Getting Started

Here are the steps to follow before starting to use Mobile GMaps:

  1. Install a Java VM — needed only for a few phones or PDAs that do not come with Java pre-installed. This includes most Windows-Mobile devices (like Audiovox PPC 6601, 6700, Samsung i600, i730, Treo 700w, O2 XDA, Fujitsu Loox 720) and some Palm PDAs (Treo 600, 650). I would recommend IBM J9 (also called Websphere Everyplace Micro Environment, or WEME), it is available free of charge for some of these phones, and costs $5-$6 for the others. If you get it, make you sure you download the MIDP 2.0 version of J9, and NOT the Personal Profile version.
    You should read the comprehensive article here, it contains detailed installation instructions for installing Opera Mini on PPC. You can follow the same steps to install J9 and then Mobile GMaps (the jad and jar files are available for download at the WAP site). PocketPCmag also has a tutorial for setting up Mobile GMaps on a PocketPC, at the end of this article. If you can run any Java (J2ME) application on your mobile device, you already have Java installed, so you can skip to the next step.
  2. Download and install MGMaps — see the download page.
  3. Enable internet access — depending on your mobile device, you may have to enable network access for the MGMaps application. You should set up your phone to always allow internet access, or ask once when the program is started. Otherwise, you will end up being prompted for internet access for every single map tile that the program wants to download. You can test your internet access with a small, free mobile application called MNT and found here.
    • Many phones (example: Samsung phones) will ask for internet access the first time the application is started. You should instruct the phone to always allow access, or ask once every time MGMaps is started.
    • For Symbian S60 phones (Nokia 66xx/36xx/6260/7610/7650, Panasonic X700 and others), open the Manager program (App. Manager), scroll to the Mobile GMaps application, select Options/Settings. Now select Options/Change for the first item (Network access) and set it to Ask first time. Select Back to save the options, then exit the Manager application.
    • For Symbian S80 phones (like Nokia 9500), in the Installed software list, scroll down and look for Mobile GMaps. Select it and click on Details, Open the Network permissions tab, change Internet access option value to Session (default is one shot). Click on done. This will stop those annoying pop ups requesting "Do you give permission for the application Mobile GMaps to make a network connection to send/receive data?" (via Andy Blake)
    • For Sony-Ericsson MIDP 2.0 phones (K500i, K700i, K750i, S700i, W800i and others), go to the application (Menu > File Manager > Applications), select the application (Mobile GMaps) and use the right softkey to go to Permissions. In the Internet Access submenu under Permissions select Ask Once. (via Parag Ved)
    • For LG CU500, see this forum thread. (via Bill Nickless)
    • ... if you have other types of phones and know how to set up network access, please send feedback ...
  4. Optional, Motorola phones: unlock the application using software like MotoMidMan in order to allow it to use internal GPS features. See the forum thread for more details.
  5. Optional: install and start Navizon if you are using a Nokia S60 2nd Edition phone, or a Windows-Mobile smartphone or Pocket PC, or if you want to enable positioning without a GPS device. See the news page for details.
  6. Start the program — upon starting MGMaps, you will see the welcome screen and you will be able to configure some settings.
  7. Select Settings in the menu, this will bring up the settings screen where you should look over the following settings:
    • Browsing / Low Memory — enable this option if your phone has less than ~800kB heap memory available for Java applications. If you don't know, keep it disabled and only enable it in a subsequent run if the application crashes.
    • GPS Settings — do you want to use GPS features? Use this form to select the GPS device or platform you are using. If your phone has a built-in GPS and is JSR-179 compliant, choose Internal for the GPS Device. If you have a GPS device connected over bluetooth (JSR-82), choose Bluetooth. For Windows Mobile phones and PDAs, and for some Nokia smartphones, you should use MGMaps together with Navizon to avoid the bugs in the bluetooth implementation, or to enable positioning without a GPS device - see the news page for more information.
    • Proxy Settings — if you need to access the web through a proxy (that may be the case with WAP-only services), you will have to configure proxy settings. To do that, edit the proxy server, port, username and password, then save the settings. When proxies are enabled and you connect to the internet, your phone may prompt you to allow access to Connector.socket, select Accept if that happens. See also the configuration guide and the proxy support section for more information.
  8. That's it, you can now start browsing the maps — you may be asked to allow the application to use the internet, then you should see a part of the U.S. map (or your startup location if you have changed it).


This is a short usage guide for the program. If you have any questions, please check the FAQ, the forum, or send feedback.

