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November 24, 2015

Big Offline Google Maps

I don't know about you, but my Google Maps for Android has just enabled the new offline features. Even if you have the latest version of the app, you still need to wait until these features are enabled because they're gradually rolled out.

My first disappointment is that the new features are still limited. The biggest size for an offline area you can download is 120,000 square kilometers and there are many countries that are bigger than that. I downloaded London's map and checked the size of the map: 332 MB. It also expires in 29 days (maps need to be updated at least every 30 days).



It looks like Google's maps include too much information, they take up too much space and there's no way to download some simplified maps.

Let's try one of the smallest countries in Europe: Liechtenstein, which has an area of only 160 square kilometers. The offline map has 62 MB. New York? 409 MB. Los Angeles? 356 MB. Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Bangkok? Not available because of licensing issues.


Forget about downloading the map for an entire country. Google Maps still can't replace the Here app or paid navigation apps.

15 comments:

  1. you can download more than one offline area, if you are traveling java and bali indonesia and than going to singapore kuala lumpur and north of vietnam you can easily download all of them, this will be easily using less space than download singapore indonesia vietnam and malaisya maps in here app maps or tomtom. and if you dont connect internet once per month i guess you dont need a smartphone. google maps offline are the best navigation app, using maps like here maps app or tomtom map apps is just impossibile compared to google maps

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  2. The downloaded offline map should auto update changes as long as you continue to connect to the web daily, then only expire if you are offline entirely for 30 days straight. I love gmaps but need an offline feature that doesn't require me to download the area before I go offline, I just want it to always be there. Usually I don't realize I need an offline map of an area until I get there and can't get online.

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  3. The downloaded offline map should auto update changes as long as you continue to connect to the web daily, then only expire if you are offline entirely for 30 days straight. I love gmaps but need an offline feature that doesn't require me to download the area before I go offline, I just want it to always be there. Usually I don't realize I need an offline map of an area until I get there and can't get online.

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  4. I can easily download maps up to 2.5GB, not just 500MB. That gives me Switzerland in one take or many countries in 3-4 batches. With far higher information density than any paid app I know off. I don't know what's wrong with your app or if the update didn't fully role out to you but I have none of the problems you are mentioning in your article

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  5. I can easily download maps up to 2.5GB, not just 500MB. That gives me Switzerland in one take or many countries in 3-4 batches. With far higher information density than any paid app I know off. I don't know what's wrong with your app or if the update didn't fully role out to you but I have none of the problems you are mentioning in your article

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are right it still requires multiple downloads to get a whole country.
    About 70 for the whole of Australia. :)
    But I've never driven to Perth or Darwin from Sydney as they are 4000Km away.
    So I now find the offline mapping totally useable, with <10 downloads.

    I look forward to when a single download map will get me from
    Sydney to Brisbane and/or Melbourne. But this update reduces these to 2 maps.
    Before it was more than 10 each.


    And FWIW 120,000Km2 of the Gibson Desert? 4Mb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And all my maps add up to less the 1GB... Which I can happily give to maps.

      Delete
  7. If you hold your device in landscape orientation you can save on the amount of tiles you need to load for a longer road trip

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  8. Since we can download many offline areas, its a perfect feature to me. Now i use my wifi only tab for navigation without a data connection. Also it expands the battery life.

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  9. Since we can download many offline areas, its a perfect feature to me. Now i use my wifi only tab for navigation without a data connection. Also it expands the battery life.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't like that Google maps offline only gives driving navigation. I'm on holiday in Paris and have found myself using here maps instead of Google maps. It seems to work better.

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  11. I recommend using Maps.me instead: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapswithme.maps.pro The maps are from OpenStreetMap.org, so are more detailed than Google Maps (especially for walking or cycling), and you can download map data for whole countries at a time. And it seems that the files are smaller: for example, downloading the whole of England takes only 613 MB in Maps.me.

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  12. I've tried Google Maps, HERE, and an OSM based app (not sure which one). The OSM maps were the worst, maybe just my region but totally useless.

    HERE works great, for offline use as a GPS replacement I haven't found any better. Its different than Google Maps so don't give up because it doesn't work right for you on the first try. My biggest issue with it is some apps, not just Google ones, assume you want to use Google Maps and dump you straight there, with no choice. Not really a HERE issue directly, but it does affect my use of it.

    I'd like to try GMaps offline, hopefully I'll have a chance soon to compare it with HERE.

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  13. Are you going to travel the entire country when you are asking for that feature?

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  14. The maps download is great. Would be good if we could select a route and just down load it in addition to the current download method.

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