How to get a route from Google Maps on to an iPad so you can follow it offline

I wanted to find a way to download a route from Google Maps onto my iPad 3G so that I could follow the route on a map offline.  I know that with the iPad 3G data plan turned on you can just use the Maps app to find and follow directions, but I am a frugalista and I like to keep the 3G data plan on my iPad turned off except when I am on long trips.

Here is the procedure I worked out, which requires that you own the $3.99 (as of Dec 2011) MotionX GPS HD app.

  • Go to Google Maps and look up directions to the place you want to go.
  • At the bottom of the directions click the Save to My Maps link.
  • Go to Google My Places (fka My Maps) and select the map with directions you just saved.
  • Click the KML link to download a KML file of the directions to your computer.
  • Go to http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/ select the KML file to upload and pick GPS format for the output and click Go.
  • Email the resulting GPX file to yourself.
  • In Mail on your iPad open the email, tap the attachment, and select open in MotionX GPS HD app.
  • This will open the MotionX GPS HD app where you can complete the import of the GPX track.
  • This will just import the track into the MotionX GPS HD app.  You need to separately download OpenStreetMaps for the relevant area in MotionX GPS HD in order to have the maps available offline.
This doesn't give you turn by turn directions, but it does give you a simple line on a map that you can follow while offline.

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