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Know where you are always: offline mapping on Android

Know where you are always: offline mapping on Android

So, you’re in the middle of india and you need to find your guesthouse.  No one speaks english.  You can’t call for directions.  All you have is an address.  Out of luck?  Not on android.

The latest version of Google Maps on Ice Cream Sandwich has the ability to pre-cache all the maps tiles within a given radius.  That means full zoom in/zoom out capabilities with street names and major landmarks at all levels.  oh yea.  unfortunately, no searching.

So to begin, make sure you’re on a decent wifi signal

1st enable the labs feature for pre-caching

There are 2 ways to activate the pre-caching

A. if you long press on any arbitrary point on the map, or click on your gps location, you will get a speech bubble.  Click this and you get the maps page for this location.  You’ll see options for “What’s nearby”, “directions”, “call”, etc.  Below these, you’ll find “pre-cache map area”

B.  If you search for an establishment or a starred location, its a little different.  Once you click into the speech bubble, you’ll see things like photos, and an icon for map, and directions.  Here, you’ll need to click the menu, to bring up the option to pre-cache


Once, you click pre-cache, it will take a few minutes for the tiles to download and you will see a black square which indicates the “radius” or rather perimeter that is pre-cached.

You can now disconnect from wifi and go get lost!


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