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Revision as of 03:48, 25 June 2013 by hamishwillee (Talk | contribs)

Setting the Map language in the Maps API for Java ME

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This article explains how to alter the map language of a Java ME application

Article Metadata
Code ExampleTested with
Devices(s): X3-02, Asha 311, Asha 501
Device(s): All
Dependencies: HERE Maps API for Java ME v1.3
Keywords: Location API, HERE Maps, MapDisplay, Application Context, Language
Created: jasfox (23 Mar 2012)
Last edited: hamishwillee (25 Jun 2013)


By default all the maps in the Map API for Java ME will display in English. The API is however able to support a variety of other languages. The language used to display labels on the map is set in the ApplicationContext, and this should be done prior to displaying the map itself. The setDefaultLanguage() method takes a three letter MARC Code. If an unsupported language is requested, the map will display in English by default.

Tip.pngTip: It is possible to obtain the default language of the phone by requesting the "microedition.locale" system property.

This will retrieve a two letter MARC Code, which can be mapped onto a three letter MARC code using a simple switch statement. Alternatively a locallized three letter MARC code could be read from the JAD file

Examples of usable MARC codes include:

  • ARA Arabic
  • CHI Chinese
  • GER German
  • ENG English
  • FRE French
  • ITA Italian
  • RUS Russian
  • SPA Spanish


This is a simple example of a minimal map which will display in one of eight random languages.

public class MapLanguageMIDlet extends MIDlet {
protected void startApp() throws MIDletStateChangeException {
// Please initialise the appId and token first
ApplicationContext ctx = ApplicationContext.getInstance();
Display display = Display.getDisplay(this);
MapLanguageDemo minimalMap = new MapLanguageDemo(display, this);
protected void destroyApp(boolean unconditional) throws MIDletStateChangeException {}
protected void pauseApp() {}

public class MapLanguageDemo extends MapCanvas implements CommandListener {
private final Command EXIT = new Command("Exit", Command.EXIT, 1);
private final static String[] MARC_CODES = {"ARA", "CHI", "GER", "ENG",
"FRE", "ITA", "RUS", "SPA"
private final static String[] LANGUAGES = {"Arabic", "Chinese", "German", "English",
"French", "Italian", "Russian", "Spanish"
protected MIDlet midlet;
public MapLanguageDemo(Display display, MIDlet midlet) {
this.midlet = midlet;
private void init() {
Random r = new Random();
int i = r.nextInt(LANGUAGES.length);
// Set map over Europe.
new MapDisplayState(new GeoCoordinate(53.1, 13.1, 0), 4));
public void commandAction(final Command c, Displayable d) {
if (c == EXIT) {
public void onMapUpdateError(String description, Throwable detail, boolean critical) {
Alert alertView = new Alert("Map error: ", detail.getMessage(), null, AlertType.ERROR);
public void onMapContentComplete() {

Example Output

Chinese Russian Arabic
Chinese.png Russian.png Arabic.png
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