I don’t know about you, but in my line of work, I often find myself off the beaten path in the middle of nowhere. In times like these it’s super helpful to have maps that I can still reference, even without an active internet connection. For the most part, if you don’t already have the poor coverage area pre-loaded in your map program, you won’t have the ability to interact with the map. This can be a huge inconvenience when I am trying to pin-point specific particular lat & long coordinates.
I really wanted to be able to accomplish this in Apple Maps. However, after some searching around, I just couldn’t figure out how to make it happen, nor could I determine if it is even a possibility. No worries, though, Google Maps is a perfectly good alternative, and even a preference for many iPad users. Just in case it’s not already obvious, though, you will need to have an iPad capable of connecting to a data service (LTE + Wi-fi) in order to track your location on a saved offline map, since the Wi-fi only versions do not have built in GPS.
To create an offline Google map on your iPad first–launch Google maps. Next, in your current location view, click on the three stacked lines in the upper left corner. This will open your map settings where you will be able to select Your Places. Once opened, all your saved locations will be listed. When you scroll to the bottom of your list (if you even have any saved locations) you will see the option to save a new offline map.
Once selected, you can zoom out to capture the maximum extent of the content you wish to save in your view. If you pan out too far, the save button will become inactive, and you will have to zoom in a little further. After you have the map view you wish to save, you can now name the offline map for future recall.
As an added bonus, Google will prompt you to update your map ~once/month–which is especially nice to keep track in areas of more active development and sprawl. Of note, though, the offline maps that you create and save are a “snapshot” of sorts, and by definition cannot be searched or used for directional instruction. You can, however, still pan and zoom around the map–which, for me, is the most important feature I use anyway.