Hema vs Gaia

I know this might be a contentious topic and previous discussed within some of the threads on here, but it would be great to get a thread going for some discussion on the pros and cons of each. Why people have chosen Gaia or Hema for their needs and why did you chose it? In the context for North America, which one do folks like the most? If you were to include mapping for Mexico, C. America, and S. America would your choice change? Is route creation easier on one than the other?

Thanks,
Spencer
 

Frdmskr

Adventurer
There are threads on this. The biggest problems with HEMA relate to the price, interface, perceived lack of support and poor maps. Hence most people use Gaia.


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Beowulf

Expedition Leader
I really like Gaia. I have not used HEMA yet, but Gaia does everything I need except turn by turn navigation while offroad. For that I'm piloting NavMii and CoPilot.

The feature I really like about Gaia, which HEMA may have, is the ability to download many different map layers for access and overlay at any time. Its only downfall is the maps are routed through Gaia, but official download from the creator source, such as Trails Illustrated. This means that some map layers download painfully slow. But, you get used to that and once you have them, the pain is over.
 

John E Davies

Adventurer
This means that some map layers download painfully slow. But, you get used to that and once you have them, the pain is over.
If you leave the app running at night, do NOT let it go to sleep or run in the background, the downloads are way WAY faster. If your screen is bright, dim it down. I downloaded 30 GB of data in one night.

The only feature I like about HEMA is the base road map. I like how easy it is to see my position, the downside being the detail level is low. The rest of the app is beyond garbage. It is frankly appalling.

GAIA Premium is fantastic, USFS 2016, plus MVUM to tell you were you can go, is a teriffic resource. Customer service is good and they are continually offering new layers and features.

John Davies
Spokane WA
 

Sunpilot

Observer
How does the Gaia app perform off road with no internet signal? Is there any degradation of maps? Can I still zoom in to all levels? Running it on an Android tablet.
 

Oilbrnr

Active member
You download the map layers for the areas you want to your device. No internet access is needed after that point.
 

Howard70

Adventurer
How does the Gaia app perform off road with no internet signal? Is there any degradation of maps? Can I still zoom in to all levels? Running it on an Android tablet.
There is not a single answer. In our experience with about 180 gb of downloaded maps, our Android tablet frequently choked and required downloading all over again. However, that was with micro sd card storage not resident storage.
We looked into the issue and hypothesized that resident memory might not have the problem and we looked at the various differences between Gaia Android and Gaia Apple tablet. We decided to bite the bullet and shift to an IPad Pro with 1 TB of memory (not just for Gaia - we do video and photo editing as well). The difference is night and day. Maps download faster, nothing has choked yet (around 250 gb of downloaded maps) and we like the Gaia interface better on the IPad. Believe me it hurts to say that - I've scoffing at Ipads for many, many years!

The degree to which you can zoom in depends on the resolution that you choose at download. More resolution, more zooming but longer downloads and much greater requirement for storage space. Some of the maps are in vector format on the Apple platform which greatly decreases the space and download times. I think Gaia plans to move to vector in the Android side also, but we didn't want to wait.

Howard Snell
 

Sunpilot

Observer
There is not a single answer. In our experience with about 180 gb of downloaded maps, our Android tablet frequently choked and required downloading all over again. However, that was with micro sd card storage not resident storage.
We looked into the issue and hypothesized that resident memory might not have the problem and we looked at the various differences between Gaia Android and Gaia Apple tablet. We decided to bite the bullet and shift to an IPad Pro with 1 TB of memory (not just for Gaia - we do video and photo editing as well). The difference is night and day. Maps download faster, nothing has choked yet (around 250 gb of downloaded maps) and we like the Gaia interface better on the IPad. Believe me it hurts to say that - I've scoffing at Ipads for many, many years!

The degree to which you can zoom in depends on the resolution that you choose at download. More resolution, more zooming but longer downloads and much greater requirement for storage space. Some of the maps are in vector format on the Apple platform which greatly decreases the space and download times. I think Gaia plans to move to vector in the Android side also, but we didn't want to wait.

Howard Snell
I won't make the move to iPad just for mapping software as I am comfortable with Android. I was just curious how the app performs. I see that you have a ton of maps downloaded. What happens at the end of your yearly subscription? I assume if you don't pay up your maps become useless? BTW, was your previous Android tablet an older model? Perhaps the newer tabs might be better?
 

Rando

Explorer
I had the same experience - Gaia works beautifully on my older iPhone, so I bought an Android tablet (primarily so I could use SD cards for large map sets) and Gaia really didn't work very well. Downloads were spotty, the app crashed frequently and would take for ever to render maps that were already downloaded. I went back to using it on my iPhone and may buy a iPad with more storage at some point in the future.
 

Sunpilot

Observer
I had the same experience - Gaia works beautifully on my older iPhone, so I bought an Android tablet (primarily so I could use SD cards for large map sets) and Gaia really didn't work very well. Downloads were spotty, the app crashed frequently and would take for ever to render maps that were already downloaded. I went back to using it on my iPhone and may buy a iPad with more storage at some point in the future.
Wow, it's a shame that Gaia sells their app for the same money, regardless of which platform, but they don't seem to work the same. It's frustrating to Android owners. Gaia should really address the disparity
 

Rando

Explorer
I think it is inherently more difficult to make more complex and resource hungry apps work as smoothly on android - the are so many more variables in android hardware, a multitude of processors, storage speeds, screen sized etc. With iOS you only need to test on a couple of platforms (a few generations of iphone and ipad) and you know it will work across all iOS devices. I am not saying that apps can't work well on most android devices (with a large developer and test team), but I understand why they can work better on iOS when you have limited resources.
 
Howard. You have come the closest to answering my queries about downloading maps I bought an android tablet. And a 128 gig micro sd chip then proceeded to download large areas of the west at a zoom level 15 the file sizes were 300 000 tiles or more and the first couple of downloads looked good. However when I got away from a cell signal I found that I could only zoom to about level 11 or 12. I found out later that at least with Gaia the max down load size is a 100000 tile. Lately I have been considering biting the bullet paying for Gaia using a high memory iPad and seeing what I could accomplish. So a couple of questions. Using Gaia how large an area are you downloading and at what zoom or resolution? I also saw that Gaia maps are a 1:48000 scale so roughly 4 times as large as 124000 usgs topo map. Is that correct. What kind of topograhic contour interval do they have and how far in can you zoom ? Would you do anything different? Thanks
 
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