When you start the program, you will presented with a welcome screen. You can configure program settings at this point or start browsing the maps or satellite imagery. After you start browsing, your phone will connect to the internet. The presence of the connection is usually indicated on your display by a small "G" (standing for GPRS or EDGE) or "3G" icon. When the connection is established, the phone will begin downloading the map or satellite tiles for the startup location, and will display them on the screen as they are downloaded. The default startup location shows the map for a part of the U.S. at zoom level 14.

To move the map, use the direction keys. In order to zoom in/out and switch between map and satellite modes, you can use the keyboard shortcuts, or you can select the corresponding options in the menu.

Menu options:

  1. Services — provides access to the main services of the application:
    1. Search — allows you to search for a place in a manner similar to Google Maps local search.
      • Upon selecting Search, the search form is displayed, allowing you to enter what and where to search (e.g. search for hotels in New York, NY). You can leave the what field empty to only search for a specific town or place (e.g. search for Chicago). In addition, the search form allows you to specify what zoom-level to use when displaying the results (a number between 0 and 17, by default 4).
      • When the search is complete, the Search Results list is displayed, with a list of (at most) 10 matching locations. You can then select a search result to Display it, Save it as a bookmark, View Info (coordinates, address, phone), Call the phone number (you will be allowed to edit the number as it does not contain country code), or start a New Search.
    2. GPS - Where Am I? — moves the map to match your current position as determined by the GPS device.
    3. Subway Maps — allows you to enable or disable subway maps. These maps are displayed only when the map type is Google Maps (and not for satellite imagery) and the zoom level is in a specific range. Currently Mobile GMaps does not display subway station details, and supports the following cities:
    4. View KML — view any KML file published online. Simply enter the web address for the file, then select Load KML. This retrieves and parses the file, then it displays the places in a list similar to the Search Results. You will be able to view more info (coordinates) or to move the map to the selected place. To load another file, select Other KML File in the list with the places. An example KML file is available at
  2. Go to — opens the Go to menu.
    1. Zoom In — zooms in one level.
    2. Zoom Out — zooms out one level. Zoom levels are numbered 0 to 17, 0 being the most zoomed-in (displays detailed maps for a tiny area on the map) and 17 the most zoomed-out (covers the entire world). For Google satellite imagery, zoom levels -1 to -4 are also available for even more detailed imagery.
    3. Switch Map Type — switch between map types. The map types are combinations of provider/display modes: Google Maps, Google Satellite, MSN Maps, MSN Aerial, MSN Aerial with Labels, and so on. The coordinates and zoom level for the image displayed remain the same, only the imagery changes. To select the map types switch by this option, see the Browsing Settings.
    4. Set Zoom — allows you to set the zoom to a specific level. Zoom levels go from 0 (max zoomed-out) to 17-22 (fully zoomed-in).
    5. Set Map Type — alternative to Switch Map Type, allows you to directly select a map type.
    6. Set Coords — move the map to the specified coordinates. Positive coordinates are north (latitude) and east (longitude), you can use negative coordinates for west or south.
  3. Bookmarks — allows you to keep a list of favorite places on the map. A bookmark consists of five pieces of information: name, latitude, longitude, zoom level, and map type. The Bookmarks menu option displays the bookmarks and allows you to perform various operations:
    • Select (click with the joystick/press the center key) — displays the map for the selected place.
    • Save Current — opens the edit form and allows you to save the current position as a new bookmark.
    • Show Info — show name, coordinates, zoom level, map type for the highlighted place.
    • Edit — edit the selected bookmark.
    • Delete — delete the selected bookmark.
    • Set Startup — set the selected bookmark as the startup one. You will see this place displayed the next time you start the MGMaps application.

    There are three special entries in the bookmarks menu:

    • New Bookmark — this is the same as selecting Save Current, it allows you to save the current place as a bookmark. It also allows you to directly move to a specific place if you know the coordinates, by selecting Display instead of Save in the edit form.
    • Current Pos — display the coordinates, zoom, map type for the current position.
    • Startup — this is the startup location, the place displayed when the application is started. You can work with it (almost) like with other bookmarks: you can click to select it, you can edit the coordinates, but you cannot delete it or change its name.
  4. Markers — are "map pins", small icons displayed on the map at fixed coordinates. The marker menu is displayed when you select this option in the main menu, or when you click the center key while browsing the map. The application can display markers for bookmarks (as yellow map pins), for search results or KML places (green pins), for the GPS position when GPS Sync is set to Marker (blue pin), or for user defined places (red pins, currently disabled, will be merged with bookmarks in a future major release of MGMaps).

