🤖🚫 AI-free content. This post is 100% written by a human, as is everything on my blog. Enjoy!

How to build MAPS.ME for Mac OS X - an offline OpenStreetMaps browser

October 21, 2015, revised November 19, 2023 in Software

Updated for 2023: Maps.me really went downhill in the recent years. A free and uncomplicated fork of Maps.me is Organic Maps.if you have an Apple Silicon Mac, you can install the iPad version with no extra effort.

You can still build the executable for yourself following the instructions, but I have troubles with bundling it, and downloading maps. If you get it working please share your solution. There’s still no official or supported method to building the app for macOS.

A couple of weeks ago MAPS.ME, one of the best offline map applications for mobile (for advertising parity, the other one I use is Skobbler), has gone open source, and as part of the release, now the app has an OS X version. Before this there was no native Mac OS X application for browsing OpenStreetMaps offline, so I was really excited to get this running.

MAPS.ME for Mac OS X

At the present moment, it lets you browse the map and search for features. There is no routing or favorites or any other fancy stuff, but it’ll be useful in a pinch.

As the app is clearly not up to release standards in terms of features, you’ll have to build it yourself.

  1. Install Homebrew if you haven’t yet. In the process you’ll make sure the Xcode toolchain is set up.

  2. Install dependencies:

    brew install boost qt5
  3. Link qt5 build tools:

    brew link --force qt5

    If you had qt (version 4) installed, brew will complain and then you should do brew unlink qt first and rollback after this build, just to be safe.

  4. Check out the omim repo:

    git clone --depth 1 git@github.com:mapsme/omim.git
    cd omim
  5. Check out the submodules:

    git submodule init
    git submodule update
  6. Run the configuration script


    When it asks you for a private repo, just hit ENTER.

  7. Actually build the software

    tools/unix/build_omim.sh -r
    cd ../omim-build-release/out/release
    macdeployqt MAPS.ME.app
    mv ../../data/* MAPS.ME.app/Contents/Resources
  8. If the previous step had succeeded, you now have a working build

    open MAPS.ME.app
  9. If the application works, install it in the Applications directory

    mv MAPS.ME.app /Applications
    open /Applications/MAPS.ME.app

These steps no longer work:

  1. The app has a map download feature, but it doesn’t work because of keys or something. In any case, you can download the latest maps manually from the official distribution site. The maps are organized by country, so download yourcountry.mwm and yourcountry.mwm.routing.

  2. Move the downloaded files to ~/Library/Application Support/MapsWithMe. Restart the app.

Done! You should now have a working build of MAPS.ME for your desktop.

Buy me a coffee Liked the post? Treat me to a coffee