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April 21, 2009

Offline map in iPhone

Posted by : Remiz
Filed under : iPhone

While traveling I really wish I could access Maps in iPhone and get idea about the surroundings where I am. But as I am not subscribed to cellular service data plans, I don’t have connectivity on road. This made me to think get out of cloud and go for some thing offline. Simple ! Offline maps.

As I found there is no way in apple store, I searched in Cydia. There I got Offline Maps. But it was quit difficult to use the maps. And I didn’t find complete information to setup map for offline access. From tiny pieces of information from several blogs and forums, I worked out it. Here I am sharing it with you.

Requirements

  • jailbroken iPhone firmware 2.2 with Cydia
  • A computer to download Google maps
  • And ofcource USB cable to copy files to phone ( I am using iPhone browser to access iPhone file system in PC. Any way to transfer file will do )

Steps

1 . Download Global Map Download Tool ( version I’ve used or check for new versions )

2. Open "Global Map Download Tool.exe" fount in the GMDL\bin\Debug folder

3 . It will open a ugly (but useful ) application window with Google map on right side and several options in the left side. Locate your place in it. I am doing a map of Mumbai ( see the screen shoot below ). Once you are navigated to your place, you can check "Preview 1x and 2x to correct location) I recommend to select a small area for the first time. So that downloading will complete faster.

Global Map Download Tool

Global Map Download Tool

4 . Click on the "Download the map button on the top and locate a folder to save the map files. A new window will come with check boxes in each grids which will allow you to fine tune your area. Uncheck unwanted area like sea and all. Also uncheck 1x and 2x from the left side. This can help to save a huge file size. Then click on the big button which says to click here on top.

5 . Now it will download the map cache. Wait till the download finishes. ( remember 3rd step’s recommendation ). One this is completed, a success message will come.

6 . Click on the iPhone button on the top which will open another window. Be careful with this step. It is crucial.
Click on "Set Dir" to save the files ( these are the real iphone map cache.). You should be selecting a blank folder and enter some other name next to it.
Eg: If you select "c:\folder" then edit it to "c:\folder\anotherfolder" – I dont know why this is required, but other wise it thows error.

Saving Map cache for iPhone

Saving Map cache for iPhone

7 . Click on "Process". Do not make any changes in any filed. A dialog box with Did: Map will come. Now you are done the half of offline mapping :).

8 . "Install OfflineMaps" from Cydia in your iPhone. You can get it by searching for it from Cydia itself.

Cydia Offline Maps

Cydia Offline Maps

9 . Now, you need to copy the map cache files from PC to iPhone’s /var/mobile/Media/Maps I am using iPhone browser to access iPhone file system from PC. You need to create a folder with name less than 4 characters and copy the files ( created in 7th step ) in to it. So the files in the iPhone will be at /var/mobile/Media/Maps/name/com.apple.Maps.plist and /var/mobile/Media/Maps/name/MapTiles.sqlitedb.

10 . We are done. To load the cache to iPhone’s native Map application, just open OfflineMaps and select your map. Select "Link or copy". Now you can close this app and open map. The map will be available offline.

Selecting map cache in OfflineMaps

Selecting map cache in OfflineMaps


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Remiz

Remixed version of unstable human emotions and thirst of mankind actions. UX designer, UI developer and HE of WebCastle Media Pvt LTD

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14 Responses to “Offline map in iPhone”

  1. iPhone Addicted says:

    I really like this new iPhone 4 … thanks for great news mate

  2. Great post I must say.. Simple but yet interesting and engaging.. Keep up the awesome work!

  3. Ignacio says:

    I meant “search for places and streets”

  4. Ignacio says:

    Hi, for those that need true offline maps I’ve uploaded my app to the appstore.
    What differences this app from the rest of the offline maps apps is that you can search and find routes WHILE you are offline.
    That said, here is the link. Hope you enjoy it
    Soon I will be releasing a free version which will have at least the offline tiles that this app has but you will not need a jailbroken IPhone to make it work…
    webpage: http://sites.google.com/site/truemaps/
    for the appstore:
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/true-offline-maps-lite/id354650326?mt=8

  5. Jack says:

    Searching online, it appears that Offline Maps does not work anymore for the 3.1.2. firmware upgrade.

    There is an application available on Cydia called MapsEnhancer which tweaks the original Maps application so that it does not delete its cached map tiles. The problem is that the user must manually pan through the tiles on the iPhone instead of downloading them directly like you discuss in this post.

    Will it work if I use the Global Map Download Tool to load the map files onto my iphone and use MapsEnhancer to modify my Maps application?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  6. [...] My recommendation of must have iPhone apps are a must watch. Also I posted about making google map available offline on iPhone. Lately posted a trick to disable GPRS and Edge on [...]

  7. Defender says:

    Check out Wikimap. It allows users to save open street maps (osm) for offline navigation and browsing.

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=313803704&mt=8

  8. JP says:

    GoogleMaps allows you to download maps offline: http://www.google.com/mobile/products/maps.html

  9. [...] Offline maps ( Cydia ) : Save map location in native map application so that we can access it offline on road. I [...]

  10. anshu says:

    i checked today, there was a new version of the map downloader and it is working… im downloading the maps right now :-D

  11. anshu says:

    hey, I am trying to do this very same thing and download the maps of mumbai but I’m having a lot of problems.
    When i click Preview 1x or Preview 2x, no images load in those new windows.
    Also, when I click download the map, no images load.only the checkboxes are seen
    Then on clicking donwload, not even one image gets downloaded….

    any suggessions?

  12. jos says:

    I found out that the problem is that I use iphone 2.2.1
    On the site offline maps is mentioned that this version gives problems.

  13. jos says:

    Looks very good if it works.
    I tried, but as soon as I remove my sim card to test it, nothing appears in google maps.
    Just a grey grid.

    • Remiz says:

      You need to select the map from OfflineMaps application. Then it will show the name of map in red with that icon. Once it is ok, then open the native map application. You can browse the map. I am using it now while roaming through the city.

      Happy to help

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