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.
- 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 )
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.
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.
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.
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.
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