How to Use Google Maps Offline

To get the most out of Google Maps, you’ll need to make sure you have a reliable Internet connection. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to use the navigation app in dead zones.

Google Maps allows you to download maps of certain areas and neighborhoods to your phone so that they can be accessed offline. It’s important to note that you will need to be connected to the Internet in order to save these maps to your device. But once they’ve been downloaded, you’ll be able to access them anytime, whether your phone is online or offline.

There are also some limitations to keep in mind. When downloading maps for offline use, you’ll only be able to access driving directions, since transit, bicycling, and walking directions are only available online. Google updated Maps last year to support the ability to search for places and get turn-by-turn driving directions among other additions. You can also view and delete places you’ve saved by pressing the menu button and tapping the “Offline areas” option.

Check out the video above to learn how to download maps for offline use in Google Maps.

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A Life in Google Maps

Inside Google Maps, we still live together. It’s July 2012 here; my car is parked in the driveway. One of your ham radio antennae peeks over the roof. The trees are in full leaf, so I can’t see the windows; are the lights on? Am I inside? It’s overcast, but the sun seems high; maybe I’m walking the dog, but I don’t see us. Probably I’m at my desk. Possibly I am on the floor crying for reasons I don’t even understand. It is five months until I leave.

You’re at work. Inside Google Maps, it’s July 2008 at your lab. I can’t zoom in close enough to see your bike in the vestibule, but I know you’re there. It’s overcast here too, one mile and four years away; maybe they’re the same clouds. Maybe they never parted. We aren’t married yet, here at the lab, though we will be soon.

If you’re thinking about me at work, which you’re not, you probably think I’m at my office downtown. But it’s June 2014 there, and I’m in New York, at my first Brooklyn apartment, where it’s September. My car is parked here too, on my block in Brooklyn, in September 2014, inside Google Maps. Inside Google Maps, I live with you, and I live without you.

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