Maplets is an iPhone App ($2.99) and an Android App ($2.58) that lets you track your location using GPS on an offline map that you’ve downloaded to your phone or tablet. Once you purchase the app, you can download any map you want for free. Maplets redistributes 10,000 maps of city, state, and national parks, ski resorts, mass transit systems, you name it.
You don’t have to have any navigational skills to read the maps which are simply electronic versions of the free paper maps that you’d get when you visit a place that hands them out. While Maplets is a great app for hikers, really anyone can use it. You don’t need to be connected to cell phone service or the Internet, but you do need a GPS-enabled device like a smartphone.
In addition to being able to view maps on your phone, you can map your position using GPS, create pins on the maps, and share your location via email or social media.
Maplets also lets you draw routes on maps that you download using your finger (in red). You can export a route as a GPX file, and even import it into a more sophisticated mapping program like Gaia, shown here on the right.
- Every map download is free, with new maps added all the time.
- Shows your GPS position on the map
- Fast Display – Much faster than viewing the equivalent PDFs on your phone
- Once maps are downloaded, they are stored on your phone/tablet for quick offline access
- Share your location via email or social media
- Share routes or export them to other apps
- Maps provided can be out of date
- Limited selection of maps (10,000 to date)
- Publishers can’t sell maps through Maplets (all maps must be freely available today)
It’s pretty amazing how powerful and simple Maplets is to use. And you don’t have to be connected to the Internet or cell service to use it, as long as you can use your GPS.
Updated 2017.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the affiliate links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.