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The Google Maps app for android caches the map tiles of areas you visit. Also, the GM Brut mod allows you to cache map tiles to the SD card. I'm on a very limited data plan, so I'd like to have my entire city cached to my phone memory/SDcard. So far, the only way I can think of is to manually scroll all over the city using different zoom levels.

My question is: is there a better way to do that? Again, I want to be able to use GM anywhere in the city without having to download the maps on-the-fly over my data plan. Is there a practical way to achieve this, so I won't have to scroll several times (once for each zoom level) over the entire city?

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This won't answer your question for Google Maps, specifically, but have you tried using an offline map application such as MapDroyd? Would that suit your needs? You download the entire map beforehand and therefore wouldn't have to use your data to view the map.

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Since you asked this question, Google has added a "pre-cache map area" feature to Google Maps's experimental Labs features. You first have to go into Settings > Labs and enable "Pre-cache Map Area", then visit a place page (either by clicking on a POI or long-pressing somewhere on the map), look at the list of "More Options", and click "Pre-cache Map Area". It will cache the area within 10 miles of the point and keep it cached for 30 days. Depending on the size of your city, you might have to cache a few different points to get the coverage you want.

Here's more from the Google blog: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/download-map-area-added-to-labs-in.html

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Google Maps was developed to be used when connected to the network so I don't believe there is a possibility to make it cache a complete area.

You should then take a look for an alternative mapping application that supports offline mode. For instance, the OsmAnd application might do everything you are looking for.

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The recent version of Google Maps does cache tiles for your routes and places you visit. I'm still trying to get more details. –  Al E. Feb 16 '11 at 20:02
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From the announcement for Google Maps 5: Since Google no longer has to download map images from its servers and vector-based maps require 100 times less data for all zoom levels, it's feasible to cache data. "Rather than having a static set of maps when installed, Maps will automatically start caching the areas you visit the most when your device is plugged in and connected to WiFi (e.g., the nightly charge)." You can't manually control caching, but it's an important first step toward an offline Google Maps. –  Al E. Feb 17 '11 at 2:38
    
So, there's currently no way to manually manage what local caching Google Maps does. As suggested in other answers you'll need to look for an alternate solution. –  Al E. Feb 17 '11 at 2:39
    
Thanks @Al Everett for all these precisions. –  jmbouffard Feb 17 '11 at 13:26
    
What works for me (most of the times) is to browse around the area of interest when connected to internet, allow all interesting tiles to load, and then the cache should work when you go offline (unless cleared, that is). –  Martin Tapankov Feb 18 '11 at 14:05
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