Tip of the Day: use offline versions of Google Maps

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Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

Being stuck without Wi-Fi or 3G access in a remote location can be pretty troublesome when trying to access map information on a smartphone. Luckily, if you're an Android user, you can download cached versions of Google Maps around a location you'll be travelling through.

Once you have the latest version of Google Maps and an active data connection, access the Settings menu and tap Labs. Find and activate Precache map area.

Go back into the map pane and long press the map in the location around where you will be, select the location and press Precache map area. Maps will then download the map information within 16 kilometres of the chosen area so you can access it without a data connection. Keep in mind it only loads maps, not satellite, traffic or direction information, and limits the number of areas you can download to 10. Be careful — after 30 days the maps will be removed from your system.

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aslsw66 posted a comment   

For those on iOS, there is the fantastic OffMaps app. I've used this extensively around Europe, downloading maps for each city I go to. The maps don't just cover the city but a fair distance around as well. The app is smart enough to hop on to a map if the GPS detects that you are out of the current map area. Well worth the small cost.




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