Avoid Google Maps with GNOME Maps on GNU/Linux
So, itâ€™s not really any secret nowadays, that Google saves pretty well anything you ever do using their services. Itâ€™s also no secret nowadays, that many people try and avoid using Google services, and would prefer to use alternatives to many of their popular tools, such as Google Maps.
Sometimes, alternatives are available that provide similar functionality, Startpage for search or another email provider for your email needs. As far as Google Maps is concerned, it is a great product but there are alternatives available online and locally.
GNU/Linux users have the handy GNOME Maps application at their disposal.
GNOME Maps is extremely simple to install, with most major distributions carrying the package â€˜gnome-mapsâ€™ in their main repositories. Simply install with your package management tool of choice, and youâ€™ll be all set to go.
On Linux Mint for instance, you'd select Menu > Software Manager to open the built in program. Type maps in the search box in Software Manager and select Gnome Maps from the list of results.
From there, it is just a matter of selecting the install button to install Gnome Maps on the Linux machine. Software dependencies do get installed automatically after your review of them.
You can launch Gnome Maps right after installation from the Software Manager, or anytime later from the Linux Mint menu.
Using the application / Features
When I first started checking out GNOME maps, the first thing I noticed, is how absolutely buttery smooth the program launched, and ran, using Linux Mint 18.3 MATE edition.
I was scrolling around the world, setting directions for how to cross Russia by foot (which let me tell you in case you ever wondered, should take roughly 60 hours, depending on locations used) in a matter of moments, and it really was quite easy to do.
One of the handy features I found I rather enjoyed, is the ability to right click anywhere on the map, and set the starting place for directions, and then do the same for the destination, if you didnâ€™t feel like using the address, or coordinates.
How this is all accomplished, is using a few different open-source technologies.
- The maps are used / taken from https://www.openstreetmap.org/
- Route / directions / trip planning is done using https://graphhopper.com/
- Depending on your privacy settings, you CAN allow Maps to use your location, thanks to https://wiki.gnome.org/GeoClue
Really, I was incredibly surprised with the ease of use, and how lightweight the program felt on my system. The only real unfortunate thing, is that unless you plan to print, write down, take pictures of, or memorize your directions... You likely wonâ€™t be taking them with you on your mobile device.
However, if youâ€™re looking to get away from using Google Maps before you head out somewhere, or just want to look at travel times, GNOME Maps is perfect!
Now you: Have you ever used GNOME Maps? Is there other Linux based alternative applications you use to avoid the mainstream ones? Let us know in the comments!
I think you meant ‘days’, not ‘hours’
travelling across the entirety of Russia ‘on foot’ (mind you) seems like a very dangerous endeavour, the number of misfortunes that could happen to you along the way would dissuade me from ever attempting it
if people do choose to use GNOME maps, which as stated in the article is based on OpenStreetMap contributions, my hope is for these people to consider contributing to the development of the map as well in any way they can, as proclaimed by the pareto principle, the vast majority of the contributed work is done by a small number of people, it is a lot of work, therefore, it would be nice to have more people actively contributing towards the further development of the map to loosen the burden on other contributors
Or even 60 weeks, but knowing Russia (even a little bit) it’s more, 60 Months or even more likely sounds 60 Years.
60 hours is obviously completely incorrect.
I just go to the ViaMichelin site to find directions.
I am really a fan of Open Street Maps.
In this part of the world they are pretty good and a great alternative to other maps where you either pay with money or with your privacy.
On my iPhone I use the Magic Earth app to navigate. It is also based on OSM, works like a charm.
There is also an app for Android phones, so there is a free alternative to Google maps.
> On my iPhone I use the Magic Earth app to navigate
Thanks for that! I’ve been looking for a good OpenStreetMaps-based app for iOS and this seems alright
Check out Maps.me then. Also works incredibly well!
Gnome Maps will install but will not open
in Ubuntu 14.04.
(confirmed by many comments
in the Ubuntu Software Center).
Would have been
a nice alternative to Gmaps
if it worked…
Why not use Ubuntu 16.04? LTS for Ubuntu 18.04 is a few days away and Ubuntu 14.04 will not be supported by April 2019.
In my smartphone I use Osmand and un the browser here maps. I would be nice to sync gnome maps and osmand someway
Nah, he’s a very fast walker
The version in the Mint repos is v3.18.4 (Aug 22, 2016). However, the most recent one at the time of writing is v3.28.1 (Apr 9, 2018).
There is PPA with v3.27.92 (Mar 5, 2018), but I don’t know if it’s compatible with Mint 18 (Ubuntu Xenial).
I’ll stick to OpenStreetMap in my browser.
OpenStreetMap is a good alternative and it’s integrated into DuckDuckGo, which allows you to choose other providers as well.
Eh, GNOME Maps uses OpenStreetMap so why would you need to memorize or write down the directions? Just open up the OSM site on your mobile device (or any mobile that uses OSM).
The problem with openstreetmaps, maps.me and other open source projects based on contributions is that they are not so reliable, specially on remote areas. But I like to see there is an effort being made to have more and more alternatives to Google Maps; I will definitely try this one out.
I love the Google Maps save feature. I go back to look at my past trips/history often. It’s a really great feature.
Tried in Mint 17.1 Cinnamon with persistence on a USB. Said it was installed but unfortunately did not open. Also installed recommended desktop tool but it did not open either. Maybe it’s only good for Mint 18.3 MATE.
I use HERE (formerly Nokia Maps) on Android and in Windows (Firefox). It has nice and reliable turn by turn navigation for cars, bicycles, walking and public transport.
I last checked out Open Street Maps like 4 years ago and found it wanting, but I will give it another try.
PS. Just checked out Gnome Maps on a virtual Mint Cinnamon 18.3 (VMWare). It’s really smooth and fast, but I’m missing tools for alternative routing and measurement in metrics for one.
