Random question here and I'm not sure if this is the right place, but here goes:
I'm traveling to China in a few weeks and will be traveling to places where I'm not likely to have regular/consistent internet access. I'd like to have some maps of the areas I'm traveling on my netbook that could be used even when I'm not on the internet. The ideal solution would be to have Google Maps of certain cities/areas downloaded on my machine, but I haven't seen a viable way to do that (I'm all ears if there's a way to make this work).
Does anyone know of a good mapping software that I could get that would work in this situation? I'm willing to pay for the software, but would be looking for more of a budget solution.
Things that I would like (in order of priority):
1) Zoomable maps
2) Basic Points of Interest info (train stations, post offices, hospitals, etc)
The following are "Nice to Have":
1) More detailed POI info (restaurants, stores, etc.)
2) Driving/Walking directions between 2 points
3) Map view/Terrain view/Sat view
Companies like Tom Tom and other that make actual GPS units usually have software with maps on them that they include. I'm sure if you look around on Ebay you could find a few of these programs and directly load them onto your netbook. Trouble is, the programs are usually on CD-ROM, but if you have external drive, you should be good to go.
1. This may be a hit or a miss but: here. There's a downloader for satellite view and street map view.
2. Google Earth (Pro, Plus) has a built-in cache to let you store some maps temporarily. You can try to find some programs or other methods to patch multiple cache files together.
3. A third option is to just buy a GPS system, so you'll know where you are while in China. You'd have to find one that offers the Chinese maps, of course.
4. A fourth, more ridiculous option is to take a ton of screenshots of Google Maps/Earth.
5. Google produced something called "Maemo Mapper" which is supposed to let you download maps from Google in pre-defined zoom levels. I'm not sure about any specifics, but Google should help you there. Try here.
A word of warning though: I was reading an article on China and how quickly it's growing. Your maps might be out-of-date or totally inaccurate in China, as experienced by some people who have GPS devices.