How to install themes for vector maps

This is an advanced topic and it works only with maaloo Outdoor 8  Version or newer.

This app can use OpenStreetMap vector map files in the mapsforge-format. Currently the version 0.3 of mapsforge is supported with some limitations.

You can import themes into the app. Themes are drawing rules for the vector data. Which data has to be drawn and which color has to be used decides the theme.

Themes are organized in a .zip-File with normally two folders ‘symbols’ and ‘patterns’ which contain .png-icons. SVG-Icons are not supported. The ‘patterns’-folder can be deleted because patterns are not supported.
The .zip-file contains one or more XML-files with the drawing rules. The files must not be saved in an additional folder as parent folder.

The .zip file structure should look like this: / symbols / icon1.png    (and many more Icons) / theme1.xml / theme2.xml

Important! Windows Phone does not allow to link .zip files with apps for direct access. The solution is to rename the file from .zip to .mtz (Map Theme Zip ;). The app is associated with the file extension ‘.mtz’ and knows that this file is a zip-file.

You should transfer the MTZ-file to your phone, e.g. by mail. Click on the .mtz-file which will open maaloo Outdoor 8 and import the theme.

Afterwards the theme should appear in the theme selector. Press the ‘…’-button to select the theme from the imported themes list. Press the green OK-button to use the selected theme.


To enable the full rule dependencies to the map data you should disable the speed optimization in the map options. Map / Map options / Map / Speed Optimization = None. The default settings for this option is Medium which disables some types of ways and tags in lower zoom levels, to speed up the rendering somewhat.

There are some sources of themes in the Internet. The themes for mapsforge 0.5 are not fully supported. Better use the mapsforge 0.3 themes. If there are ready made zip’s for download, you should use the ‘normal’ or ‘PC’ versions. the specialized versions for certain apps have different folder structures.


How to install OSM vector maps

Installing OpenStreetMap vector map works on the PC quite simple. You must connect your phone to the PC, e.g. via USB cable. In Windows Explorer the drive for the phone should appear. In the folder Downloads’ we want then copy the map file. But in order.

1. Download OSM vector map

As source of the map files we us the very well-prepared maps of OpenAndroMaps.

You can download any regions under Map Downloads“.

If you like the maps, please support this project with a donation.

2. Unpack .map file

The downloaded zip file must be unpacked. Most browsers open the file directly when you click on the download. It contains a map file and other .zip files. Select the map file and mark it for copy with Ctrl + C.

You do not need the .zip-files with render-themes for other apps, because maaloo has its own render theme.

Some users had problems with corrupt files. The Chrome browser or Firefox (with Addin “Down them all”) works better when downloading files.

3. Copy the map file on Smartphone

Per Windows Explorer we go to the phone drive in the folder Downloads’ and then copy the map file (Ctrl + V).
The PC part is complete.

4. Import map in maaloo

The map file is now prepared on the phone and must be transferred to the local storage of the app. This can be done using an arbitrary file manager app on the phone. The official Filesapp performs good services here. Install it from the App Store.

Switch to the Files’ app to the folder Downloadson the phone. There you will find the just copied map file. Click on the map file. The Files’ app now asks what to do with the file. Possibly a list of apps is displayed that can handle this file type. Should maaloo be currently the only app that can do that, it will be opened directly.

5. Map is imported into maaloo

maaloo is now called and imports the map in its own local storage. Possibly this will take some time. You will see a success message.

The map is now available in the map management under Offline / Imports and can be activated.

6. Cleanup

Since the map has been imported in the local app storage, the file can be deleted from the phone folder Downloads’.

7. Clear Cache – now and then

The app calculates map tiles from the vector data. Thus not every map tile needs to be recalculated again and again, this are stored locally in the cache. Over time, this cache gets bigger and bigger and consumes your phone storage. You can clear this cache manually. Proceed as follows.

  1. Restart maaloo
  2. Switch to the map management (button Map-Download)
  3. Select a .map file
  4. Press the Info-button
  5. There are shown some details of the map file
  6. Switch to tab Cache’
  7. Press the button Clear Cache’ wait.
  8. All map tiles are now deleted. Done.

8. Limitations of the vector maps implementation

The speed of the rendering in zoom level 10 – 14 is not fast. But each map tile is rendered only ones, as long you do not clear the cache. So the next time you use the same area on the map, you get the map tiles from the cache much faster.

The implementations draws no street names.

City maps download

Here are some ready made maps for download in GEMF-Format (Bitmap raster).

