One of the problems with Google Maps is that, as wonderfully useful as it is, you need to be online in order to be able to use it. Google Maps Downloader is a program that enables you to download portions of a map so they can be made available for offline use. If you’re heading off to an unfamiliar city, this is a way to ensure that you will have access to the maps you need without having to rely on a data or wifi connection.
In order to download a map, you will need to specify the area that you are interested in. You can do this by entering the longitude and latitude of the edges of the map. If you’re used to working with degrees, minutes and seconds, you can use the built in tool to convert this data to simply degrees. You can also choose the number of levels of zoom that should be download – in the trial version this is limited to 11, but if you register you can increase this to 19.
The maps you download can be viewed with Map Viewer, but you also have the option of saving maps as BMP files. That’s really all there is to the program – it’s very simple to use, even if the software does look rather basic and slightly dated.
While this is an interesting tool, one can’t help but feel that it is slightly overpriced. $30 seems a little high for what it does, and if you want to extend the capabilities of the program to allow for the downloading of satellite images and other map data, you’re going to have to invest in yet another tool and part with even more cash.
Useful in principle, but fiddly and expensive in practice.