Need help with offline mapping

deserteagle56

Adventurer
I think I gotcha. So the benefit of the Garmin is the mapset fits on the unit, only requiring to download it once, correct? I was under the impression I could do the same thing with other maps, but I guess I never calculated out exactly how much storage I would need. In my mind I was thinking that I could download mapsets by region, like the Garmin 24k maps, to run off of the tablet using XYZ app and have better maps that would always be on there.
That's correct.
 

digitalnomad

New member
Thanks digitalnomad. I looked at the OSMAnd website and it looks to be more for guidance on the beaten path. Does it work well in remote areas (i.e. logging or forest service roads)? Google Maps and the factory Navi work well for major roads. I am looking for something to take me off the beaten path.
I've never been to the OSMAnd website. Their target market is probably city people. OSM is a community map. People submit trail data all the time. I spend 90% of my time outside the city and in the country. 10% is for getting supplies.

I've spent years looking for a mapping provider. For back country travel, there isn't an exact road/trail reference except for satellite imagery and satellite imagery offline for wherever you want to go is hard. OSM has had trails Google didn't have and vise-versa. Typically, OSM has had all the off-road trail mappings that I've referenced.
 

GregSplett

Adventurer
I use the OonX hunting app on Tab A 10.1 and love it. I went with OnX because they were the only digital maps that were correct for my area. Gia is absolutely lost. I love it. Offline does require that you sit down before a trip and download the maps you need but it is super easy. Find the area you want, hit offline, hit save map decide between 100, 10 or five mile and download. I love and recommend onX . I need to call and verify that their chips work with the app and if so I am buying my states chip. I have talked with them on the phone before and they are super helpful and there for whatever you need. Great guys. Did I say I liked it?LOL good luck.
 

CreeperSleeper

Looking for bigger rocks.
I use the OonX hunting app on Tab A 10.1 and love it. I went with OnX because they were the only digital maps that were correct for my area. Gia is absolutely lost. I love it. Offline does require that you sit down before a trip and download the maps you need but it is super easy. Find the area you want, hit offline, hit save map decide between 100, 10 or five mile and download. I love and recommend onX . I need to call and verify that their chips work with the app and if so I am buying my states chip. I have talked with them on the phone before and they are super helpful and there for whatever you need. Great guys. Did I say I liked it?LOL good luck.
Thanks Greg. If you don't mind me asking, what is your area?
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
I use the OonX hunting app on Tab A 10.1 and love it. I went with OnX because they were the only digital maps that were correct for my area. Gia is absolutely lost. I love it. Offline does require that you sit down before a trip and download the maps you need but it is super easy. Find the area you want, hit offline, hit save map decide between 100, 10 or five mile and download. I love and recommend onX . I need to call and verify that their chips work with the app and if so I am buying my states chip. I have talked with them on the phone before and they are super helpful and there for whatever you need. Great guys. Did I say I liked it?LOL good luck.
Tell me how that works when your internet speed is measured in kilobytes instead of megabytes?
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
How what works?? Why do I feel like this is not a genuine question but a smart arse remark.
Not at all. You, like so many others, assume that everyone lives in an area where high speed internet is a given. But a lot of us live where there is no high speed internet - there are no fibre optic lines within miles of where I live. So downloading a map of any size either takes way too long or just won't happen at all because the connection times out.

I tried using a spare Samsung Galaxy S5 as a GPS unit but waiting for hours to download a map did not work for me.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Not at all. You, like so many others, assume that everyone lives in an area where high speed internet is a given. But a lot of us live where there is no high speed internet - there are no fibre optic lines within miles of where I live. So downloading a map of any size either takes way too long or just won't happen at all because the connection times out.

I tried using a spare Samsung Galaxy S5 as a GPS unit but waiting for hours to download a map did not work for me.
You are still using dial-up? Has your local provider given you any options to transition from a PSTN phone? I'm not being facetious, analog copper phone lines are going to disappear unless something in the FCC and industry changes simply due to lack of maintenance.