    This menu contains links to Zoom In and Zoom Out features, as well as all the markers around the cursor in the center of the map. For each of these markers, you can view more details or you can center the map on it.

  5. Joystick Mode — enables or disables joystick mode. When enabled, the numeric keys of the phone act as direction keys, moving the map in all directions (for example 1 moves it up and to the left, 2 moves it up, 3 moves it up and to the right, and so on). The softkeys and the last row of the numeric keys keep their functionality. You can press 5 as a shortcut key for this option.
  6. Settings — opens the configuration form and allows you to change settings. You can load the default settings by selecting Defaults in the menu in the Settings list screen (the one that shows Screen, Browsing, GPS, Markers, Proxy and Advanced). See the Configuration section for details.
  7. Help — displays the help submenu.
    1. About — displays some information about the program.
    2. Update Check — check if an updated version of MGMaps was released. If an update is found, visit the WAP site on your phone to download the latest version.
    3. Usage — displays a link to these usage instructions.
    4. Keyboard — displays keyboard shortcuts.
    5. Debug — view debug messages.
  8. Exit — exits the application. A temporary screen reading "Exiting, please wait..." is displayed while the program saves the settings and closes network connections.


The following is a list of the settings that can be configured by selecting the Settings option.

  1. Screen Settings:
    • Full Screen — enable or disable full-screen mode. In full-screen mode, the map fills up the entire screen, and the menus are only visible when a softkey is pressed. Full-screen mode is enabled by default on new installations, you can enable or disable it at any time using the 8 key.
    • Scale Units — whether to use metric or U.S. units (miles/feets) for the scale and speed displayed.
    • Font Size — change the size of the font used for the scale and position information.
    • Default Overlays — select the overlays to display by default:
      • Cursor — display a small crosshair cursor in the center of the screen, useful for exact positioning.
      • Title Bar — show or hide the title bar drawn by the application. You can use this option to disable the title bar in order to see more of the maps, for example if you're not using the application in full-screen mode (but in that case, it would be much better to switch to full-screen by pressing "8").
      • Hints — enable or disable keyboard mode hints, displayed below the title bar in extended shortcut or joystick modes.
      • Network Activity shows a small image in the upper-right part of the screen whenever map tiles are downloaded.
      • Scale shows the scale at the bottom.
      • GPS Activity enable or disable the display of a small bluetooth ("B") image in the upper-right indicating the status of the GPS. The icon is not shown if the GPS device is not enabled. If the "B" displayed is red on a blue background, the GPS is configured but not connected to the phone, or it cannot determine the position. If the icon is white on blue, the GPS is connected and has a position fix. A green on blue icon indicates that the GPS device is connected and auto-sync is enabled.
      • Position shows the coordinates for the map center and the current zoom level in a box in the lower right part of the screen.
    • GPS Sync Overlays Overlays — select the overlays to display when GPS Sync is active:
      • GPS Activity — this option can be used to override the option above if, for example, you only want to see the GPS Activity icon when GPS Sync is active.
      • Position and Speed shows the position, speed and heading as reported by the GPS device in a box in the lower right part of the screen. Note that the GPS position is different from the map center position reported when GPS Sync is disabled or when the GPS is not connected. Whenever GPS coordinates are shown, the text "GPS" is displayed in the right part of the position box.
    • Backlight — keep the screen backlight always turned on. This feature is disabled by default because it is broken on several phones, including many Nokia Series 60 phones.
  2. Map Browsing Settings:
    • Auto-Start — are you tired of viewing the Welcome screen and having to press Start to see the maps? Enable this option to avoid all that and go directly to the map image when you start MGMaps.
    • Remember Position — start mapping from where you left off the last time you used MGMaps. If you disable this option you will always start in the same area (U.S. map by default).
    • Map Panning Mode — you can switch to enhanced if you have a fast (recent) phone. In enhanced mode, the map will move smoothly in an accelerated manner, but you may find it too slow on older phones.
    • Low Memory — enable low memory mode if your phone has less than ~800kB heap memory available for Java applications, or if the application crashes as you browse the maps. When enabled, map tiles are always stored compressed, which makes the application slower but uses less memory.
