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Revision as of 11:19, 16 July 2011 by Korrosa (talk | contribs) (General)
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Navit is highly configurable. Options such as cursor shape, map rendering, vehicle behaviour and display layouts can all be configured. This page aims to show the most common options which a first-time user may want to change - for the power user please also see the full list of options.


Discuss the fact that configuring Navit is done through configuring an xml file. No GUI.

Configurable Sections


Options such as starting position, 3D orientation and metric/imperial can be modified in the general Navit tag. Autozoom and map orientation can also be configured in this section.

General options.


A large number of display properties can be configured, including desktop or touchscreen-optimised GUIs, on-screen display items and complete control over menu items.

Display options.


A number of vehicles can be defined within Navit, depending upon the device and/or operating system in use. Vehicle profiles (eg: car, pedestrian, bicycle...) are also completely configurable.

Vehicle options.


Navit can use maps from a variety of sources, thought the most popular are OpenStreetMap derived maps. Any number of maps can be configured and enabled at any one time.

Maps options.


Maps are displayed on-screen according to the rules defined in the layout. All aspects of the layout are configurable, from POI icons to colours for a particular type of highway.

Layout options.


There are many more options, including debugging, specific plugins (such as Garmin maps), speech announcements and trip logging.

Advanced options.


Settings which affect Navit's general behaviour are located within the <navit .. > tag. In a default installation, this is found on line 31 of navit.xml. By default, the navit tag is set as follows:

<navit center="4808 N 1134 E" zoom="256" tracking="1" orientation="-1" recent_dest="10">

Some common attributes are discussed below. For more advanced features, see the full list of options.

Initial map center position

On Navit's very first startup, it needs a position to look at on the map. By default this is set to Munich in Germany, which is conveniently covered by the sample map created on installation.

center="4808 N 1134 E"

Note that the latitude and longitude are multiplied by 100 (i.e. Munich is at 48.08N 11.34E in decimal degrees). Coordinates must use the WGS-84 projection. You can use decimal degrees

center="[-][D]D.x[x]... [-][D][D]D.x[x]"

where D = degrees and x = fractions of a degree. You can also use decimal minutes

center="[D] N/S [D][D]DMM.yyy E/W"

where D = degrees, M = minutes and x/y = fractions of a minute. You can use N or S to denote North or South, and E or W to denote East or West. Lastly, you can use hexadecimal coordinates

center="[-]0xX [-]0xX"

To determine a specific latitude and longitude for your location you can use

After Navit has started for the first time, it will write its current location to center.txt (located in the Navit home directory: ~/.navit, for example). Upon startup, Navit will read this file and center the map to these coordinates, rather than those defined in the center attribute.

Initial map zoom level

When Navit starts, it will display the map at a pre-defined zoom level. This is configured using the zoom attribute. The default zoom level is 256. The lower the value, the closer you will be zoomed in. (Power2?).


For those using the SDL GUI, a level of 128 is recommended.


Note that once Navit has started, the zoom level can be altered using OSD or menu items.

Map orientation

You can choose to orient the map in either the direction of travel, or oriented North. Use the orientation attribute. During typical navigation, most satellite navigation systems have the map oriented in the direction of travel. To orient the map in the direction of travel:


or to orient North:


Orienting the map North whilst in 3D mode will provide visually confusing results, and is not recommended. When in 3D mode, it's best to have the map oriented in the direction of travel.

The map orientation is one of the options which can be changed from within the Navit menus, either from the main menu bar (GTK GUI), or Settings -> Rules -> Northing (Internal GUI).


Navit has the ability to zoom the map in or out dependent upon your speed. By default this option is not included within navit.xml, so it will have to be added. To active autozoom:


To de-activate autozoom:


or just remove the entry from the navit tag entirely.

Initial 3D pitch

Navit has the capability to display either a 2D map (bird's eye perspective) or a 3D map (some amount of tilt looking to the horizon). Navit's default configuration is to startup in the 2D perspective but it is possible to specify that Navit start with a 3D perspective. The amount of tilt is specified by setting the value of pitch.

The pitch value defines default camera tilting, with a value from 0 to 359. Note that usable values lie between 0 and 90 where 0 is bird's eye perspective looking down and 90 is human perspective looking forward. Also note that values closer to 90 will slow down map drawing, because the line of sight gets longer and longer and more objects are seen.

Note that by default the navit tag does not contain the pitch attribute so you will have to add it.

For example, the following added to the navit tag will force Navit to start with a pitch of 30 degrees:


The map pitch can also be altered using the GUIs, although only to an angle specified in the gui tag.

Imperial units