Visiting a new city? Well, it’s always a good thing to have the offline maps of the city you are visiting. There are several advantages to that, for instance:
- You don’t have to spend money on data, while on roaming
- Offline maps work even when there is no signal
- They are much faster to respond and save battery
Now, there are many offline apps in the market. Some specialize on route details and navigation while others on a travel guide. But the question is, how do I find the best app, that serves my purpose.
Trying out every offline map is not an option. They will ask you to download several hundred MBs of data before you can see what it look like.
So to make things easy for you, I tested the four most popular offline maps app. In this post, you will the pros and cons of each app and comparison table.
The Best Offline Maps
#1 Google Map
Google map is good. But it *lack complete offline support. You can only cache a small part of the city. Not the entire state or country.
Though you can always save more area by downloading them separately. But, that will make the lookup process difficult.
A Few months back, Google made a major update in its maps app. Now you can save a much larger area (up to 120,000 square kilometers). This is sufficient for an entire city or even a small state.
But still not enough, if you want to take the whole country offline.
To save a map offline, open the Google map app > search for the place, say New Delhi > at the bottom, touch the bar that has the name of the place > then tap on more icon > download offline area. If the area you selected is too big, you will have to zoom into a smaller area.
Great map app. Streets are detailed, also lets you see the point of interest and save places for offline use. And the new update has increased the capacity of offline maps.
Maps.me (previously know as maps with me) is one of the most popular offline maps.
When you first open the app, you will see a world map. And as you zoom in, it will ask you to download the offline map of that country (or city if that is in the option.)
Once done, you have the complete maps offline. You can zoom in to see detail overview of the street and point of interest. You can also search for the address and bookmark them for later use. All that, without being connected to the internet.
Maps.me use OpenStreetMap (or OSM for short). It’s like Wikipedia for maps, users can edit them or add new towns/roads, etc by themselves. However me personally, I am not a fan of OSM, they are not as detailed as Google maps, especially in the developing countries.
However me personally, I am not a fan of OSM, they are not as detailed as Google maps, especially in the developing countries.
Another thing that it misses is the dedicated navigation (like turn by turn instructions). But that’s not a big deal as you use GPS for that.
Good offline map, you can save an entire country or a big state. However, since it uses an open source database, the maps are only good for first world country.
Triposo is an all in one travel guide with decent offline maps support. You can pick any city or country and download its offline guide. It also includes suggestions for sightseeing, nearby restaurants, and nightlife, etc.
This app works by crawling data from open source media like Wikipedia, Wikitravel, OpenStreetMaps, etc and then arrange the information structurally in their app.
While testing I downloaded offline maps of Mumbai (India). The suggestion was quite impressive but maps were not very detailed (OSM).
Overall Triposo is made for people who are visiting a new city and don’t know what to do there. It has offline map support, but that will only give you an overview.
The lack of decent offline support in Google maps has encouraged other players. And here maps (previously called Nokia maps) has filled that gap very well.
Unlike Google maps, Here is specially designed for offline use. You can download maps of the entire country or a single state.
The complete offline map of India, weight around 1.5 GB. Maps.me and Triposo were around 300 MB only. Needless to say, this makes here maps more detail.
Here maps also support voice navigation along with route planning, travel guide and point of interest etc. In short, it’s a good combination of both Google maps and travel guide.
HERE maps are the complete package. Like Google, they have their own database of maps which they have developed from ground up (remember the Ovi maps) and it’s extremely detailed. Sometimes even better than Google maps.
And since this app is made for complete offline use, you get other important features like voice navigation as well.
|Availability||Android, iOS & |
|Android, iOS & |
|Android & iOS||Android, iOS & |
|Maps type||Maps develop by ||Free OpenStreetMap||Free OpenStreetMap||Maps develop by |
|Download options||Can’t download more |
than 120k KM sq
|Download maps of entire country or city||Download maps of entire country or city||Download maps of entire country or city|
|Offline Navigation||No (but you can use GPS)||No (but you can use GPS)||No (but you can use GPS)||Yes, voice navigation|
|Advantages||Detail maps, take less space||Small size, located places like ATM and hospitals, etc||Travel guide, point of interest suggestion, small size||Detail maps, voice navigation, TripAdvisor review|
|Disadvantages||Cache area too small||OSM maps are not detailed||OSM maps are not detailed||Maps size too big|
|Final Verdict||Good only if you want to save small area||Decent offline maps with small size||Great travel guide with built-in maps||Details maps for route planning and navigation|
In this article, we compare 4 best offline maps and here is the final verdict.
If your first priority is detailed maps, and the size, not an issue then go for HERE maps. It’s the best option when you are going on a big vacation.
If you need a travel guide with decent map support goes for Triposo or Maps.me.
Google maps are good when visiting a single city and won’t be doing much sightseeing.