That said, on to the configuration! Start the app, pop out the menu using the hamburger menu in the lower left corner and select ...
Plugins: only the following make sense; some others may be enabled by default but you can disable them.
- Online maps: if you have a SIM card (or a special database file, see below), this can greatly improve your map display
- Parking Position: left your bike somewhere and took the Karoo with you? Quickly navigate back to it.
- Trip recording: not strictly necessary as that should be the Karoo software's job, but it enables stuff like online tracking if you want.
- Contour lines: use terrain maps. Very useful in mountainous regions, plus the terrain can be used for making navigation decisions as well.
- OSM editing: get involved with OpenStreetMap by adding map notes and points of interest right from your dashboard. If you add a note, chances are the mistake will be fixed already by the time of your next map update - and everybody profits, including other cyclists in your area!
- General settings:
- Default profile: obviously you want "cycling" here
- Map/Screen orientation: doesn't matter as the Karoo only works in portrait mode anyway
- Localization: all up to your personal taste and upbringing
- Use Kalman filter: yes. Some phones smooth the data from the compass by themselves already but the Karoo doesn't, so if you don't check this, the map will flail around wildly when you set it to rotate with compass or movement direction.
- No animations: the battery savings are unmeasurable on the Karoo with its powerful GPU for the small display, so leave it off.
- Fullscreen mode: lets you make everything overlaid on the map disappear with a click. Very useful, especially with limited screen real estate.
- Don't show startup messages: yes please, don't get on my nerves!
- Navigation settings: select this and then the cycling icon from the selection box
- Navigation service: you can leave this at "OSMand", or change it to "BROUTER" if you have this app installed. BRouter offers very advanced bicycle routing that allows you to write your own routing rules for diferent kinds of bikes and riding styles, but it's still a bit cumbersome to use as it requires its own map files, so I don't bother on the Karoo.
- Routing Preferences
- Avoid: "unpaved roads" and "stairs" would make sense for road bikers Note that this only works if someone has actually mapped the road surface in OpenStreetMap so depending on the country it's not quite a guarantee that you won't encounter any of these on your routed ride. If that happens: click on the road ahead and select "Avoid road". A little road-construction sign will appear and you will be rerouted. Then add a map note for someone to update the map and the problem will eventually go away (if it doesn't, you'll have familiarize yourself with the editor on https://osm.org/, which is a good idea anyway)
- Select elevation fluctuation: depends on your preferred riding style: avoid that climb even if the route is a little longer, or go right across?
- Allow motorways: well...probably not
- Use elevation data: yes! You'll have to download the contour lines map (just once as mountains don't tend to move around much) and get better routing in return.
- Navigation preferences
- Auto-center map view: you'll want to set this not too high, maybe 15s.
- Auto zoom map: mid-range works fine but it's up to you whether you want to see more detail or a better overview. Depends a bit on your map style as well as the style determines the details visible at a certain zoom.
- Snap to Road: I leave it off as it can lead to strange effects when roads are close together and the GPS isn't 100% precise (although the Karoo's is pretty damn good)
- Show alerts: "lanes" is the only one that kinda makes sense here
- Announce: "street names" ("Turn slightly right on Bay Street") is helpful, "Track waypoints", too.
- Repeat navigation instructions: I've got this on at 7min as it's reassuring to hear you're still on track once in a while, especially if the next turn is many kilometers away and there are some obtuse-angled turnoffs in between where you're not quite sure which one is considered "straight on" or sometimes only one is mapped anyway and you're not sure which)
- Arrival announcement: in my experience, turnoffs are usually announced well ahead even for driving and way too early for cycling, so I have this set to "Late"
- Map orientation threshold: off or 0 km/h. Map orientation to movement direction is fine for me; it's also easy to change with a single click on the map screen's compass icon if you have it on.
- Turn screen on: 15s or something, maybe longer. Very nice feature for those daytime rides where otherwise the screen backlight would be the major drain on your battery. Using this you can keep your screen off to save battery and it will automatically turn on whenever the router has an announcement to make. Just crank your brightness up all the way and it's even eye-catching enough to kinda make up for the lack of audible cues.
- Voice guidance: whatever language you prefer, TTS (Text to Speech) is the better option
- Voice guidance output: "Media/music audio"
- Plugins (these are plugin-specific settings for everything you enabled before)
- Online maps: check "use the internet" if you have a SIM card
- Trip recording: just read through the options here. Most are up to personal taste; a notable one that can replace paid services like Strava's Beacon for people who have a web server already is "online tracking".
- OSM editing: always check "offline editing", otherwise OSMand will make you wait for the upload to finish whenever you map something or add a map note.
- Quick action: pressing this takes you to an empty screen with a blue Plus sign. Here you can add actions that you need often but that are usually hidden in a menu somewhere, and put them on a "quick action popout" that you can access with a single click on the map. I have only "Set underlay to Microsoft Earth" and "Set to no underlay" here.
- Right panel: you can show a whole lot of items here but for a good overview, better keep the list small. I have "Destination" on (i.e. distance to destination), "Time to go" (select the dots to change between Time to go and Arrival time), Speed and Altitude. For planning routes, the Radius ruler can be practical, too.
- Left panel: only navigation stuff goes here. I switch it all on except for "Next turn (small)". "Next turn" is really useful and the compass icon can be used to switch map orientations, so take at least these two.
