Wanted: A walking map of London for Palm OS

A little while back, after months of dithering, I replaced my barely-working SonyEricsson T610 phone and my aging but dependable Palm Vx with a shiny Treo 650 off eBay. After the inevitable initial fiddling and cursing (and praising The Missing Sync) it’s proved to be a lovely, if chunky, slice of technology. But there’s one thing I really, really miss from my Palm Vx: a walking map of London.

On my old Palm I have a program called CityMaps from TomTom, which had a zoomable, scrollable map of central-ish London. I could ask it to plan a journey from one road intersection to any other and, as well as the conventional driving directions, it could also provide a walking route.

I used it any time I walked somewhere new and even on familiar routes it would suggest cutting corners here and there, not only providing the quickest route but also introducing me to some of London’s tucked-away backstreets and alleys. It was a great way to see London on foot and see it with new eyes.

Unfortunately CityMaps crashes my Treo. So I’ve been trying to find a replacement, with no luck so far. If you have any ideas I’d love to hear them. Here’s what I’ve ruled out so far.

TomTom
Obviously, I wondered if TomTom did a newer version of CityMaps. Unfortuantely they seem focused on selling “total navigation solutions” which include GPS units that I don’t need (I know where I am). I’m not sure if their “solutions” offer walking directions either (driving directions are most definitely not the same).
Mapopolis
Plenty of maps but they only do driving directions. And boy, those maps are ugly buggers.
Vindigo
Vindigo’s maps are pretty close. They have walking directions but unfortunately the maps don’t let you zoom in very far — it’s hard to see the details. The maps also seem to only name a few roads, apparently chosen at random (of all the roads near Lincoln’s Inn Fields it felt Remnant Street was the important one to pick out). It’s also a subscription service and I don’t want to pay $25 every year for an A-Z. Yes, I’m picky.
iFodor’s
Oooh, I thought I’d struck gold when I Googled this page. I tried their free demo of New York and it seemed fantastic: detailed maps, walking directions, even plenty of landmarks and businesses mapped. I don’t know NY well enough to judge its directions, but I hoped… Unfortunately, if you click the link to buy iFodor’s London it’s listed as “unavailable”. Emails to Handango and Fodors eventually revealed that they’re no longer producing the guides. Dammit. If you know how I could get hold of an old copy, do let me know.

So that’s as far as I’ve got. Vindingo seems to be the only option but, even if I’m prepared to subscribe, its maps really are feeble. Any more ideas appreciated…

Comments

  • How does Googlemaps sound?

    http://kmaps.ulocate.com/download.html

  • I use Tube2 from VisualIT on my 650. It works really well, presenting a A-to-Z type streetmap of central London with an index of streets.

    It’s a memory hog and it takes a while to load a map tile off an SD card. I’ve stored my normal stomping grounds on the 650 and outlying areas on the SD- a fine compromise. It also has a SE England railway map and a tube map.

    I’m sure there’s a free trial available. I think I paid about £25 for it, and it’s a one-off charge.

    It’s got none of the route-finding stuff you mention, tho.

    URL: http://www.visualit.co.uk/Palm/palm_Tube2.htm

  • I used Mapopolis happily for a couple of years. I’ve only abandoned it because it doesn’t work on my Symbian phone.

  • KMaps would be great except they have no walking directions. And I’m allergic to data charges.

    If I give up on the walking directions requirement then Tube2 would be good. Although the walking directions would be the best bit (otherwise I’ll just carry an A-Z when I need one).

    Mapopolis… again, no walking directions. I guess I wouldn’t miss the walking directions if I hadn’t got used to them.

  • FWIW, the problem with Citymaps is that it assumes the screen size, instead of asking the Palm API for the screen size like what it’s meant to. Have you considered trying to get the open source Palm emulator running on your new device instead of using Palm’s own 68k emulator? Cos that runs Citymaps just fine. Now if only the Qtopia port of the emulator wasn’t a buggy piece of shit and would work on my Zaurus …

  • I absolutely agree with you, Phil - I’ve been looking for a London map ever since I gt my Treo. Like you, I tried Mapopolis, but found it too damn ugly to look at.

    KMaps, mentioned above, is a solution, but not a perfect one. If you search using maps.google.co.uk you get an error: I contacted the author and apparently it’s some kind of licensing issue. You can still access London using maps.google.com but it’s very slow, you have to put “uk” after each address, and in practice it’s too sluggish and buggy to be of any real use.

    Such a pain that Citymaps is broken, I really liked it on my old m505. Isn’t there anyone out there who knows how to fix it so it works on the latest OS?

  • I absolutely agree with you, Phil - I’ve been looking for a London map ever since I gt my Treo. Like you, I tried Mapopolis, but found it too damn ugly to look at.

    KMaps, mentioned above, is a solution, but not a perfect one. If you search using maps.google.co.uk you get an error: I contacted the author and apparently it’s some kind of licensing issue. You can still access London using maps.google.com but it’s very slow, you have to put “uk” after each address, and in practice it’s too sluggish and buggy to be of any real use.

    Such a pain that Citymaps is broken, I really liked it on my old m505. Isn’t there anyone out there who knows how to fix it so it works on the latest OS?

  • Just wanted to say thanks for the legwork on this issue! You saved me quite a few less-than useful downloads! I don’t have much to add to the discussion except for a website that I think is close. http://www.foxtons.co.uk/tools/walking_directions.html
    There’s no OS download, so you can’t take it with you, but I’m putting in a dozen or so locations that I want to see on our trip and printing out the directions.

    I’m saving this discussion, though, for whenever someone finds the Palm OS perfect walking map!