Navit for biking: useful, but not ready for »Joe Average«

Last weekend I thought it would have been the last warm and sunny one this year, but I was wrong. So guess what, I’ve been to Wissembourg by bike again. Having OSM data displayed through Navit on the N810 is a great joy and pleasure, especially the many details I added during the last months. The display of the N810 just is marvellous, you even can read it in direct sunlight. Its colours are excellent.

I noticed the following issues in Navit which we should addredd during the next months:

  • Navit remembers the last used routing destination in a file called destination.txt. If the system resources are not sufficient to complete the route calculation, Navit will crash. As soon you try to restart it, it will find destination.txt and immediately retry to recalculate the route – which will automatically result in a crash again ;-)
  • If you try to load a map which contains the whole of europe, Navit will eat all of your memory and cause your device to reboot. As this used to work a couple of months before, it is either an issue with the backend or with the amount of data in the bin file. I temporarily solved this issue by creating a much smaller map file, containing an area between Colmar and Würzburg.
  • If you get it up and running with a smaller map, no GPS signal and no routing at all, it will just perfectly do its job. But of course, we want more, e.g. the current position displayed on top of the map. As soon, however, Navit gets a GPS signal via gpsd, it constantly will consume around 40% of your CPU power and thus drain your battery soon.

Compared to desktop computers, you still have to struggle with limited system resources on mobile devices. It’s not simply done by recompiling the source code for an other architecture. It’s an issue concerning the CPU or RAM, but also the Floating point unit and further specialities.