Nokia N800 – Maemo Mapper

I had posted a screenshot of Maemo Mapper earlier this week, but thought it might be quite a bit more interesting to see it in action. I was successful in configuring three different map sources – Google Maps (Streets and Satellite), Virtual Earth (Streets and Satellite) and Terraserver. There are differences between all of them:

  • Terraserver only provides topographical information
  • Google Maps seems more up to date than
  • Virtual Earth which seems to have the simplest and easiest to read map

I’ve used both cellular data (EDGE) from my Nokia N73 and home wifi connection to download maps and use the Nokia LD-1W GPS, which is very small and easily fits in a pocket. You can capture full tracks and export as well as import .GPX files which is cool so you can share trip data with other applications like Google Earth or import POIs from Geo Caching sites.

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22 Replies to “Nokia N800 – Maemo Mapper”

  1. I see that you are downloading maps as you want to view them. Do you have to do this every time you want to look at one? (ie. do you need an internet connection in order to use this program?) Is there a way to “scrape” a ton of maps from google or Bottom line: could this replace a tomtom-esque gps receiver?

  2. You can download things in advance if you know the coordinate range you need to cover. You can also select the zoom range you’d like to download.

    I don’t think this can replace a TomTom yet… I use the 510 myself. Too much of the interface relies on stylus taps and there is no way without being very dangerous to do any real navigating. There are views in driving navigation systems that are much easier to view while on the go behind the wheel. Not that it can’t change, but not yet…

  3. Jonathan,

    Nice video!

    I’m considering a Bluethooth GPS purchase and decided to have a look around for Maemo Mapper reviews. Your video shows off the features very nicely and, frankly, compelled me to decide that a GPS receiver is a must for me.

    Regarding your last comment (stylus taps, specifically), isn’t the Auto-Center feature a way to navigate without having to interact with the device while otherwise engaged (driving)? Also, I believe that there is also flite support, for audio directions. Admittedly, I’ve not really used it yet (or Tom Tom), but I thought I’d ask if you might have any thoughts on this functionality?


  4. If you download maps in advance, can you zoom in with maemomapper or do you have to download a seperate map for each zoom level you want to use?

    I currently use a program called CompeGPS which allows me to load a map and then select the zoom ratio I want.

  5. Great video!

    I’m still wondering, though… And feel free to chastise me for being ignorant… If you own a GPS device, whay would you want to use the N800 through it rather than just using the GPS? I don’t know… Seems like a lot of devices to have to carry around if all you need is GPS.

    Likewise, do you think the Wifi receiver (or FM, or Bluetooth), could ever be utilized in order to gain a GPS signal? (I know it’s probably not technically feasible, but I thought I’d ask.) 😉

  6. My GPS has no screen — I currently use the Nokia LD-3W. All it does is connect to the sats and sends the signal to my phone or tablet which house the maps and display.

    You might be able to get positioning data from a cell tower via your phone, but it won’t be as accurate as GPS. Not that I’ve seen a phone sharing this data with another unit, but quite a few phones do “GPS” this way.

  7. Thanks for the informative video review.

    Speaking of mapping software, I have no idea why doesn’t work on the Nokia N800. Nokia now officially owns this website and the company that produced this software, and it works decently on my Windows Mobile device. Complete with 3D/2D views, points of interest, directions and more. So, why not promote it for their N800? Is it because the N800 is a Linux/Debian OS it would be just that much simpler to hack it to work elsewhere?

    I’ve not heard this argument anywhere else yet. I’d love to see a bunch of us get them to port it over and increase the user base of the N800/770.

  8. My guess is that they will bring smart2go to the tablet — especialy now that they own gate5. Right now you can use the free Maemo Mapper or buy the Navicore app if you live in Europe. US release is supposed to be now so hopefully soon.

    My guess is that it’s only a matter of time until we see smart2go – aka Nokia Maps – as it’s now known across the board. The trick will be the POI which are negotiated locally by region so the product will vary based on where you are but will work essentialy the same.

  9. How is the outdoor visibility of the n800 screen. If you have a satellite image displayed is it clearly visible inside a car in sunshine (screen itself not in direct sun)?

    I currently use a fujitsu stylistic c-500 and it’s pretty poor.

  10. It can be tough to see at times. I wear polarized sunglasses and that tends to make seeing electronics even worse. Mapper is not ideal imho for in-car nav as the poi and directions are not built-in like you would find on a Tom Tom.

    I do use the tablet outside a lot and it’s fine most of the time for email etc…

  11. Hi Jonathan,

    I have a question regarding maemo mapper. Does the program offer routing and vocal turn by turn instructions (i.e. what a standalone GPS unit can do)?

    Thank you for your time,


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