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Thread: Google maps offline across several states

  1. #1
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    Google maps offline across several states

    Google maps lets you save maps offline, but they're usually in a squarish format. That makes it impossible to cover 3 states because the maps use too much data.

    Previously I was somehow able to change the shape of the map & saved a long skinny map covering 3 states along I-80. It doesn't take up a lot data because it looks like a pencil shape. I have a couple of those. But now I can't figure out how I did it. I Googled & searched but everything is about pinching & zooming the size of the default rectangle map but not changing its shape.

    Any suggestions on how to crop a map shape for the area you want?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Turn your phone to landscape and you can select a horizontal map.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    That helps, but what I have is longer & skinnier than what landscape provides.

    Another map I have is about a 2:1 aspect ratio & covers Columbus OH to Chicago. There's no way I can get that in portrait or landscape mode. Somehow I was able to select & crop the area I wanted & fit it into a single map & it's below the maximum file size which is somewhere just above 500MB.

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    I vaguely remember you can download several small square maps and stitch them together to get a wide, skinny map.

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    Mine are all one piece maps. I don't recall ever having a problem creati8ng or saving them.

    Now I'm thinking maybe I had created a route & saved it which in turn saved the map. Doing a search comes up with a couple examples on how to save a route, but there is no option on my phone to save a route as shown in the examples.

    Here they mention a black banner under the destination entry. But I don’t have that.
    https://smartphones.gadgethacks.com/...-maps-0179273/

    They also mention the hamburger menu & choosing "Offline areas", but I don’t have that option.

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    Mystery solved - sort of.

    The non-standard format maps appear to be what you get when saving a route offline. You get the map that includes the route. Previously for the starting point I used “Your location” which doesn’t work. But when I entered an actual address the route map did have an option to save.

    A black banner appears below the Destination entry line along with an option to download, which does give you a map. Step 3 in this link shows the black banner where it says “Tap to download offline directions…”
    https://smartphones.gadgethacks.com/...-maps-0179273/

    That all works on the old LG Rebel 4, but the black banner never displays on the new Rebel 4.

    Both phones have Android versions 8.1.0 and the same build number. The new phone keeps giving me pop-ups telling me about new features, so something is a bit different. I bought the new phone to get the time & minutes bundle. Maybe I’ll just transfer all that back to the original phone if I can’t get the maps to work like I want.

    Edit:
    Hmm - now it's working when I use “Your location” as the starting point.
    Last edited by StymiedToo; 04-30-2021 at 10:25 PM.

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    Here's a screenshot of a downloaded map from the old phone.
    Name:  map from phone.jpg
Views: 60
Size:  45.3 KB

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by StymiedToo View Post
    Here's a screenshot of a downloaded map from the old phone.
    Name:  map from phone.jpg
Views: 60
Size:  45.3 KB

    Funny. I'm taking that trip in 10 days: Chicago to Cuyahoga nat. Park.

    re: offline maps, I've always saved multiple maps that slightly overlap and either named them Map 1, Map 2, etc., or given them logical names ("Chi to Des Moines"). Seems to me that so long as the offline maps are available to the app, it moves seamlessly from one to the next while traveling. Did a trip this way a coupla months ago without ever turning data on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by brg View Post
    Funny. I'm taking that trip in 10 days: Chicago to Cuyahoga nat. Park.

    re: offline maps, I've always saved multiple maps that slightly overlap and either named them Map 1, Map 2, etc., or given them logical names ("Chi to Des Moines"). Seems to me that so long as the offline maps are available to the app, it moves seamlessly from one to the next while traveling. Did a trip this way a coupla months ago without ever turning data on...
    I know you can save multiple maps & would need to in order to go from Chicago to Orlando. FWIW the map I posted was only 302MB & is convenient because it includes several destinations for me along I-80. All I did was “Tap to download offline directions…” and the route became an offline map. But the new phone does not have that option, at least I haven't found a way to enable it.

