Hitchwiki:While offline

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Offline Hitchwiki on Android

See lower for complete instructions.

Install Aard 2, and download the Hitchwiki offline file for it here. Refresh dictionaries. You can now search terms like a town or a road to find the corresponding Hitchwiki page all while offline!

Introduction

A somehow discutable advantage that came with the ascent of smartphones is the security they provide, meaning the everyday traveler will have less to rely on his guts, knowing he can almost always check his phone for information. But being prepared also means building the tool to smooth your travels instead of roughing it.

As such, being able to access an offline version of Hitchwiki provides a viable source of information in case one is stranded somewhere without network. To do so, multiple options would be available to the tech literate user, but the common traveller armed with his sole Android smartphone will have to stick to the basics.

One can use Hitchwiki's daily database dumps to develop an app that would update automatically.

Android

Kiwix

There are multiple ways to download wikis made with MediaWiki (the Wikipedia engine used by Hitchwiki) and read them on a smartphone, the probably most popular one is Kiwix, funded by Wikimedia Switzerland. While Kiwix is a good project with plenty of content, it suffers a somewhat slow interface, and crashes irregularly. It's also pretty complicated to build files from a website for it. Since an app like this one should be plenty reliable in case you're stranded somewhere, there is no version of Hitchwiki available for download on Kiwix.

Aard 2

Another solution, is Aard 2, a simple FOSS app for which you can download .slob files, dictionaries in its own data storage format that is just as efficient as ZIM (the file format used by Kiwix, from which it was forked). Aard 2 is fast, you can search on multiple dictionaries at the same time, and it doesn't crash. You can store .slob files everywhere, so it's easy to copy on a computer.

Hitchwiki is available as a .slob file here.

How to

  1. Install Aard 2 from F-Droid, Github or Google Play.
  2. Download the .slob file directly on your phone, or copy it from your computer. You can put it on a SD card for space.
  3. Press the refresh button in Aard 2. It can take a little bit of time.
  4. You can then search for terms (like a town or a highway), and, while you're there, you can add Hitchwiki's "Main Page" to your favorites so you know where it is (homepages are a function Aard 2 lacks).
  5. You're good to go, have a nice time hitchhiking with (kinda) up to date directions.

My Hitchhiking Spots

Some Hitchwiki users developed My Hitchhiking Spots for browsing Hitchwiki online. It claims it can download spots from the map, but Swaden got their deleted after the app restarted.

iPhone

Currently, there is sadly no known option to read Hitchwiki offline on an iPhone.


Other platforms

Hitchspots.me for conversion to MAPS.me bookmarks (.gpx file)

RedFox made hitchspots.me to download Hitchwiki spots along a certain route into MAPS.me as bookmarks.

Linux, Android or Windows with HTTrack

"HTTrack is a free (GPL, libre/free software) and easy-to-use offline browser utility."

DICT format

Guaka converted the Hitchwiki database dump into the dict format. If your OS is Debianic you can try to apt-get install dictd and copy this file into /usr/share/dictd

It was available at groups.google.com/group/hitchwiki/web/dict-hitchwiki.tar.bz2 (old data, from 2008 or so) - but Google took it down. Compiling it again can still be done and if an user want to take the task of doing it, we can have a version here.

Guaka was using this on his Nokia 770, in order to access Hitchwiki info while on the road!

Nokia N900 (if you still have one)

Nokia N900 offline Hitchwiki spot navigator

Aard Dictionary (first version, outdated)

Aarddict is a convenient tool to access tons of dictionaries and other sources while offline. It's free software available under the GNU General Public License, and there are versions for Ubuntu, Mac OS X, Windows, Android.

An english version of 06/2012 is available here: [1])

Aarddict uses Aard files (.aar). There is a tutorial (for Ubuntu) how to convert the database-dumps into an .aar file. You have to edit the file "fetchsiteinfo.py": "...//%s/w/api.php..." -> "...//%s/api.php...", otherwise you will get an error with the .json file.

If you're interested: The automated script for the convertion and aditional info (in German)

Paper

Zac had an idea to make a print zine hitchhiking guide. One could take the task to edit each country into a guide, though we can consider this idea too complex for the reward.