Comparison of free off-line GPS software

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This article contains a list with gratis (but not necessarily 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, including smartphones). 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 may 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 (such as the PalmPilot and PocketPC devices). 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
GPSLogger[9] Open Project

Basic Air Data

Tablet ,PC, Smatphone

and any android enabled device

Android Yes, no specific hardware No Yes[10] Free and no ads. Exports in common formats and via email

Installation is possible from the apk file here [2].

Maverick[11][12]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? No  ?
gvSIG Mini[13][14] Prodevelop Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? Yes (GNU/GPL)  ?
Navionics Boating App[15] Navionics smartphone, tablet iOS, Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ? Intended for marine navigation
OpenSatNav[16] Kieran Fleming et al. Tablet PC Android, OpenMoko  ? yes (OpenStreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
Minimap[17]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
MapDroyd[18] CloudMade Deutschland GmbH Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
OsmAnd[19]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? Yes (GPLv3+)  ?
OruxMaps[20]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ? No  ?
MapFactor[21] MapFactor, s.r.o., Czech Republic Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
NavFree[22][23]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
Skobbler GPS Navigation 2[24][25]  ? 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)[26]  ? Tablet PC, Android  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
AndNav 2[27]  ? Tablet PC, Android  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Big Planet Tracks[28]  ? Tablet PC, Android  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Sports Tracker[29] Sports Tracking Technologies Tablet PC Android,  ? yes (?), ? No Does not allow navigation to specific points, only tracking
osmdroid[30]  ? Tablet PC Android  ? yes (?), ?  ? may not allow actual navigation from point-to-point, only showing the current position on a map
RMaps[31][32]  ? tablet PC Android,  ? yes (?), ?  ? may not provide actual navigation, only marking of GPS points, and the current position
AFTrack[33]  ? Tablet PC, handheld PC (Symbian) Android, Symbian OS series 60  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
CacheBox[34]  ? Tablet PC, PC, handheld PC (pocket PC) Android, Windows Mobile, Windows for PC  ? yes (?), ?  ? initially intended for geocaching
Mapopolis[35]  ? Handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ? yes (black and white maps), ?  ? only has maps for USA
SailPalm[36]  ? 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[37][38]  ? 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[39]  ? handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
FieldNote[40] Mobile Computing handheld PC (pocket PC) Windows CE  ? no, ?  ? mainly intended to mark specific points without a map, not intended for actual navigation
TZGPS[41]  ? handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
Trax[42][43] Luke Klein-Berndt handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ?  ? (?), ?  ?  ?
SoaringPilot[44]  ? handheld PC (Palm, some PocketPC/WinCE devices) Palm OS  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ? Originally intended for use in sailplanes
CotoGPS[45]  ? handheld PC (Palm) Palm OS  ?  ? (?), ?  ? Originally intended for geocaching
GpsPilot[46]  ? handheld PC (Symbian One) Symbian  ? no (?), ?  ?  ?
Maplorer[47]  ? handheld PC (pocket PC) Windows CE, Mobile  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
OSMtracker[48]  ? handheld PC (pocket PC), smartphone Android, Windows Mobile  ? yes (?), ? Yes (GPLv3)  ?
gpsVP[49]  ? handheld PC, certain smartphones Windows Mobile 5,6, 2003  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
CacheWolf[50]  ? Laptop, PC Windows, Mac OS X, Linux  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Glopus[51]  ? Laptop, PC, handheld PC (Pocket PC) Windows, ?  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
TrekBuddy[52][53]  ? 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[54]  ? 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[55] and also allows to easily download maps from any location from an online database as Openstreetmaps, and many others[56][57]
LuckyGPS[58]  ? Laptop, PC, smartphone Windows, Linux, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Mumpot[59]  ? Laptop, PC, smartphone Linux, OpenMoko, GPE  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
Navit[60][61]  ? Laptop, PC, tablet PC, smartphone Windows for PC, Linux, Android, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ? intended for car navigation, quite popular
Pyroute[62] Ojw Laptop, PC, smartphone Windows XP, Linux, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
TangoGPS[63] Marcus Bauer Laptop, PC, smartphone Linux, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
FoxtrotGPS[64]  ? Laptop, PC Linux, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ? based on TangoGPS, actively being developed, especially adapted for use with touch screens
Rana[65] Ojw smartphone OpenMoko, Neo Freerunner  ? yes (?), ?  ? runs on Python, so possibly cross-platform
BikeAtor[66][67]  ? smartphone (OpenMoko, Symbian), tablet PC Android, OpenMoko, Symbian  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
OpenCPN[68]  ? Laptop, PC Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, IntelMac, Linux (Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS)  ? yes (?), ?  ? Intended for maritime navigation
Osmarender[69]  ? laptop, PC Windows, OS X, Linux  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ? Not intuitive
Mobile Trail Explorer[70]  ? smartphone, ? Symbian, multiple OSs  ? yes (?), ?  ? Runs on Java, so a cross-platform GPS navigation software
Open Citymap[71]  ? smartphone (Qt) Windows CE, OpenMoko  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
NaviComputer[72]  ? Windows Phone Windows Mobile  ? yes (?), ?  ? works with NaviMapper to store maps and transfer them to the phone
Mappero  ? Nokia N810 Maemo[73]  ? yes (Openstreetmap maps), ?  ?  ?
NaviPOWM[74]  ? 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[75] Cetus software embedded system (Garmin) OS 5  ? yes (?), ?  ?  ?
GPS interpreter[76] Marcel Durieux, Christian Tavernier[77][78] Embedded system (purpose-build PCB)[79]  ?  ? yes, ?  ?  ?
Andrew Holme's GPS software Andrew Holme[80] Embedded system (several custom PCB's + Raspberry Pi)[81] Raspbian Linux  ?  ?, ?  ?  ?
AdvRider WD[82] Adi Barda Android Android  ? yes (can import) Yes Since 2013.
i-Boating[83] i-Boating Tablet, PC, Smartphone iOS, Android, Windows & Blackberry Yes Yes No Marine Navigation Software

