How to setup Free GPS navigation for Nokia Smartphone without data connection

I have Nokia 5800 phone with Prepaid SIM card minus data connection (I hate to use phone for calling or receiving call.. 🙂 ). Soon I am travelling to various places in California. I definitely need a GPS navigation system to help me out. I don’t even have a own car, so no point in having a GPS device. I am going to rent a Car, but not ready to rent a GPS device which is a costlier option. So thought of configuring my wife’s Nokia 5800 for GPS Map navigation without using any kind of data connection. I got it working this way. I did not even use Nokia map loading application since they don’t support my OS, Linux.

The below instructions are based on Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Edition. The concept is same across all Nokia models, except a few menu navigation method variation.


Step-1: First step is to configure the GPS system not to use any data connection.  It can be done by following the menu below.
Menu button -> Applications -> Location -> Positioning -> Positioning methods ==> Select only “Integrated GPS”. Ensure that none of the other options selected.
“Integrated GPS” – It means the GPS chip in the mobile communicates with Satellites and gets location co-ordinates. So it does not need any kind of data connection like 3G, GPRS or Wireleass LAN, where as the following options need some form of data connection or external device. So we disable them. Here is the details of those just for information sake.
  • “Assisted GPS” – It connects to Nokia server through a data connection to get better guidance.
  • “Bluetooth GPS” – It needs a external bluetooth GPS device to get location co-ordinates instead of using built-in GPS chip. In some mobiles navigation is supported without built-in GPS chip through this method.
  • “Wi-Fi/Network” – In this method, through wireless network, GPS data is fetched.
  • “Network based” – This method fetches location data from Mobile carrier towers.
The one disadvantage of having only “Integrated GPS” is the poor kick off and slight delay in getting the location data. Poor kick off means it takes a few minutes (for some people even up to 10 to 15 minutes) to get the location when you enable GPS for first time before travelling. For me it takes 3 to 4 minutes. It is OK for me considering the service available as free.
Now you can test the functioning of GPS by following the menu below.
Menu button -> Applications -> Location -> GPS data -> Position
For a few minutes it will display “Waiting for GPS” message till it gets right location co-ordinates. After this delay it should show Latitude and Longitude of the current location. If it is so, we are done with first step.


Step-2: Now we have to configure Map application not to use any data connection. It can be done by following the menu below. My OVI Maps version is 3.04.
Menu button -> Maps -> Settings (Wrench icon) -> Internet -> Connection ==> Set this as “Offline“.


Step-3: The most important one is to download the map data and store it in memory card of mobile. Since the map data file is bulky one in the ranges of 100s of MBs, it is adviced to store them in external memory card.
There are two ways to get it done. One is to use Nokia OVI Suite software (available for Windows) or (Map Loader for Mac) to download the maps to your mobile. Another one is to manually download it from Nokia server, which is suitable for Linux guys like me.
Here is how to get it done through Nokia OVI Suite application: Find and Download New Maps.
I followed manual map download method shown below since I use only Linux at my home. Here is what I did.
1. From your computer, navigate here and select your OVI Maps application version.
2. Now you will be redirected to maps download index page. Here you have links to download sorted in Continent, Country and State. Pick the right one for you. Consider your memory card size also.
3. After downloading, extract the compressed file.
4. Mount your mobile memory card in comptuer either through USB cable or Momory card reader.
5. You should be able to see the path “<Your Card>\cities\diskcache\[0-9, a-f]….” or “\Private\20001f63\diskcache\[0-9, a-f]…” kind of path in your card, depending on mobile model.
6. Copy the extracted map data file to right directory. Normally you will overwrite 0-9 and a-f folders. In case of any issue, you may refer here for some help.


Step-4: It is time to download voice guidance data.
Menu button -> Maps -> Settings (Wrench icon) -> Navigation -> Drive Guidance -> Select your language of choice.
When you select a language from the list, you will be prompted to download drive guidance. Say “Yes” for this. If you are not online (through 3G or Wi-Fi network), you will be prompted to go online also. Follow the link to get the language voice file downloaded and installed. I have tested with English (US), English (UK) and Tamil. All are working fine.


Now you are ready with map and GPS available offline. Free from data connection. Just go ahead testing for driving or walking. Enjoy the technology!
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  1. This article is the most detailed article of all that is available on the internet, about Nokia Offline Navigation.

    Great work buddy!

    Even Nokia’s official discussion forums, failed to explain it in this detail.

    Thanks a ton!
    God Bless you

  2. I own a Nokia Surge, and my integrated only GPS did suffer from a terrible kickoff speed (ive had one time take at least 5 minutes) and I ended up improving it to around a 15-30 second kickoff. under maps or GPS status, go into the positioning menu, then positioning server, and disable it. should improve GPS response significantly.

  3. Looks great, only problem is I’ve tried this and your going to lose accurity due to the face it’s not assisted. Also you don’t get any street names audio from the device so you better be looking at the phone while you drive.. not cool. Best bet, get a gps which calls out street names so you don’t kill somebody.

  4. Thank You!

    im using ATT goPhone prepaid and this guide very useful! now i hav free CA map to use 24/7!

    Do i have to turn my phone ‘offline’ everytime i use GPS??


  5. Wow this is great! I’m thinking about buying a Nokia to accomplish just this. Do you happen to know what other Nokias would be able to accomplish this? I’m having a tough time deciphering what “A-GPS” really means…

    1. All Nokia phones which supports OVI Maps application should feature this.

      A-GPS means Assisted GPS, which is nothing but apart from GPS co-ordinates, the navigation data is also fetched from remote server through a data connection.

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