This Manual cover the two major players on the App-Market:

  • Locus
  • Oruxmaps

For all other apps please refer to the manual of your mapping app.

Min. requirements: An Android mapping app with built in support for the mapsforge vector library V3.0 and alternative render themes and a serious amount of free memory.

A list of compatible apps can be found here..

The cyclemaps are testet with Locus and Oruxmaps on a Sony Xperia Active.


Install render theme + mapfiles:

For Locus:

  • Download the from the downloads page and uncompress it.
  • copy the files to mnt/sdcard/Locus/mapsVector/_themes/

Or, even better, the themes form Tobias and follow the instructions included in the download-files of the theme


If you’v done this right the structure should be:

  • mnt/sdcard/Locus/mapsVector/_themes/andromaps_hc/ (containing andromaps_hc.xml)
  • mnt/sdcard/Locus/mapsVector/_themes/andromaps_hc/patterns/
  • mnt/sdcard/Locus/mapsVector/_themes/andromaps_hc/symbols/

Now download the Maps you need, copy it to

- mnt/sdcard/Locus/mapsVector/ (or to a further subdir if you want to organize your maps)

and switch to the andromaps_hc theme in the Locus-menu.


For Oruxmaps:

The current version of Oruxmaps includes the long awaited themeswitcher for vectormaps like the openandromaps.
This Themeswitcher need a complete different installation of the themes and once Oruxmaps is updated it will switch back to the minimum-theme (osmarender.xml).

Download the new Themes
Right within the folder ./oruxmaps create the subfolders /mapstyles/OAM/ .
Unzip the themes and copy them to ../oruxmaps/mapstyles/OAM/.
The folder structure now should look like this:

Or the Themes form Tobias (seriously, thea are much better than my own ones)

Once the new version of Oruxmaps with the themeswitcher is installed (updated) aktivate one of the themes for the openandromaps by calling the themeswitcher in Oruxmaps, switch to the folder /OAM and tap on the theme you want to be displayed (eg. andromaps_hc.xml).

Why install the openandromaps in a subdirectory /OAM ? (it is perfect possible to install theme right in ../oruxmaps/mapstyles):
Once the oruxmaps with the themeswitcher is out there will be a lot of custom themes (maybe your own ones), probably with different symbols/patterns. So you can install them in a different subfolder like:



For all other apps supporting vector maps:

Use the generic themes for the old version of Oruxmaps, it contains only the symbols+patternset of the original render-theme provided by the Mapsforge group.
So any app that supports the full capabilitys incl. custom themes (styles) of the Mapsforge-library V3 should be able to display the cycle maps.

Generic Theme andromaps_hc
Genaric Theme andromaps_mtb
Generic Theme andromaps_light
Generic Theme andromaps_car (beta)


This post is also available in: German

56 comments to Manual

  • Hi Christian,
    I have spent a long time trying to install the map themes and tried most of the above to solve it.
    The problem I always have is a black screen, even when zoomed right in.
    I have downloaded, then unzip and placed then the files in mapstyles /OAM. and tried stright in there with out using OAM directory.
    Then enabled with sttings/tweaks/mapstyle and activated the ***.xml file.
    I’m using on a Nexus 5 (LG I think it is)
    Tried several different rendering sets but always a black screen after initialising the .XLM
    The map is OK before I do any rendering but of course I can’t see the text as it’s too small.
    What stupid mistake do you think I am making :(

    • admin_openandromaps

      Hi Julian,

      This is a mix up of paths or missing resourced folders.

      If you install andromaps_hc you need the /patterns and /symbols folders with all files in then.
      If you install the elevate themes you need the /ele-res folder with all files in it.

      Its not important what name you gave the subfolder weher you have installed the themes.
      BUT its important that the *.xml is in this folder AND the resourced reside WITHIN this folder as subfolders:

      So take a look at the structure:


      Again, instead of of OAM you can chose another name, the structure have to stay as it ist.
      And take a look if the *.png are within the subfolders. With Android 4.4.2 the copy of the resources sometimes failes.

      Beste Regards, Christian

      • julian Ashby

        Thanks Christian,
        All appeared good in the file structure as you described, the problem was unzipping on my PC.
        Transfering to android device and THEN unzipping (which looks identical in file browser) did the trick :)
        I also noted the text size was still not visible with ‘pinch’ zooming,but using the volume keys does zoom text.
        Thanks for your prompt help,

  • manlio

    everything works very fine, except: Elevate_Locus themes. it hangs the load of any map. everything returns to work after returning to Andromaps_xxx or internal themes.any explanation? thanks.

