I am only interested in iOS and Android options that allow me to build native solutions to render/collect data. Response time is very important, since I want to be able to draw many geometries - not just points. Extra points for automatic clustering options. Licensing is very important - if it makes my resulting product fully Open Source (for examples, forces me to GPL my resulting code) then it is not an option.

  1. Route-Me (iPhone/iPad): Slippy Map to show tiles.

  2. Spatialite (Android/iPhone/iPad) GIS spatially-enabled backend.

  3. Couchbase Mobile (Android/iOS) Library to do synchronization (disconnected editing) with CouchDB NoSQL Databases. GeoCouch provides spatially-enabled backend.

  4. ArcGIS for Smartphones SDK (Android/iOS) All-encompasing library.

  5. Cloudmade SDK (Android/iOS) displays their own layers with some minor options to overlay your own. I wasn't sure I should list it, but this is pre-emptive.

  6. Every platform has their own limited options (allow to put some basic markers) out of the box. This includes MapKit and the Android Maps.

I did not list gvSIG Mobile because of the licensing (GPL) and that the iOS portion is under development. Also, OpenLayers and Sencha Touch are web-based, so not exactly what I am looking for since IMHO, the UX is still lacking for current-generation Smarphones. And any of the web-to-native compilers like Titanium Appcelerator and similar are usually just very simple wrappers to the native options.

What good options that are not listed do I have? Is there a comprehensive list anywhere?

  • 1
    Made CW because this is a useful list-of-X question that expects no unique best answer.
    – whuber
    Aug 12, 2011 at 19:12

3 Answers 3


Since some people have asked me what was the end result of this: I ended up writing my own framework with a friend that works cross-platform on iOS (iPhone and tablets) as well as Android devices.

Here is a link to a free basic Android TileCache viewer that I built with it

Using my imagery TileCache:

Globe Viewer Imagery

Using my own vector (OSM modified) TileCache:

OSM TileCache

Menu to add your own TileCache:

Adding your data

There is an experimental version that we did with elevation, elevation lighting and bathymetry (not in the released version yet).

With lighting experiments

With experiments

  • Link appears to be broken.
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 29, 2018 at 18:27
  • True. Android broke some APIs and I did not bother to update it. However this has been rolled into what right now is amigocloud.com Aug 31, 2018 at 18:07

Open sourced Input App based on QGIS can be fully customized to capture any geometry types.


I am curious if you considered the TatukGIS Developer Kernel for Delphi edition for your requirements? (Disclosure: We make this product.) It is a comprehensive GIS SDK and, used with FMX framework, is appropriate for developing really custom and powerful GIS applications that run efficiently and independently on iOS and Android devices, as well as on Windows, Linux, and macOS. See: https://www.tatukgis.com/Products/Developer-Kernel/Editions/Delphi.aspx

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