Add MBTiles Layer Files Directly to Android Devices

Add MBTiles layers directly to your device that will be available for offline use. These can be used as custom basemaps. (Intermediate)

Jacob Payne avatar
Written by Jacob Payne
Updated over a week ago

To save time and bandwidth, you can add your offline maps directly to your Android device. Adding basemaps directly is a great alternative to having to upload maps through the web app and then download them to your device, especially in cases where wifi/network connectivity isn’t reliable. Whether it is a direct transfer from computer to device via USB, or downloading the file from a network location; you can add your custom maps directly to your device.

Copy or Download the MBTiles File to Your Android Device

There are several ways to get your MBTiles file to your device. One of the easiest ways is to plug your USB cable into your computer. On the Galaxy Tab tablet used in this tutorial, you need to ‘mount’ the device. This can be done by pulling down on the status bar and selecting the USB connection.

Once the device has been connected, drag and drop or copy/paste your mbtiles file to move it from the computer to your device. After that, be sure to eject the device properly.

Add Offline Map File

Now that you have the map loaded onto your device, launch the Fulcrum App. From the Home screen, tap on Apps and then select the desired app. Make sure you are in the Map View. Tap on the Basemaps and Layers icon to display the available options.

Basemaps and layers icon in the Android iOS app.

The available options will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. Tap the '+ Add New Layer' button at the top of the Map Layers section. This will take you to your device's file system. Search for the file you added in the previous step.

Note that in order for the file to be listed, it must have the .mbtiles file extension.

Tap the add new layer button to select the file you just added to your device to create your layer.

Tap the filename to add it, and you will be taken back to the Map View Options screen. Your new layer will now be displayed under the 'Map Layers' section of the Basemaps and Layers icon.

Enable the Layer

To enable the layer, tap on the checkbox to the left side of the Layer's name. Your layer is now active.

Removing the Layer File from your Device

To remove a map added via this method, all you need to do is delete the MBTiles file from your device. Fulcrum will automatically recognize that it is no longer present and will remove it from the list.

If you want to learn more about Basemaps and Layers, please check out the following articles:

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