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Offline navigable maps. Who has a solution?

Hello. We will be in Portugal in 15 days or so and I am trying to find a way to download a navigable, offline map to my iPhone for when we leave Lisbon and head north up the coast. I hear you can download such maps from Google, only I can't figure out how to do it to my iPhone. I have read Google's instructions and their directions bear limited connection to the reality my iPhone lives in. I have searched the web and while I know the information is out there somewhere, I can't find it. If someone has experience with doing this on their iPhone and should they wish to share their knowledge with me, I would be so thankful.
Someone here posted that they used MEO Drive in Portugal and loved it. I downloaded it and I want to love it too. Only, I haven't yet figured out how to use it yet either. There doesn't seem to be a User Manual on the web. There has to be one, doesn't there? Either that or I am really the stupidest dude floating around out here.
Someone else said they love Maps.me. Maybe I have to give them another try.
So, this cry for help is for some clear information about the best way to navigate in Portugal on your iPhone while zooming around offline on teeny tiny curvy roads, all in an attempt to get to a specific spot at the end of the day.
Thanks for any help at all.
FirIslander.

Posted by
471 posts

Is this for use while driving? I still think a car GPS is worth it and your best bet. Maps.me was great for walking.

Posted by
94 posts

Yes, this is definitely for use while driving. We tried using a nav system in Ireland and that worked really well until it routed us out into the middle of the Irish Sea returning to Dublin. In Italy we finally gave up and just used Google maps and it was wonderful. Now I am thinking that I would like to think that I could use a dependable map offline for navigation.
FirIslander.

Posted by
1767 posts

their directions bear limited connection to the reality my iPhone lives in

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your device
  2. Either swipe right or tap the 3 line menu icon on the search bar to reveal more options
  3. Scroll down to Offline Maps
  4. Tap Select Your Own Map
  5. Tap Download

Job done

Posted by
1023 posts

Tap Select Your Own Map

I will add a bit more information here because this step took me forever to understand.

You will see a map - probably of your local area. By zooming out (by pinching), moving (by sliding left right up down), and zooming in (by "un-pinching") you select the area you want and then you press download.

Posted by
94 posts

Thank you for this help. I am now able to download a map of the area in Portugal I want. When I go to 'Offline areas' I see a small representation of the map I just downloaded at the top of the screen. When I tap the pencil icon on the right I can even re-name it. What I can't figure out how to do is to open/use the map. I tap on the small map and it stays as a useless small map. Below it I am informed that it will expire in 29 days and it asks if I want to delete it or update it. All I really want to do is use it.
Now, does anyone have any good clues as to how actually open/use this downloaded map? It would seem that I am missing something extremely elemental here.
Thank you again for any help with this vexing problem.
FirIslander

Posted by
1767 posts

When you're in Portugal and offline open Google Maps and the GPS in your phone will locate your whereabouts and you’ll be able to use the map to navigate in the area you’ve downloaded. It doesn’t give walking directions but will work for driving.

Why not give it a trail run? Download an offline map of your current locality. Disconnect your phone from the internet and see how an offline map of your current location works.

Just make sure you update the map (maybe in a couple of weeks or when you know you will have WiFi in Portugal) so it doesn't expire when you have no WiFi.

Posted by
94 posts

Ok...perhaps I am getting this now. The screen with the mini downloaded map only allow you to delete or update this map. When offline to use your downloaded map you enter a location on the map in the search bar of the app just like normal and boom! there I am in Portugal. Offline. Sweet.
Question: Will Google maps allow me to have navigation instructions using this map offline? That's the whole point of this endeavor.
Many thanks.
FirIslander

Posted by
94 posts

Hi ramblin' on. I was going to give this a try today. Thanks again for the great advice.
FirIslander

Posted by
2523 posts

I used the off line maps last year in Sardinia and Corsica. They worked smoothly and you should have no problem using them. I did have cell service and in the more remote or mountainous areas where there was none, the app seamlessly switched from on to off line and back again. About the only thing you'll be missing offline will be traffic conditions.

Posted by
107 posts

This is not off line but we used Waze in Spain and it was never wrong even in small villages.

Posted by
1471 posts

You can also use Here maps, which is a big player - owned by BMW, Audi, Daimer for use in their cars. They allow you to download an entire country and routing information. I have data and typically use google, but google sometimes leads you astray, and sometimes in remote areas data may not be available. So I like to have a backup, which for me is Here.