On my previous trip to China I received a gift of an 8" Windows tablet, and this is still my only portable device. I have no smartphone as of yet.

At that time the most useful app on the device was the Maps app, which is apparently based on Nokia's Here maps. What made it good was that it had offline downloadable maps which were actually really good.

Annoyingly, Microsoft has deleted these offline maps, which makes the device far less useful and has left me bereft of maps until such time as I may choose to put in some research and put aside some travel funds, and invest in a smartphone.

But in the meantime is there another way to get offline maps on my Windows devices that is not blocked by or interfered with by China, the Great Firewall, or Microsoft itself?

  • 2
    There's a software recs SE that may be able to suggest you a better app for your device if you're willing to go that route. (Rather than keeping the default app I mean.) Nov 14, 2016 at 8:35
  • Here.com offline maps worked extremely well for me in Shanghai on a Nokia Lumia Windows phone.
    – Arnfinn
    Nov 14, 2016 at 9:13
  • @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas: Yes I might ask there too. My question is not only about the default app. I'm looking for any way to get offline maps on a Windows device. Nov 16, 2016 at 14:40
  • @Arnfinn: When? Worked extremely well for me all around south China on my last trip 1.5 years ago. Apparently the removed support in a recent update. Perhaps you were lucky and the update did not hit your phone. Nov 16, 2016 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


I'm by no means an expert on China, but the map coverage at Open Street Map seems to be pretty good, at least for the urban areas I checked. I also can't speak to the Great Firewall's preferences, at least today, but if you put an OSM mapping app on your tablet, you should be able to load up the China maps in any country that permits access to the map servers.

The OSM project maintain lists of known apps for both Windows Mobile and Windows Phone (aka Windows 10 Mobile), so you should be OK for client software. Bonus community points if you keep GPS tracks of any errors you find in the maps, and update them when you get back.

  • Unfortunately I wasn't clear enough that my devices all rain regular Windows, not Windows Mobile or Windows Phone and the OSes are not fully unified so that even though apps for Windows Phone show up in the Windows store when I look on it using my devices, I cannot install apps that don't also support regular Windows )-: I'll go through the links you sent with my fingers crossed anyway though ... Nov 16, 2016 at 14:47

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