[maemo-users] How About Google Maps for Mobile for the IT?

From: Mark wolfmane at gmail.com
Date: Thu Mar 19 19:40:07 EET 2009
On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Aniello Del Sorbo <anidel at gmail.com> wrote:
> Actually I didn't start the comparison thread in the first place and
> secondly Maemo Mapper does not plan to substitute Google Maps and
> offers (well, actually it doesn't) you the possibility to "also" use
> Google's maps.

True enough. Maemo mapper *does* have it's uses. It's just a niche
thing that doesn't have a broad application.

> Maemo Mapper is something different, it was never, I think, intended
> to replace a turn-by-turn specific device.

People who don't know where they are will still not know where they
are (or more accurately, how to get where they're going) if you shove
a map in front of them. I fail to see the usefulness for a device that
does nothing but show you where you currently are, other than very
small niches like geocaching, which you can do equally well with any
GPS-enabled device I've seen or tried. Keeping track of where you are
on a little screen only distracts you from your surroundings, which at
best makes it more difficult to orient yourself if your battery should
die or you otherwise find yourself without GPS help, and at worst is
very dangerous for everyone around you.

> In fact, many people use it to keep track of the, well, track.
> And many people do not move that often away from a particular area
> (like me in London) and have maps specific for that region does not
> actually occupies much space. In fact, it does the opposite.
> My full Wayfinder map of England I am sure is bigger than the stored
> London maps in Maemo Mapper.

Have you actually verified that? How about some actual numbers,
bearing in mind the wealth of additional information you get with the
Wayfinder database, including Wi-Fi hotspots and other POIs.

> I am sure I will never need much of the vector data of England I have
> sitting in my device.
> Aniello

All it take is that one time to make it worthwhile...

I will never understand why people need maps, much less GPS-enabled
devices, for their own localities. If you never travel away from your
own neighborhood or city, what possible use are maps on your tablet,
other than the novelty and fun of playing with a gadget? I do know
some people who can't navigate their way out of a wet paper bag even
in their own neighborhood, but since they can't do that even *with* a
map or a GPS (couldn't operate one if their lives depended on it) or
extremely precise written directions that doesn't change the
irrationality of a GPS mapping app that has very limited functionality
and data.

In my entire metropolitan area, including all the suburbs and outlying
areas, all you have to do is give me a street address and the general
location, and I'll find it with a minimum of fuss and time. I don't
need Maemo Mapper (or a printed map, for that matter) for that. Maemo
Mapper just slows me down. (And I've lived most of my life far from

You're still comparing apples with oranges. Most handheld GPSrs allow
you to install only the areas you need, especially the older ones with
very limited storage capacity. If you tried using bitmaps on one of
those, you would only be able to load a very small area indeed. With
OSM (and the aforementioned GPSrs), you can download vector data in
"tiles", and therefore get only the areas you need, but that data will
still only take a tiny fraction of the space that Maemo Mapper will
use for the equivalent area, leaving much more space for other things.
As a matter of fact, the Wayfinder data for all of the UK & Ireland is
only 143MB, Whereas covering only London with Maemo Mapper at
different zoom levels and with OSM/satellite/etc. probably approaches
that. I have 125 MB of Maemo-Mapper data installed, and that's very
limited areas because I've all but stopped using it since I installed
RoadMap. (Which has some issues of its own - there are some gaping
holes in my vicinity's data for certain OSM tiles that flatly refuse
to download.)

London - being an area of very dense data - would be an excellent
example of the minimum difference in storage space requirements. The
more rural the area, the more pronounced the difference.

But there's still the problem of native routing, which is elementary
with vector data and practically impossible with bitmaps. Enabling
routing with bitmaps would require adding a ton of metadata that would
take at least as much space as all of the vector data for the same


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