Comparison of free off-line GPS software

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This article contains a list with free (not necessairily open source) software[1][2] for a range of devices (PC, laptop, tablet PC, mobile phone, handheld PC (Pocket PC, Palm)). Some of the free software mentioned here does not have detailed maps (or maps at all) or the ability to follow streets or type in street names (no geocoding). However, in many cases, it is also that which makes the program free (and sometimes open source[3]), avoid the need of an Internet connection,[4][5][6] and make it very lightweight (allowing use on small portable devices as Palm or PocketPC). Very basic programs like this may not be suitable for road navigation in cars, but serve their purpose for navigation while walking or trekking, and for use at sea. To determine the GPS coordinates of a destination, one can use sites like GPScoordinates.eu and GPS visualizer.

Some software presented here is free, but maps need to be paid for. In this instance, and in the instance that some maps (of specific countries) are not standardly available, Mobile Atlas Creator (MOBAC) can be used (e.g. on OruxMaps, Maverick, Sports Tracker, Maplorer).

Some of the software mentioned can also be run on different devices than what they are intended for. A particular case-in-point is the Android software which can often be run on laptops or PCs (running Linux, Windows or Mac OS X) as well. This can be done using emulators.

Some of the software mentioned here may run only on devices that are no longer commercially sold. However, these devices are often still obtainable via second-hand websites.

Name Company Type of device[7] Operating system 3rd-party GPS-able?[8] Software with maps? Follows streets? Open-source? Remarks
Maverick[9][10]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? No  ?
gvSIG Mini[11][12] Prodevelop Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? Yes (GNU/GPL)  ?
Navionics Boating App[13]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ? Intended for marine navigation
OpenSatNav[14] Kieran Fleming et al. Tablet PC Android, OpenMoko  ? yes (OpenStreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
Minimap[15]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
MapDroyd[16] CloudMade Deutschland GmbH Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
OsmAnd[17]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? Yes (GPL)  ?
OruxMaps[18]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? No  ?
MapFactor[19]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
NavFree[20][21]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
Skobbler GPS Navigation 2[22][23]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? No Program is free and can be used without limitations online, offline maps need to be paid for
AlpineQuest GPS Hiking (Lite)[24]  ? Tablet PC, Android  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
AndNav 2[25]  ? Tablet PC, Android  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Big Planet Tracks[26]  ? Tablet PC, Android  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Sports Tracker[27] Sports Tracking Technologies Tablet PC Android,  ? yes (?), ? No Does not allow navigation to specific points, only tracking
osmdroid[28]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (?), ?  ? may not allow actual navigation from point-to-point, only showing the current position on a map
RMaps[29][30]  ? tablet PC Android,  ? yes (?), ?  ? may not provide actual navigation, only marking of GPS points, and the current position
AFTrack[31]  ? Tablet PC, handheld PC (Symbian) Android, Symbian OS series 60  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
CacheBox[32]  ? Tablet PC, PC, handheld PC (pocket PC) Android, Windows Mobile, Windows for PC  ? yes (?), ?  ? initially intended for geocaching
Mapopolis[33]  ? Handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ? yes (black and white maps), ?  ? only has maps for USA
SailPalm[34]  ? handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ? yes (black and white maps), ?  ? Free program, but maps need to be paid for (hence called "shareware" at Tucows), intended for marine navigation (sailing)
HandMap[35][36]  ? handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ? yes (color maps, basic), ?  ? May be a free program, but maps need to be paid for (hence called "shareware" at Tucows) ?
Magellan Nav Companion[37]  ? handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
FieldNote[38] Mobile Computing handheld PC (pocket PC) Windows CE  ? no, ?  ? mainly intended to mark specific points without a map, not intended for actual navigation
TZGPS[39]  ? handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
Trax[40][41] Luke Klein-Berndt handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ?  ? (?), ?  ?  ?
SoaringPilot[42]  ? handheld PC (Palm, some PocketPC/WinCE devices) Palm OS  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ? Originally intended for use in sailplanes
CotoGPS[43]  ? handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ?  ? (?), ?  ? Originally intended for geocaching
GpsPilot[44]  ? handheld PC (Symbian One) Symbian  ? no (?), ?  ?  ?
Maplorer[45]  ? handheld PC (pocket PC) Windows CE, Mobile  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
OSMtracker[46]  ? handheld PC (pocket PC), smartphone Android, Windows Mobile  ? yes (?), ? Yes (GPLv3)  ?
gpsVP[47]  ? handheld PC, certain smartphones Windows Mobile 5,6, 2003  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
CacheWolf[48]  ? Laptop, PC Windows, Mac OS X, Linux  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Glopus[49]  ? Laptop, PC, handheld PC (Pocket PC) Windows, ?  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
TrekBuddy[50][51]  ? PC, laptop, handheld PC (Palm, Symbian, BlackBerry), Windows Phone Windows XP, Vista, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian  ? yes (?), ?  ? Runs on Java, hence cross-platform
gvSIG 2.0[52]  ? PC, laptop, Windows XP, Vista, Linux, OS X  ? yes (?), ?  ? cross-platform; originally intended as a GIS; however can be fitted with GPS receiver and has support for it[53] and also allows to easily download maps from any location from an online database as Openstreetmaps, and many others[54][55]
LuckyGPS[56]  ? Laptop, PC, smartphone Windows, Linux, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Mumpot[57]  ? Laptop, PC, smartphone Linux, OpenMoko, GPE  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Navit[58][59]  ? Laptop, PC, tablet PC, smartphone Windows for PC, Linux, Android, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ? intended for car navigation, quite popular
Pyroute[60] Ojw Laptop, PC, smartphone Windows XP, Linux, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
TangoGPS[61] Marcus Bauer Laptop, PC, smartphone Linux, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
FoxtrotGPS[62]  ? Laptop, PC Linux, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ? based on TangoGPS, actively being developed, especially adapted for use with touch screens
Rana[63] Ojw smartphone OpenMoko, Neo Freerunner  ? yes (?), ?  ? runs on Python, so possibly cross-platform
BikeAtor[64][65]  ? smartphone (OpenMoko, Symbian), tablet PC Android, OpenMoko, Symbian  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
OpenCPN[66]  ? Laptop, PC Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, IntelMac, Linux (Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS)  ? yes (?), ?  ? Intended for maritime navigation
Osmarender[67]  ? laptop, PC Windows, OS X, Linux  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ? Not intuitive
Mobile Trail Explorer[68]  ? smartphone, ? Symbian, multiple OSs  ? yes (?), ?  ? Runs on Java, so a cross-platform GPS navigation software
Open Citymap[69]  ? smartphone (Qt) Windows CE, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
NaviComputer[70]  ? Windows Phone Windows Mobile  ? yes (?), ?  ? works with NaviMapper to store maps and transfer them to the phone
Mappero  ? Nokia N810 Maemo[71]  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
NaviPOWM[72]  ? handheld PC, Laptop, PC Windows for PC, Windows Mobile 5/6/2003 SE, Linux  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
GPSS Robin Lovelock Laptop or Pocket PC Windows for PC, Windows Mobile  ? yes (can import) No (but open) Since 1995. www.gpss.co.uk
NaVisu  ? Laptop, PC Windows, OS X, Linux  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ? Developed for marine applications, not intuitive, built around NASA WorldWind
Cetus GPS[73] Cetus software embedded system (Garmin) OS 5  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
GPS interpreter[74] Marcel Durieux, Christian Tavernier[75][76] Embedded system (purpose-build PCB)[77]  ?  ? yes, ?  ?  ?
Andrew Holme's GPS software Andrew Holme[78] Embedded system (several custom PCB's + Raspberry Pi)[79] Raspbian Linux  ?  ?, ?  ?  ?