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. ^ "Free GPSLogger for Android". www.basicairdata.eu. BasicAirData. Retrieved 2016-12-06. 
  10. ^ "Source code on GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-12-06. 
  11. ^ Maverick
  12. ^ Maverick download site
  13. ^ gvSIG Mini download site
  14. ^ gvSIG Mini main site
  15. ^ Navionics Boating App
  16. ^ OpenSatNav
  17. ^ Minimap main download site
  18. ^ MapDroyd
  19. ^ OsmAnd
  20. ^ OruxMaps
  21. ^ MapFactor
  22. ^ NavFree
  23. ^ NavFree download site
  24. ^ Skobbler GPS download site
  25. ^ Skobbler GPS main site
  26. ^ AlpineQuest
  27. ^ AndNav2
  28. ^ Big Planet Tracks
  29. ^ Sports Tracker
  30. ^ osmdroid
  31. ^ Maps SQLite
  32. ^ Rmaps download site
  33. ^ AFTrack
  34. ^ CacheBox
  35. ^ Mapopolis
  36. ^ SailPalm
  37. ^ HandMap
  38. ^ HandMap GPS plugin
  39. ^ List of free GPS software for Palm
  40. ^ Mobile Computing
  41. ^ TZGPS
  42. ^ Trax main site
  43. ^ Trax old Tucows site
  44. ^ SoarPilot main page
  45. ^ CotoGPS main site
  46. ^ GpsPilot
  47. ^ Maplorer
  48. ^ Osmtracker
  49. ^ gpsVP
  50. ^ CacheWolf
  51. ^ Glopus
  52. ^ TrekBuddy
  53. ^ TrekBuddy versions
  54. ^ gvSIG
  55. ^ gvSIG having GPS receiver support
  56. ^ gvSIG allowing to download OSM maps
  57. ^ gvSIG video showing how to load maps from OSM
  58. ^ LuckyGPS
  59. ^ Mumpot
  60. ^ Navit
  61. ^ Navit
  62. ^ Pyroute
  63. ^ TangoGPS
  64. ^ FoxtrotGPS
  65. ^ Rana
  66. ^ BikeAtor
  67. ^ BikeAtor
  68. ^ OpenCPN
  69. ^ Osmarender
  70. ^ Mobile Trail Explorer
  71. ^ Open Citymap
  72. ^ NaviComputer
  73. ^ Maemo
  74. ^ NaviPOWM
  75. ^ Cetus GPS
  76. ^ GPS interpreter download site
  77. ^ Original program from Marcel Durieux on Mikroelektronika Forum
  78. ^ 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
  79. ^ GPS receiver PCB
  80. ^ A Holme's homemade GPS page
  81. ^ Raspberry Pi's site on Holme's project
  82. ^ [1]
  83. ^ "i-Boating". Retrieved December 28, 2016.