    I thought maybe that feature was discontinued because of some little update even though both phones have Android 8.1.0. But I tried my Samsung tablet with Android 10 and was able to “Tap to download offline directions…” & proceeded to download a couple maps without a problem.

    Comparing settings & permissions between the two phones they both appear to be the same, but obviously something is different with the new phone.

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    I'm inexperienced with use of Google Maps. I use the web version mostly in a static sense to sometimes plan out a trip or just browse a route. I never let these things plan my actual route without checking it with a "real" paper map, but that's just me.

    Is there a big difference in the potential feature of downloading maps, between the app vs. the online web version? I'm interested in StymiedToo's resolution of being able to obtain a "strip map" of a given area or route. That sounds very handy to me. Google Maps has really good detail of roadside features and attractions (restaurants, etc., when you zoom in a bit closer). To me that's its strong point. Road-type selection, not so much, which is why I still prefer a hard-copy Rand McNally for that to help inform my choices.

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    I use Google Maps both on the desktop, for detailed planning prior to a trip (on a big PC) and during a trip after having stopped for the day (on the web, using a tablet), and on the mobile (for GPS navigation in the car). I've never tried @StymiedToo's "strip map" of a given area or route approach, but will give that a whirl if it is supported on my mobile device (currently an iPhone SE 2020).

    I've long used the function where you can "send a route to [text, email, whatever]" and that works great, but always assumed it required data to be on for navigation when invoked from the destination device. I like to have the offline map capability because my driving is getting more and more out in the sticks, and I'm not guaranteed to have data, especially with whatever MVNO I might be using at any given time. Perhaps I will try using the "send route to device" function in conjunction with previously downloaded offline maps. Actually, I've done that, but am unsure if I turned data off to test.

    Most of the "what's happening around here" planning I do in the evening, upon arrival at some motel which likely has WiFi or at least is in a town well served by cellular data. I figure out what I want to do while in that town, and also figure out what I want to do during the next day's drive. I don't engage in too much spontaneity during the day's drive, having planned that the prior evening.

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    I haven’t taken a big trip in a long time so have not utilized that long strip map, but have used other offline maps a few times. It was more convenient to use the smart phone than getting out the TomTom GPS.

    I’m not going to get lost traveling down I-80. But having Google Maps or a GPS sure helps when I get off the highway & have to find my way somewhere. IOW it helps fill in the blanks when I haven't been somewhere in a while.

    I could have downloaded multiple maps by selecting a map based on a city or address. But it was just as easy to download the directions which gave me a map. This was done via WiFi at home.

    Depending where I'm going I might look at Google Maps on my dexktop PC ahead of time. And I keep an old GPS in the trunk, just in case.

    If I'm taking a week or two vacation & driving a couple thousand miles I'll use a TomTom or Garmin because I like the information it provides & prefer their interface. But that's just my personal preference.

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    Here's the solution -

    I came across one article about Google Maps not showing directions & one solution was to clear the Google Maps cache and/or data. I get directions but don't get the option to download them, so thought the problem might be related. I cleared the Google Maps cache & now the black banner with download selection appears. Yeah!!

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    Thanks for tips. I use offline maps frequently to save on data. I've had "Tap to download offline directions" prompt occasionally pop up, but could never reliably replicate it. The clear cache and/or data seems to make that option appear more reliably.

    Google Maps still seems very picky about the starting point/destination addresses and doesn't seem to want to save routes that are diagonal or complex. It only seems to want to save mostly horizontal or vertical routes. Last pic doesn't show the download option.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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    It will do a diagonal but will fit it into a rectangular shape. If the rectangle is too big & creates too large of a file size then it cannot be saved. Here’s a Chicago to Indianapolis diagonal route. But I cannot save directions from Chicago to Lexington KY. IOW there are limits.

    When I go to “Select Your Own Map” and zoom & scroll, the largest size I’ve seen is 550MB in portrait mode & 675MB in landscape mode with the phone turned sideways.

    Name:  map from phone_4.jpg
Views: 54
Size:  35.0 KB

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