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Using Shapefile maps directly in Navit

Is it possible to use shapefile maps directly in Navit. You will need to create a .dbfmap file to tell Navit how to read your shapefile.

Shapefile usually come as a group of files, each file focusing on one specific set of feature.

For example, an OpenStreetMap Shapefile export will contain the following files:

$ ls *.shp
gis.osm_buildings_a_free_1.shp  gis.osm_pofw_a_free_1.shp    gis.osm_traffic_a_free_1.shp
gis.osm_landuse_a_free_1.shp    gis.osm_pofw_free_1.shp      gis.osm_traffic_free_1.shp
gis.osm_natural_a_free_1.shp    gis.osm_pois_a_free_1.shp    gis.osm_transport_a_free_1.shp
gis.osm_natural_free_1.shp      gis.osm_pois_free_1.shp      gis.osm_transport_free_1.shp
gis.osm_places_a_free_1.shp     gis.osm_railways_free_1.shp  gis.osm_water_a_free_1.shp
gis.osm_places_free_1.shp       gis.osm_roads_free_1.shp     gis.osm_waterways_free_1.shp

For this example we will focus on loading the streets from the "gis.osm_roads_free_1.shp" file.

Add a mapset to your navit.xml file. Mapsets are defined around line 420 of the default navit.xml

Note : you need to disable any other mapset that could be already enabled

<mapset enabled="yes">
 <map type="shapefile" enabled="yes" data="$NAVIT_SHAREDIR/maps/shapefile/gis.osm_roads_free_1" />

Note : do not include the ".shp" extension otherwise Navit will complain with

error:map_shapefile:VSI_SHP_Error:error:Unable to open maps/shapefile/gis.osm_roads_free_1.shp.shp or maps/shapefile//gis.osm_roads_free_1.shp.SHP.

Now we need to create the relevant .dbfmap. If you use features from different files (e.g streets from gis.osm_roads_free_1, water polys from gis.osm_water_a_free_1 ) then you will need to create one .dbfmap file for each shp file.

Here is a minimalistic gis.osm_roads_free_1.dbfmap :

code=5111	type=highway_land label=${name}
code=5112	type=street_1_city label=${name}
code=5113	type=street_2_city label=${name}
code=5114	type=street_3_city label=${name}
code=5115	type=street_4_city label=${name}
code=5122	type=living_street label=${name}

Note : the first field (code, in this example) and the type field must be separated by a tabulation, not spaces.

How can I find the field name and value to use?

The content of your .dbfmap will vary depending of your map source. One way to analyze shapefile tags is to use QGis

In this example, we are loading again the shapefile from OpenStreetMap. When displaying the streets, we can select one specific segment and look at its tag. In this example, we can see the street name is under the "name" tag (used in label=${name}) and the code=5122 which would correspond to a "living_street" in Navit. Highlighting several segments of the same street might help identify which tag ("code" here) and which value (5122 here) to use.

Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination

The resulting map would look like this :

Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination

This is a minimalistic example, as only some (not all) of the roads are mapped using our example .dbfmap