Have met travellers cycling in Tajikistan, and they're hoping they can download maps of China - either road or cycle tracks (or both). They've searched high and low, and haven't found decent road-level quality maps. Any suggestions for easily downloadable maps for a laptop?

  • 2
    Check whether Ovi Maps supports China. Those can be installed offline for Nokia phones. Jul 16, 2011 at 8:57
  • possible duplicate of Are there cheap GPS/navigator devices with downloadable maps for the whole world?
    – user141
    Jul 16, 2011 at 11:21
  • 5
    Disagree, I think this question is distinct.
    – Beaker
    Jul 16, 2011 at 13:52
  • 1
    @Andra: The older question is about GPS devices and this question is about laptop computers. The same maps may or may not be usable on both. GPS devices may have specific channels through which maps are obtainable. Jul 21, 2011 at 10:35
  • 2
    China is a tough one. Beware Google Maps are deliberately offset in China presumably at the request of the Chinese government, using Google Maps with a GPS device will have you about 500 meters out of place on the maps. I don't know how prevalent this is with other mapping software and solutions but it's something to be aware of.
    – dageshi
    Jul 24, 2011 at 18:12

3 Answers 3


You could look at http://www.openstreetmap.org/ which is google maps meets wikipedia. It's all copyleft, so you can download it yourself. However you'll have to find a suitable applicaton/format youself. Hunt around the http://wiki.openstreetmap.org

  • 1
    They're not the most computer-keen people, an app with a convenient export tool would be best. I'm trying out a couple of them from openstreetmap myself at present as I'd not mind having one too, but other suggestions would be good.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:24
  • 1
    You can download garmin ready osm data. See my answer on: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/448/…
    – user141
    Jul 16, 2011 at 11:20

While I was there I used nokia maps. You need a nokia phone to use them, but it worked very well (on the street level) for me. You can download the maps free, and the entire of China fitted on my phone.


An answer five years later - and by now refering to downloading maps to smartphone:

Baidu Maps

The best map for China IMHO is from Baidu, and this article describes an option to download maps for offline usage and how to use it. If you, like me, don't want to give the app every possible permission on your phone, an alternative is:


I have made good experiences (all over the world in fact) with Maps.Me which is based on Openstreetmaps as suggested by @Rory.

Features (according to Wikipedia) include

Features of MAPS.ME:

  • Offline map data (custom compressed format)[4]
  • GPS support
  • Offline routing from current location within one map
  • Offline search (by name, address, category and coordinates)
  • Bookmarks
  • Auto-follow mode
  • Location and bookmarks sharing
  • KML import
  • Offline routes for cars and by foot

The latest update apparently also includes an experimental bike route option.

Reddit seems to have come to a similar conclusion.

  • Does Baidu use the obfuscated GPS coordinates in China or real ones?
    – Berwyn
    Jun 27, 2016 at 17:26
  • @Berwyn I have not used their mobile maps personally (see my concerns above), only on PC.
    – mts
    Jun 27, 2016 at 17:27

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