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Google Maps for Android Improved for Offline Use

Users are now able to download certain maps to their device in anticipation that a data signal may not be available. during a trip. Included as a Labs feature, Maps offers a "Download map area" option.

Google said that each map area has a 10 mile radius and downloads base map tiles with landmarks, while satellite view, 3D buildings and Places are not included. The downloaded maps will remain in the cache of a device for 30 days and will then be removed.

Other new features include a new scale bar for maps, as well as a new line tool that can measure the distance between two points on a map. All new Labs features require Android 2.1 or higher. The application itself is available free of charge in Android Market.

  • rustyfe2o3
    finally! this would have been great for my trip to Europe
    Reply
  • milktea
    downloadable maps would be cool. I hope maps of entire route can be downloaded.
    Reply
  • joytech22
    This would be great for my Acer Iconia!
    I might give it a try.
    Reply
  • zerapio
    This will be great for backpacking. I hope elevation maps are also cached.
    Reply
  • liveonc
    A real improvement would be if they integrate a compass & step counter with those offline maps
    Reply
  • KingArcher
    Wish they would they do this for other OS as well...like Win Mobile 6.1
    Reply
  • CTPAHHIK
    There is "Maps" app available on Android Market that does exactly that already with multiple maps (including google). Only thing that is missing is step by step navigation. Not a big loss as Google Maps cannot route without data connection either.
    Reply
  • TunaSoda
    It's about time, CallPilot GPS for Android had this feature since day one, 2 gigs on the sd card of the entire usa...
    Reply
  • __Miguel_
    I updated Google Maps today, and added this Labs feature (which was missing from like day 1...).

    So far, it seems great downloading stuff. You get squares telling you which areas you have downloaded.

    Also, since Maps can work without full GPS, it's also a good way to know your general location (which, with an SGS, it's pretty much all you'll get in a pinch... lol). I have yet to see how well this works, though. I'll probably be able to put it to the test this week, as I return home.

    If this works OK, I think you should be able to tell Maps which parts of countries (or whole countries, while we're at it) is should download, besides this "spot" option, and have it sync with the rest of the data (or just when you're not on 3G). Probably one of the best simple navigation tools for Android if that happens...

    Cheers.

    Miguel
    Reply