You have several options:
- Download the country data which will allow you to browse the map freely, search for streets, display Points of Interest and get directions.
- Download only the images for an area. This will only allow you to browse the map until a certain level (depending on the area, it might need a lot of free space). You won't be able to search for a street or get directions while offline but you will be able to download any "Map Style" available in Maps Pro, including satellite imagery.
- A mix of the two: For instance, you can download satellite imagery on an area and use the downloaded data for street search and directions.
Download the complete country data
Open to the Offline menu, it will bring up a list of options to download maps. Some countries are very big in terms of data, so they are split in regions: Germany, France, Italy, England Russia, Canada and the USA.
The original data is from the OpenStreetMap project so quality might vary depending on the country you download.
Select the maps you want to download. For instance, let's choose "North America - United States". A page will open with a list of regions available to download:
By default, the "World overview map" is selected. The world basemap is free to use. However, it only contains the first zoom levels and only allows offline browsing. What you want is to download one of the region, such as California. When you download a region, the world overview map will be automatically downloaded if it hasn't been downloaded already, so let's select "California":
Each country/region is part of a "pack". For instance California is part of the "North America - United States" pack and "Japan" and "China" are part of the "Asia" pack.
You will need to buy the pack you are interested in at a very affordable price.
Once you have bought a pack, you will be able to get unlimited lifetime updates on all your Windows 8 devices.
Everything you buy in Maps Pro goes through the Microsoft Store, for secured paiement. Every purchase is recorded in your Microsoft account, so you only have to buy a pack once to be able to use it on any of your Windows 8 devices.
Note that once the Maps Pro for Windows Phone 8 application will be out, you will also be able to use your offline maps on your smartphone with no additionnal cost
As a launch offer, there is a 50% reduction on all the packs.
Click the "Buy" button and follow the Microsoft Store instructions. You will receive a confirmation email once your purchase is complete.
You now have a "Download" button available. The first time you download a map might be a bit long because Maps Pro will download the world basemap and everything that is necessary for it to work offline. Do not close Maps Pro while the download is in progress.
Once your download is finished, close Maps Pro, open it again and select "Vector Maps" in the "Map Styles". More styles will be available soon:
You can now browse the map freely without an internet connection. Here are a few screenshots when zooming in on San Francisco:
When you have an active internet connection, Maps Pro will still use Google Maps by default for search and direction. You can force Maps Pro to use the downloaded data all the time by going into Help > Options and select "Downloaded data" as a data source:
This option will be automatically selected when your internet connection is unavailable.
You now have everything you need to work offline with Maps Pro! Check this article to learn how easy it is to search for a street in your downloaded data: How do I search for an address when offline?
Download only the images for an area
1. Unlike other applications such as Here Maps, Maps Pro allows you to download any map style, including Satellite imagery. First thing you need to do is to choose the map style you want to use from the Map Style menu.
2. Once you picked the map style you want, you need to choose which area you want to download. Maps Pro doesn't restrict you to download only administrative regions, you can download any place in the world. To choose an area, just pan and zoom to the area you want to download, where you will go hiking tomorrow for instance.
3. Once you are on the area you want to use offline, open the menu and choose Offline > Download this map. A configuration window will open in the top-right corner. The configuration window gives you statistics about your future download, like how many images you are about to download and how much space it will take on your hard drive. These numbers are updated when you move or zoom on the map.
4. In the configuration window, you need to decide how many zoom levels you want to download. This will decide how much you will be able to zoom in when offline. A higher number means you will be able to zoom in a lot more when offline, but it also mean that your download size will be larger.
5. Once you have found the right configuration for you, just press the "Download" button and wait for the download to finish. Note that Windows 8 puts the download on hold when you reduce the application, so it is best to leave Maps Pro opened while you download a map.
6. You can now use Maps Pro offline with the maps you downloaded!