    • manlio

      I found the why in a Tobias previous answer. Unfold the stuff directly in the destination folder and it ‘ll work fine. Instead I unzipped in my desktop an then moved the unzipped folder to android, and it didn’t work.

  • Michael

    I’m going to use your maps to cycle from London to Berlin at the end of the month and would like to use ORUxmaps app. I managed to get map working, but cannot get layer(?) to show campsite symbols on the map. I have setup the OAM directory and switched the mapsforge style to read this directory, hence, any Ideas what’s going wrong?

    • Tobias

      Have you activated the theme and not just setup the directory.? Use “Menu”, “Tweaks”, “Mapsforge style” to choose the theme.

      • Luis

        Thank you for your manual. I am new at the use of an Android tablet (Nexus7), recently buyed (June 2014) and Oruxmaps, but I am very interested in using them.
        I have a question: when installing the themes I follow the path that you tell:
        The question is whether I have to place the folder named SYMBOLS and the folder named PATTERNS with their contents, or just these contents out of their folders.
        Thak you very much for your reply

        • Tobias

          It’s very important that you leave the directory structures of the themes as they are in the zip files. Just unzip them, as moving the folders around will break the themes.

  • Martijn

    One more thing: I also tried the Genaric Theme andromaps_mtb, but without success…

  • Martijn

    Hi Christian,

    Thanks for this great site!

    Somehow I cannot load the themes. I run the latest OruxMaps (v.5.5.18), and copied all files and the two subfolders (with files) into the mapstyles/OAM directory as described. When I click on menu -> settings -> Mapsforge styles, navigate to the OAM folder, click on any xml file (e.g. andromaps_hc.xml) then nothing seems to happen. Do you have any ideas?

    • admin_openandromaps

      Hi Martijn,

      What exactly means “nothing happens” ?
      Does Orux return to the map with white or black screen (png is missing in the /symbols or /pattern folder)?

      Please provide a more deeper description what happens – maybe a screenshot.

      Best regards, Christian

  • Tommy Bäck

    Hi Christian, your maps are great. Off to Colombia in two weeks and have been working on your map creating Wayponts for my route. It’s a long route, around 3000 km. It all worked fine until the very end almost, I could add Wayponts, move them, edit them. Then suddenly I’m not able to edit them any longer, and I can’t move them, and the green waypoints have turned RED. Is that a warning signal? Am I doing something wrong, or is there a limited amount of Waypoints you can use?
    If so, is it possible to use two dublicate maps, Colombia West and Colombia East, identical, but using half the route on one and half on the other?
    Thanks you, Tommy
    (ps: can’t you add Maestro to your Credit Cards)

    • admin_openandromaps

      Hi Tommy,

      First of all, thanks for your Donation – my wife and I will enjoy the dinner ;-)

      As for the waypoints: This has nothing to do with the maps itself.
      Its completely related to the APP you are using.
      Waypoints, Tracks, Routes are overlayed obove the map by the APP.

      In any case I would strongly recommend to save the Waypoints/Routes/Tracks as GPX – this is possible with all APPs.
      This will backup your precious waypoints to the SD-Card and you can re-import them to any APP or desktop software like TTQV or Basecamp if your APP crashes and destroys the internal waypoint database.

      For Locus and Orux there are buletin boards where you can find support for your Problem:

      Hope the best for your data,

      Best regards, Christian

  • Andrea

    Thank you a lot! It works!

    But in the same time I did the same steps with openandromaps and Locus on a virtual machine on my linux laptop.
    The problem there is that locus keeps loading the map for hours and nothing happens!
    Any idea?

    • admin_openandromaps

      Hi Andrea,

      Sorry, I have no experience with VM on Linux.
      I use Linux only for my webserver.

      Beste regards, Christian

  • Andrea

    Thanks again Christian,

    a last doubt: I downloaded and and I noticed the Locus themes in the two zip files are different in size (670.1 kB for NZ, 749.2 kB for Alps) the last modification dates are different as well (both for Locus and Orux)… Are there different themes for different maps (countries)?

