To help find your way around or to explore the world down to a city and street level view, Marble Maps is an open source app made by the KDE community.
The app which was already available on the desktop (Linux, Windows and Mac) has now found its way to the mobile platform yet, perhaps surprisingly, the first mobile operating system it landed on is not KDE’s Plasma Mobile but Android.
A move that can be explained probably due to the popularity of Android both from users perspective as well as developers one.
Marble Maps 1.0 Features
Essentially, Marble Maps provides the same basic features you’ll find in other map applications such as those which are distributed through the big companies Apple, Google and Microsoft. However, being based on free data, open standards and respecting users privacy seems to be Marble’s most prominent merits at the moment.
In order to adhere the high set of standards while providing highly detailed maps, Marble Maps makes use of OpenStreetMap* (OSM) as its data source.
With its first version, Marble Maps 1.0 offers the following features:
- A map with an intuitive user interface
- Search functions
- Bookmarking options
- Route functionalities
The performance is decent in my experience, though it might vary from one device to another. But potentially the most important aspect of this release is the countries it supports;
Western European and north American residents are currently the ones to enjoy the highest level of detail support, while the rest of the world may have to settle for a very low to no details at all when it comes to cities and street views.
Although, we’re being promised by the KDE community that “the plan is to provide full vector data for the whole world in the near future.”
Marble Maps 1.0 is available to install from Google Play or, it can be downloaded as an apk (Android Package) from KDE’s files repository.
* To those unfamiliar with it, OSM is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world started at 2004. The project contains data collected by volunteers and includes commercial and government sources among others.