How to Save Offline Maps to Your Phone For Traveling
One of my favorite features of all the technology I travel with is the ability to save offline maps in Google Maps to your phone so you don’t need to use data to access it. I’m really surprised that more people don’t know about this trick. Here’s a quick tutorial for how to save offline maps for your next trip.
First, make sure you have Google Maps downloaded from the iTunes App Store or from Google Play depending on your device.
Next, open Google Maps (above).
With Google Maps open, simply search for the city or landmark you are looking for. For this tutorial, I looked up my home city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (above). Now, tap on the white portion of the screen that has the location you are trying to save. When you do this, it will open another screen on Google Maps (below).
Now that you have the city opened in Google Maps, simply touch the ‘Save’ star and it will save that area of the map onto your device’s internal storage.
Finally, you can verify that a city was saved locally onto your device by searching for it and seeing a star appear next to it’s name. If memory serves me correct, you can save up to 10 offline maps/cities on your device.
If you would like to view all cities that you have saved on your device, you can do so by clicking on the three horizontal bars in the search bar. A side-menu should slide out from the left – tap ‘My Places’ and you should be able to view all saved offline maps on your device (below).
In the recent year or two, Google actually made saving maps a more prominent feature in the Google Maps application. I remember from when I traveled Europe for a couple months that saving a map was a much more complex. Hopefully this tutorial will help you the next time you are traveling without data. If you are looking at switching cell service providers, I recently wrote up a review of my experience with T-Mobile abroad.
There are some limitations with saving a map locally though. You can only save a 50km by 50km area, directions cannot be given, and it is not available in all areas. Also note that normal data charges apply.