Desktop map viewer

Can anyone recommend me a desktop application for Ubuntu Linux with the following features:

  1. street search;
  2. browse map data offline, i.e. I download the map data for my city once and then I don’t need to have Internet connection any more.

Thank you

navit can do this.



I’ve tried both navit & viking but couldn’t achieve what needed with either of them.

With navit I failed to make the program display the binary map file I downloaded from (as it was recommended on their wiki page). I tried to modify entry in navit.xml. But it didn’t work out. The program still doesn’t see my map. If someone knows how to make it display the map file I’d be grateful for sharing some thoughts on that.

With viking I couldn’t see street search feature. And I have to download each tile part of the map manually with ‘Maps Download’ button on the toolbar panel which is quite inconvenient in my opinion. I think there’s some space for improvements.

Ideally I’d like to find a program that behaves exactly like page. It has a very friendly interface and the street search feature.

in navit, you must also disable the demo-map. then, it works.

This is an excerpt from navit.xml (containing entries):

                <mapset enabled="no">
                        <map type="mg" enabled="yes" data="/opt/reiseplaner/travel/"/>
                        <map type="mg" enabled="yes" data="/opt/reiseplaner/travel/"/>
                        <map type="mg" enabled="yes" data="/opt/reiseplaner/travel/"/>
                        <map type="mg" enabled="yes" data="/opt/reiseplaner/travel/"/>
                        <map type="mg" enabled="yes" data="/opt/reiseplaner/travel/"/>
                        <map type="mg" enabled="yes" data="/opt/reiseplaner/travel/"/>

                <!-- If you dont want to use the sample map, either set enabled="no" in the next line or remove the xml file from the maps directory -->
                <mapset enabled="no">
                        <xi:include href="$NAVIT_SHAREDIR/maps/*.xml"/>

                <!-- Mapset template for openstreetmaps -->
                <mapset enabled="yes">
                        <map type="binfile" enabled="yes" data="/home/navitmap.bin"/>

                <!-- Mapset template for garmin maps -->
                <mapset enabled="no">
                        <map type="garmin" enabled="yes" data="/path/to/img" debug="4"/>

/home/navitmap.bin is the actual map. I’ve checked the access attributes of /home/ and /home/navitmap.bin, they’re both accessible for reading.

this look right.
Do you get an error-message?

Or does Navit starts, but you’ll see instead the map, just a white background? If yes, then Navit starts with the wrong coordinates. Did you changed this line to your coordinates?:

    <navit center="4808 N 1134 E" zoom="256" tracking="1" orientation="-1" recent_dest="10">

No, I didn’t. It would’ve been too smart of me. But now I did. With no success. Navit indeed starts with a blank screen with no errors (visible to me). I enabled log with

<log enabled="yes" type="textfile_debug" data="debug_%Y%m%d-%i.txt" flush_size="1000" flush_time="30"/>

And it’s empty. So it really looks like the problem with location and zoom. Here’s my location entry:

<navit center="5356 N 2736 E" zoom="256" tracking="1" orientation="-1" recent_dest="10">

I tried changing zoom to 1, 4, 16. No success. I wonder what may be wrong…

I know this problem if I use a navit-svn-version and a downloaded map from … I will get only a white screen!

I have to use a map compiled with the osm2navit-script of the running svn-version of my navit. Therefore I compile my own maps for navit or use a precompiled from cloudemade.


Some GIS programs might do what you want. Have a look at

However, there are also some problems. OpenJUMP cannot read osm xml format so you would need to install also PostGIS and import data with osm2pgsql first. Or if you could live with day old shapefile excerpts then you could download them from Cloudmade or Geofabrik and use them directly, but they have only very few attributes. They are also using WGS84 lon/lat projection and you would need to learn to reproject data either with some external tool like ogr2ogr or with OpenJUMP cts plugin.
If you also manage to install Mapnik with the WMS server option you can get normal OSM Mapnik maps on your laptop offline but that is also a bit complicated. Therefore I am using Mapserver WMS on my laptop. The raster map layer in the OpenJUMP GPS plugin tutorial comes this way, from a local Mapserver WMS server running on a laptop, and raster map is refreshing automatically when the map is panned or zoomed.


It is generating a vector graphic map with a quite fast search function!

Even more programms:

I think this function is so good to generate in vector graphic format. vector graphic format is important and quite useful instead of raster graphic.