Cache Map Data On Your Phone For Unofficial Offline Maps

Cache Map Data On Your Phone For Unofficial Offline Maps

iOS/Android: If you’re about to travel to a location where you know you won’t have GPS or mobile service, visit the location in Google Maps on your phone before you leave. Drag and zoom the map area around to cache the map on your phone so you can access it even without signal.The tip, which comes to us courtesy of Web Designer Wall, was written for iOS, but the same principle applies to Android. Also, Google recently introduced a new /”download map area” feature in Google Labs which does the same thing. iOS users however, have to do it the old-fashioned way.

Visit the location you’re visiting on your phone, then zoom in to the desired level of detail. Drag around the map so adjacent areas load, and then zoom out again. Repeat the process for any other areas you’ll visit. Once finished, you’ll be able to access those cached maps again even without signal, as long as you don’t zoom in to a level of detail you didn’t previously download.

Of course, you can’t search against the cached area, and your mileage may vary depending on how long you wait between downloading the cache and pulling up the map. What are some of your favourite ways to get maps on your phone without mobile service? Share your tips in the comments.

Using iPhone GPS Map Without a Data Plan or Wi-Fi Connection [Web Designer Wall]


    • My Android has done this for as long as I have had one. When navigating it will pre-load the route and nearby areas.

      If you go off course in an area of no coverage, it shows the previously calculated route and tells you to make your way back to the calculated route.

      • Really? Hmmm last time I used navigation outside my coverage zone, I had a blue route line on grey unloaded tiles – but this was not long after Navigation was finally enabled in Australia.

        Similarly, when using Navigation inside coverage, I’ve found it not unusual to see the tiles render as the content is downloaded while moving.

  • This also works great for google maps on the blackberry – the cache is surprisingly big, so you can load up huge tracts of land at different zoom levels if you have the patience.

  • Without the recently released android lab feature, its too difficult to do it manually. There are too many zoom levels, and you have to pan/drag more and more as you zoom in to cover a rectangular area.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!