Perhaps the title of this article is a little unfair as some of the blame for the incorrect setting up and use of the built-in Maps
application can be laid at Nokia’s door for not explaining it thoroughly enough in their manuals.
I hear a lot of complaints from people that their Maps
application is inaccurate or slow and lags, particularly on long journeys. Also that Maps
interferes with their handsets operation when used.
The reason for this is that the phone does not usually come preloaded with map data.
The map data that you see is loaded the first time you use the Maps application and is only for a limited radius
of your initial position.
What does this mean in practice?
Well, let’s assume you live in London and are driving to Edinburgh. Once you leave that initial area that was downloaded by Maps
when you first turned it on, your phone then automatically connects via 3G and starts to download map data as you go. This means that your calls could be affected, your widgets not updated, Maps
appears slow and inaccurate, your battery is draining and you are incurring data charges.
So, how do we go about setting up Maps
for use on the handset?
For the benefit of this article and to avoid confusion let’s get some definitions in place:-
is the programme on your handset with that name.
is the actual maps themselves that show your route (like paper maps).
is the programme that you download to your computer to enable you to then download the Map data
you require, free of charge. If you are using Ovi Suite
this is already integrated into it. If you are using Nokia PC Suite
or just want to download Map Loader
separately you can do so from here:-
So, let’s get started...
1. If you have previously used Maps
or have upgraded your Maps
programme (if not, then go to step 2.) then I would suggest using the phones built-in File Manager
(usually found in the Office
folder) and navigate to Mass Memory ( E: )
or Memory Card
and delete the folder named “cities
”. This contains your initial download and effectively returns Maps
back to its starting point. The other file to delete is “qf
”. Don’t worry these files will be restored in step 3.
2. Now for the initial setup of Maps
using the Maps
application you will need to check that certain settings are in place. Depending on your phone (refer to your manual), these are usually found under Phone settings
. Ensure that Assisted GPS
, Integrated GPS
and Network based
are selected. Now go to Positioning server
and choose your Positioning server use
setting, I use Automatic. Access point
(this is your operators data service) and ensure that Server address
is configured to supl.nokia.com
then Notation preferences
are your choice.
3. You now need to take your phone outside with an all round, clear view of the sky. Preferably on a clear day with no tall buildings around. A window sill, conservatory, porch or such like is not a good idea. Now, with the slider open, go to Maps
and depending on your version of Maps
, you may need to select “My Location
”. Leave the handset to get its initial fix on the satellites and download its limited Map Data
, usually about a radius of 30-50 miles. A lock on four satellites is preferable. This may take up to 20 minutes so please be patient. If in doubt it is better to wait longer than rush this step. Once you have an accurate fix and the limited Map Data
has been downloaded you can then go to step 4.
4. Assuming that you will want to travel outside of the limited area that has been downloaded to your phone already you will now need to connect your phone to your PC and open either the Map Loader
you have installed or Ovi Suite
. Confusingly enough, if you use the Map Loader
programme it initially asks you to delete your existing Map Data
from your phone, using the delete button, before commencing download of your chosen Map Data
. I would ignore this option as it is designed to replace out of date data.
5. You are now ready to download your chosen Map Data
. Depending on your travel requirements you can choose to download a single U.S. state, a country or countries, a continent or even the world (about 4.5GB). You can also select the voice to use for navigation guidance. Up to now everything has been free and you could use your device with Maps
as it is in a limited fashion for navigation and route planning.
This application from Skyhook can be downloaded from the Ovi Store and costs £3. It uses wifi to enhance your GPS signal, particularly useful in built-up areas. It offers a quicker lock for the handset and since installing it I have found that Accuweather's "Current Location" feature works well, even indoors.
Maps Booster is now of dubious benefit if you are running the latest version of Maps, v3.04/3.06, as this includes Nokia's own Wi-Fi/Network positioning.
N.B. If you do download v3.06
don't forget to update your maps data as well.
I hope this helps and make no apologies for the length of this article as I hope it may solve some of the problems that people new to Maps are experiencing and may be blaming their handsets for.