iPad offline GPS Nav app for Europe?
August 26, 2011 3:48 PM   Subscribe

iPad offline Europe Nav for walking / public transportation?

I have a wi-fi only iPad 2. Apparently if I jailbreak it and install roqybt I can pair it with my bluetooth GPS receiver.
Now the question is, for backpacking around Europe and not necessarily relying on a wifi connection what app would I want for maps and directions that would be stored on my device?
Failing that, what would be my best choice of an app that pulls the maps from online? (I will try to get a monthly wifi subscription like boingo or something).
Also driving nav may not help me since I will be walking / using public transportation.
posted by GleepGlop to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
OpenStreetMap supports offline use (e.g. OffMaps) and has data for walking and transport. Its data quality is variable, though— it's excellent in some places and really sparse in others.
posted by hattifattener at 5:02 PM on August 26, 2011

I've used OffMaps in Europe, but I prefer to use my own custom Google maps with placemarks. My Maps Editor is not technically an 'offline' map application but it keeps cached data really well. If you're staying in places that will have Wifi it just takes a minute to load the map for the area you want by browsing the area to load it into cache, then use the cached map all day. I always have OffMaps as a backup, but I almost never need it - most places you're never too far from an open Starbucks or McD's wifi signal.

I was going to add, don't get My Maps Editor mixed up with My Maps, which is useless, but I just checked and the new version claims to have fixed their Places synching issues and offer map downloading. So that might be an even better option.

Neither of these are native iPad apps although MMEditor says there is one coming in 1-2 weeks.
posted by Gortuk at 6:18 AM on August 27, 2011

It occurred to me that the GPS part of the equation is only super necessary when you're driving. Walking or public transport you really just need the directions part.
posted by GleepGlop at 8:00 AM on August 27, 2011

You don't need to jailbreak an iPad to use an external bluetooth gps receiver. Maybe you needed to do that in the past but not with the current OS. However, not all navigation apps have been updated to take advantage of external gps bluetooth.

I use the XGPS150 with Navigon's iPad app. They both work very well, and the Navigon app has modes for bicycling and walking as well as driving. I did extensive research comparing the navigation apps and got the impression that Navigon was as good as any of the others, like Tom Tom.

I tried some apps that downloaded map data from openstreetmap but nothing worked as well as it should have - there were always problems like for example, not all map data would be downloaded even though it seemed like it was during the process. So I bit the bullet and spent $30 for Navigon with the Western U.S. data and I'm happy as a clam.

If you have an iPhone you get the Iphone version with the iPad version for the same price.
posted by conrad53 at 7:02 PM on August 27, 2011

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