optional routes for car, pedestrian and bicycle Qwant Maps Beta provides most necessary, thanks. Link is here: https://www.qwant.com/maps/routes/. Usually I use such overview when traveling somewhere for the first time, before entering main and particularly sub-direction place (next stop) to my navigation device. With http://map.project-osrm.org/ you are not getting optional routes, as usual. Qwant Maps current online address book is just basic but for orientation still useful. It looks very promising even though my first choice will be Pure Maps.

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Apart of the discussion about GPS chips and map services, what is needed too, is a way to store map tiles in the phone of a region of interest, i.e. where I am and will be the next days, a region of say 20x20km, a town, etc. for situations without data mobile or very expensive data mobile. I do need this always when I‘m in Cuba.

I would assume this already exists. Didn’t check, but OSM Scout Server listed in the MGLA seems to do exactly that! ?

Also the category of maps server.