Google Maps is good. Let’s first remove this. Google’s constantly updated and constantly improving navigation is popular and robust enough to have more or less caused the death of the paper map, and it seems that it is becoming more and more accessible day by day.
10 best Google Maps Alternatives You Should Try
But there are always reasons why you don’t want or can’t use Google Maps. Some countries, like China, are running a pretty tight regulatory ship, making Google Maps there as useless as it is unnecessary, or maybe you just don’t want Google’s algorithms to take advantage of your data.
Whatever your reasons, we will not be leveraging and rather we will offer you the best cartographic applications which are not prefaced by “Google”.
1. Pocket Earth
Platforms: iOS (free version)
This iOS-only map app uses popular OpenStreetMap data to provide you with up-to-date navigation around the world. Above all, you can download maps for offline use and it has excellent organizing tools such as pins which can be classified into groups.
There are many layers and additional information that you can add to Pocket Earth, and you have great flexibility in the level of detail displayed on your maps. A real bonus here is the Wikipedia layer, which links to the online encyclopedia for various points of interest on your map.
The basic version is free, but for £ 4.99 you get topographic maps as well as improved offline and other features.
One of the best features of this robust open-source navigation application is the presence of offline maps, which ensures that wherever you are in the world – whatever your signal – you will be able to find your way. The maps are very nicely detailed, recalling the aesthetics of Ordnance Survey maps, and frequent updates mean that you are never out of date.
You can also break down what you see on your map – from things like toll roads and street lighting to more specific variables such as road surface and road quality. You can select routes to avoid and multiple stops, and everything is super responsive once you’re on the road.
The user interface is not beautiful, but it is highly customizable, allowing you to refine which items have priority during navigation.
Citymapper is narrower in scope than Google Maps, but does its one job better than any app. Namely, it’s a public transportation app, showing you how to get around many cities around the world using bus, tram, metro and other forms of public transportation.
The app maintains an up-to-date database of all transit routes in its supported cities, displaying prices and alerts, and allowing you to keep a list of your favorite places to travel.
Platforms : Android , iOS , Web
Now it’s a good thing. Maps.me has everything you need for a map application – traffic info, public transport, bicycle navigation, etc. Unlike many other cartographic applications, however, Google Maps also has the advantage of allowing you to download maps for offline use – handy when crossing foreign cities or if you find yourself without the Internet.
It’s good for all kinds of scenarios. If you’re exploring a city, it shows all the important points of interest and things to see, while hikers in the great outdoors also benefit, as it has a regularly updated database of hiking trails from whole world. Once you have planned your trip or hike, you can bookmark it and send it to a friend.
The web version is also great, allowing you to choose from dozens of categories, then configure filters to find exactly what you’re looking for.
5. Bing Maps
Platforms : Web
Did you know that Bing Maps is as old as Google? Yes, the map service owned by Microsoft was originally known as MapPoint before taking its more eye-catching name. It is packed with features, including traffic overlay and 3D views.
For you, the most traditional cartographers, or people working in town planning, it also has the full UK ordinance map.
Bing tends to choose different routes on Google, and when you compare them, Google usually comes out on top when it comes to travel planning. But if you’re looking for cool additional features like 3D views and OS maps, as well as its own full Street View response, then Bing is worth it.
6. Here WeGo
Platforms : Android , iOS , Web
If a consortium of BMW, Audi and Mercedes were willing to shell out $ 3 billion for Nokia for this application, there must be something right, right? It supports more than 200 countries and provides all the basic features such as navigation, places to visit and detailed routes, as well as up-to-date information and prices on all public transport links in your area, by calculating them for you.
Here, WeGo offers current route conditions using different information such as police reports, cameras, Twitter feeds, construction sites, speed cameras and other data to keep you informed and provide a faster route if necessary.
Its support for offline maps is also amazing with the ability to archive an entire continent and get step-by-step navigation even in offline mode.
7. BackCountry browser
Platforms : Android
You found yourself in the middle of Lord Knows Where, perhaps on the mountainside or in a dense forest in the Canadian desert? Google Maps won’t help much since it doesn’t detail the topography of the country like BackCountry does.
Designed for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, this map uses GPS waypoints and allows you to perform manual operations such as entering longitude / latitude coordinates of your location.
It is a crucial companion when you are in the wild, relying on very detailed topographic maps from various established sources like USTopo, OpenCycleMaps and even nautical maps of NOAA RNC (if you are sinking or something like that) .
Platforms : Android , iOS , Web
Waze is a community managed map service that is quick to navigate and very intuitive. Its highly interactive system, which allows you to warn other drivers of traffic changes, speed cameras, dangers, etc. on the road, has proven to be so popular that Google bought the business in 2013. It is telling that six years on Waze continue to exist as a separate entity from Google Maps.
You can get information on the cheapest gas stations near you, sub-construction sites, accidents, speed cameras, police and other information updated by millions of other Waze users. . You can even track the locations of other Waze users and your friends in real time. Keep in mind that it is designed more for drivers than for pedestrians looking to get around a city.
Navmii is a feature-rich map and navigation service serving more than eighty-five countries. It offers all the basic features such as step by step navigation, bookmarking, nearest locations, search and satellite views.
It provides alerts such as speed limits, traffic, speed cameras, construction sites, slowdowns and much more. It all gets even better with community updates from other Navmii users. Navmii also partners with Foursquare, TripAdvisor and What3Words to provide personalized searches.
Its other features include Google Street View, ETA indicator, automatic rerouting, HD maps and full support for offline navigation, although my favorite is Driver Scoring which assesses your driving based on movements and your phone’s GPS sensors! You are interested now, right?
MapQuest is another great alternative to Google Maps, especially if you use public transportation to commute. It will allow you to compare local transport services for your route such as Uber or car2go and to book cars directly from the application. It also provides quick updates on all local transportation options near you. If you like to walk to different places, it will also show you how many calories you will burn, which is a nice bonus!
Advanced features include automatic rerouting, real-time traffic conditions, ETA, the ability to detect cameras / accidents / construction sites / slowdowns, location sharing, weather reports and support road. It also has some basic Google Maps features, such as detailed navigation, bookmarking, best route, satellite view, places to visit nearby, etc.
Most of the aforementioned apps focus on providing the most current information about your area, perhaps even better than the excellent G-Maps themselves. What do you think? If you’ve tried it (and others) and have experiences to report – good or bad – let us know!