iPhone Google offline maps – Hong Kong 香港 and Tokyo 東京

I used GMDL (Google Maps Download) and created a Hong Kong map and a Tokyo City map (around the Yamanote-line 山手線), you can download them on rapidshare:

Hong Kong – 香港

Tokyo City – 東京都
[The old file had some missing tiles (file name had “Yamanote” in it, I’ve since fixed the problem by repairing existing map directory, please download this new version.]

Simply extract and copy them onto your iPhone’s /var/mobile/Media/Maps/ folder. (Of course, you’ll need a jail broken iPhone and installed OfflineMaps from Cydia.

Once the folders are in place, open OfflineMaps and you should see this:
iPhone Google offline Hong Kong maps
So here, the path of these 2 folders are: /var/mobile/Media/Maps/HK_HongKong and /var/mobile/Media/Maps/JP_TokyoCity

Touch on HK_HongKong and you’ll see this:
iPhone Google offline Hong Kong maps

Touch Link and you’ll see this:
iPhone Google offline Hong Kong maps

Your’re basically done! Now hit the Home button and open the iPhone Maps program!
iPhone Google offline Hong Kong maps

The Hong Kong map will come up, even though you’re not on Wifi (See? No Wifi signal on top.)
iPhone Google offline Hong Kong maps

If you zoom out, you’ll see the limit 🙂 Only Hong Kong available in the HK_HongKong map.
iPhone Google offline Hong Kong maps

Zoom all the way in… this is Lv 1 – building names and MTR exits are shown!
iPhone Google offline Hong Kong maps

Also! You will be able to see your current location if you are within the range of at least 3 cell phone signal receiver! (Normally, if you don’t have a data plan, you can’t see the map and so you can’t see your location. But now, with Offline maps, we can see that cell tower triangulate positioning is actually available to us all! 🙂

One time after I changed the folder names, Maps couldn’t display the offline maps anymore! I looked into it and found out why – the symlink was still pointing to the old folder. See, this is how offline maps work, when you use iPhone Maps normally with Wifi, it stores caches of map tiles inside:


What Offline Maps does is it stores the “permanent cache” files created with GMDL in a separate folder:


When you touch on “Link”, it creates a symlink from the


folder to the offline permanent cache, so in JP_TokyoCity’s case –

, so if you go to


and type

ls -l

, you should see something like this:

MapTiles.sqlitedb -> /var/mobile/Media/Maps/JP_TokyoCity/MapTiles.sqlitedb

. Basically, if your maps doesn’t work, try deleting that link with

rm *

and then redo the process from the beginning.

A detailed tutorial in which I learned from is here. Only sightly outdated for iPhone firmware 2.2 – if you’re downloading your own maps, the new GMDL can convert the maps directly to v2.2, so you don’t need to do the last step of “Mapv4v5Converter”.

A screenshot of the tutorial below:
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Just another guy trying to beat the system and be released from the Matrix http://about.me/nicholaswang

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Posted in hong kong, Reference, tech
13 comments on “iPhone Google offline maps – Hong Kong 香港 and Tokyo 東京
  1. Ben says:

    And here is a tutorial for Google Maps made in paper 🙂 (just for fun)
    Pretty sure you’ll like it.

  2. Patrick says:

    i am having a problem with offline maps and i was wondering if you could help me. i used iphonebrowser to move the extracted files into the location you specified, but i realised there wasnt a MAPS folder, so i had to manually create a new folder. then when i moved the files over, and i started up OfflineMaps, it just kept crashing and reboots the Iphone. Any ideas or suggestions? thanks!

    • cloneofsnake says:

      hmm… not sure why it would keep crashing, but 2 things:

      It’s Maps, not MAPS.
      Perhaps it’s the new folder not having the right permission? Try running this in Terminal – sudo chmod -R 755 /private/var/mobile/Media/Maps

  3. Fernando says:

    Any update?

  4. profinite says:


    Thank you so much for the JP_TokyoCity map. Installation was a breeze.
    It is going to help me a lot when I am in Tokyo from May 11, 2009.
    I appreciate the great work you have done for all of us!

    — profinite

    • cloneofsnake says:

      you’re welcome, my friend just went to Tokyo, I’ll get his report on actual usage when he comes back. 🙂

      • Fernando says:

        Your telling me that this is working for you in software 2.2.1????

      • cloneofsnake says:

        huh? Where did u hear that?

        My friend’s report from Tokyo – No good, couldn’t use GPS to locate himself. 😦 I was a little surprised… I thought that since iPhone 3G has GPS built-in, even if you’re not using any cell signal, you can still get GPS location. Not true?

  5. Alvin says:

    hi thanks for your efforts, but after i have uploaded everything and clicked on the HK file, offline maps crashes, any remedies for that?

    • cloneofsnake says:

      This guide is pretty outdated, if you’re on OS 3.0 or above, you need to find new instructions. Basically though, use the latest Offline Maps version, Copy instead of Link the map tiles, also, install Enhanced Maps (another Cydia app) which will enable you to store the map tiles in cache… so if you browse while you’re online, the maps you”ve download will stay on your iPhone and not get erased!

  6. Alvin says:

    I cant seem to fine the copy instead of link map tiles, please help

  7. Ignacio says:

    Hi guys, maybe an easier way to have true offline maps: this is a new app in the appstore that lets you see, search for places and streets, and calculate routes WHILE you are offline, and for any part in the world… http://sites.google.com/site/truemaps

  8. mimizone says:

    is the Tokyo map available elsewhere? RapidShare has been overloaded for the past hours and doesn’t let me download it for free. Thanks.
    I’ll try true map as well, but I find the OpenMap tokyo map not very detailed. It’s missing a lot of info and streets at the street level.

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