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Off line map?

Can someone recommend a good offline map app?
I have seen some suggest citymapa2go but our hotel didn't come up on the site search so I deleted the app. (It is hardly an obscure one )

Posted by
2747 posts

Yeah, citymaps2go isn't great on the database of establishments. I just put in the address and pin it, so even if it doesn't know the hotel, it will mark where it is and I can see it instantly. Ditto for restaurants. It will know all the big sights. Google maps is fabulous for the database of basically every possible hotel/restaurant/point of interest...but it's not offline. I use it constantly on US trips.

I'm also interested in this - do the trip advisor packs have GPS? That is, if you open the map offline, will it show you where you are and which way you are going? On citymaps2go and on google maps you can watch your blue dot walk down the road so you know you're going the right way, when a turn is coming up, etc.

Posted by
1 posts

Todd, you didn't describe how you'd like to use the map: driving, or walking, or biking, needing hotels, restaurants, etc. But here's my thoughts:

Pocket Earth is our must-have offline maps app. We rarely have a car, just training or busing from town to town, but we do walk and rent bikes a lot. We do not have the app actually turned on much during the day (we're much more interested in enjoying the ambience of wherever we happen to be), and we just turn it on for a few minutes for a GPS fix when we want/need to know where we actually are. (Yes, it'll take a GPS fix with Cellular Data turned off, but with just the phone & WiFi turned on for a few minutes, it's good enough for +/- 10-30 m or so, which is fine for us. Otherwise, the phone has Cellular and WiFi turned off all day long, to eliminate distractions like email and texts, and to conserve battery.) We are not interested in an app that gives us routing and turn by turn instructions - no fun! (Although, Pocket Earth can do that too if you let it have Internet access.) We love to just meander and explore all day long - which often means that we aren't really sure where we are, but we had a great time getting there! Yes, you've got to download the areas you want beforehand, while on WiFi, although I generally just load Europe at home, and it's done. It has all the roads, and sightseeing tips, but for us it shines as it often has numerous walking, hiking, cycling trails too. Before heading out for the day, and while hooked up to power, we'll often use Pocket Earth to map the area, from a bird's eye views of everything, down to some of the key areas, such that I can read the street names or trails on it, maybe add a few key flags for markers for us - and then take some screen shots (easier to access throughout the day - and I can send these to our backup device, an iPod, that has no GPS). This app has simply been awesome for us. We do not use it for hotels, restaurants, etc., although it has that information available. A paper map doesn't drain a battery, and is easier to read in daylight, and I can write on it with a big marker, but Pocket Earth has kept us from getting to stressed/lost a bunch of times. This has been incredibly useful for my wife & I in Europe, letting us meander wherever we wish, and then if we have to, I turn it on to use it; if we're really lost, I'll even turn on cell & wifi for a moment, and get a GPS fix, so we know exactly where we are. Always gives us a "Phew!" moment. Not just big hikes, but it often helps us on seemingly little things, such as: a lot of the roads in central Paris are curved, while the buildings sometimes all look the same, and are so dense you can't see anything in the distance (more than a block or two away) for a reference, so we've sometimes used it/needed it, to figure out which way to turn on a street corner, to find a Metro or our destination. Or better still, having been biking and wandering along the little workers' roads in the vineyards (therefore negligible traffic), 20-30 km out, and then trying to figure out how the heck to get outta there, to head back home. In many towns, we often just head out on rental bikes in the morning, just meandering, and when it's time to turn around, rather than just going back the way we came, we often go laterally for awhile, and then return back on a different path. And this app has let us find numerous trails that we would otherwise have not known about and stay off the roads a lot of the time. Just awesome. And of course, at home, it still keeps it's place on my home screen, as it works here just fine.

Posted by
703 posts

todd, another huge rap from me for Pocket Earth, it has saved us so many times, when GPS and paper maps have not worked. it is the best app to have on your device. learn how to switch the map layers off/on and measure distances and you are set, once you down load the area/countries.
my wife and I use it all the time, at home or while travelling, we find it best on an ipad mini, the larger screen helps, but a phone works OK.

Posted by
238 posts

Thanks everyone. I think I will give Pocket Earth a shot. I will be walking and like the GPS idea. I otherwise don't use it for much preferring paper maps.

Posted by
1821 posts

I tried several map apps for offline and they all sucked compared to Google maps. I used Google maps in the hotel or where I had Wifi or sparingly turned on my phone and used data. After I figured out where I wanted to go I used my paper map from the hotel (mark on it with a pen) and a compass. Fold the map as small as posible with the area you need. Don't depend on your phone and walk around staring at it like every other moron on the street.

Todd, most of that was for others reading along as I see you also prefer paper.

Posted by
607 posts

LOL, I downloaded Ulmon Citymaps2go and Tripadvisor City Guides, already had Navmii and Mapdroyd, and had Google Maps available because I bought a sim with a 2GB data package for our recent Italy trip. I did not use any of them. I just grabbed a free city map from each hotel we stayed at.

Posted by
45 posts

Does anyone know when Pocket Earth will be available for Android?? Their forum says they have been working on it since last August!! Would love to use their app but can't with my Samsung :(