Projects / RoadMap


RoadMap is a navigation program for Unix and PocketPC that displays street maps. Most of the maps are provided by the US Census Bureau, and thus only the US has a decent coverage at this time. A specific area can be displayed by entering a street address (street number, street name, city, and state). It interfaces with a GPS receiver through gpsd or the serial line to track the car position. It has been designed to be usable on a Linux desktop or laptop computer, or on a PDA (Linux or PocketPC).

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  14 Nov 2007 21:56

    Release Notes: This release introduces GPX-based route/track/waypoint facilities, including route creation and editing. Streets are now labeled on-screen. Maps can be displayed using AGG anti-aliasing. Major UI flexibility enhancements. A new converter for Canadian maps. GPX format POI files are supported. Many other changes.

    •  06 Nov 2005 07:37

      Release Notes: This version includes some bugfixes and some GUI improvements which allow the user to redefine the toolbar and menu. Improved maps, which were built from the TIGER 2004se files using the latest RoadMap code, are now available.

      •  10 Sep 2005 08:44

        Release Notes: The look of the street is now much more professional. A Microsoft PocketPC port was created. It is now possible to take a screenshot of the map, and one can now "drag" the map using the mouse. Many bugfixes were made, including fixes for NMEA decoding with some GPS receivers and disappearing street shapes.

        •  16 May 2005 09:45

          Release Notes: A driver architecture was added along with a Kismet interface as a driver and another driver for GpsDrive's friends protocol. There were also fixes to the documentation, packaging, and make files and a patch for displaying small distances. Some other small changes were made to make the program more user friendly by remembering user choices in the session file.

          •  07 Mar 2005 13:03

            Release Notes: This release fixes the NMEA protocol decoding (regression in 1.0.8). It re-engineeres the make files to facilitate Debian integration. It was tested with the US Census Bureau's 2004 First Edition release of the tiger files (requiring some cosmetic changes in the RoadMap scripts). Some cleanups were made to the search paths to move toward compliance with the Linux FHS.

            Recent comments

            15 Apr 2003 23:50 pascalmartin

            Re: Support for other Mapsites
            In my previous post, I forgot one additional detail regarding MacOS X:

            The roadmap maps are small endian, while I believe the Mac is a big endian machine.

            There is support for small endian operations in the PowerPC architecture, so it might be useful to investigate if there is a C compiler that provides any support for it.

            The maps are all mapped as shared memory (mmap()), so the MacOS mapping option should be investigated as well.

            The alternative is to generate the maps on MacOS, i.e. 2 sets of maps: small endian for PCs and big endian for Mac.

            15 Apr 2003 23:37 pascalmartin

            Re: Support for other Mapsites
            The main issue here is that no european country makes the data available. Really unfortunate.

            The web sites (mapblast, mapquest, ..) provide images
            of maps built on request from a street database. The US
            census bureau provides the database (vector data), so
            RoadMap can generate the map on the fly. The map is
            not moved: it is totally recreated each time from a
            database that has been optimized for that purpose.

            Having the map database allows for things that are
            impossible with map images: retrieve the location of a given address, identify the current street using the GPS coordinates, announce the next intersection (soon available :), etc..

            These features are the reason why I decided not to
            use a moving map software, but make my own.

            Considering that MacOS X is a unix and that the GUI code in RoadMap has been kept isolated, I believe a port is possible without a fork.

            I am more than ready to incorporate a native MacOS
            version of the GUI. I just don't have a Mac myself.
            If you feel inclined for such a port, please feel free
            to do so, do not hesitate to call me for help if needed.

            14 Apr 2003 09:28 eduo

            Support for other Mapsites

            This little app is great. I wish I could use it outside the

            Is there plans for other mapping sites to be added? I
            know this is a too-broad request. I'd really just like one
            of the european-supporting mapsites to be added
            (mapblast, or expedia, or mapquest) or is there any
            inherent limitation in those sites that would make it
            difficult for the program to interpret the maps? (I don't
            know about the US Census data, it may be harder if this
            data was vector-based instead of bitmap-based like in
            the common mapsites).

            Also. I use a small 12" MacOSX G4 laptop when on the
            road. Are there plans to make this app run native in it?
            Could it be done and added to the current fork or should
            a new fork be done for it?

            Thanks for a great little app.


            01 Feb 2003 20:21 pascalmartin

            Re: Any plans for GPS navigation?
            I do have plans to add GPS navigation to RoadMap. This was the initial goal. It takes a lot of time to make a good map viewer, and this is the basis for navigation. In addition I learned some lessons about file formats and organization, especially regarding modularity. I want the maps to be extensible, so that I can limit the disk (or flash) space by choosing what I want to see on the maps. I also want to add some plugin and helper application capability, so that the navigation calculation module can be kept separate.

            01 Feb 2003 00:39 mocm

            Any plans for GPS navigation?
            Are there any plans to include GPS navigation into the program?
            In connection with gpsd that shouldn't be too hard and it should also be possible to add some routing algorithms.


            Project Spotlight


            A Fluent OpenStack client API for Java.


            Project Spotlight

            TurnKey TWiki Appliance

            A TWiki appliance that is easy to use and lightweight.