Explore offline maps in Google Maps for Android

Michael Homnick

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It's beautiful out, the snow has melted, and you've probably got something fun planned for this summer. 

If you're going camping, flying to a new country, or just planning a busy staycation at a city nearby, you'll probably want a map handy for finding your way around. Google Maps for Android can surely assist, but if you're worried you won't have wireless service where you're going, you can download a map to refer to when you're offline.

Where are you going?

Going somewhere metropolitan? Or perhaps you're planning a hike somewhere far and away? Type it into the Google Maps search bar. Make sure that your device isn't in Airplane mode, and that you have your Location services turned on for maximum accuracy.

Tap on the Drive time bar. You'll see a button to save the map to use offline. Tap it.

googlemaps saveforoffline

Find your sweet spot

Zoom in and out and pan around the area you want to snapshot. Tap Save. Google Maps will ask you to give your new offline map a name.

googlemaps nameofflinemap

Confirm by tapping on the user icon to bring up your saved places. Scroll down to the bottom and you should see the saved maps. It's critical to note that when you're offline, you'll only have these particular maps made available to you.

googlemaps offlinemaps2

Also keep in mind that Google Maps only captures the immediate area around your search query. If you're planning to venture off into far away lands, further than the area you've specified, you're better off snapshotting a wide area just to be safe.

googlemaps offlinemaps

In the screenshots above you can see the extent to which Google saves offline maps. In metropolitan areas you'll get more bang for your buck, so to speak, as information density runs high—like in the map of Berlin, above-right. But in rural areas, like the aforementioned Englebright Lake, panning out will only show you a portion of the majestic state of California.

Google will keep these maps tied to your account for up to one month. You can also edit them and delete them as you see fit with the View all and manage option. 

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