Vespucci Introduction

Vespucci is a full featured OpenStreetMap editor that supports most operations that desktop editors provide. It has been tested successfully on Google's Android 2.3 to 10.0 and various AOSP based variants. A word of caution: while mobile device capabilities have caught up with their desktop rivals, particularly older devices have very limited memory available and tend to be rather slow. You should take this in to account when using Vespucci and keep, for example, the areas you are editing to a reasonable size.

First time use

On startup Vespucci shows you the "Download other location"/"Load Area" dialog after asking for the required permissions and displaying a welcome message. If you have coordinates displayed and want to download immediately, you can select the appropriate option and set the radius around the location that you want to download. Do not select a large area on slow devices.

Alternatively you can dismiss the dialog by pressing the "Go to map" button and pan and zoom to a location you want to edit and download the data then (see below: "Editing with Vespucci").

Editing with Vespucci

Depending on screen size and age of your device editing actions may either be accessible directly via icons in the top bar, via a drop down menu on the right of the top bar, from the bottom bar (if present) or via the menu key.

Downloading OSM Data

Select either the transfer icon Transfer or the "Transfer" menu item. This will display seven options:

The easiest way to download data to the device is to zoom and pan to the location you want to edit and then to select "Download current view". You can zoom by using gestures, the zoom buttons or the volume control buttons on the device. Vespucci should then download data for the current view. No authentication is required for downloading data to your device.

With the default settings any non-downloaded areas will be dimmed relative to the downloaded ones, this is to avoid inadvertently adding duplicate objects in areas that are not being displayed. The behaviour can be changed in the Advanced preferences.


Lock, unlock, mode switching

To avoid accidental edits Vespucci starts in "locked" mode, a mode that only allows zooming and moving the map. Tap the Locked icon to unlock the screen.

A long press on the lock icon will display a menu currently offering 4 options:

Single tap, double tap, and long press

By default, selectable nodes and ways have an orange area around them indicating roughly where you have to touch to select an object. You have three options:

It is a good strategy to zoom in if you attempt to edit a high density area.

Vespucci has a good "undo/redo" system so don't be afraid of experimenting on your device, however please do not upload and save pure test data.

Selecting / De-selecting (single tap and "selection menu")

Touch an object to select and highlight it. Touching the screen in an empty region will de-select. If you have selected an object and you need to select something else, simply touch the object in question, there is no need to de-select first. A double tap on an object will start Multiselect mode.

Note that if you try to select an object and Vespucci determines that the selection could mean multiple objects (such as a node on a way or other overlapping objects) it will present a selection menu: Tap the object you wish to select and the object is selected.

Selected objects are indicated through a thin yellow border. The yellow border may be hard to spot, depending on map background and zoom factor. Once a selection has been made, you will see a notification confirming the selection.

Once the selection has completed you will see (either as buttons or as menu items) a list of supported operations for the selected object: For further information see Node selected, Way selected and Relation selected.

Selected objects: Editing tags

A second touch on the selected object opens the tag editor and you can edit the tags associated with the object.

Note that for overlapping objects (such as a node on a way) the selection menu comes back up for a second time. Selecting the same object brings up the tag editor; selecting another object simply selects the other object.

Selected objects: Moving a Node or Way

Once you have selected an object, it can be moved. Note that objects can be dragged/moved only when they are selected. Simply drag near (i.e. within the tolerance zone of) the selected object to move it. If you select the large drag area in the preferences, you get a large area around the selected node that makes it easier to position the object.

Adding a new Node/Point or Way

On first start the app launches in "Simple mode", this can be changed in the main menu by un-checking the corresponding checkbox.

Simple mode

Tapping the large green floating button on the map screen will show a menu. After you've selected one of the items, you will be asked to tap the screen at the location where you want to create the object, pan and zoom continues to work if you need to adjust the map view.

See Creating new objects in simple actions mode for more information.

Advanced (long press) mode

Long press where you want the node to be or the way to start. You will see a black "crosshair" symbol. If you want to create a new node (not connected to an object), touch away from existing objects. If you want to extend a way, touch within the "tolerance zone" of the way (or a node on the way). The tolerance zone is indicated by the areas around a node or way.

Once you can see the crosshair symbol, you have these options:

Simply touch the screen where you want to add further nodes of the way. To finish, touch the final node twice. If the final node is located on a way or node, the segment will be connected to the way or node automatically.

You can also use a menu item: See Creating new objects for more information.

Adding an Area

OpenStreetMap currently doesn't have an "area" object type unlike other geo-data systems. The online editor "iD" tries to create an area abstraction from the underlying OSM elements which works well in some circumstances, in others not so. Vespucci currently doesn't try to do anything similar, so you need to know a bit about the way areas are represented:

Improving Way Geometry

If you zoom in far enough on a selected way you will see a small "x" in the middle of the way segments that are long enough. Dragging the "x" will create a node in the way at that location. Note: to avoid accidentally creating nodes, the touch tolerance area for this operation is fairly small.

Cut, Copy & Paste

You can copy or cut selected nodes and ways, and then paste once or multiple times to a new location. Cutting will retain the osm id and version. To paste long press the location you want to paste to (you will see a cross hair marking the location). Then select "Paste" from the menu.

Efficiently Adding Addresses

Vespucci has an Address "add address tags" function that tries to make surveying addresses more efficient by predicting the current house number. It can be selected:

House number prediction typically requires at least two house numbers on each side of the road to be entered to work, the more numbers present in the data the better.

