I am looking for an open source offline software to record points of interest that I might visit at a later date. Let's say I am reading a book about Alaska, I'd like to take notes about interesting places, probably with the help of google maps to locate them on the map. Later I'd like to review the points, select the best ones and plan my vacation.

Important are a simple and quick input of positions, for example cut and paste urls from google maps, and the possibility to add annotations.

Trip planning and export to gps would be great, but if it can work with another program for planning, I'd be fine with that.

I'd like to keep it offline and open source as it may take a few years till I get to the marked points, and I don't want to rely on / trust an online service either.


Answering my own question, in case it might be useful for someone else:

I will keep the poi positions in an excel spreadsheet with number, lat, lon, description, long description, priority for now. In the future I might write a short program that parses a the google maps urls out of a structured textfile and populates the csv. This way I'll be able to dump the information into a textfile quickly.

  1. Install QGIS

  2. Add an OpenStreetMap layer

  3. Add an delimited text layer using the csv file

  4. Add new gpx layer for route planning

Zooming and panning are on the slow side but manageable. I haven't found out how to automatically create gpx waypoints from the delimited text layer, and unfortunately it is impossible to edit the data with the pois. I might consider going directly from csv to gpx to have only one layer to deal with.

Overall a solution that is a bit on the complicated and limited side, but at least the data is in an open format and QGIS is certainly extensible.

When I go and visit the points, I will probably just dump all the data as POI waypoints to my gps and write down the order on a pice of paper due to the limited via point capabilities of the device.

MS Streets and Trips is a cheap commercial software, strangely without any even remotely similar open source equivalent. I haven't tested it, but reading this on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Streets_&_Trips makes it clear that proprietary solutions are no good for long term data availablity:

Although version 2013 uses the same file name extension (.est) as previous versions, it does not recognize files created in previous versions, including the last major version, 2010. This forces users to re-input all locations as if using the product for the first time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.