Offline Maps

Google Maps, Bing Maps, MapQuest or other map services are great as long as one has an Internet connection available. If you happen to be offline, you are out of luck using these map serving services. I have recently dealt with this problem while I was biking in the Santa Monica hills. At over 1500 feet altitude, the phone signal coverage is spotty at best, non-existing in most higher altitude locations. Since I am new to the area, I don’t have the dirt roads memorized. Therefore, I can get easily lost or avoid exploring new routes simply because I don’t want to get lost or sent too far off the current location.

I figured I am not the only one with this problem. Being an engineer by trade, I decided to help solve the problem for me and potentially others. I started working on downloadable, offline accessible maps. So far, I only have a part of the Santa Monica hills range available. I plan to add more locations. If you would like to request any specific location(s) to add, please, reach out to me on Twitter @petrkout or Instagram under the username kout.petr.

The available locations are highlighted on the map below. Find your sector and below the map click on the link matching the sector’s letter.

  • Sector A (bounding box 34.149730, -118.587498, 34.056115, -118.470981)
  • Sector B (bounding box 34.143718, -118.7196697, 34.040432, -118.587498)

Setting up Offline Viewing

The links into previous section point to HTML pages containing collages of map sections. There is a way to make them available on your phone offline. The following are the steps to set it up using the Google Chrome mobile browser on your smartphone.

  1. If you don’t have it installed yet, download the Google Chrome browser on your phone.
  2. Navigate to /offline-maps.
  3. Click on the link for the sector of the map that you want to make available for offline viewing.
  4. You should see something like this:

    google chrome map view

  5. Click on the three dots in the upper right, then click on the arrow pointing down icon in the menu (circled in red below):

    google chrome view offline

    This will make the entire page viewable offline. You should see a screen like this when the download is done:

    google chrome view offline done

  6. That’s it. This page with all the map details on it is now available for offline viewing. To view the map offline mode in the future, put your phone to the airplane mode, click on the three dots in the browser again and select Downloads. You should see a screen with a list of downloaded pages with the downloaded page in the list:

    google chrome downloads

  7. Click on the link in the list of downloads. There’s only one downloads item in our example, so you would click on that one. You might have more downloaded items in your Chrome downloads from your previous usage. If so, click on the item representing the web page we just downloaded. You’ll then see the offline version of the page showing the map. You can pan around and zoom in even if you’re offline.

    google chrome offline view

Offline maps take up room in your phone. The one in the example here takes over 65MB of memory. If you want to delete an offline map from your phone in the future, just go back to Chrome’s Downloads menu, click on the three dots next to the item representing the downloaded page and select “Delete” from the menu that pops up. You can redownload the page for offline viewing following the above instructions again in the future if needed.


To keep up-to-date on my upcoming posts or to get in touch, follow me on Twitter @petrkout or Instagram under the username kout.petr.