eTripCafe - The Art of Travel / Offline Maps   No Trip Selected
For both pre-trip planning and helping to navigate to your desired sites and activities, maps play a crucial part in any trip.

Plan your trip by researching your locations using map images, creating custom maps highlighting locations, marking and bringing physical maps with you providing a complete view of all your locations and using your phones GPS Navigation taking you directly to your desired locations.
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Offline Maps Pre-Travel

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Using your phone's GPS Navigation allows you to navigate from your current location to your next destination.  Similar to a car GPS Navigation System, you may have used your phone and em, you may to navigate.  The focus of this page is on using your phone with an offline map to navigate to your next destination.o navigate to your next destination.

After you have downloaded a map for offline use, the Google Maps app will function as it normally would.  If your Internet connection is slow or absent, Google will utilize the downloaded map to assist with navigation.

You may be able to work around the 'Offline Walking Navigation' issue by semi-following the driving route and using your best guess to walk, taking shortcuts in the general direction.

Newer smart phones are able to detect GPS Satellite signals which are all around us when we have a view of the open sky.  Detecting the signal means that your phone always knows where it is, even if you do not have mobile network service.  Your phone is able to use it's location with previously downloaded offline maps allowing GPS Navigation to still function.  This is something you should experiment with by setting your phone to iment with by setting your phone to Airplane Mode to turn off mobile service (simulates being in an area where you have no service).  Open Google Maps to see if your location is recognized and navigate to a location in your area.  You may need to set the map to driving mode to work with offline maps.

Offline Map Indicator
The Offline Map indicator displays on various pages as an indicator that you have downloaded a map on your mobile device of a location you are visiting.  The indicator must be set manually to indicate you have downloaded an offline map.

1. On your mobile device, select the icon next to a location to display the location map along with attractions.  This map icon will display on multiple pages for easy access.

2. Once the map is displayed, follow the procedures below to download an offline map to your mobile device.

See the Mobile Maps page for more information on setting locations for map display.

3. Once you have completed downloading a map, check off the location on the Trip Planning - Locations page on the website or the Offline Map Download Tracking page on your mobile device (shown on the right).  This will set the indicator to display on pages showing locations to indicate you have downloaded an offline map for that area.

See the Mobile Trip Profile page for more information

An example of how this works using your mobile device

Let's say you have created a trip location for Paris France along with several activities in Paris.  Next to Paris select the map icon to display a map of Paris in Google Maps.  You may then download the map of Paris to your mobile device for use while in Paris.  For any activities where you have set a navigation link on the Booking Page, use them as you normally would.

If your Internet connection is slow or absent, Google Maps will use your offline maps to give you directions.

You do not need to download a map for every activity destination in Paris.  You only need to download an overall map of Paris.

Ahead of time, from a location where you have service, use your phone and perform the following steps to save offline maps of locations you will be visiting.  For example, if you plan on walking around Paris France, you can easily save an offline map of the entire city by following the steps below.

Using an offline map will save on network usage, increase response time and ensure you have a map of the area should there be limited or no mobile service.

There are basically two ways to save a map.  The first is to simply save the location map where you can pull it up on your phones internet browser and select it from the downloads menu.  You can then navigate from your current location to any location in the map area.  The second is to download the map and enter your arrival and destination locations and then save it as an icon on your phone so that when you arrive, you simply click the icon with the saved route.

For additional information on using your Smartphone to navigate, see our Tips page on GPS Navigation.

Saving a map of a location

  1. Click the Google Maps app
  2. Where it says 'Search Here', enter the city name such as 'Paris France' (this will display a map of Paris)
  3. From the main menu , click 'Offline Maps'
  4. Select: 'Select Your Own Map'
  5. Resize and position the Paris area you want to download and save
  6. Select 'Download'
  7. When the download is complete, click the menu menu and 'Rename' to change the title of the downloaded map

Using your downloaded offline map

  1. When you arrive at your location and are ready to use the map, click the Google Maps app and select 'Offline Maps'
  2. From the list of downloaded maps, select the one you want to use
  3. Select the 'Go' icon
  4. Click where it says 'Your location' then click on the next screen 'Your location' (there is no need to position the map to select your arrival point as it will use your current location)
  5. Click 'Choose destination' and enter the destination or position the map destination under the pin and select 'OK'
  6. Select the 'Walk' icon
  7. From the main menu , select 'Wi-Fi only' mode save on data and battery usage
  8. Select 'Start'

Make sure the compass is set to keep the map on the phone always aligned to north as described above.

Saving a predefined route for a downloaded offline mapd route for a downloaded offline map

  1. Using your phone's internet browser, select an offline map to open such as 'Paris'.  (A small map screen will display; click on the map image)
  2. Select the 'Go' icon
  3. Click where it says 'Your location' then click on the next screen 'Choose on map' (You can also enter the address if you know it)
  4. Expand and position the map location of your arrival point underneath the pin and select 'OK'
  5. Click 'Choose destination' and perform the same steps to position the map destination under the pin and select 'OK'
  6. Select the 'Walk' icon
  7. Select menu at the top right and click 'Add route to Home screen'
  8. You will now have an icon you can select when you arrive with your predefined route.

See Google Help for iPhone and iPad or Google Help for Android for more information.