Offline maps with custom POIs for iPod Touch/iPhone?
January 28, 2010 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Offline maps for the iPod Touch/iPhone, and custom points of interest (POIs). Is there any software that can do this?

I'm looking for a piece of software, or some hack for existing software, that will let me 1) view offline maps stored locally on my jailbroken iPod Touch, and 2) load several hundred custom points of interest (POIs). Added level of difficulty: I need to be able to see all of my POIs at once (as simultaneously displayed, clickable map pins) and I have some additional data I'd like to store (latitude, longitude, name, description).

The reason I need this functionality is that I want to be able to pull up my current location when I don't have an internet connection, and see which of my POIs I'm near. I then want to look up a POI in the area and find its address and description.

The free software Offlinemaps lets me do (1) and see my maps in Google Maps (using the built-in but I can only accomplish (2) by importing my POIs (saved as a CSV or XML file) as "bookmarks" meaning I'm only allowed to see one location at a time, selected from a text list, and I can't import any additional information beyond position and name.

I know that search results in are shown simultaneously and contain additional information (address, category, etc) but the search results data seems to be stored in a proprietary data format for which I can't find any documentation, making this route unfeasible in the short term.

The program xGPS could be another option. However, although points of interest is a feature promised for a future version, this functionality is not currently implemented.

Perhaps the best solution could be to use the program OffMaps. Although it uses inferior OpenStreetMap map tiles, the program is built for the use of "city guides" that are, effectively, large sets of POIs with metadata (category, address) that can be displayed simultaneously on the map, and sorted by category or area. Unfortunately, the "city guide" data is stored in a SQLite database with a proprietary structure. As a SQL noob it would be another difficult undertaking to make a modified guide file containing my POIs.

Is there any off-the-shelf software (or a method that would take less than 5 hours for a non-software-engineer to implement) that would let me accomplish this? Thanks!
posted by rxrfrx to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I use MotionX GPS on my iPhone, and it may go part of the way to what you want, if I understand you correctly.

(1) It can load and store offline maps, and indeed provides a pretty simple interface to control this - you can select the area of interest, and tell it what level of pyramiding to download, and it will go and do it. This feature works for Bing maps/satellite and MotionX road/terrain maps, but not Google maps/satellite imagery.
(2) It can load custom waypoints pretty simply - you email a GPX file to a special address, then that address sends an email back to you that you can open in the Mail app, which will import it into the GPS software. There's a limit to how many points you can do per email, but you can import them all bit by bit and store a total of 300 waypoints.
(3) It can display lots of waypoints at once, subject to overlapping. Not sure if there's a limit on how many at once, but it can certainly display lots.
(4) Waypoints can have a Name and Notes field attached to them.

It's not free, but it's extremely reasonably priced for what it does - looks like it's currently going for AU$3.99.
posted by Jimbob at 7:31 PM on January 28, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the information, Jimbob. Unfortunately, since I have an iPod Touch, it seems that I am forbidden from installing (or even seeing) MotionX GPS in the App Store (since I don't have a GPS in my device, and the software manufacturer has indicated that this means the software is incompatible).
posted by rxrfrx at 4:11 AM on January 29, 2010

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