Organic Maps

Many people use mapping services on a daily basis, and mapping apps inherently have access to very sensitive location data.

Organic Maps is open source, well-maintained, and privacy-focused, with the ability to download maps for offline use. It’s simple and easy to use, and allows you to easily contribute to OpenStreetMap in-app, which is where Organic Maps gets its map data from. It’s available on iOS and Android.

I use this. It is a bit bare on features but it can get the job done. The only downside is that there is no traffic updates so you dont get any advice which is the optimal route.

I suppliment this with the web version of Waze. I just put the approximate places near my current area and destination to get the visible routes.

That’s true- there are no traffic updates. I supplement with Magic Earth in the fairly rare cases when I truly need traffic information. Magic Earth isn’t open source, though, and Organic Maps is the most usable mapping service I’ve found that seems to fit the standards set by Privacy Guides.

1 Like

There is also Apple Maps if you’re an iPhone user. It also does a better job of telling you which lane you should be in compare to gmaps imo.


From a privacy standpoint, I see very little (if any) reason to use Apple Maps over Google Maps. Both companies collect massive amounts of user data, regardless of the user’s wishes and without informed consent. Organic Maps, by contrast, is fundamentally different. It’s community-built, open source, and built with privacy as a priority.

I gyess it is better to give personal info to one BigTech Corp than 2 BigTech corporations, assuming you are already in the iOS ecosystem


That makes sense to me. I just don’t think Apple Maps should be recommended by Privacy Guides, if that’s what @anon39045309 was suggesting, because it’s not private.

I suggest watching this video: The MOST private MAP apps! - YouTube. It is the closest we can get to gmaps alternative and it is fine for most threat models imo.

Apple is already collecting information regardless. Might as well use it.

IIRC, last time Michael Bazzell requested his own personal info on Apple Maps, it does not appear to be collecting his own usage for it.

Like I said, if somehow you are on iOS and is somehow not using any Google services, it is a good enough alternative. It is a first party app, might as well enjoy the nicer iOS features and whatever integration it offers.

I understand this argument. If you’re already on iOS, you’re already being tracked by Apple, so you might as well use Apple’s apps. I completely agree with you on that.

However, Privacy Guides doesn’t recommend iOS because you can’t get around the fact that it’s not private.

Adding Apple Maps as a recommendation for iOS users is like adding Google Maps as a recommendation for Stock Android. Like yes, at that point you’re already being heavily tracked by these companies so you might as well just use the stock apps- they have all your info anyway, right?

But then what you’re getting isn’t privacy, it’s just sharing all your sensitive info with a single company rather than 2+ companies. If people actually want privacy- real privacy, not corporate lies- the fact is they need to work to get out of these ecosystems. I see the recommendations section as a place for offerings that you can really trust.

I would be in favor of a section in the guide that describes this line of thinking. It’s true that sharing your info with one company is better than sharing with 2+ companies. It’s worth telling people that as a general rule, in the guide section. Because if you’re already on iOS, why not use Apple Maps? And if you’re on Stock Android, why not use Google Maps? But in my mind the recommendations section is for software that actually protects privacy.

You have the option of custom ROMs on Android and there is no custom ROMs alternative for iPhones,

Look, if you really want Apple Maps to be added, you can create another topic, but I kinda just wanted to focus on Organic Maps here

1 Like

I’ve also used OSMand. I’m not sure which (Organic Maps, OSMand, Magic Earth) that I prefer yet though.

Admittedly I haven’t tried OSMand in over a year, but last time I used it, it felt extremely bloated and not very focused. There was tons of information I didn’t need, and navigation felt very unpolished, unintuitive, and clunky.

By comparison, Organic Maps feels very simple and clean, with a focus on navigation, which is what I think most people look for in a maps app.

I like Magic Earth. Address search is much better than Organic Maps. It has traffic and construction info. But it’s not open source, so I don’t think it’ll gain much traction here.

1 Like

PG have a iOS section.

How is this similar? Apple Maps provides more privacy than gmaps with almost no compromises.

What sensitive information? You can use Apple Maps without an Apple ID.

But in my mind the recommendations section is for software that actually protects privacy.

Apple Maps include many features to protect your privacy (most of them are on my default). It’s important to note that privacy and security are a careful seesaw with usability/functionality. Everyone have different needs and concerns.

I disagree. But please open a new topic if you really want Apple Maps to be added to Privacy Guides. This topic is about Organic Maps.

I’m not suggesting to Apple Maps to be added.
I just mention a gmaps and openstreetmap alternative on iOS that focus on privacy.

I am thinking there is some privacy benefit to listing a mapping application which stores its maps offline. I use OSMand (although I use it less now as I use the satnav in my car).


yeah organic maps is amazing with ths and also has a great UI (unlike osmand)

1 Like

imho OSM data is impractical when it comes to anything planning or navigation.
There is Magic Earth that feature crowdsourced traffic (and transit). However, it is not open source nor feature “location fuzzing” that Apple Maps use to anonymise data.