Google Maps Pre-Caching on Google Maps for Android

Best feature ever? Maybe.

Google slipped an amazing feature into the latest release (5.8.0) of Google Maps on Android. In the “Labs” area, you can now select to pre-cache 10 square miles of map. Boom!


Under Labs, turn on pre-caching

Get a locations information and select more. Under more at the very bottom of the list is Pre-cache!

You’re done! Enjoy your pre-cached maps while you’re off the grid.

22 thoughts on “Google Maps Pre-Caching on Google Maps for Android”

  1. I downloaded Maps 5.8, but “Precache maps”is not offered as an option in the Labs section. I’m using the t-mobile Comet. I’ll appreciate any suggestions on how to proceed.

  2. From what I’ve tried you can pre-cache up to 10 square tiles, each having an area of 200 square miles (a square of 14.14mi x 14.14 mi).

    You can then delete the 10 pre-cached and create 10 more, the previous 10 remain within your cache.

    Theoretically you could cache everything if you had the time to do so.

    This would benefit from a “draw a square to cache that area” function.

  3. @ Christian: Delete your installed version of Maps and download new from the Market, that solved the problem for me!

  4. What happens when two precached areas overlap? Does GMaps store two seperate copies of the overlapping areas or is it smart enough to store it only once to save space?

  5. I am traveling and trying to use google maps without a data plan or wifi. I’m in some rural areas and data is $20/mg. I did the precache set up, but when I try and view my map, I only see grid lines, but I do see the precache box…again with more grid lines. It seems to only work with Wifi or data.

    Any thoughts?

  6. @Jim: in my case the cache isn’t cleared when I restart my phone. The square on the map disappears, but Settings/Cache still lists it.

    It would be cool if one could choose an area size different from 10mi, e.g. for road trips. In that case, one could opt to leave out the more detailed zoom levels. Another cool feature would be to cache the map tiles for a given route (and it’s alternatives?). In this case, detailed tiles could be downloaded for start and finish only, for the rest of the route less detail would suffice…

  7. What AstroFloyd said:

    Another cool feature would be to cache the map tiles for a given route (and it’s alternatives?). In this case, detailed tiles could be downloaded for start and finish only, for the rest of the route less detail would suffice

  8. Hi,

    This is my very first post in this group and I apologize in advance if my comments have been incorrectly misplaced here. Anyhow, if they are in the incorrect place, please relocate them to an appropriate thread and keep me posted on any related replies using my email,

    I have a T-Mobile Comet phone which has an Android application, Maps, installed on it.

    Unfortunately, I am unable to hear verbally spoken turn-by-turn instructions after I have inputted both the origin and destination addresses.

    After having input these two addresses I then push the blue-colored arrow entitled ‘Navigate’ but I only obtain a map with a blue line shown between the two addresses.

    If I go down to the lower boxes below the map, however, to something called route information, I am able to tap on the far right box and view turn-by-turn ‘written’ instructions guiding me between the origin and destination addresses.

    This is fine when I’m am in a house, for example, but when I am driving my car I require ‘VERBAL’ turn-by-turn instructions guiding me.

    How can I activate these ‘verbal’ instructions which currently appear to be non-existent on my T-Mobile Comet phone?

    Thanks in advance.

    PS: I am always able to successfully access both the Internet and GPS signals when using this Map application on my Comet phone.

  9. Caching the Satellite layer would be helpful as well. I’d like to take my Android hiking with satellite photos to show the trail, which does not appear on the Map layer. The Terrain layer would be helpful in some cases as well–so I guess caching all or selective layers would be best (and all/selective zoom levels).

    I also agree with caching tiles along a specified route. I often drive routes with long stretches out of cell range. A 10 mile radius seems arbitrary, but a great start!

  10. i really can’t see anything except for many squares wth blue arrow. is it something wrong with layer or what? before this i can see the route like usual. thanks :(

  11. The fixed 10mile square shape is a bit too barebones.

    Caching along a route is a great idea.

    Also custom user-defined polygonal perimeter, would be great, or at least a rectangle that can be sized by the user.

  12. Howmany Mb is a precached map( 10mx10m),
    i need to know because im going to buy an sd card and i want to know how large it needs to be

  13. Jan, since Google Maps are vector-based, using all 10 precache locations only takes on the order of maybe 15-20 MB. I’ve been deleting the specified precache areas (which only deletes the designation; the map data remains until the cache is cleared) and cache more and more, I’m up at about 30MB right now. Depending on your device’s capacity and how much of it you already use, you may not even need an SD card.

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