Emerillon is a map viewer for GNOME that uses OpenStreetMap data (a wiki for maps) to display custom “views” such as transport, cycle routes and terrain as well as the general “street” view.

Given that the application has yet to release a stable version I was incredibly surprised by how stable, usable and, most importantly, helpful it was to use. Even my dinky ol’ town in the United Kingdom has data on-board OpenStreetMaps and works flawlessly in Emerillion. Kudos to the developers behind it.


The different “views” (as i shall refer to them as) are really helpful and give the user something Google Maps doesn’t offer as of yet to desktop users.

Cycle route view

They can be cycled through using the ALT+1,2,3,4 keys making it even easier.


Another feature of this nifty map viewer are ‘placemarks’. These are simply bookmarks for locations. You can add as many as you like, wherever you like and they can easily be accessed via the placemarks menu. (Note: You need to enable the placemarks plugin via preferences to use this features.) 

Netbook Friendly
Emerillon is a perfect application for netbooks, too. not only is it quicker to get to and use than Google Maps, but the “data” it uses isn’t as large to download making it feel snappier over all.

First things first, the default set up of Emerillion is lame – there is no working search bar and no easy way for a new user to figure out how to use the application. One must first manually enable four plugins in order to gain a search bar, place-marks, co-ordinates and web links. Going to View – Toolbar helps somewhat and searching via this auto-opens the sidepane so you can sift through results.

An alas, poor Emerillion doesn’t seem to have an icon yet!

The Future
Some other cool plugins and features are currently being worked on for Emerillion (yes i am tired of typing that out now). These include: –

  • Wikipedia Plugin to display information on area
  • Weather plugin – displays current conditions of area in viewer
  • Telepathy Integration – allow you to see your friends location or to “share the app” and use it together
  • Displaying available free wifi hotspots from
  • Local time of location in viewer
  • GPS integration
  • Personal markers support

If you want to try out Emerillion – bearing in mind that it’s not a stable release yet – you can do so by adding the following PPA. Note that it only supports Karmic:-

  • https://edge.launchpad.net/~mathieu-tl/+archive/emerillon

The PPA also includes the package “ethos” which is a dependency for Emerillion.

#apps #emerillion