Google Maps has received a new experimental Labs add-on today that may simplify your life in areas with little to no Wi-Fi or data.
The "Download map area" add-on in the new
If you've got an Android phone running version 2.1 or higher, and the latest version of Maps 5.7, you can get started by opening the menu, tapping More, then Labs, and selecting the download feature. Later when you search for a Place, for instance, going into the More menu will show you an option for downloading the area map while you're still online.
Be forewarned that the feature won't show you directions, Places, satellite view, or 3D buildings.
Since you may not want downloaded maps sticking around too long, you can view or delete them from the cache settings (get to it from Menu, then More). After 30 days, Google will delete them by default.
After playing around with the map downloads, we like what we see so far. The real test will be seeing how easy or useful the feature is in areas that are truly data-starved.