Consider using this with the Auto-download mode.

Adding Turn Restrictions

Vespucci has a fast way to add turn restrictions. if necessary it will split ways automatically and ask you to re-select elements.

Vespucci in "locked" mode

When the red lock is displayed all non-editing actions are available. Additionally a long press on or near to an object will display the detail information screen if it is an OSM object.

Saving Your Changes

(requires network connectivity)

Select the same button or menu item you did for the download and now select "Upload data to OSM server".

Vespucci supports OAuth authorization and the classical username and password method. OAuth is preferable since it avoids sending passwords in the clear.

New Vespucci installs will have OAuth enabled by default. On your first attempt to upload modified data, a page from the OSM website loads. After you have logged on (over an encrypted connection) you will be asked to authorize Vespucci to edit using your account. If you want to or need to authorize the OAuth access to your account before editing there is a corresponding item in the "Tools" menu.

If you want to save your work and do not have Internet access, you can save to a JOSM compatible .osm file and either upload later with Vespucci or with JOSM.

Resolving conflicts on uploads

Vespucci has a simple conflict resolver. However if you suspect that there are major issues with your edits, export your changes to a .osc file ("Export" menu item in the "Transfer" menu) and fix and upload them with JOSM. See the detailed help on conflict resolution.

Using GPS

You can use Vespucci to create a GPX track and display it on your device. Further you can display the current GPS position (set "Show location" in the GPS menu) and/or have the screen center around and follow the position (set "Follow GPS Position" in the GPS menu).

If you have the latter set, moving the screen manually or editing will cause the "follow GPS" mode to be disabled and the blue GPS arrow will change from an outline to a filled arrow. To quickly return to the "follow" mode, simply touch GPS button or re-check the menu option.

Notes and Bugs

Vespucci supports downloading, commenting and closing of OSM Notes (formerly OSM Bugs) and the equivalent functionality for "Bugs" produced by the OSMOSE quality assurance tool. Both have to either be down loaded explicitly or you can use the auto download facility to access the items in your immediate area. Once edited or closed, you can either upload the bug or Note immediately or upload all at once.

On the map the Notes and bugs are represented by a small bug icon Bug, green ones are closed/resolved, blue ones have been created or edited by you, and yellow indicates that it is still active and hasn't been changed.

The OSMOSE bug display will provide a link to the affected object in blue, touching the link will select the object, center the screen on it and down load the area beforehand if necessary.


Besides globally enabling the notes and bugs display you can set a coarse grain display filter to reduce clutter. The filter configuration can be accessed from the task layer entry in the layer control:

Indoor mode

Mapping indoors is challenging due to the high number of objects that very often will overlay each other. Vespucci has a dedicated indoor mode that allows you to filter out all objects that are not on the same level and which will automatically add the current level to new objects created there.

The mode can be enabled by long pressing on the lock item, see Lock, unlock, mode switching and selecting the corresponding menu entry.


In C-Mode only objects are displayed that have a warning flag set, this makes it easy to spot objects that have specific problems or match configurable checks. If an object is selected and the Property Editor started in C-Mode the best matching preset will automatically be applied.

The mode can be enabled by long pressing on the lock item, see Lock, unlock, mode switching and selecting the corresponding menu entry.

Configuring checks

Currently there are two configurable checks (there is a check for FIXME tags and a test for missing type tags on relations that are currently not configurable) both can be configured by selecting "Validator settings" in the preferences.

The list of entries is split in to two, the top half lists "re-survey" entries, the bottom half "check entries". Entries can be edited by clicking them, the green menu button allows adding of entries.

Re-survey entries

Re-survey entries have the following properties:

Key and Value are checked against the existing tags of the object in question.

The Annotations group in the standard presets contain an item that will automatically add a check_date tag with the current date.

Check entries

Check entries have the following two properties:

This check works by first determining the matching preset and then checking if Key is a "recommended" key for this object according to the preset, Require optional will expand the check to tags that are "optional* on the object. Note: currently linked presets are not checked.


Tag based filter

The filter can be enabled from the main menu, it can then be changed by tapping the filter icon. More documentation can be found here Tag filter.

Preset based filter

An alternative to the above, objects are filtered either on individual presets or on preset groups. Tapping on the filter icon will display a preset selection dialog similar to that used elsewhere in Vespucci. Individual presets can be selected by a normal click, preset groups by a long click (normal click enters the group). More documentation can be found here Preset filter.

Customizing Vespucci

Many aspects of the app can be customized, if you are looking for something specific and can't find it, the Vespucci website is searchable and contains additional information over what is available on device.

Layer settings

Layer settings can be changed via the layer control ("hamburger" menu in the upper right corner), all other setting are reachable via the main menu preferences button. Layers can be enabled, disabled and temporarily hidden.

Available layer types:

More information can be found in the section on the map display.


The full description can be found here Preferences

Advanced preferences

The full description can be found here Advanced preferences

Reporting Problems

If Vespucci crashes, or it detects an inconsistent state, you will be asked to send in the crash dump. Please do so if that happens, but please only once per specific situation. If you want to give further input or open an issue for a feature request or similar, please do so here: Vespucci issue tracker. The "Provide feedback" function from the main menu will open a new issue and include the relevant app and device information without extra typing.

If you want to discuss something related to Vespucci, you can either start a discussion on the Vespucci Google group or on the OpenStreetMap Android forum