If you own a phone with SD-card, it is very easy to install the map file. If you have set the target for downloads to your SD-card Downloads-folder in the system-settings, you just can leave the downloaded map-files in the Downloads folder of the SD-card. maaloo will find them there.

If you have a phone without SD-card, you can download the files as usual, but you must click on the file after download. The system will ask which app should open this file, just choose maaloo. The app will import the file into the internal storage of the app. Afterwards you can delete the file from the systems Downloads-folder, to avoid having it twice, in the app storage and in the Downloads-folder.

City maps

Maps of cities without hill-shading and contour lines but very detailed.

Germany /
Zoomlevel 9 – 16/17:
Aachen (218MB)
Augsburg (73MB)
Berlin (126MB, 512×512 pixel tiles)
Bielefeld (127MB)
Bochum (103MB)
Bonn (98MB)
Braunschweig (111M)
Bremen (250MB)
Chemnitz (116MB)
Dortmund (219MB)
Dresden (66MB, 512×512 pixel tiles)
Düsseldorf (175MB)
Duisburg (181MB)
Erfurt (91MB)
Essen (129MB)
Frankfurt Main (176MB)
Freiburg (73MB)
Gelsenkirchen (62MB)
Halle (119MB)
Hamburg (98MB, 512×512 pixel tiles)
Hannover (158MB)
Jena (39MB)
Karlsruhe (130MB)
Kiel (66MB)
Köln (254MB)
Krefeld (89MB)
Leipzig (105MB, 512×512 pixel tiles)
Lübeck (103MB)
Magdeburg (86MB)
Mainz (54MB)
Mönchengladbach (69MB)
München (90MB, 512×512 pixel tiles)
Münster (280MB)
Nürnberg (104MB)
Oberhausen (48MB)
Regensburg (67MB)
Rostock (77MB)
Stuttgart (156MB)
Wiesbaden (98MB)
Wuppertal (115MB)

Austria / Zoomlevel 9 – 17:
Dornbirn (47MB)
Graz (140MB)
Innsbruck (38MB)
Klagenfurt (38MB)
Linz (64MB)
Salzburg (70MB)
St.Pölten (33MB)
Villach (45MB)
Wels (27MB)
Wien (330MB)

Switzerland / Zoomlevel 9 – 17:
Basel (27MB)
Bern (230MB)
Genf (126MB)
Lausanne (51MB)
Lugano (62MB)
Luzern (23MB)
St.Gallen (30MB)
Winterthur (104MB)
Zurich (62MB)

Czech Republic / Zoomlevel 9 – 17:
Brno (108MB)
Ceské Budejovice (22MB)
Hradec Králové (64MB)
Liberec (84MB)
Olomouc (48MB)
Ostrava (107MB)
Pardubice (42MB)
Plzen (66MB)
Praha (292MB, 512×512 pixel tiles)
Ústí nad Labem (37MB)

UK /
Zoomlevel 12-16:
Birmingham (58MB)
Bristol (27MB)
Cardiff (19MB)
Edinburgh (21MB)
Glasgow (31MB)
London city (max Zoom 17, 51MB)
London (140MB)
Manchester (67MB)
Oxford (11MB)
York (12MB)

You can create your own map files with the Mobile Atlas Creator (Mobac). Choose ‘Osmdroid GEMF’ as Atlas format.

All map files from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic were rendered on own hardware with data from OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is open data, licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL).

The map files from UK contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011. The UK files were made with the MAPC2MAPC-tool.

HowTo: Download Map

This HowTo will show you the process of downloading areas of the map for offline use. You can download as many areas as you want. You should have a stable WLAN connection.

1) Select Map / Download

Press the small download button of the big map button.


2) Choose your preferred map provider from the Online page and press the Download-button in the menu.


3) Select the area on the map. Drag the two green circles to mark the area.


Press the OK-sign button if you want to download this area.

4) Give your download a name and press the OK-button in the menu.


You can chosse the maximum zoom-level. Zoom-level 15 or 16 is mostly enough.
The download size rises with a more detailed zoom level.

5) The download is in progress now. Do not turn of your phone. Ensure a stable WLAN-connection and connect your phone with a power supply.



6) After you have successfully download the area a new list entry is visible in the Info-page of the Online map provider.

You can delete the tiles covered by downloaded areas. Choose the online map provider from the Online page, press the lower Info-button (i) and select the Downloads-page. Choose the downloaded area and press the Delete-button of the menu to delete the tiles.

To use the downloaded area, you do not need to select it. The locally available map tiles are automatically used preferably before they are downloaded online. Jut use the online map as usual.