People complain about Google’s data collection but use Facebook and other data collecting platforms.
This amuses me and there is only 1 way to stop data collection.
> people complain about polluted water, but breathe polluted air
> there is only one way to end all illnesses
> *commits suicide*
Your “logic” amuses me.
Anyone with a points card is giving up data.
BTW Anonymous, you don’t have to commit suicide. Just go off the grid and become a hermit.
The KDE alternative to this is KDE Marble.
It also features a Google-Earth-style globe view.
And Marble runs on Windows.
Seems, there is an unfair anti-Google trend among some computer users/consumers.
Google’s business model is similar to that used by free-to-air TV companies like ABC, FOX and CBS, which offer free TV programs to consumers in return for them watching ads/commercials. This is quite a fair trade.
……. The other choice for consumers is to pay fees, eg to watch Cable or Satellite TV programs.
So, Google is mostly interested in getting ad revenue from consumers/web-surfers by offering free web services to them, ie Google is not interested in “spying” on web-surfers or computer users. The other revenue stream for Google is to sell aggregated anonymous user-data to marketers.
……. Consumers should not be suspicious about Google’s business intentions.
It is foolish for consumers/computer-users to expect efficient free services without a trade-off, eg being tracked by Google for targeted ads. The other choice is to pay for the services.
……. This is why the free Linux desktop OS does not stand a chance against non-free Windows. Similarly, non-tracking Gnome Maps does not stand a chance against tracking Google Maps; and Ubuntu Touch did not stand a chance against Google Android.
In comparison, it is unfair for M$ to use her non-free Win 10 to track or “spy” on the users through forced Telemetry & Data collection, eg Win 10 Home users are Beta-testers(= M$ saved costs by laying off her QA Division). Maybe, M$ is also colluding with the NSA to “spy” on Win 10 users.
“Seems, there is an unfair anti-Google trend among some computer users/consumers.”
So says Mark Zuckerberg.
“Googleâ€™s business model is similar to that used by free-to-air TV companies like ABC, FOX and CBS, which offer free TV programs to consumers in return for them watching ads/commercials. This is quite a fair trade.”
Poor analogy. Viewers can skip the commercials, with a Tivo box for example. Users can’t avoid Googles collection and marketing of their data.
So, Google is mostly interested in getting ad revenue from consumers/web-surfers by offering free web services to them, ie Google is not interested in â€œspyingâ€ on web-surfers or computer users. ”
Beyond making gobs of profit, you or I have no idea what Googles interests are.
“Consumers should not be suspicious about Googleâ€™s business intentions.”
A nonsensical comment if there ever was one. Are you a paid Google bot?
“It is foolish for consumers/computer-users to expect efficient free services without a trade-off, eg being tracked by Google for targeted ads. The other choice is to pay for the services.
â€¦â€¦. This is why the free Linux desktop OS does not stand a chance against non-free Windows. Similarly, non-tracking Gnome Maps does not stand a chance against tracking Google Maps; and Ubuntu Touch did not stand a chance against Google Android.”
Millions of users of free/open-source software would say your full of it. Your either clueless, a troll, or both. Thanks for the morning laugh.
If they can give a gift I don’t like and will never use, then I’ll repay the favor by anonymizing myself and blocking their “rich” contributions to my browsing. Why not help them with free redirection of their generosity to those who wait with bated breath for another mistargeted ad?
I’ve never seen a post supporting surreptitious data collection that doesn’t contain hints the poster has skin in the game.
a really silly question, I know: does the GNOME map application work off line ? ( I use openstreetmap online )
Regardless of all the alternatives suggested here (OSM, HERE…), nothing compares to Google Maps in terms of accuracy, constant updates, and range of POIs on the maps. HERE Maps (which has a pretty good interface and is a fairly decent product) has a laughable array of POIs, and is pretty much unusable if you need more than just the basics.
I misread the title – might I suggest “Avoid Google Maps – Use Gnome Maps on GNU/Linx”.
Just tried GNOME Maps and I’m not impressed (v3.18.4 on Ubuntu 16.04).
Mainly, the UI seems crippled and looks like a bad Android port.
– Go To from Search does not work!
– app stays full screen only
– no help or version info from the UI (typical gnome-shell, anti classic DE app)
BTW the package name is gnome-maps and is not installed by default.
If it wasn’t for data collection we’d never be able to find out what my mother-in-law has been doing with her computer. She loves it, but is sadly suffering from dementia and often orders things without telling us.
Cannot enable LOCATION in gnome maps. Button is just doing nothing. Do anyone have any idea why? Thanx in advance for any info.
It’s a bit out of date, but more map viewers for Linux can be found here:
( Ubuntu 16.04, Maps 3.18 (latest))
I can pan & zoom or switch views & nothing else. I need to be able to download OSM
data & use it offline, & import POI files.
No menu, no help, no man page, Google cannot find a manual.
Thank you for any advice.
i’m looking for map that we can contribute and keep with us, but not connecting with google map.i used OSM. but google also syncing data from OSM. is this GNOME sync data with google map?
New way to stop Google from learning meaningful information about you(not really it’s always existed). Create a “dummy account” at Google and only use it for Google related services (maps, YouTube, etc) and keep all your really important data on your ISPs email or other more secure email. Google can only collect data you give it. So what if Google knows user “[email protected]” lives is X City, State, Country? or has IP 22.214.171.124?
My point? If you don’t give Google personally identifiable data about you, then they wont have personally identifiable data about you.
Anyone ever noticed Gnome Maps dependencies, look at your package manager, there’s two that phone home to the malware with the blue ‘f’ logo, apparently to download photos. If that’s all that goes on, I’ll eat my dog’s dinner.