Can offline maps app display location in a GPS Android without data connection?

Dr.Sunil Vaswani November 3, 2012

Can an offline maps app display location in a GPS Android without data connection? How to use GPS in Android without data connection, as GPS is a feature via satellite?

  1. Indronil Mondal
    November 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    yes it can BUT AGPS uses a small amount of data to lock the gps signal

    • Dr.Sunil Vaswani
      November 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Without AGPS can offline maps be used by plain gps ( with or excluding EPO )

  2. Burhan Ahmed
    November 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I use NDRIVE software with saudi arabian maps ... Try it ... it doesnt require DATA Connection once maps are downloaded

  3. Aniket Singh
    November 4, 2012 at 10:33 am

    As others have said, you do not need internet for GPS.

    GPS is basically a satellite based positioning system that is designed to calculate geographic coordinates based on timing information received from multiple satellites in the GPS constellation. GPS has a relatively slow time to first fix (TTFF), and from a cold start (meaning without a last known position), it can take up to 15 minutes to download the data it needs from the satellites to calculate a position. A-GPS used by cellular networks shortens this time by using the cellular network to deliver the satellite data to the phone.

    But regardless of whether it is an A-GPS or GPS location, all that is derived is Geographic Coordinates (latitude/longitude). It is impossible to obtain more from GPS only.

    To be able to return anything other than coordinates (such as an address), you need some mechanism to do the Reverse Geocoding. Typically this is done by querying a server or a web service (like using Google Maps or Bing, but there are others). Some of the services will allow you to cache data locally, but it would still require an internet connection for periods of time to download the map information in the surrounding area.

    While it requires a significant amount of effort, you can write your own tool to do the reverse geocoding, but you still need to be able to house the data somewhere as the amount of data required to do this is far more you can store on a phone, which means you still need an internet connection to do it. If you think of tools like Garmin GPS Navigation units, they do store the data locally, so it is possible, but you will need to optimize it for maximum storage and would probably need more than is generally available in a phone.

    So I guess the short answer to your question is, no you do not need an active internet connection to get Coordinates, but unless you are building a specialized device or have unlimited storage, you will need an internet connection to turn those coordinates into anything else.

    • Douglas Mutay
      November 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Good explanation! Thanks

    • Tina Sieber
      November 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Excellent Explanation, Aniket. Thank you for taking the time to share it!

      • Aniket Singh
        November 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm

        thank u tina & douglas.... always available for make use of

  4. Boni Oloff
    November 4, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Looks like there are many comments said it is true, but what is your phone model?
    It depends on the model too.

  5. Vishal Mishra
    November 4, 2012 at 7:11 am

    nokia maps can be used without data connection, you can use them.

  6. Easton Wiki
    November 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Yes you can depending on each apps ability. Google Maps by default has the ability to download areas for offline use. Just go into settings to find it and pick out areas of the map you want saved.

  7. Pwince Khan
    November 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    google latitude can be used in offline mode

  8. Anthony Monori
    November 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Yes it can. GPS is a standalone module, and as far as you have maps, it can show you your exact location.

  9. Boni Oloff
    November 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Yes, you can. There are many apps that can do save offline maps, and GPS is used in satelite. Internet used only to download the map, so that it can visual map. But if you have offline one, then i think you don't need internet.

  10. DalSan Mack
    November 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    The GPS module inside devices receive signals from the satellites in a similar fashion that FM and AM radios receive signals from radio stations. The signal does not use data connections to send or receive the coordinates from the satellites. GPS apps that require data connections are the apps that do not have the maps pre-installed onto the devIce. Sometimes you can cache the maps onto your device to use the GPS in areas you don't have data signal, but the apps that have the maps pre-installed do not need the data connection except for updates to the program or the maps. The Tom-Tom and Magellan apps at able to have and use downloaded and offline maps for navigation, but costs almost as much as a regular GPS device with pre-installed maps. Phones and tablets with GPS capabilities generally have around 7 GPS receivers, but GPS devices have around 21 I think (not sure but the more receivers, the more accurate the location). Offline maps, depending on the detail, generally needs between 2GB and 4GB of storage space for storing the maps.

    • Sunil
      November 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Very elaborated , good answer


      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        November 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm

        You should mark this question as resolved then ;)

        By the way, though it's very big, you might want to keep them as a precaution. Maybe you'll need map when you don't have access to the internet. It'll come in handy,

        • Dr.Sunil Vaswani
          November 22, 2012 at 7:39 am

          Madam , In response to your asking : I have marked this question as resolved

    • josemon maliakal
      November 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Wasting 2GB for just maps is not a wise option i think

      • DalSan Mack
        November 4, 2012 at 4:37 am

        It all depends on the way you look at it. 2GB storage could mean a lot if you have many apps and multimedia files, but if you want to use GPS navigation without data usage to reduce costs, it will be worth it. If you get into an area without data connection, or have a device that is no longer in service with a plan, then that would be a small price to pay. If I remember correctly, he has an Android device (phone) without a service plan, and this would be of great use to him so his main device is free to use otherwise and without extra battery drain to the main device. Best use of a device that otherwise may not be used, or at least in the best possible way.

          November 4, 2012 at 4:54 am

          Ya that's true ...

      • bim
        November 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        josemon maliakal,
        when you are in jungle, no tower available
        than what.........??


    • Yiz Borol
      November 4, 2012 at 8:55 am

      terrific answer!

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