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navigation in Japan?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by thany, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. thany

    thany Newbie
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    I'm wondering. How come there isn't a single app or service that offers *true* offline navigation in Japan? I'll be going there for a month in October, and I'll probably need it. It would be much better than paper maps...

    I mean really, Japan is the third whealthiest country in the world, and not a single company sells offline navigation maps for it? It's unthinkable, and you know what, it's simply not true. I've been in Japan before in every single electronics "depaato" (department store) is riddled with "navi" devices. Every last one of them containing Japan maps featuring incredible detail.

    I'm sure Japan also has it's share of Android phones, and given Android's age, it would be pretty much inevitable that there would be an app with detailed Japan maps? Anyone? It simply has to exist, somewhere.

    The things I've tried:
    1) Google Maps 5 - it's not offline, it just copes with failing internet connections a little better. It's nowhere *near* being truly offline.
    2) MapDroid - no navigation per se, but it's maps are horrendous. Last time I checked ALL of Japan is 26MB, while The Netherlands, a much smaller country is over 200MB. No details, and almost everything that is truly handy (such as small roads, and names of everything - things that aren't visible on paper maps) is all open space.
    3) I've tried building custom maps with one of those tools that grab tiles from Google, but it amounts to many GB's of data, because the data is... well, tiles. No vectors. And no metadata such as POI's and names of dori/blocks/districts.

    So, I'm at a loss. Please help :)
     

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  2. Harry2

    Harry2 Android Expert
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  3. Marvintheparanoid

    Marvintheparanoid Well-Known Member
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    I'd guess that as almost eveyone in Japan owns a smartphone with a super-fast, super-reliable data connection, there's not enough need to make an offline version.
     
  4. thany

    thany Newbie
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    @Harry2
    Ooh nice, through your link I found this:
    CloudMade Downloads

    Not too bad. Also for other countries.
    I wonder what I should do with those files. I guess I'll look into it later, but I'm itching to open that Illustrator file weighing in at 2,2GB :)

    Anyway, there's a Navit file and a Garmin file. I've heard of Navit for Android and I may have even tried it some time ago. But since I don't use it anymore, it must have been crap, or not useful at best :)
    Garmin is not for Android, unfortunately, but there might be apps able to read Garmin maps.
    And then there's probably the option of building some kind of map from the raw OSM-XML which is also available for download, but that baby weighs in massively around 16GB :eek:

    @Marvintheparanoid
    You're right. Internet on Japanese phones is standard. They don't even use SMS, they just e-mail each other. But my point is that they also sell PND's that do have offline maps, because PND's do not normally have a permanent internet connection. So logic dictates that maps are readily available :)
    (btw, if you're in a small village in a valley, you can forget about internet. when I was there, 3G was completely cut off :) )
     
  5. Harry2

    Harry2 Android Expert
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  6. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
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    Why are you asking us? Look at the nav options offered in Japan. Who makes them? Contact those companies. Don't assume -- the iPhone took a long time to catch on in Japan because the Japanese preferred their domestic feature phones.
     
  7. thany

    thany Newbie
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    I don't know where else to ask. I don't know who makes them (or don't know how to find out without hardcore learning Japanese first).
    Last year when I was in Japan, Android already began catching on. And if they're in stores, they must be selling. That's why I thought there must be maps for Japan as well, since that's where they sell as well.
     
  8. elebest03

    elebest03 Lurker
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