Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am looking for a service (Free or Premium) that allows offline access to maps and also gives the functionality to search map using an address or Latitude / Longitude. I want to embed it into a Web Application. I am particularly interested in Maps. Please tell me if any one know of any such service. Thanks.

Note: Offline means the map's data will not reside on the Internet but on a private (intranet) server.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is ArcGIS Online which is free but online and it's offline counterpart, the ArcGIS Data Appliance which should be purchased. I doubt there are any free offline service content available out there.

N.B.: This will be more helpful if you are an existing user of the ArcGIS Server product since the 'ArcGIS Data Application' functions as an add-on to ArcGIS Server.

Addendum: You probably already know this but if you need a GIS Service to gain access to maps offline for searching functionality, you will have to setup your own GIS Server and serve related services. Free solutions like MapServer and GeoServer do exist. But implementing them is still not short of a cruize missile.

share|improve this answer
This is a pretty big system. All I am looking for is a simple road map which allows searching based on Co-Ordinates or address. The problem is that my application will not be online when being used so I can't used Google Maps etc. – Obi-Wan Spock Jun 30 '11 at 9:14
Yeah, I guess if you already don't have ArcGIS Server, it'll be a really huge system to implement. It's all I know off though. Hope someone else has a better solution for you. – Thomas Jun 30 '11 at 9:47
Not going to use ArcGIS .. it would be like killing an ant with a cruise missile. – Obi-Wan Spock Jun 30 '11 at 11:25
As mentioned in the ArcGIS Data Appliance link, the data is 'cached and ready-to-use with ArcGIS Server on your internal network.' Which means, an internet connection is not required. Just a network of computers with one machine that has ArcGIS Server+Data Applicance; then other machines on the network can get access to the service, including your internal web application. – Thomas Jul 4 '11 at 8:17
The link tells you where you can download the API from for offline use.… – Thomas Jul 4 '11 at 11:56

You might have to consider setting up your own OSM server containing data of your region of interest. Of course, address data might not be available in OSM for your region - then you'd have to go buy (most likely quite expensive) data from local authorities.

share|improve this answer
Setting up an OSM server is most probably the only solution. Please guide me in this regard i.e. how to setup an OSM server. Thanks. – Obi-Wan Spock Jul 4 '11 at 4:25

Have you looked at GMapCatcher.

GMapCatcher is an offline maps viewer. It downloads tiles automatically from many providers such as: CloudMade, OpenStreetMap, Yahoo Maps


share|improve this answer
I looked into it. It does give me the tiles but I need to use offline maps in a Web Browser (local intranet - no internet connection available). – Obi-Wan Spock Jun 30 '11 at 11:31

I'm not really sure what exactly you are looking for, but I guess the closest to your description is something like this:

  1. You generate bitmap tiles from OSM data and put them on your private Web server (offline on intranet, as you say).
  2. You then create a HTML page with OpenLayers library to show the map in a browser.

There are several ways to generate bitmap tiles, one of them is Maperitive (I'm the author, BTW). It very much depends on what kind of map content you want to show and the coverage area (whole world vs. a country vs. a city).

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the input. We are developing an application that requires map inside a web browser. The problem is we cannot access internet otherwise Google Map would have been helpful. Our application must be able to input Address and/or co-ordinates and the map shall display the appropriate location on it. The map shall also allow us to set markers on the map (to highlight buildings etc). The area of interest, at a given time, is a particular city/town or at most a state in US or a country in Europe (that is as big as it can get). The Map app must have ability to mark address on the map. – Obi-Wan Spock Jul 4 '11 at 4:23
You should be able to achieve almost everything you listed using the OSM infrastructure. The only thing missing is the full address database (because OSM mapping is still in progress), so you would probably have to buy one for geocoding purposes. – Igor Brejc Jul 4 '11 at 6:26
Thanks for the input. This can be useful but I believe I'll be using the other approach. – Obi-Wan Spock Jul 4 '11 at 9:46

If you're offline, you have to have local maps. It really is that simple. So unless you can get hold of some free maps to download and then access, you really don't have many options.

share|improve this answer
Perhaps that is what I am looking for. A local Free Map / MapApp (with searching facility). Can you guide me to it? – Obi-Wan Spock Jun 30 '11 at 11:24
There aren't any free desktop utils that offer free maps; mapping is the expensive part of GIS! – Hairy Jun 30 '11 at 12:48
Currently, the money is not an issue. Do let me know of any such premium service. – Obi-Wan Spock Jul 4 '11 at 4:29

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.