GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Cartography, maps, navigation, GPS and more.
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aiwetir
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GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by aiwetir » December 28th, 2018, 11:03 pm

I've lost my love affair with the app, too many things I don't like about it now, any suggestions. For hiking I just need good maps and aerial photos, an OSM trail overlay, and track recording. Pretty simple you would think. Any suggestions?

For iOS
- Michael

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retired jerry
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by retired jerry » December 29th, 2018, 5:55 am

what don't you like about gaia?

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Eric Peterson
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by Eric Peterson » December 29th, 2018, 7:03 am

Avenza can be used completely free of charge for loading available USGS/FS maps through the app. Record tracks and even load your own custom Garmin mapset. Not sure about aerials and other bells/whistles...

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adamschneider
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by adamschneider » December 29th, 2018, 8:26 am

I've set up a couple of iPhone friends with Topo Maps US: It doesn't have tons of features, but it does have an OSM trail overlay, and it's free... so worth a try, anyway.

(If any Android users are reading this thread, the gold standard in that world is Backcountry Navigator.)

RobFromRedland
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by RobFromRedland » December 29th, 2018, 6:58 pm

adamschneider wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 8:26 am
(If any Android users are reading this thread, the gold standard in that world is Backcountry Navigator.)
FYI, Backcountry Navigator is working on a new version for both Android and iOS - called Backcountry NavigatorXE. It is still early in the development though.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

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aiwetir
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by aiwetir » December 30th, 2018, 12:53 am

retired jerry wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 5:55 am
what don't you like about gaia?
TL:DR
I've butted heads with the support team about too many things that continue to remain issues while they add more and more of the content that most of us deem useless (such as hike discovery) likely in the pursuit of revenue.

The new discovery features reek of the user created content that we've all been suckered into creating for other people.

Long version:
For the last 3 or 4 years, the Gaia brand topo maps have squared off contours in many areas in Oregon (see Detroit Lake area) and large swaths of Canada (where I've never been, but still) While this bad data persists, they continue to promote these same maps for hiking, offroading, and hunting with a new aerial/topo map just this month with the same squared off contours. This bug was properly reported 3-4 years ago, I don't remember how long it's been. Going through the process of generating a nation's worth of flawed tiles last month likely means they don't intend to fix the issue soon.

iOS used to have a bug/feature where it would snap you to a road when going over 20 kph. Desirable if you are navigating to the store on streets, quite annoying if you are driving/biking to map something, or even more annoying to be snapped to a road while flying in a helicopter. Every other track recording app (I've tried) has resolved this years ago but Gaia hasn't fixed this in 3+ years and when asked annually, they don't seem to think it's an issue.

There is a recent issue where the track recording interval has increased from an average of about 2.5 meters between points to 10+ meters average between points. When reported, as usual, there was nothing wrong with the app, it must be user error or a bad GPS chip. I've tested against multiple devices, multiple platforms.

Like I said above, all I want is a decent track and some decent map choices and I can make my own trail overlay if I really want. I could deal with a couple things being wonky, but when the track recording goes bad, it's time for a new app.
- Michael

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retired jerry
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by retired jerry » December 30th, 2018, 6:38 am

thanks

I'm wearing out the buttons on my 60CSx - it's getting difficult to activate and I have to remember what each button does :)

I've got to switch over to smart phone

Yeah, I hate that when a software maker emphasizes new whiz bang features that sound good to marketing people but aren't very useful, but ignores basic reliability and functionality

I'm kind of a cheapskate and hate periodic payments

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aiwetir
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by aiwetir » December 30th, 2018, 12:01 pm

I have a 60CSx that has some of the same issues, buttons worn out and sometimes freezes for no reason. I'm waiting to give it to someone who might need it.
- Michael

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aiwetir
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by aiwetir » December 31st, 2018, 3:01 am

Eric Peterson wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 7:03 am
Avenza can be used completely free of charge for loading available USGS/FS maps through the app. Record tracks and even load your own custom Garmin mapset. Not sure about aerials and other bells/whistles...
I've never liked Avenza as PDFs just aren't that phone friendly, however it occurred to me maybe I could make my own PDFs and import them.

Making a good custom map is really a ton of work but maybe I can throw something together from Mapbox or something
- Michael

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kepPNW
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Re: GaiaGPS Alternatives?

Post by kepPNW » December 31st, 2018, 6:15 am

aiwetir wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 3:01 am
Eric Peterson wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 7:03 am
Avenza can be used completely free of charge for loading available USGS/FS maps through the app. Record tracks and even load your own custom Garmin mapset. Not sure about aerials and other bells/whistles...
I've never liked Avenza as PDFs just aren't that phone friendly, however it occurred to me maybe I could make my own PDFs and import them.

Making a good custom map is really a ton of work but maybe I can throw something together from Mapbox or something
Caltopo. Too easy. I'll make one for nearly every hike, if I don't already have one for that area. Just an excellent way to get that broad overview! Probably reduces the number of times I look at the dedicated GPS by 80-90%.
Karl
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