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I am looking for an offline map that can import a large number (>50k) of POIs and overlay them onto the map. It should provide at least some basic search functions, e.g. show POIs sorted by distance and filter POIs by type. The app should be able to import files (gpx or csv), nice would be to import an entire folder hierarchy in one run so I don't have to load every single POI file individually. The app has to work offline, I am ok uploading the data through a server, but given the large number of points, I strongly prefer if I could just copy the POI folders onto my device.

This sounds very basic, but I haven't found anything suitable that even reaches the level of e.g. Basecamp + GPS.

As an example of what kind of map I'd be happy with: Here Maps is nice as an offline map, but I haven't found a way to import anything. BackCountry Navigator cannot deal with POIs at all.

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I have recently started using ArcGIS Collector. It might not fit all your requirements (like sort by distance, which I also would like to have), but it is surprisingly easy to upload shapefiles and create symbology based on type. You can upload your POI types as different layers, then you can even turn them on and off individually.

It is all managed through a web portal and files are uploaded through ArcGIS desktop (there are other ways too, but I find this the easiest so far). So no direct copy-paste of CSV-files, unfortunately.

The app works with offline editing, you can have both your points and background maps stored locally and then sync updates when connected again. I have not used it with as many points as you have though.

Works with Android as well as IOS. The primary drawback is that it requires (somewhat costly) ESRI licenses. Depending on your situation it might be worth checking out.

  • Do you know if there is a cheap way to get the data into the app? If I am correct, the cheapest license for Arcgis Desktop is $1500. For me it is more of a hobby, so I can't justify spending that much. – steveC Jul 6 '16 at 17:44
  • Yeah, I kinda got the impression that this wasn't a high-budget thing. You also need an ArcGIS Organizational account for it to work, so I suspect that's gonna be hard to get around even if there was another way to upload data (which I'm not aware of). I'll still leave the info here for future reference. And please, if you do find something that fits your needs, write a short answer about it here for when someone else comes looking! – Martin Jul 6 '16 at 20:51
  • Too bad, it looks like a great app that is exactly what I need. I am a bit surprised that I haven't found anything, seems to be obvious functionality, if I'll find something I'll post here. Maybe a geocaching app. – steveC Jul 6 '16 at 22:52
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I am posting this as an answer it hope it might be useful to someone else, even though the solution is not as good as Martin's suggestion: This is what I've tried:

  1. Backcountry Navigator
  2. Google Earth
  3. Here Maps
  4. OsmAnd
  5. Locus Map
  6. OfflineMaps & Navigation
  7. POI pocket
  8. GPS Navigation & Maps
  9. Maps.me
  10. Poiloader

None of the programs is really great. Backcountry Navigator has best overall map handling, but only has rudimentary treatment of waypoints. Here is a nice navigation app, but it has primitive handling of Favorites. OsmAnd has a lot of potential, but can only use a street map. Theoretically it can import points (it can download all coordinates from wikipedia), but practically I failed miserably, and the documentation is not up to date/helpful.

The best for handling of external data is Locus. It can import gpx, kml and others, can have different folders, and allows to have different symbols even in one folder. The big downside is that import has to be done manually for each file, it can't do batch. Otherwise it is far better than all of the other programs and is actually the only one that provides a clean import/export capability.

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I have recently found another app (Android/IOS) that is available for free, called FieldLogger. I have yet to try it out, but it appears to have the general functions that you asked for, namely importing points (via CSV) and add measurements while out in the field. It is also said to work offline, except for the background map (Google Earth).

Link to Google play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nl.artesia.fieldlogger

Link to developer web page (Dutch): http://www.artesia-water.nl/software/fieldlogger/

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