There's zero reason any of the telecoms will want to keep copper lines going unless they are already currently capable of supporting DSL in high density areas (e.g. close to central offices) and the FCC is encouraging switching to IP-based phones as quickly as possible, so there's not much sympathy in continuing the regulation as a common carrier monopoly that required rural copper in the first place and they will fall into disrepair even if technically they are supposed to continue to exist.

Point being that if being semi-off the grid and not having access (or budget) for DSL, cable, satellite, microwave or cell-based Internet is a real issue. Public WiFi or access at libraries only gets you so much flexibility, not to speak of inconvenience. However getting stable, slow access at the most difficult-to-service fixed location is better than relying on the availability of maps online real time while traveling in the backcountry, so having preloaded SD cards mailed to you for a digital mapping solution might be an option.
 

MOguy

Explorer
I still like paper maps and a compass. I do have a GPS and an app on my phone. In my area HERE seems to have all the forestry trails. HERE is like old school Tom Tom and you can't down load maps. I can it the home button and it will route be back to my house. On the paper map I just use a pencil and mark the trails or at least I did. My GPS is so old and out of date I doubt it links to anything.

Most of the time I leave the mapping to others (yes I am a follower) in the group but I still like the paper maps. I do believe the GPS stuff is great and but it seems people get too worried about staying "on track" and forget to explore.

For me paper maps let me see the "big picture" laid out over the hood of my Jeep, not a 4" screen fastened to my dash where I am just a little triangle trying to follow a fat line on my smart phone screen.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
You're right about digital navigation @MOguy, I also find knowing GPS position works best to augment paper maps not replace them. I do use GPS receivers pretty much all the time, though. It's as much about recording tracks as it is about following them in my use. The GPX files I use for analysis later, miles covered, elevation gained or noting features or waypoints I might use again. It's just a more efficient way of what I've always done marking spots or tracing routes on maps or documenting specific places in logbooks.
 

MOguy

Explorer
You are still using dial-up? Has your local provider given you any options to transition from a PSTN phone? I'm not being facetious, analog copper phone lines are going to disappear unless something in the FCC and industry changes simply due to lack of maintenance.

There's zero reason any of the telecoms will want to keep copper lines going unless they are already currently capable of supporting DSL in high density areas (e.g. close to central offices) and the FCC is encouraging switching to IP-based phones as quickly as possible, so there's not much sympathy in continuing the regulation as a common carrier monopoly that required rural copper in the first place and they will fall into disrepair even if technically they are supposed to continue to exist.

Point being that if being semi-off the grid and not having access (or budget) for DSL, cable, satellite, microwave or cell-based Internet is a real issue. Public WiFi or access at libraries only gets you so much flexibility, not to speak of inconvenience. However getting stable, slow access at the most difficult-to-service fixed location is better than relying on the availability of maps online real time while traveling in the backcountry, so having preloaded SD cards mailed to you for a digital mapping solution might be an option.
Internet for some people is getting worse and worse. I live rural. My speed went from about 1.5 mbps to about .5mbps. I have Century Link. When I called an complained they said it will not get any better, it is beyond capacity and they won't do anything about it. The best they would do it give me $10 off a month. Nobody has land line in my area for years because Century Link won't maintain it. Their inter net services seems to be heading in that direction. Access to it is limited, if I drop it Century link I won't get it back, they are not taking new customers. The only option is a hotspot on my cell phone. Hughes net won't show up and there is some service through direct tv and the people in my area who have it say it goes out allot.
 

Other Orb

New member
You can send a portable drive to the USGS and they will fill it with whatever maps you ask for and send it back. Those are in geoPDF format, which Avenza (among other apps) uses. The full data storage requirement is about 1.9 TB, so it's a bit more than your tablet can handle, but if you know you're only looking data that cover a certain region or specific states, you can ask the USGS for just those data.

[Edit to add] The nice thing about getting the geoPDFs is that if there's a particular paper map you'd like to have, you can take that PDF, print it on your personal printer or at a large-format print shop like Kinko's or your favorite engineering print shop to have whatever size paper map you desire.

 
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