Skobbler launches ForeverMap, an offline Google Maps competitor for iOS

Skobbler, maker of the free iPhone Sat-Nav solution based on the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project, is at it again.

This time the Hamburg, Germany-based company is gunning for Google Maps with the release of ForeverMap, also powered by data from OMS, which although a paid-for app, bests the search giant’s offering in one significant area: it supports offline use since the maps, which cover Europe, are pre-loaded.

In other words you don’t need a data connection to use ForeverMap, meaning that it can be used perfectly well on the iPod touch outside of WiFi, along with iPads and iPhones. That’s something that Google Maps can’t boast.

What Skobbler isn’t quite so keen to talk up, however, is the do-it-yourself nature of the OSM data that powers ForeverMap. The ‘Wikipedia of maps’ project relies on volunteers – users – to plug any missing gaps in the maps themselves, which can be a little hit and miss in very remote areas, apparently, although it’s a growing project that’s improving all the time. Skobbler and others who have recently released commercial apps using OSM data obviously feel it’s mature enough to go-to-market.

As for the app itself, there’s multi-touch support (pinch to zoom), compass integration backed by auto-turning support and auto-follow mode whereby the map centres around the user’s current position. You can search by city, street, points of interest (POI) and name. Information is also provided from Wikipedia.

In addition, map and data updates will be regularly provided by Skobbler for free, says the company, “making ForeverMap, all in all, the last map you will ever need”. You hear that Google?