This is a support post for the Inside Windows Phone show on location and mapping in Windows Phone 8 published here.

I love the offline maps feature in Windows Phone. I love to travel and I frequently find myself in need to maps even when I don’t have good connectivity on my device (especially in other countries).

The great news for developers is that when the users have downloaded maps for offline use, we get a huge number of benefits. We can get addresses offline using reverse geocoding, we can map directions for walking or driving, we can know that our mapping is still strong despite a lack of connectivity.

Of course, we get all that for free only if the user downloads the maps for offline use. But driving them to this is fairly easy to do. All it takes is:

MapDownloaderTask mdt = new MapDownloaderTask();
mdt.Show();

And this pushes us into the native UI for downloading the maps. If we wanted to guild the user a little more clearly, we could perform a reverse geocode on their location and then give them guidance to what map we need them to download.