How to Create Offline Maps for Map Plus

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How to Create Offline Maps for Map Plus

帖子Zax » 2013-01-12 7:19

Map Plus 1.3 provides offline map support for map types of iOS caches, MBTiles, RMaps and Big Planet.

Those offline maps could be downloaded from internet or you can create your own offline maps from popular online map services with tools like "Mobile Atlas Creator" or "GMDL".

Following article shows: How to use "Mobile Atlas Creator", called as "MOBAC", for creating offline maps for Map Plus.

Step 1: Download MOBAC.
MOBAC is a great free tool for creating offline maps, latest version could be downloaded from:

Map Plus Team has modified this tool to enable retina (512x512) tile display and download, for download the Map Plus modified version (MP version), download from dropbox:

Step 2: Add Map Sources
MOBAC v1.9.10 has embedded 25 kinds of map sources for downloading maps from. What's more, it provides a way for adding extra map sources for all kinds of popular online maps such as Google Map, Bing Map, Yahoo Map, Nokia Map, USGS Map, etc.

Attention: Please read their "User Terms" of each online map service before bulk downloading map tiles from them, in order to make sure it is legal for you to go further without violating any term of copyrights and local law. Map Plus is just a map viewer, while we have no guarantee of the legality of your downloading behaviors.

To add a new map source for a online map, you need to find its configuration file, xml file or bsh file, and add it into MOBAC's sub-folder named "mapsources". Here are some popular map source definition files from Internet, including Google Map . Please download and un-zip it into "mapsources" directory, and restart MOBAC to take effect.
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Step 3: Run MOBAC and Download Maps
(Details of each step are described bellow the picture)
Step 3.1: Create a map
Input a name for the new offline map and choose output type (desired atlas format) as "MBTiles SQLite".
Step 3.2: Choose "Map Source"
Choose a Map Source you need to download from, such as Google, OpenStreet, etc. and preview then in the map window.
Step 3.3: Choose "Zoom Levels"
Select all zoom levels you want to download. It is suggested not choosing zoom levels bigger than level 17, which may sharply increase the output file size and downloading time. Anyway, it depends on your device's space.
Step 3.4: Select Regions for downloading
Navigate the map to your interested area, drag your mouse to select a region for downloading.
For how to navigate or preview the map, please click "Help" and choose "How to use preview map" to see the tips.
Step 3.5: Add Selected Region
Add Select region to your map atlas, which would be download later. You can repeatedly doing Step 3.4 and Step 3.5 to add multiple rectangle region and union them together. By right clicking the atlas name in "Atlas Content" and select "Display selected areas" , you can see all those added regions in yellow.
Step 3.6: Start Downloading
Click the "Create atlas" and then downloading starts, all selected regions with selected zoom levels will be downloaded from selected map source, an offline file will be created in a sub-directory named "atlases" under MOBAC's home directory. By using "File Sharing" in iTunes you can send those files to Map Plus through USB or WIFI.

How to upload map files to Map Plus?
Run iTunes -> Choose Your Device-> Click "Apps" -> Scroll down until see the “File Sharing” -> Choose “MapPlus” -> Click "Add..." -> Choose a file -> Wait for the file transfer -> Done.


Q1: What does the "HD" mean in the names of source definition files? How to make offline maps support retina display?
"HD" map sources are designed for retina display, they provide image tiles with size of 512x512, instead of 256x256 of normal ones. Downloaded maps from these sources look pretty much better on retina devices, but the file size would be about 4-times than the normal one.

Q2: Why my downloaded regions are different in different zoom levels?
Downloaded regions will align with bounds of tile images. Since each zoom level has different image grid, which makes the downloaded regions looks different between different levels, but all of them will contains your selected regions.

Q3: How to download offline map regions along a path or road.
When doing Hiking or Bicycling, you may only need offline maps along a path or road, instead of downloading a large rectangle region, in order to make it smaller and faster.
MOBAC support selecting a region along with a GPX path by first "Load GPX", and then click menu of "Maps > Add selection by GPX track".

Q4: How to download offline maps from Yahoo, Microsoft, and more other maps.
Find or customize their map source definition files (.xml) and and save them into sub-directory of MOBAC named "mapsources".
Or, find older version of MOBAC such as version 1.8, which embedded more maps such as Yahoo, Microsoft and Google Map.

Q5: How to change the language of offline Google Map?
Google Map will auto chose a language for you, anyway, you can specify it manually.
Open a map source definition xml file of Google Map with a text editor such as Notepad on Windows, edit the row of <url>http://.....</url> by adding a string to the url content, for example, if you want to specify the map language as German, you can add "hl=de" to the url like this


hl=de ---> German
hl=zh ---> Chinese
hl=en ---> English
hl=ru ---> Russian
hl=es ---> Spanish
hl=fr ---> French
hl=it ---> Italian
more language please ref to List of ISO 639-1 codes

Q6: I'm using offline map in China, why places, routes and pathes do not displays at right coordinate.
Because of Chinese local map policy, most China Maps are not using the standard coordinate system of WGS84, which contains random offset of 500 ~ 1000 meters across the whole country. While using Map Plus of China, try to change the global Projection Mode setting in Layers to make it match the projection of the map, and most China maps are using projection of "Web Mercator (China)".
Zax Zeng
Duwei Technology
帖子: 1210
注册: 2011-07-27 0:54

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