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ cGPS mapper: open-source yet paid, not included
  2. ^ Chaeron GPS: open-source yet paid, not included
  3. ^ Having open-source GPS programs available for different devices also allows people to expand on this software for certain projects, like automated or semi-automated steering systems for vehicles
  4. ^ Programs like Google maps require an internet connection as the maps are not available offline, in part because this would also make the program very large in filesize
  5. ^ GPS software without internet connection ref 1
  6. ^ GPS software without internet connection ref 2
  7. ^ Tablet PCs have touchscreens, laptops do not
  8. ^ support of add-on GPS receiver, rather than say the embedded GPS receiver of the device the software was initially designed for
  9. ^ Maverick
  10. ^ Maverick download site
  11. ^ gvSIG Mini download site
  12. ^ gvSIG Mini main site
  13. ^ Navionics Boating App
  14. ^ OpenSatNav
  15. ^ Minimap main download site
  16. ^ MapDroyd
  17. ^ OsmAnd
  18. ^ OruxMaps
  19. ^ MapFactor
  20. ^ NavFree
  21. ^ NavFree download site
  22. ^ Skobbler GPS download site
  23. ^ Skobbler GPS main site
  24. ^ AlpineQuest
  25. ^ AndNav2
  26. ^ Big Planet Tracks
  27. ^ Sports Tracker
  28. ^ osmdroid
  29. ^ Maps SQLite
  30. ^ Rmaps download site
  31. ^ AFTrack
  32. ^ CacheBox
  33. ^ Mapopolis
  34. ^ SailPalm
  35. ^ HandMap
  36. ^ HandMap GPS plugin
  37. ^ List of free GPS software for Palm
  38. ^ Mobile Computing
  39. ^ TZGPS
  40. ^ Trax main site
  41. ^ Trax old Tucows site
  42. ^ SoarPilot main page
  43. ^ CotoGPS main site
  44. ^ GpsPilot
  45. ^ Maplorer
  46. ^ Osmtracker
  47. ^ gpsVP
  48. ^ CacheWolf
  49. ^ Glopus
  50. ^ TrekBuddy
  51. ^ TrekBuddy versions
  52. ^ gvSIG
  53. ^ gvSIG having GPS receiver support
  54. ^ gvSIG allowing to download OSM maps
  55. ^ gvSIG video showing how to load maps from OSM
  56. ^ LuckyGPS
  57. ^ Mumpot
  58. ^ Navit
  59. ^ Navit
  60. ^ Pyroute
  61. ^ TangoGPS
  62. ^ FoxtrotGPS
  63. ^ Rana
  64. ^ BikeAtor
  65. ^ BikeAtor
  66. ^ OpenCPN
  67. ^ Osmarender
  68. ^ Mobile Trail Explorer
  69. ^ Open Citymap
  70. ^ NaviComputer
  71. ^ Maemo
  72. ^ NaviPOWM
  73. ^ Cetus GPS
  74. ^ GPS interpreter download site
  75. ^ Original program from Marcel Durieux on Mikroelektronika Forum
  76. ^ Modification by Christian Tavernier for the EM-406A GPS Receiver, mentioned in GPSElektorElektronicsWorldWide.txt file in 070309-11 zip file from http://www.elektor-magazine.com/en/magazine-contents/previous-issues.html?tx_elektorarticle_listissues[article]=18921&tx_elektorarticle_listissues[action]=show&cHash=15557dd0aaa057b844b945af27d6960d
  77. ^ GPS receiver PCB
  78. ^ A Holme's homemade GPS page
  79. ^ Raspberry Pi's site on Holme's project