How to download maps data on Google Maps

One of the more interesting (if less publicized) additions to Google Maps 5.7 is the ability to download map data locally to your phone. That's a godsend if you're traveling somewhere that has a spotty connection, or if you're overseas and trying to avoid roaming charges.

To enable downloading map data, you'll need to go into the Labs section of Google Maps. Hit the menu button, then More, then Labs, and tap on the Download Map Area section, like you see above.

You'll be able to download a 10-mile radius from any point. Hold your finger down on the map or choose a saved location, then tap Download Map Area. It's simple.

Need more? We've got video after the break. Bon appetit.

Youtube link for mobile viewing

Phil Nickinson
  • This makes me happy.
  • Nice, but does it work better than HTC's Location?
  • Very cool. Great feature for traveling.
  • Oh sure. Download map data to my EVO 4G with it's limited storage? If this is like some apps that won't install and run from the SD Card,I don't think so. The last thing I need is to download maps data to phone. The rest of you who actually have onboard storage, have at it.
  • -_- nothing get saved on your Internal Storage but Apps. Everything else goes to your SD card. If you download the Map Data it will go to your SD Card. The "MAPS" app can also be moved to your SD Card.
  • Not on an Evo 4G. It won't move to SD card. You are correct about the data being saved on the card though.
  • I've had an EVO for the past year.... yes it does just fine.
  • I'll chime in and confirm that I CANNOT move my MAPS app to SD card even on custom ROM. it's an eyesore seeing it tak eup 8MBs or w/e it was.
  • Just did it on my Synergy MOD EVO (which has almost no storage) and it worked fine, everything went to SD card.
  • I just moved it to the SD card - running CM 7.03 on my Evo4G
  • Great news! I would be surprised if you can't download this to SD card.
  • Does this download all the zoom levels of the map within that area?
  • wtf 10mlies that's nothing how about. regions option
  • My thoughts exactly. It's rare that I travel 10 miles and don't know where I'm going.
  • You can do multiple areas. I tried 3 areas and there are 3 squares showing downloaded areas.
  • It does limit you two 10 areas, though. I would sacrifice a good portion of my SD card to get offline access, though.
  • i agree i feel you should be able to select the area. I got atrix with 10 gigs Built in and i dont even had a microsd card. With all previous devices i had one, and it was like "yay" but now with streaming i dont even need it that much. atleast not yet. and i currently have like 10 states on MapDroyd preloaded.
  • amazing
  • I'm excited they're bringing this about. Two questions tho, one, will it include all the zoom levels? And two, can we have more than ten miles, in the future? Bc that might Not b enough.
  • If you can remember, Google Maps map data arent images or anything like that. They are actually vector images. The vector images are just a bunch of data which draws out the map. complicated to explain, but yes its all there, atleast how i saw it when i tested a few minutes earlier in flight mode.
  • Any idea where these files are saved? I can't find them anywhere on my SD card.
  • I hit the limit, you can only do 10 separate saves.
  • Hopefully in the future they increase the distance and/or save limit. Or maybe someone overt at XDA can come up with a way to get the entire US in one save instance...
  • This is pretty cool. So question - can you use Navigation with the saved maps with GPS or do you still need to use data for that?
  • I, too, have this question.
  • I downloaded my immediate area and turned off my data connection and attempted to get walking directions to a restaurant a few blocks away. The app just kept spinning, so I'm assuming the answer is no. For me, that sort of makes this cool new feature pointless.
  • I tested it this evening in an area with no data signal, and got the same result. Maybe in a future update.
  • How do you hide the black squares it creates?
  • It would be great if you could download Google Maps "My Places" maps/info for offline access. I do a lot of hiking/biking in areas where there's no coverage and it would be really beneficial to have GPS paths that I create, upload in "My Places" available on my phone.
  • If it can't be used without data, then its almost pointless.
  • The geeky side of me finds it worth noting... since it's a square, it's not a 10mi radius (which would indicated a circle) but a 400sq/mi box.
  • This seems more useful for my home area than for traveling (since it's just a 20sq mile area). It would always have my local surrounding available on the phone without any subsequent re-downloads or buffering. Am i wrong?
  • Ok for all you guys that dont know how a mutiplication table works, 10x10=100 100sq miles is a good size of alot of cities
  • If you understood math... you would understand that since the map is 10 miles away from the center in each cardinal direction. That would make the box 20 x 20, thus 400sq/mi.
  • This is quite sucky. Can't navigate or search in this 10 mile square. Rather get Locus Maps and have this kind of functionality over whatever size area you want, with whatever maps you want. Google had better add full offline maps with full functionality soon, cause soon Windows Phone will have a new and improved Nokia Ovi Maps that is better than Google Maps. Plenty of newbies to Android have had a huge scare when they got their phone bill and discovered that they were charged a fortune for using data to view Google Maps. I even met a really dumb guy that did that while overseas and got a huge bill (like over $1000), then his new Galaxy S was stolen too.
  • HeHeHe... speaking of a REALLY dumb guy: @Wesley1: ''Can't navigate or search in this 10 mile square''. Hey genius, it’s NOT 10 square miles but rather 1000 square miles total that you can download!!! Yes, ten time 100 square miles = guess it, ho God! Or 2560 square kilometers, that's huge and, please, do us all a favour: go back to school ASAP.
  • It's a square 10 miles on a side. 10 x 10 = 100 square miles.
  • It's 20 miles each side. 10 miles in each cardinal direction from the center.
  • Ge a life. I was referring to the black square shape that is displayed on the map screen and it is 10 miles around the area that you select. "a 10-mile radius from any point" 10 mile square does not = 10 square miles If I said 10 square miles, then your arguement would be valid, but the meaning of the sentence is completely changed with the words placed in different areas. There is your lesson...
  • finally!!! second best thing to this is MapDroyd
  • I like it!
  • So once it downloads the data, how can we go back and erase it to free up space of unneeded maps?? edit: Nevermind... Menu, more, cache settings, downloaded map areas...
  • I think a happy medium might be to set the download map size based on how the area is classified : Urban [small map], suburban [medium map], Rural [large map].
  • Would like to drag the corners of the square and expand the size of the area I'm downloading, but a good first step.
  • Nice post. Here’s a geocoding feature that will make your applications smarter and more interactive. Instead of displaying plain text, any address-centric data can be displayed on your site with a live map from Yahoo! or Google. Users will get more accurate information and be engaged in the process
  • For those that are seeing this article now, the Labs section has moved into Settings. :) Settings>Labs>Pre-cache map area
  • Singed in to the site, something I never do, to give praise and thanks for this tip. I live in Ohio and have 3g, so sometimes service is spotty. i downloaded all of Columbus and surrounding to my SDcard, a total of about 13 Mbs. This will save me so much time and give me peice of mind when driving. Thank you!
  • Hi! I am using Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for AT&T. I tried to go to LABS but i dont see any DOWNLOAD MAPS there. is this available in NOTE 2 already?