KartaView 101

Karta and other variations of the word mean map in multiple languages, /kâːrta/

The year 2020 – packed with challenging events, strict circumstances, and with a tendency to redesign life as we know it. In spite of its unpredictable nature, 2020 has also marked a milestone for us, as it unveiled the long-overdue transition from OpenStreetCam to KartaView – an app that withstood a change in its aesthetic, but clearly not a change of heart.                                    

KartaView is still here for you, for the community – here to replenish the endless stream of OSM information, at a gradual but steady pace. 

How often did you find yourself editing and wished you had imagery to fall back on? Nothing beats precision mapping more than having a good quality recording from which you can extract valuable attributes. It’s even more fun when those images are recorded by you! 

If you’re eager to embark on this journey, you can grab it here for Android or iOS. Let’s do some exploring!

There are already more than 384 million images on KartaView, covering almost 8 million kilometers of road, so, obviously, getting started is easy enough that it can be done without much guidance. Throughout this blog post, we would like to sway you into making your first contribution to KartaView, whether it’s for personal or communal use. Our collection app still relies on its main functionalities, which you already know and love. 

Mounting – Invest in a good quality phone mount!

Carefully secure your phone by using an appropriate mount, to prevent imagery from being blurry or come across as shaky. Using a stable, well-positioned mount is essential for capturing top-notch street-level imagery. The phone should be as centered as possible so that attributes from both parts of the road can be captured during one ride. Use the camera preview in the app to check.

Record during good weather conditions!

Now that the phone is well mounted, let’s tap on that camera shaped icon before starting your engine. As soon as you begin, an assisted tilt will show up on the screen – it will help you straighten your phone’s position. You guessed it, it’s time to click on START! And STOP. As many times as your phone storage or microSD can take it.

Use the map to find new roads that are not yet collected. Remember: more new roads, more points!

Preview recordings

Time to Netflix and preview! Maybe there was some bad weather outside or some images got blurred. Once you finish recording, check the imagery and binge-watch your trip on fast-forward. 


You can now either upload every recording or discard unwanted ones and upload the rest, it’s entirely up to you. Your upload speed may vary depending on your Internet connection.


Once your recordings reach our server, they will go through a complex procedure that involves snapping the photos to the roads, removing Personal Identifiable Information (faces and license plates), and preparing them to be published to kartaview.org. This is also when your points are calculated – the number you see during recording is mostly a ballpark figure that can give you a general idea of how many points you’ve earned. Keep in mind that your recordings might end up in a queue – don’t worry, they’ll be processed when they’re first in line.

Unmatched pictures are available as well, and they can be recognized as small dots on the map, while zooming in. 

Editing OSM

Having high-resolution and up to date KartaView imagery is a vital source in editing OpenStreetMap. It helps you edit new features (e.g. lanes, turn restrictions, road name) in the map or validate the existing ones, especially while doing armchair mapping. This is a discussion on which we’ll emphasise in upcoming posts, fully dedicated to editing. 

In drawing things to a close, we’d like you to know that KartaView isn’t just about street-level imagery – in fact, as this field is becoming more dynamic than ever, we too try to make the most out of this progression – whether it’s indoor mapping, disaster surveying or simply embedding the coordinates of your favorite pizza place, images are key. 

Walking, driving, hiking, biking are all KartaView friendly activities that could make OpenStreetMap a better and better map for the world!

How are you using KartaView?