By SHANNON KELLY
Google is on fire this week. First it launches Flight Search for Canadians, then it announces that its maps will be available offline for Android users.
For travellers, this is great news. Travelling without access to Wi-Fi or 3G or in places where connecting via 3G is prohibitively expensive often means that you don’t have access to good-quality maps on your mobile device. But with Google’s new offline maps you can select your destination on a map ahead of time (you can even select an entire city) and download the map and all the map data. You’ll then be able to navigate the map and zoom in to street level while offline.
Additionally, GPS still works on the offline map (if you have GPS enabled, of course) and the orientation function works if you have a compass on your mobile device. No word on when this will be available for iPhone, Blackberry or other mobile devices, but we’re betting you’ll hear about it soon.