    I am interested in the Alps (European!) since, even if I am in NZ now, I mostly live in Italy… And yes, definitely New Zealand is worth a journey!

    • admin_openandromaps

      Hi Andrea,

      The size should be the same for the themes, the themes do not differ for maps with the same revision.
      Possible reason why its not the case:

      - I upgraded Maps and themes last weekend (exept Canada), maybe you have downloaded one of the maps at an earlier date.
      - You have downloaded a map twice, this results in for the old map + map(1).zip for the newer map in your download folder on the PC.
      If you use the, uncompress and copy it to your phone you copy the old map again and again.

      I recommend to empty the download folder bevore downloading updates.

      Best regards, Christian

  • Andrea

    Thanks Christian for the prompt help!

    • admin_openandromaps

      You are welcome,

      Greetings to NewZealand, hope I could once visit this beautiful country!

    • admin_openandromaps

      OK Andrea, next step:

      Download the NewZealand map from here:
      klick the download button, direkt downlaad is:

      double click the in the file manager and right klick on the – chose “copy”

      switch in the file manager to your phone (the drive letter of your phone) switch to the folder

      right klick “insert”, now the is uncompressed and copied to your phone.
      (If you have an Android 4.2.2 device this can fail cause Google has disabled the access to the sd-card for the .map-extension)

      Now disconnect the phone from your computer (save release like an usb-stick) and wait about 20sec to allow the sd-card to be remounted on the phone.

      Start Locus, load the map (to be found at the section “Vector” among “Online/Own/Vector/WMS” on the top of the menue).
      Activate the andromaps_hc theme: “settings” / “Map – advanced” / scroll down to “Theme of the maps” klick it, below the Internal themes there should be a section “External Themes” where the andromaps_hc should show up. klick it.

      With the “return” button of the phone go back to thze main screen – hopefully the your done now and can enjoy the map with all features.

      Dont worry if this doesnt work like expected, just drop me line from which point on it failed.

      Best regards, Christian

  • Andrea

    I am really sorry Christian, maybe I am a kind of dummy, but what do you mean with “Download the from the downloads page and uncompress”: where do I find it? Which downolads page? Am I supposed to download from the GooglePlay? Do you refer to Locus download page? (Didn’t find it) Or the Openandromaps download page? (I found only maps in there). Download to the PC or to smartphone? So, I am stuck at the very beginning of the installation process (I was able to install Locus on my smartphone only!)
    Thank you for help!

    • admin_openandromaps

      Hi Andrea,

      The andromaps_hc for locus is here:
      direkt download link:

      Connect your phone to the your computer by usb cable.
      Now you should have an additional drive letter in the windows filemanager.

      Double klick on that drive and go to the [driveletter]/Locus/mapsVector folder.
      there sould be a subfolder named /_themes
      Go to this subfolder and create a folder named “andromaps_hc”
      Now you have a folder named [driveletter]/Locus/mapsVector/_themes/andromaps_hc

      Go back to your Downloadfolder on your PC or doubleklick the in the downloadwindow of your Browser 8in Firefox its the DownArrow right of the adress_line on to of the browser.
      Double klick the
      Now the filemanager of windows shows the content of the (Windows handles compressed zip files natively)
      the content is:
      mark these 3 items and chose “copy” usind the right mouse mouse button

      Switch to the folder you ahve creted on your phone:
      and with the right mouse button chose “insert”

      and you are done.

      When you are successfull with this first step drop me a line and we will continue.

      Best regards, Christian

  • Tommy Bäck

    Each map I download has it’s own themes when I unzip. What’s confusing is that the themes for different maps are the same sizes, but sure each map must have it’s own themes.
    Are you suggesting something like this if I have more maps downloaded:
    A) …oruxmaps/mapstyles/OAM/*SYMBOLS,*PATTERNS,andromapshc.xml, andromaps_light.xml, andromaps_mtb.xml, andromaps_pure.xml

    B) …oruxmaps/mapstyles/OAM/Colombia/*SYMBOLS,*PATTERNS,andromapshc.xml, andromaps_light.xml, andromaps_mtb.xml, andromaps_pure.xml
    …oruxmaps/mapstyles/OAM/Italy/*SYMBOLS,*PATTERNS,andromapshc.xml, andromaps_light.xml, andromaps_mtb.xml, andromaps_pure.xml
    …oruxmaps/mapstyles/OAM/Greece/*SYMBOLS,*PATTERNS,andromapshc.xml, andromaps_light.xml, andromaps_mtb.xml, andromaps_pure.xml

    C) …oruxmaps/mapfiles/*WORLD,,,

    D) …oruxmaps/mapfiles/*WORLD/

    Thanks, Tommy

    • admin_openandromaps

      Hi Tommy,

      Thats a missunderstanding, all themes are the same for all maps – you have to install the Theme only once!!
      This is different compared to the old Version Oruxmaps.
      So copy the theme only once in


      Once the theme is installed you can use it for ALL maps.

