How to get a map from Google maps to an Android phone?
June 15, 2013 3:47 AM   Subscribe

The situation: I'm running Android 2.3.5 on my phone, using the Google Maps app version 6.14.4. Via the desktop, I've created a map with custom directions from Point A to Point B.

The problem: I can't find a way to get the map with the edited directions to my phone. I can save the map with the directions to a Google account, which normally would mean that I could log into that Google account on my phone and download it that way. However, I don't have the necessary software on my phone that will enable me to log into a Google account. "Account and Sync settings" is missing. I can't seem to edit directions from within the Google Maps app on my phone, either.

The solution? How can I get this custom map onto my phone and viewable in Google Maps so I can be directed along this route? Alternatively, is there some other Android software that will let me edit a map/directions and then guide me in the manner that Navigation will?
posted by Solomon to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
There's OSMAnd, which takes GPX tracks and is open source and generally awesome.

The authentication for your Google account is presumably working for you to download from the Play store, but you can also email yourself the share link for the route and open that on the phone. This should offer you the option to open the route on Maps on the phone.

Do you get Gmail delivered to your phone? If so, the account is logged in.
posted by jaduncan at 4:16 AM on June 15, 2013

If you save the map to "My Maps" from your desktop it should be there in My maps when you open maps while logged into Google from the phone. It works for me, although I'm running Android 4.x.
posted by COD at 5:32 AM on June 15, 2013

Response by poster: There's no Google account on the phone (I got the Google Maps app from 1Mobile. I don't have any kind of sync activated, because it doesn't work. The Account bit in Android settings where you enter your Gmail account isn't there for me. I can log into Gmail and such in the browser, but there's no account that the phone itself is tied to.

I've emailed the link to the map to myself, and can open that link from Gmail, via Dolphin. I can view the map, but I can't seem to get it from into the app Google Maps.
posted by Solomon at 6:02 AM on June 15, 2013

Are you running some sort of custom mod? I've never tried it but I've read about them and I know with some (most? all? no idea) you actually have to download the google components separately from the mod (copyright issue?) and install them yourself. What phone are you using? What carrier?
posted by one4themoment at 6:57 AM on June 15, 2013

Under Google Maps Classic, in the top right corner of the left side sidebar, above the directions, there's a button with a chain icon next to the print button, that you can click to get a URL for a link to that particular map view, or HTML for embedding it. (This feature seems to be one of the things that's been removed under their new "cleaned up" maps interface, unfortunately).

Can you use the link from that to get your map onto your phone? You'd have to view the map in your phone's web browser and not in the maps app directly, but there is an option for a shortened URL to make it easier to type.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:51 AM on June 15, 2013

Response by poster: Getting closer. By saving the map to My Maps and then logging into the Google account on the phone's browser, and then saving the URL of the KML data and pasting that into the Search bar in Google Maps, I can get the map to load. However, it won't let me use Navigation to use the data. It just takes me to my current location and then asks for an endpoint.
posted by Solomon at 8:08 AM on June 15, 2013

Yesterday I emailed a link with modified directions to myself and then clicked the link. First I clicked open in browser and then there was an option for me to open it with maps, and it worked fine for me. I was using Gmail and an Android phone, ymmv.
posted by aniola at 8:13 AM on June 15, 2013

Response by poster: aniola, could you make it Navigate using the custom map? I can make it view the map, I just can't seem to make it tell me where to go.

In other news, MapQuest behaves in a similar way Google Maps, in that it won't let you customise a map on the phone. Nor will Skobbler or OsmAnd, as far as I can tell.
posted by Solomon at 8:49 AM on June 15, 2013

OsmAnd does, long press somewhere and add that as a waypoint to go via there. Other than that, what editing precisely do you need?

Also, this phone sw build sounds utter crap. Maybe root it and put Cyanogenmod on, then all these problems will disappear.
posted by jaduncan at 9:57 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Finally figured OsmAnd out. Long press and then click on the icon in the lower left, scroll down and choose Use location. I was just long pressing. Derp.
posted by Solomon at 10:45 AM on June 15, 2013

Long press and then click on the icon in the lower left, scroll down and choose Use location. I was just long pressing. Derp.

You can also just click on the little bubble that appears after the long press, and you can add waypoints as well via the menu if you want to change the route. OSMAnd does completely offline routing if you cache the maps, for extra sweetness. I have no connection to the open source project save very satisfied use whilst cycle touring and a couple of patches.

Oh, and seriously consider a custom rom that isn't so fucked up with authentication.
posted by jaduncan at 12:32 PM on June 15, 2013

Response by poster: Yeah, it's kinda obvious when you say it like that. I did look through their documentation, but couldn't find anything about adding waypoints, other than that you can. I like the fact that you can (apparently?) add as many waypoints as you want. The dog is going to be taken for some weird walks now.

A workaround I've found suggested for Google Maps is to save each location as a favourite place, and then get directions to the next place each time you reach a place. This can be done directly on the phone and will give turn-by-turn directions.
posted by Solomon at 1:02 PM on June 15, 2013

You may try this (if it doesn't load directly, look at the message that says YO, YO, YO)
posted by Red Loop at 2:11 PM on June 15, 2013

Yes, it was letting me navigate.
posted by aniola at 11:22 AM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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