OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a user-generated, collaborative project that is being used to create editable maps of the entire world. It also enables developers to integrate the power of its databases into applications, potentially bringing users goodies like offline maps.
We had a chance to get a peek at a new app launching soon that uses OSM data to offer users maps, nearby points of interest. It also has an option to receive directions to a location — all accessed offline.
ForeverMap assists users in finding places when there’s no wireless or Wi-Fi connection available. After launching the app, it will locate your current position which will enable you to download a map of your area. We should mention that in order to download maps, ForeverMap does need to establish a connection first.
In this case, we downloaded a map for Ontario, a process that took approximately 10 minutes to finish. The map features can additionally be tweaked within the settings to show buildings, highways or highways signs. ForeverMap also uses POIs (points of interest) that are overlaid on the map as interactive icons.
Like Google Maps, users are able to input an address to receive a variety of directions depending on their method of transportation; walking or driving. The map is able to follow your position (while connected) and it supports multiple maps so you’re not limited to using just one.
Similar to iOS apps like Poynt, ForeverMap will assist users in finding local businesses such as restaurants, hotels, airports. It also has a Wiki layer that lists any points of interest on the map that have a page on Wikipedia.
The Bottom Line:
While there are tons of location-based iOS apps out there, they generally require an internet connection which is the big draw with using ForeverMap. We were told the app currently only works in the EU and the US. However, as we’d mentioned the app seems to work fine in Canada as well. ForeverMap by Skobbler will be available in the app store soon for $0.99 and it’s compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
This app offers users the first comprehensive map solution capable of turning offline devices into fully-functional mapping devices that rival conventional online experiences, such as those provided by Google Maps.