      Best regards, Christian

      • Tommy Bäck

        Thanks Christian.
        What about the maps? Should they be in subfolders or all just in
        Can there be several maps in the mapfiles folder?
        Thanks again, Tommy

        • admin_openandromaps

          Hi Tommy,

          You can copy them all to ../ oruxmaps/mapfiles/
          You are free to copy the .maps in any subfolder under ../ oruxmaps/mapfiles/ you like.

          you can make subfolders like
          ../ oruxmaps/mapfiles/europe/
          ../ oruxmaps/mapfiles/europe/
          ../ oruxmaps/mapfiles/journeysummer2014/
          ../ oruxmaps/mapfiles/journeysummer2014/


          I, by myself have a folder:

          to which I copy my maps.

          Best regards, Christian

  • Rolf Moberg

    I put mapfile to
    ../oruxmaps/mapfiles/ and themes to
    ../oruxmaps/mapstyles/…. like you suggested in manual.

    I cannot see national cycle routes or other cycling routes when using offline andromap. Is it a new feature which is enabled after getting themeswitcher? Or Cycling routes are visible in online opencyclemap only.

    • admin_openandromaps


      All features of the Openandromaps are available offline – the cycleroutes too.

      You have to switch to the theme:
      On your phone klick on the android menu button (usualy in the lower right corner of the phone), then “Tweaks” – “Mapsforge style” and the navigate to the folder you have installed the theme bevore and tapp on “andromaps_hc”.

      If the theme is installed correct (unzipped aso…) you see the cycle/hike routes and all goodies of openandromaps.
      If you still have problems dont hesitate to drop me a line.

      Best regards, Christian

  • Agustin Lobo

    Great maps, but just noting that the instructions do not tell the user where the *.map file should be copied (i.e. the mapfiles folder in the case of oruxmaps)

  • Duarte Costa


    I just bought a Android smart phone, and after some research, I’ve learned that I could find and instal Oruxmaps, and that would give me a “digital” brother for my sweet old topo maps. I have instaled the oruxmaps app in my phone system, but since I’m very new to all this stuff of smart phones, digital maps, and so on, I don’t even know where to start. I have downloaded the portuguese offline map that your site provides, but I don’t have a clue where do I put him. Where are the file folders you mention above? I connected my phone with a USB to my computer, but I just don’t find the folders you mention…
    I’m sorry to make this kind of questions, but is there a place where i can find some more information to new starters like me?

    Thank you so much!


    • admin_openandromaps

      Hi Duarte,

      Dont worry ;-) , we will try to find an approach to your Problem

      1. Be sure that you have started oruxmaps at least one time, at first startup Orux set up all folders on the sdcard.
      2. there are a lot of phones on the market, problems may occur with phones that have an internal sdcard (intergated memory 4/8/16 GB) or some with both internal and external sdcard. Here the folders are a little bit different.
      Where on phones with pure sdcard the folder is /sdcard, with more advanced phones there may be /int(sd)card /ext(sd)card folders (or somethin similar).

      I would suggest to install the totalcommander on the phone (playstore) IMO the best free FileManager for Android and take a look how the Filesystem is named and where the folder of ORUX are located on your phone (inernal/external sdcard)

      3. When you are aware of the filestructure connect the phone to the PC, one or two additional driveletters should pop up.
      If not try to find a support forum for your handy and try to resolve this issue (in German there is

      Another approach is to download the maps direct to your phone (use wlan only!!) and copy the maps + themes to the approbriate folders (using Totalcommander).

      If you still have problems dont hesitate to drop me a line.

