Magic Earth: A Navigation App That Rivals Commercial Offerings

Magic Earth is a completely free navigation app for iOS and Android. The quality of the directions from this app are as good as those provided by Google Maps and others. However, during testing, the search feature of Magic Earth did not find a couple locations this was mostly due to name ambiguity.

Magic Earth makes use of OpenStreetMap data. These maps are often more detailed that those provided by Apple or Google. See the side-by-side comparison on this page, for example.

Magic Earth is really the first app that makes OpenStreetMap data usable on mobile. Hence, I recommend it over other apps that use OpenStreetMap data like OSMAndMaps and Maps.Me.

The Magic Earth app also has a very good privacy policy. The developers summarize their policy this way: “We do not track you. We do not profile you. We do not have your personal data…”

A list of features:

  • Turn-by-turn navigation — optimized for car, pedestrian and bicycle
  • Crowd-Sourced Traffic info
  • 3D maps
  • Satellite maps
  • Offline maps
  • Transit info

Photo by Adrien Olichon

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