Julien DIOT: Globeblogger in Outdoor Sports
Julien DIOT: Globeblogger in Outdoor Sports

Best free offline topographical Android App: Orux Maps


User Manual:

Orux Maps evolves quickly and there is no point I duplicate content. For this reason, the picture below leads you to the latest user manual if you desire to push forward your user experience with Orux Maps:


If you’re an explorer, you will love Orux Maps. This is my favourite Android App so far.


What is Orux Maps?

Orux maps is an Android Application. This one allows you to download offline maps. That’s its biggest strength.

Sometimes it can be hard to find the map you are looking for. Therefore I will give you the links I use to get a large amount of maps for free. Those ones can be really detailed (topographic map 1/5000 with vertical level) or they can cover a large area like a town, a region or a country.

Those maps are saved in your Smartphone or Tablet so you don’t need any data connection. As a result you save your battery life, your mobile credit and you always know where you are if you can’t receive any mobile cover.

The other advantage of Orux Maps is you can use the GPS from your Smartphone or Tablet to find your location. You can record your track as well. This one will be visible on Orux Maps and you can transfer it on Google Earth if you want. The only thing I am disappointed about this app is the whole Vertical High data along your track. Don’t trust it.


How to install a new map file and use it with Orux Maps?

Be Careful: a really good offline map is composed of heavy files (up to 1 Gb). I recommend you to download these files from a stable WIFI Access.

First, make sure you have a really good android browser such as ES File Explorer.

Then,download the file(s) you are looking for following one of these links:


New Zealand ONLY (very detailed maps)

After downloading the different map files , you have to drag and drop these files in the right folder on your Smartphone or tablet. To do that, open your File Manager/Browser where your Android Apps are and look for Oruxmaps:


Create a NEW FOLDER FOR EACH MAP FILE AREA. Respect the structure given by the map author (especially for the New Zealand maps). .

It’s time to launch Orux Maps!

In the top hand menu, you have 4 icons. The one we are looking for is the world map icon. Once you select it, a sub-menu appears. Click on « Switch Map »

Now you have access to the map files folder. If you can’t see your new folder, click on the « Actualize « arrow in the top right hand side of your screen. Now you must be able to see your map files. Otherwise you hadn’t respected the structure imposed by the maps author.


Tip: If you have two map files covering the same area but you don’t want to use one of them (Orux Maps selects itself the map if the zoom level is more accurate), you can lock the file you don’t want to use by pressing 2 seconds the folder. It will appear in red with a lock.


About files with .map extension

It is easier to find this kind of map files. These ones are light in memory size and free but hard to read. Indeed they are only composed by one map file with every range of zoom. To reduce even more the size on your Smartphone or tablet, you don’t have any colors,…, any borders. In function of the quality of the file you can get, it can be better to add a mapstyle layer.


High Quality Map Files
Low Quality Map Files

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What is a mapstyle?

A mapstyle is a theme above your map to make this one easier to read. Like that you have different colours for different type of roads, camping area, parking, bus, summit …

How to add and load a mapstyle?

This is really easy like we saw before. The only difference is the folder you choose for your mapstyles layer.

Download a theme:

Elevate (the most accurate)

Once the download is done, unzip and drop the theme file in the right folder down under:


Then you can access to the theme from 3 dots pictogram on the top right hand side: settings



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