Google Maps For Android Lets You Download Maps For Offline Use

The Google Blog announced that you can now download maps on your Android device so that you can access maps and directions even without a data connection.

The feature is a Google Labs feature currently available for Android users who are willing to experiment with new, beta features. It is called “Download map area” and can be found within the Labs area of the Google Maps 5.7 for Android.

To download a map area, all you need to do is navigate to a place page while on Wifi or a data connection and click on the “more” button. Then within the more options you will see an option to “download map area.” This will download maps for a 10-mile radius around that place page location. Google said it can take up to a few minutes to download the data and only includes base map tiles and the landmarks on the map, so you still need a data connection to see satellite view and 3D buildings, search for Places and get directions.

The data can then be manually deleted within the Google Maps cache settings or Google will auto-delete the downloads after 30 days.

Here is a screen shot showing the maps of a region without a downloaded map and without a data connection. The left side is what you’d get prior and the right side is with a downloaded map.

Here is a screen shot showing how to access the “download maps area” feature by navigating to a place page.

Here is a screen shot showing the download process of this data:

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Android | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Ian Williams

    Great. This just made my trip to Benicasim a lot easier!

  • Javaun Moradi

    Open Source mapping providers like Open Street Maps already have apps on iPhone and Android and allow full download and reuse of their maps. I think this Google reaction is a huge step, but still very indicative of the threat they face from open mapping. Other products like OpenGeo and Mapbox/Tilemill have enabled easy creation of custom maps.

    The root of the problem is that — last I knew anyway — Google doesn’t own their map tiles. That may have changed when they did their own turn by turn directions.

  • nerdess

    how do i activate android beta?!?

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