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Hitchwiki:While offline

Contents

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.


Software

Aard 2

Android, Linux, Window, macOS

Aard 2 is a simple free and open source app that works with ".slob" files. Dictionary files are available for several Wikis, dictionaries and more. The size of a .slob file can range from just a few MB (hitchwiki) to several GB (wikipedia). All .slob files stored on your phone are loaded into the app so you can search and browser several dictionaries at once.

The latest Hitchwiki can be found here. Other dictionary files can be found here.

How to (Android)

  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.


How to (Linux, Windows, macOS,...)

Aard for web is a Java app for browsing .slob files via internet-browser. It should work on every system that can run Java.


Kiwix

Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, macOS

Kiwix is 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. Dictionary files (.zim) including the latest for Hitchwiki can be downloaded here.


HTTrack

create: Linux, Android, Windows; view: all(Browser)

"HTTrack is a free (GPL, libre/free software) and easy-to-use offline browser utility." The software can download a whole website so it can be used for offline browsing. HTTrack is available for Linux, Android, Windows. The downloaded html files can be opened with every device that has as internet-browser.

My Hitchhiking Spots

Android

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.


Other software or dictionaries

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.


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.