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"It simply shows a blank screen with grid marks."
Mine does that when I first open Maps but then shows the map after getting the map info. I'm assuming it gets the map info from the phone.
"It will provide written directions but no graphical map. Suggestions?"
Try this when you are seeing the directions on your watch, scroll the screen up and you should see a "Show route". Click that and it will show your route on a map.
What phone is your watch paired to?
Could you please clarify this for me? When you say location wasn't set up for maps, where is this? I'm having the same problems with the black screen with grid lines and not loading the route. Would appreciate the help. Thanks