    • Cache Size — represents the number of map tiles held in memory (cached). By default, this is the minimum number needed to allow map browsing (4 for a screen smaller than 256x256). If your phone has more memory (like a few megabytes) you can increase this number. The maximum value that you can use depends on the memory you have, I would recommend not going above 16 for any phones.
    • Map Types Switched — select here the map types you want to switch by using the 0 key (or the Switch Map Type option). You may want to select all types with a provider (e.g. by default Google's map types are selected, you can deselect these and select maps and aerial for detailed Europe maps), or you may want to easily switch between maps from different providers.
  3. GPS Settings:
    • GPS Device — allows to enable/disable GPS connectivity and select the internal GPS (if available) or a GPS device connected over bluetooth. Available options:
      • None — do not use the internal or bluetooth GPS features. You can select this option and save the settings to disconnect the application from the bluetooth GPS device currently connected.
      • Internal (JSR) — enable the internal GPS features if your phone is JSR-179 standard-compliant. If your phone is not JSR-179-compliant, an error message will be displayed.
      • Bluetooth — enable GPS over bluetooth. When you select this option the bluetooth discovery window opens to search for bluetooth devices. Once the search is complete, you can select the device in order to connect to it.
      • Navizon — enable positioning using Navizon. Read the news page for more details on how to download, install and use Navizon together with MGMaps.
    • Auto-Sync — this option enables or disables GPS auto-synchronization.
      • None — disable GPS synchronization.
      • Marker — display a blue marker (map pin) at the position reported by the GPS, and move it every few seconds. Note that this will not move the map to match your position — you can do that manually by selecting GPS - Where Am I? in the services menu.
      • Move Map — the map will be moved periodically to match your position as reported by the GPS device. It's like selecting GPS - Where Am I? in the services menu every few seconds.
    • Refresh — allows you to select the refresh interval for the auto-sync mode. Use a larger interval if the your internet connection is slow and you have set GPS Sync to Move Map.
    • Zoom Level — the zoom level used when synchronizing with GPS. Choose 0 (most zoomed-in) if your internet connection is fast and detailed maps/satellite info are available for your position, or use 2 or 3 if the maps move too fast (you can also try increasing the update interval in that case). The map type (map or satellite view) will not be changed by this option or by GPS synchronization.
  4. Settings for Markers:
    • Remember Markers — save user-defined markers when you exit Mobile GMaps, and re-display them when the application is started again.
    • Show Markers For — show markers (yellow icons) for all the bookmarks, or show a single such marker when a place is selected in the Bookmarks screen.
  5. Proxy Settings:
    • Proxy Enabled — enable or disable the proxy. You should enable the proxy only if the application does not work without it and you see "not available" images displayed. This may happen with WAP-only plans, or other restricted connections where the operator does not allow "full" internet access from your phone.
    • Proxy Server/Port/Username/Password — allow you to configure specific proxy settings. See the Proxy Support page for details.
  6. Advanced Settings allow you to override phone features auto-detected by MGMaps. If in doubt, do NOT change the default values.
    • Nokia 6620/30 GPS Fix enables a workaround for GPS access on some Nokia 6620/6630/7610 phones. If you have such a phone and if MGMaps crashes as soon as it connects to the GPS, you should enable this option, although it may introduce some delays when GPS Sync is enabled. Leave this option disabled if you have any other phone or if your phone does not crash when enabling the GPS.
    • MIDP 2.0 Support — set it to Yes if you are sure you have a MIDP 2.0 phone but MIDP 2.0 is not auto-detected and (for example) full screen does not work.

Keyboard Shortcuts

These shortcuts can be used while viewing the map/satellite imagery.

  • Up/Down/Left/Right — move map up/down/left/right
  • Center Key — show the service menu
  • # — zoom in one level
  • * — zoom out one level
  • 0 — change between map and satellite view, or generally between the map types selected in Settings/Browsing
  • 5 — toggle joystick mode
  • 7 — toggle marker
  • 8 — switch full-screen on/off

In addition, extended key shortcuts can be used for quick access to other functions. Press two keys in sequence for the following features:

  • 9 0 — switch map type in reverse order (useful if you have selected more than 2 map types in Settings/Browsing
  • 9 1 — quick access to search, display the search form or the last search results
  • 9 2 — display the GPS settings form, allowing you to quickly enable or disable GPS Sync
  • 9 6 — bookmark the current position
  • 9 8 — view the coordinates for the current position
  • 9 9 — display the main menu (use this shortcut if the softkeys don't work)