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"Hello osmdroid World"

osmdroid's MapView is basically a replacement for Google's MapView class. First of all, create your Android project, and follow HowToMaven if you're using Maven, or follow HowToGradle if you're using Gradle/Android Studio. This will help you get the binaries for osmdroid included in your project.


In most cases, you will have to set the following authorizations in your AndroidManifest.xml:

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION"/>
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE"  />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />

If you are only using parts of the library, you can adjust the permissions accordingly.

Online tile provider

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE"  />

Offline tile provider and storing tiles

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />

Location provider

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION"/>

Android 6.0+ devices require you have to check for "dangerous" permissions at runtime.
osmdroid requires the following dangerous permissions:
See OpenStreetMapViewer's implementation or Google Documentation on Permissions


Create a "src/main/res/layouts/main.xml" layout like this one. With Android Studio, it probably created one already. The default is called "src/main/res/layouts/activity_main.xml":

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
        <org.osmdroid.views.MapView android:id="@+id/map"
                android:layout_height="fill_parent" />

Main Activity

We now create the main activity (

import org.osmdroid.tileprovider.tilesource.TileSourceFactory;
import org.osmdroid.views.MapView;

public class MainActivity extends Activity {
    MapView map = null;
    @Override public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        //handle permissions first, before map is created. not depicted here

        //load/initialize the osmdroid configuration, this can be done 
        Context ctx = getApplicationContext();
        Configuration.getInstance().load(ctx, PreferenceManager.getDefaultSharedPreferences(ctx));
        //setting this before the layout is inflated is a good idea
        //it 'should' ensure that the map has a writable location for the map cache, even without permissions
        //if no tiles are displayed, you can try overriding the cache path using Configuration.getInstance().setCachePath
        //see also StorageUtils
        //note, the load method also sets the HTTP User Agent to your application's package name, abusing osm's tile servers will get you banned based on this string

        //inflate and create the map

        map = (MapView) findViewById(;

    public void onResume(){
        //this will refresh the osmdroid configuration on resuming.
        //if you make changes to the configuration, use 
        //SharedPreferences prefs = PreferenceManager.getDefaultSharedPreferences(this);
        //Configuration.getInstance().load(this, PreferenceManager.getDefaultSharedPreferences(this));
        map.onResume(); //needed for compass, my location overlays, v6.0.0 and up

    public void onPause(){
        //this will refresh the osmdroid configuration on resuming.
        //if you make changes to the configuration, use 
        //SharedPreferences prefs = PreferenceManager.getDefaultSharedPreferences(this);
        //Configuration.getInstance().save(this, prefs);
        map.onPause();  //needed for compass, my location overlays, v6.0.0 and up

And that's enough to give it a try, and see the world map.

Then we add default zoom buttons, and ability to zoom with 2 fingers (multi-touch)


We can move the map on a default view point. For this, we need access to the map controller:

        IMapController mapController = map.getController();
        GeoPoint startPoint = new GeoPoint(48.8583, 2.2944);

Advanced tutorial

The best example of how to use the osmdroid library is our OpenStreetMapViewer sample project. It contains a basic osmdroid application plus a few special-use examples. It is recommended you use this project as an example for building your application.

Adding a MapView

You can add a MapView to your xml layout using:

    tilesource="Mapnik" />

This will allow you to configure the tile source imagery for your MapView but not much else.

However, for more control over your MapView, you will want to create a MapView programmatically.

public View onCreateView(LayoutInflater inflater, ViewGroup container, Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    mMapView = new MapView(inflater.getContext(), 256, getContext());
    return mMapView;

Images for Buttons and whatnot

For osmdroid 4.3 and older, there's a number of resources that the map uses for various user interface helpers, such as zoom in/out buttons, the device's current location when GPS is available and more. These resources are loaded via the "ResourceProxy". The idea is that you can either bring your own images or borrow the ones from osmdroid. If you're borrowing, then you'll want to grab the files located here and add them to your project "src/main/res/drawable".

For osmdroid 5.0 and 5.1, the drawables are included with the AAR package. The resource proxy is still present and used so you can override values and images as needed.

For osmdroid 5.2 and up, the resource proxy is removed from the API set and replaced with Android context.

Create a custom Resource Proxy

Applies only to versions prior to 5.2

As mentioned above, the Resource Proxy is a bit of a strange animal that osmdroid uses to load some images for user interface controls. If you're using any of the built-in controls that need images (zoom in/out, person icon, etc) you'll either need to provide your own images, borrow the images from osmdroid's example app, or provide your own implementation of Resource Proxy.

The example osmdroid app includes an example of this called CustomResourceProxy (included with > 4.3 osmdroid). All it does is change the my location drawable (person) to an alternate image. The example is below.

public class CustomResourceProxy extends DefaultResourceProxyImpl {

     private final Context mContext;
     public CustomResourceProxy(Context pContext) {
		mContext = pContext;
	public Bitmap getBitmap(final bitmap pResId) {
		switch (pResId){
               case person:
                    //your image goes here!!!
                    return BitmapFactory.decodeResource(mContext.getResources(),org.osmdroid.example.R.drawable.sfgpuci);
          return super.getBitmap(pResId);

	public Drawable getDrawable(final bitmap pResId) {
		switch (pResId){
               case person:
                    return mContext.getResources().getDrawable(org.osmdroid.example.R.drawable.sfgpuci);
          return super.getDrawable(pResId);

Then you can use your instance using the following snippet.

mResourceProxy = new CustomResourceProxy(getApplicationContext());
final RelativeLayout rl = new RelativeLayout(this);
this.mOsmv = new MapView(this,mResourceProxy);

In order to see any difference with our example (changes the person icon), we'll need to get a location fix and add it to the map layers.

this.mLocationOverlay = new MyLocationNewOverlay(new GpsMyLocationProvider(this), mOsmv, mResourceProxy);

Map Overlays

How to add the My Location overlay

Note: you need manifest Fine Location permissions and if you are targeting API23+ APIs, you have to ask the user to explicitly grant location runtime permissions.

