Cleaning Google Maps Mobile

April 18, 2007

Google Maps Mobile screenshotA while ago, I extolled the wonders of Google Maps Mobile for your smartphone. I still think it’s one of the best applications ever developed for smartphones. But it has one huge flaw. It remembers the maps you’ve viewed, so that if you go back there, it loads more quickly – saving time. No, no, that’s not the flaw – stay with me a bit longer. Google Maps Mobile saves these maps in a cache on your smartphone. The “tile-cache.GLM” (as the cache is called on my Treo 650) can quickly grow to massive size. Since I regularly use Google Maps Mobile, the cache can quickly become the largest file on my Treo.

So, it’s important that you periodically wipe clean this cache. To do that, find the option to “Erase All.” On the Treo, first activate the top bar, then Options, then Erase All. You may then get a dialog box asking (in essence) if you’re sure. Yes, you’re sure – hit the “Erase” button. All your old maps and preferences onGoogle Maps Mobile will then be erased, and when you open Google Maps Mobile again, you’ll be looking at good ole San Francisco.

I hope that in a new version soon, Google Maps Mobile will introduce some options to limit the growth of this cache. Maybe a maximum size (after which the older maps are replaced by newer ones), or a reminder to flush one’s cache.

In the meanwhile, Map On!

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3 Responses to “Cleaning Google Maps Mobile”

  1. Paul Says:

    How about user-accessible options to set cache size and location? I mean, come on….


  2. […] don’t forget to periodically reset Google Maps, or else your map cache will grow too […]

  3. MarkM Says:

    No, silly, you don’t want to LIMIT the cache, you want to allow it to grow to the largest size you can possibly handle. Offline maps when you can’t get a data connection (i.e. when you’re *truly* lost) are good. Even when you’re online, it’s much faster if you have it cached locally.
    ” *flip* Here a nickel, kid. Go buy yourself a decent micro SDSH card.”


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