OSM mapping aid: notes recorder

by L Schmidt

Version 5 (July 15, 2021)

Download (125 downloads)

A recurrent problem for OpenStreetMap mappers is recording locations and notes while driving, for later processing. Think of for example speed limit road signs which request a different maximum speed than the map indicates. For later editing and correction, the location may not be easily accurately remembered, nor the speed limit, because one is likely to encounter a different deviating sign a bit further down the road.

This flow attempts to aid with note taking while driving. When triggered - here by "Assist" gesture, used because of no extra hardware needed - the location is determined, a photo is taken, and speech recording for a limited time (a configurable number of seconds) commences. After taking a note, three files are created, all with "{time}+{longitude}+{latitude}" as base name, with extensions .3gpp (the audio note), .jpg (a photo taken) and .txt
(linewise list of selected variables with their contents, and a URL to openstreetmap, displaying a map centered on the recorded location). The recording can be spoken text like "speed limit 80 km/h“, as audio is taken from microphone. Bluetooth headsets can be used too, but you might need to change audio source in the audio record block from "Default" to "Microphone", and add the two unconnected Bluetooth SCO routing blocks around the voice recording block.

You may also want to fiddle a bit with the camera settings in the picture block.

bearing, velocity and lag (time between triggering flow and position fix) are recorded to allow some correction if position fix lags, or a slightly older position is reused. lag can therefore be positive or negative. No such correction is attempted yet, only data facilitating such an attempt is recorded.

For triggering the flow I'm using a bluetooth media controller, whose buttons are more easily pushed while driving than the Assist gesture, but involving an additional device. On my device is this flow integrated into my personalized version of https://llamalab.com/automate/community/flows/39819

Other changes are: rear flashlight is turned on while recording. As its reflection shows in the windshield, this is a better indicator than the spoken messages of this version.

Snapshots disabled - photos taken by the camera looking through the windshield are distorted (motorbike, not car)

Error distance correction included. Available here as separate flow under