- Remaining elements:
- Transparent widgets: very useful so you can see the map underneath
- Display position always in center: matter of taste, try it, I don't use it
- Street name: takes up a whole lot of space on top, may be useful for urban navigation though
- Map markers: change this to "Widgets", otherwise you'll get a huge bar telling you where your markers are, taking up lots of room on top.
- Favorites: as long as you don't have too many of these you'll probably want it on. Favorite spots will be marked with colored stars on the map (you can even create your own categories with custom colors)
- POI overlay/labels: this gets turned on if you search for a kind of point of interest such as "ATM" and select "show ... on the map" to see all of them in your vicinity. Normally they take up to much space on the screen though so you can come here to turn them off again.
- Transport: public transport routes; OK for routing on foot, off for cycling
- GPX files: turn this on to get a GPX route overlaid.
- Map markers: on, set little flags for any point you consider important without necessarily routing to it.
- Map source: this should usually be at the default of "Offline vector maps". If you're in an area with good cell coverage you can try online maps, too. They cost bandwidth but are usually better rendered, such as CycleMap. Note that the vector maps are used for routing though, so online tile maps may not be perfectly in sync with what your router believes. With vector maps being updated monthly, chances are that the router's idea is more up to date though.
- Mapillary is a plugin for access to something like amateur-level StreetView imagery. Usable (rarely) for mapping or route planning on bigger screens, utterly useless on the Karoo.
- Overlay/Underlay map: endless possibilities for beautifying or screwing up your map display! The most useful for me has been to select "Install more" for an Underlay Map (make sure you're online!), install "Microsoft Earth" and use that. It gives you satellite tiles under your regular map. See below on how to get that without an internet connection.
- Contour lines (if you have the plugin activated): yes, please! You can make them disappear when the map is zoomed out so rendering would be both slow and distracting. Zoom 13 works well.
- Hillshade layer: if you have the hillshade maps downloaded, it's a good complement for the contour lines, they usually show the terrain better when the map is zoomed out.
- OSM notes: only if you have a SIM, but I find those red blobs very distracting anyway.
- Map rendering
- Map style: up to you, play with it! The default works well but depending on your riding you may prefer Offroad, Touring, or Topo. If you install OpenFietsMap (see below), it will turn up here.
- Map mode: if/how to switch between day and night mode. Up to you, but I prefer day mode with display brightness turned way down even at night.
- Map magnifier: the higher this is, the fatter map features become. For a relatively low-res (compared to phones) display like the Karoo's I find 75% to work well. 50% and lower seems to break rendering and stuff disappears.
- Text size: depends on your eyes; 75% is still OK for browsing at rest but 100% is much more readable while riding.
- Details: what options you have avaialable here depends on your chosen map style, but "Show road surface" is usually a good idea when available. It color codes concrete roads with dashed lines in blue, asphalt in black, gravel in gray and unpaved in brown. "Show road quality" complements that by filling in the gaps in the dashes with another color indicating how smooth the surface is, so you might have black-pink for an asphalt road full of potholes, brown-blue for an unpaved but well-compacted and smooth road or brown-red for "unpaved and really bad". It sometimes makes sense where I live but may be visual overkill in many areas.
- Hide: I check "Boundaries" (who wants to see state and municipal boundaries when cycling?), "Proposed objects" (TBH I don't even know where to find any) and "Underground objects" (my bike stays above the ground, thank you very much). Hiding polygons may be necessary when using an underlay map but you can switch that on from the Underlay screen, too.
- Routes: cycle and MTB routes, obviously!
- If you're into scouting out new routes in unmapped territory, having satellite imagery available offline can be invaluable. You can use OSMand Map Creator (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OsmAndMapCreator) to get them onto your Karoo
- Follow the above Wiki page to install the program and start it.
- Select "Create a new tile source" from the "Source of tiles" menu.
- Add a URL like this: https://a.tiles.mapbox.com/v4/digitalgl ... 94fHV289Pg Note that this URL won't work forever as they change their access tokens once in a while. The JOSM editor usually comes with up to date URLs but you can also just ask here if it doesn't work.
- Select that tile source from the menu and the satellite images should be loaded on screen
- Select your desired area by drawing a box, then click "Preload area" on the upper right. You'll probably want to download everything starting around zoom 8 until the maximum. The program will give you a number of tiles and an estimated size, make sure this is not too much for the Karoo and that you have at least twice that much free on your disk.
- Click "Download tiles" and wait. Don't hold your breath, usually this takes several hours.
- From the "source of tiles" menu select "Create sqlite database". This will create a single big file in the tile directory (on Linux this is "~/osmand/tiles", on Windows I'm not sure, just search your personal folder for something called "tiles")
- Use adb to push the file to "/sdcard/Android/data/net.osmand.plus/files/tiles/" under a name that ends in ".sqlitedb".
- In OSMand, select the database as a tile source in the Map Underlay menu.
- While map-style-wise I prefer the Touring style as I do a lot of MTB, it may be worth checking out the "OpenFietsMap" style developed by a Dutch cyclists' association, especially for urban cycling. It's not included with OSMand but available on Github, and here's how to use it:
- Download the style file at
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ligfi ... render.xml
- Install it:
Code: Select all
adb push OpenFietsMap.render.xml /sdcard/Android/data/net.osmand.plus/files/rendering
- You may have to kill OSMand from the list of apps to make the style show up in
- Download the style file at
Edit: here's how it looks with satellite imagery in the background and color coded by road surface: