[android] Maps application

Jim Ancona jim at anconafamily.com
Fri Dec 5 21:45:53 CET 2008

Cédric Berger wrote:
> Hi,
> Is the Android Maps application available somewhere ?
> I installed the Maps.apk I got from the Emulator.
> It also needs /system/framework/com.google.android.maps.jar   (I also
> pulled it from Emulator)
> - are there legal issues to distribute them ?

IANAL, but the SDK license agreement says "Except to the extent required 
by applicable third party licenses, you may not load any part of the SDK 
onto a mobile handset or any other hardware device except a personal 
computer, combine any part of the SDK with other software, or distribute 
any software or device incorporating a part of the SDK." I would read 
that as prohibiting even installing anything from the SDK on your own 
phone, never mind distributing it.

Since, as you noted, the Maps API jar is not included in the open source 
release, it's currently impossible to run any apps using the Maps API on 
  a device running the open source distribution. A number of people 
(including me) have asked on the Android groups about Google's 
intentions, but I haven't seen any answers.

Even if the API were available, Google's TOS are fairly restrictive (see 
  http://code.google.com/android/maps-api-signup.html). In particular, 
you may not "use the Service or Content with any products, systems, or 
applications for or in connection with (a) real time navigation or route 
guidance based on position input from a sensor (including but not 
limited to any visual or audible turn-byturn route guidance)". That 
seems to prohibit even using the GPS to indicate the direction to your 

To avoid all these issues, one alternative is OSMdroid, a 
reimplementation of the Maps API using Open Street Maps data. It's at:


It's not an exact clone of the Google API, so you will probably have to 
make some changes to your code to use it. It is GPL3 licensed and the 
OSM data is under a Creative Commons license, so you don't have to worry 
about Google's restrictions.


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