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:
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