Happy To Have Discovered the Galileo Offline Maps iOS App
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I like heading off on my scooter into the mountains of Japan to explore and take pictures, but am often out of cell range, so the map on my iPhone can't update. I like the idea of having maps with me, and until someone can invent a way to make a map on paper or some other high-tech solution, I'm happy to have recently discovered the Galileo Offline Maps (Name changed Feb 2019 to Guru Maps) iOS app.

After installing the free base app and purchasing the $1.99 “import maps from PC” feature, I could import maps made on my laptop by following these instructions. I made maps for large areas of Kyoto using both Google and Yahoo! Japan Maps (and was surprised to find out that somewhere along the lines the Yahoo! Japan maps have become superior).

The resulting 2GB database files are then copied to the app, and voila, I have wonderfully-interactive no-WiFi-required maps of the area. I love it.

I also spent a whopping $1.99 extra to enable the bookmarking feature. $4 for this app is amazing to me.

Sadly, when I bought my iPad a couple of years ago, I didn't realize that the WiFi-only models had no GPS antenna, so when I'm out in the mountains I have to actually read the map and look at my surroundings to figure out where I am. I may not survive. Perhaps this is sufficient reason to get a new iPad, being sure to get the GPS (and now presumably GLONASS) antenna. 🙂

All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

The MotionX GPS HD app for the iPad (or its non-HD version for the iPhone) also has the ability to preload maps at the resolution and extent you specify. It does GPX datalogging and other features useful for geotagging photos.

I believe that’s limited to the Open Maps Project’s maps. The nice thing about the Galileo Offline Maps app is that you can load map tilesets created on your PC (using open source tools referenced via link in the article) from just about any map server you can figure out how to use, including ones you might build yourself. In my case, I used Google Maps and Yahoo! Japan maps, but there are plenty of small regional map services of particular quality for hiking, boating, etc., and you can load them all into Galileo. For an additional $2 bump, the Galileo can also do geo-tracking (though I’m sure not to the extent that Motion X GPS can), but since my iPad has no GPS antenna, I’ve not looked into it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Fazal Majid on April 30th, 2012 at 4:39am JST (12 years ago) comment permalink

you may also use the external gps receivers with your iPad, such as xgps150, bad elf, etc

Really? Wow, I didn’t know that(!) I’d love to hear folks’ experience with this! —Jeffrey

Update: I got the Dual XGPS150 and used it on a trip with my 1st-gen WiFi-only iPad and Galileo Offline Maps, and it rocked. Thanks so much Johny for tipping me off about this! —Jeffrey

— comment by Johny on April 30th, 2012 at 5:57pm JST (12 years ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I just found out about Galileo Offline Maps through your website. Since the app can record a GPS track, I’m wondering if it’s possible to set the app to record at a 1 second interval? Since you have an iPad and an external GPS (I have a similar set up as you), I’m wondering if the app can record at a 1 second interval when the iPad is paired with an external GPS?

Thank you.

Yes on all fronts. —Jeffrey

— comment by Larry Lee on December 30th, 2016 at 9:52pm JST (7 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for the response Jeffrey. Can you tell me if the GPX track log suffer from the iOS Snap-to-Road “Feature” when using an iPad and an external GPS with Galileo Offline Maps?

Is the GPX track log created with the iPad and external GPS as good if not better than any Garmin GPS devices that you have used in the past?

Thank you.

I’ve never tested it, but I suspect it doesn’t matter whether the GPS antenna is internal or external. It still (Jan 2017) seems quite random… sometimes I get infected with the feature, sometimes I don’t. I haven’t figured out a pattern. —Jeffrey

— comment by Larry Lee on January 16th, 2017 at 4:51pm JST (7 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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