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Pre-Cache Google Maps on your Android Device
Version 6.9 of Google Maps for Android released in June 2012 did away with the Labs feature for offline maps. Instead, included is a ‘baked in’ version for viewing maps offline, but it appears to be only available for the USA. For those looking to use offline maps around the rest of the world, I’d suggest not upgrading, or looking for an older version of the Google Maps .apk file to install (not for the faint of heart).
Mapping is one of the great features of a smartphone, handheld or tablet. No more giant maps being folded wrong, ripping, or making you as a super tourist. Most smartphones even include a GPS to show you where you are, and where you are headed.
There is a drawback though. Unfortunately, roaming charges for your data plan can often cost a small fortune when out of the country, and free wifi isn’t just following you as you wander around town.
If you have an Android device, you can enable a labs feature in Google Maps called “Pre-Cache Map Area.” Once loaded, you can have maps of locations you are planning on visiting loaded on your device ahead of time. So now when you hop off that train in a new country, you’ll know where you are, and where you need to go.
Here is how you set up and use the pre-cache map feature.
First you will need to enable it through Labs
1) Open Google Maps and press Menu
2) Choose “Settings”
3) Choose “Labs”
4) Scroll down and choose “Pre-cache map area”
How to use Pre-cache map area
1) Scroll or search the map for the area you would like to cache
2) Long press the area on the map you would like (I’m choosing lovely Chiang Mai). When the balloon pops up, press it.
3) Choose “Pre-cache map area” from the menu
4) Wait while the caching takes place. It will cache an area within 10 miles of your selection
5) When finished, you will see a black square outlining your cached area. You’re set!
Now how do you delete those cached maps once you’re moved on to your next destination? Easy!
1) Click Menu
2) Choose “Cache Settings”
3) Choose “Pre-cached areas”
4) Now feel free to either rename by clicking the pencil, or delete your pre-cached maps with the big X