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OffMaps 2

Unless you’ve got an unlimited bank account, you’re going to want to avoid international data roaming charges when you’re traveling abroad. That’s where apps such as OffMaps 2 come in.

OffMaps 2 offers offline maps for thousands of destinations, both in the U.S. and internationally. For $0.99, the app allows you to download two maps of your choice. Should you need more, the price is $0.99 for three additional maps, or $5.99 as a flat rate for as many maps as you like. Map updates are free.

All maps are based on OpenStreetMap information, which includes not only a crisply detailed street map, but also points of interest ranging from restaurants to ATMs. The number of points of interests (POIs) varies from map to map, indicated by one to three stars: one star indicates a few POIs, while three stars indicates a high number of POIs. For example, the map for Cardiff, Wales, updated July 15, 2011, is rated with three stars and includes 3,051 points of interest, 135 of them being restaurants (indicated by a knife and fork symbol).

As a traveler, I especially appreciated OffMaps 2′s public transport overlay, which lets you know exactly which subway you can take to which destination.

Last but not least, for each map, you can download additional travel information and photos. The information is sourced from Wikipedia, but for $0.99 you can’t really ask for more.