      Best regards, Christian

  • Emma

    i follow all of instruction and download map, every thing is ok and Orux working well 5.5.16
    Special thanks for your excellent website and specially for your managments.
    during one month ago, i’m looking for comprehensive map and now i fond it.
    again thanks
    can you guide me how can active and use 3D feature of Oruxmap, i download SRTM (.hgt files) and copy them to dem directory but i can’t load them.
    would you mind please guide me?

  • Hi Christian,

    I neglected to mention that the 4 links for the old version render themes at the end of Manual are not working.
    Their links have the site name 2 times in them.

    Best regards, Emux

  • steini2000

    If someone is trying to found out how to switch themes (it’s in the German instructions, but in the English instructions): Menu button -> Tweaks -> Mapsforge style. -> select the .xml file.

  • Lior

    Done. Thanks.
    One of the files was missing in the maps folder..

  • Lior

    Hi! I’ve d/l a map zip file and unzipped it to the path of files as you shown. I’m using Oruxmaps.
    I can’t find the maps in the app when I click on switch map button. What do I have to do?

    Thanks a lot!!

  • Fabio Spelta

    Or… you could just use MEGA! rather than torrent.
    Fast and free up to 50GB. More costs only 90 Eur per year.
    As far as I know.

    • kech61

      Hi Fabio,
      The bandwidth issue is solved, the maps are now served from the same server that hosts most of the OSM-Databases
      However, the problem of the website performance itself becomes more and more urgent, the amount of resources ocopied by a multilingual WordPress site is ridiculous
      I have to find a sponsor for a real performant webserver better sooner than later…
      Best regards, Christian

  • Fabio

    Hello, I just discovered this project and I can’t wait to try it. Literally. Download is going pretty slow though, so my suggestion is: could it be a worthwile to consider sharing the maps via bittorrent?
    I would happily seed with all of my bandwidth :)

    • kech61

      Hi Fabio,

      Sorry for late answer, your comment was in the spam-folder.
      To be serious, I dont like the idea so much to share these maps from second hand bittorrend (or whatever).
      The reason is that at least Europe and Germany are updated at least every 2 weeks (most times with modified themes) so there will be outdated maps in the cloud or maps that wont fit the current renderthemes.
      If you want to share maps – its no Problem and free for private use!

      As for the download-speed: The server and the line-link is a big one an for most of the time a download speed of 1 – 1,5 MB/s is ensured. However, there may be bottlenecks on weekends but this is usually a matter of a few minutes till it recovers.

      Starting the download takes several seconds, every time someone clicks a tiny process is started on my wordpress installation. This is no big deal but currently between 800 and 1200 Maps are served every day so there may be short delays (a few seconds, usualy 2-5sec). This could be improved but the price would be around 200€/month for a dedicated server – no idea how to raise the budget for this ;-)

      Best regards, Christian

  • Dan

    Hello! There’s some trouble on downloading maps…I tried to download Volga_N maps and Volga maps but I couldn’t. Only 20% of mapfile was downloaded and then downloading was restarted. Could you give me alternative link on these files, please?

    • kech61

      Hi Dan,
      This sounds like MSie or Opera, try to use Chrome or Firefox – I just tried it with firefox and it works flawless.
      Opera and MSIE have trouble with those files.
      Best regards, Christian

  • Ricardo Ribeiro

    I really don’t understand. In your instructions:

    mnt / sdcard / Locus / mapsVector / _themes / andromaps_hc / (containing andromaps_hc.xml)
    mnt / sdcard / Locus / mapsVector / _themes / andromaps_hc / patterns /
    mnt / sdcard / Locus / mapsVector / _themes / andromaps_hc / symbols /

    In the .zip file downloaded there are only for files. A .map and 3 .xls files. There is no such structure as described in the instructions in the zip file.

    • kech61

      Hi Ricardo,

      The 3 XML files included in the downloads are for Oruxmaps only.
      The Renderthemes for Locus are available on every download page for the maps, you can chose 3 different ones and install them as describes on the manual page (you have to do this only once for all maps).

      Best regards, Christian

  • Leif

    One thing that I don’t find in my Locus:
    “and switch to the cycle_hc theme in the Locus-menu.”
    Where do I do that and what benefits does this bring?

    • kech61

      Hi Leif,

      Sorry, this is an outdated information, it should be “andromaps_hc” and not “cycle_hc”
      Switching to this theme enables all goodys of the openandromaps like contourlines, cycle and hikingroutes aso..

      Best regards, Christian

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