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Riverside Laker
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PostFri Feb 12, 2021 2:29 pm 
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We've been using Gaia for mapping on mobile devices. I used to use a hand held hiking GPS but the phone apps seem so much better. Caltopo is really nice for planning, on a computer or tablet, placing routes and waypoints is so easy. I was using CalTopo, then porting it over to Gaia for use in the field. Caltopo has a phone app now, so we're gonna try it in the field. Seems worth a half tank of gas $$.

Anyone else have opinions?
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kite
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PostFri Feb 12, 2021 3:06 pm 
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love the Gaia desktop app
https://www.gaiagps.com/
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Riverside Laker
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PostFri Feb 12, 2021 3:12 pm 
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The Gaia desktop seems awkward to me, but I should try it more.
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KascadeFlat
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PostFri Feb 12, 2021 4:15 pm 
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I pay for memberships to both and have used both extensively. Like you, I prefer CalTopo for planning and Gaia for going. I love the slope-angle shading that Cal offers and will often use that to mark "no go" or "watch" points in Gaia.

The one thing I can't figure out with Gaia, and maybe it's because I am a mapping dum dum, is the topo scale. Inevitably, Gaia leads me into thinking things are less steep than they turn out to be in reality. CalTopo seems like it reflects what I see in the field a little more closely.

In a particularly fun-filled day out on Sumas Mtn, I used Google Maps to navigate my way cross country when it became apparent had missed the turn off and didn't want to back track. It worked, but I do not recommend.  lol.gif

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mike
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PostFri Feb 12, 2021 4:28 pm 
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osmAnd+
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fourteen410
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PostFri Feb 12, 2021 4:42 pm 
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I pay for CalTopo and consider it well worth it, especially the satellite imagery and parcel ownership map layers. On my phone, I previously used the Backcountry Navigator app but switched to CalTopo last year. Only real complaint is that I have to download the entire USGS quad for offline use. Backcountry Navigator allowed me to select a portion of the quad to download (which saved space on my phone).
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babylero
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PostFri Feb 12, 2021 5:01 pm 
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Been using Gaia for a while. I use Caltropo sometimes, it's slope shading is better than GAIAs but I think it's easier to plot stuff in Gaia personally. I also like how GAIA works with my carplay.
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puzzlr
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PostFri Feb 12, 2021 10:26 pm 
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kite wrote:
love the Gaia desktop app

I think I know what you mean, but Gaia online is a browser interface. AFAIK there are no native MacOS, Windows, or other desktop Gaia apps.

Most of the Gaia interface works for me, but their method of filing tracks into folders really sucks online. You can make a change, refresh the screen, and the change is gone. Later, refresh again and it's there. So there's a server/browser synchronization problem that makes it really hard to organize dozens of tracks.

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zimmertr
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PostSat Feb 13, 2021 2:44 pm 
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Ha it took me about 4 hours to sort all of my Gaia tracks and routes one day and I'm a software engineer. Their directory UX is terrible. Their site reliability also sucks bad. It's down all the time, performs slowly, and crashes occasionally if you try and batch tasks. Like there's no queuing system or load balancing.

Still, Gaia is the best tool I've found.
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Bosterson
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PostSat Feb 13, 2021 3:01 pm 
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I used to drag a whole Garmin unit outdoors but since getting an inReach mini, I've only been taking that and doing my main navigation using the Caltopo app. (I'd been using Caltopo for planning for so long, I decided a few years ago to pony up the $$ to pay for a membership, and app access comes with that.) It's too bad you can't download offline tiles to the SD card vs having to use internal storage, but I delete the tiles I don't immediately need to save space. Some of the desktop web based features (like drawing a line to measure a route) are hard or impossible to use on the app (no mouse), but for general navigation it works great. (I generally use the Mapbuilder layer.) You can also save markers and other info while using the app and then it will sync to a saved map in your account for later. I've never tried Gaia for comparison, but Caltopo works great for what I need.

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Follow the river until it turns to ice. Follow the ice until it turns to rock. Follow the rock until it turns to sky. Then we will be there.
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cascadeclimber
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PostMon Feb 15, 2021 1:27 pm 
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Have been a Gaia user for years, but really disliked the "Your app is obsolete and the new one is a monthly subscription" move they pulled a couple years back.

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Randito
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PostMon Feb 15, 2021 1:47 pm 
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cascadeclimber wrote:
Have been a Gaia user for years, but really disliked the "Your app is obsolete and the new one is a monthly subscription" move they pulled a couple years back.

Software should be free right?  I mean paying $40 a year is just too much to pay for a tool that requires on going server side support to engage in an activity that typically requires consuming $20 in fuel costs to drive to and from the mountains each trip.
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Downhill
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PostMon Feb 15, 2021 3:10 pm 
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Like others posted above, I usually use CalTopo for planning my trip and route (save a copy to my phone and carry a printed copy).  In the hills, I have been using the free version of Gaia, but this past year it quit working for me.  At first, it would skip sections of my track, and then later my tracks were always a straight line between the TH and the destination, and the same on return (mileage and elevation were similarly incorrect).  I am going to try deleting the app and reload it and see if that fixes the problem.
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babylero
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PostMon Feb 15, 2021 3:42 pm 
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Agreed. I pay for Gaia premium and get good value from it. But I do acknowledge human psychology is a factor. I can easily spend 5 bucks on coffee on my way to a hike, but found it hard to pay 4.99 or whatever it cost for Dark Sky weather app...
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Feb 15, 2021 4:33 pm 
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I have a legacy subscription to Gaia as I got it when it first came out and helped debugging on version. I do not know if it includes all the new features.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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