Notice: this is a very simple example that does not handle android lifecycle correctly. Versions 5.6.5 and older, you'll need to handle automatically disabling/enabling the location provider with android life cycle events. Version 6.0.0, this is handled so long as you call map view onPause and onResume appropriately.

this.mLocationOverlay = new MyLocationNewOverlay(new GpsMyLocationProvider(context),mMapView);

How to add a compass overlay

Notice: this is a very simple example that does not handle android lifecycle correctly. Versions 5.6.5 and older, you'll need to handle automatically disabling/enabling the compass/orientation provider with android life cycle events. Version 6.0.0, this is handled so long as you call map view onPause and onResume appropriately.

this.mCompassOverlay = new CompassOverlay(context, new InternalCompassOrientationProvider(context), mMapView);

How to enable the Grid line Overlay

Useful for displaying latitude/longitude grid lines.

v5.2 up to v5.6.5, see the sample app's source code from those tagged versions.

v6.0.0 and up

LatLonGridlineOverlay2 overlay = new LatLonGridlineOverlay2();

How to enable rotation gestures

mRotationGestureOverlay = new RotationGestureOverlay(context, mMapView);

How to add Map Scale bar overlay

final Context context = this.getActivity();
final DisplayMetrics dm = context.getResources().getDisplayMetrics();
mScaleBarOverlay = new ScaleBarOverlay(mMapView);
//play around with these values to get the location on screen in the right place for your application
mScaleBarOverlay.setScaleBarOffset(dm.widthPixels / 2, 10);

How to add the built-in Minimap

Note: do not use when rotation is enabled! (Keep reading for a work around)

mMinimapOverlay = new MinimapOverlay(context, mMapView.getTileRequestCompleteHandler());
mMinimapOverlay.setWidth(dm.widthPixels / 5);
mMinimapOverlay.setHeight(dm.heightPixels / 5);
//optionally, you can set the minimap to a different tile source

Versions 5.6.5 and older: If you want the minimap to stay put when rotation is enabled, create a second map view in your layout file, then wire up a change listener on the main map and use that to set the location on the minimap. For the reverse, you need to do the same process, however, you have to filter map motion events to prevent infinite looping. There's an example on how to sync the views within the example application.

Version 6.0.0: the above tip is no longer necessary.

How do I place icons on the map with a click listener?

//your items
ArrayList<OverlayItem> items = new ArrayList<OverlayItem>();
items.add(new OverlayItem("Title", "Description", new GeoPoint(0.0d,0.0d))); // Lat/Lon decimal degrees

//the overlay
ItemizedOverlayWithFocus<OverlayItem> mOverlay = new ItemizedOverlayWithFocus<OverlayItem>(items,
	new ItemizedIconOverlay.OnItemGestureListener<OverlayItem>() {
	public boolean onItemSingleTapUp(final int index, final OverlayItem item) {
	//do something
	    return true;
	public boolean onItemLongPress(final int index, final OverlayItem item) {
		return false;
}, context);


How many icons can I put on the map?

The answer is greatly dependent on what hardware the osmdroid based app is running on. A Samsung S5 (no endorsement intended) ran just fine at 3k icons and was noticeably choppy at 6k icons. Your mileage may vary. X86 Android running on modern hardware will perform great at even higher numbers. However, it's recommended to limit the amount of stuff you're rendering, if at all possible.

If you're also drawing paths, lines, polygons, etc, then this also changes the equation. Drawing multipoint graphics is computationally more expensive and thus negatively affects performance under higher loads. To mitigate performance issues with multipoint graphics, one strategy would be to reduce the number of points handed off to the map engine when at a higher zoom level (numerically lower), then increase the fidelity as the user zoom's in. In effect, you would be clipping the visible data at the map view bounds so that the map view only "knows" about what's on screen and doesn't have to loop through all 10k icons that you want on the map. Although you can give the map view all 10k objects, but every time the map moves or zooms, it will iterate over all 10k items to calculate where to draw them (if at all). Using this mechanism paired with map motion listeners and a database query that supports geographic bounds, you can support a rich experience for users with lots of data and still have reasonable performance.

Reusing drawables for icons will help with memory usage too.

Map Sources, Imagery and Tile sets.


Using osmdroid in a recycler view

Applies to: v5.6.5 and older. (v6.0.0 has this fix applied already)

It has been brought up a view times that osmdroid's MapView does not play nicely in a RecyclerView. The MapView is a custom android ViewGroup that implements the necessary API calls that ViewGroup requires, namely onDetachedFromWindow. In this function call, osmdroid basically calls destructors on all associated overlays, threading, tile loading, etc. This is destructive and cannot be reinitialized. This was done primarily to prevent memory leaks. Since ViewGroup does not have a destroy method or anything else that happens during garbage collection, this is really the only place we can put clean up code. As such, using the map in a recycler view won't work without this simple one liner.

    if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= 16)

Now naturally, this will only function on devices at API16 (Jelly Bean) and newer so the recommendation is to simply not use osmdroid in a recycler view for older APIs. The alternative approach is for you to extend the MapView and override the method for public void onDetach() and simply provide an empty body. This will create memory leaks though so use with caution.

Related tickets: