Locus

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Locus
Screenshot of Locus
Author: menion.asamm
Website: http://www.locusmap.eu/
Version: v2.19.1 (2014-02-21)
License: proprietary (free, paid)
Platform: android

Online/Offline map viewer (area downloader or tile cache), support slippy (non-free too) and vector maps (MapsForge library), guiding, routing and basic navigation (online only), track recording with detailed POIs (including photos) and altitude correction, extensive geocaching support, WMS maps and more

Locus ([1]) offers many useful features such as:

  • Online maps (browsing and downloading)
  • Offline maps
  • Navigation (online calculation)
  • Vector maps
  • WMS service
  • Track recorder
  • Integration of Google My Maps (reading and editing)
  • Geocaching
  • Parking
  • Weather service
  • Point of interest
  • POI alert
  • Search (by adress, coordinates, contact)
  • Custom screen (created by community)
  • Integration of GPSies, Breadcrumbs, Street View and other
  • API for developers

Alternative OSM map access

Due to the popularity of Locus and the greatness of OSM there were high demand for OSM generated tiles which made official servers to choke and die. Since excessive access isn't desired Locus was blocked from using tile servers altogether.

The author of Locus created the possibility for vector maps well before the block (and repeatedly advised users not to use OSM tile servers), and the vector map support was streamlined so it is possibly one of the most useful mode available. It is available in both free and pro version.

Vector OSM maps available for free in several sources but due to their size it is often problematic to host them. One possible place is http://www.vectormaps4locus.eu/ which uses uploaded.to service.

Another way is to generate them from recent OSM dumps and simply move the .map file into the directory Locus/VectorMaps/.

Generating OSM vector maps

  • Binary format dumps contain the bounding box (unlike XML dumps, don't ask why), but you can still restrict it further by using the bbox= parameter, like for Hungary bbox=45.67,15.81,48.64,23.1
    • osmosis --read-pbf "hungary.osm.pbf" --mapfile-writer file="hungary.osm.map" bbox=45.67,15.81,48.64,23.1

Download offline maps

It is also possible to download precompiled maps for offline usage, e.g. for hiking, cycling, or traveling, when no (free) mobile Internet access is possible.

Locus can use vector maps in mapsforge format. They are quite compact (e.g. Italy is around 500MB) and one single map file can be displayed in different ways by switching the map theme. For example the maps & theme offered at http://www.openandromaps.org are designed for hiking and cycling but also useful for several other outdoor sports. It displays contour lines.

The raster/bitmap/tile map types that can be downloaded with Locus itself or with Mobile Atlas Creator cover various purposes, e.g. topographic outdoor sports maps from http://4UMaps.eu that is optimized for back country navigation (e.g. elevation lines, hill shading and outdoor attributes).