Android Navigation Software Advice

Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
3,239
Location
Oregon
 
 
 
So I'm looking for advice on navigation software to run on my Samsung S4 tablet. It has a 512GB card in it as well. A requirement is that I want to have large amounts of offline maps, as in entire states. When we go out, we never really know where we will end up and to can't really plan our routes ahead of time. I tried Gaia, but it seemed like getting large offline maps wasn't practical. I'm currently running US Topo Maps Pro, which does fill these requirements and it has worked reasonably well allowing me to download topo maps as well as USFS maps and a few other types as well. However, I was hoping to also get access to Caltopo maps, which doesn't seem to be supported in this app. Additionally, I am hoping for something to create A to B via C routes. The current app does a good job in tracking me and exporting these tracks to GPX, which is great.

TIA
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
3,239
Location
Oregon
 
 
 
I don't mind paying. I would prefer to pay just once but it seems that most now have only subscriptions. US Topo Maps Pro was only a one time charge of around $10 and I have access to USGS Topo, NFS, etc. I just wish I could use Cal Topo and do routing.

How do you deal with offline maps? Again, the one time I tried Gaia, it seemed I could only download a small section of maps.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
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545
Location
Palo Alto, California
I don't mind paying. I would prefer to pay just once but it seems that most now have only subscriptions. US Topo Maps Pro was only a one time charge of around $10 and I have access to USGS Topo, NFS, etc. I just wish I could use Cal Topo and do routing.

How do you deal with offline maps? Again, the one time I tried Gaia, it seemed I could only download a small section of maps.
You can download entire maps on Avenza. I have the MVUM's and Forest Service maps in my state.

You can also offline Google Maps but those are topos, only the road maps.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
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Oregon
 
 
 
You can download entire maps on Avenza. I have the MVUM's and Forest Service maps in my state.

You can also offline Google Maps but those are topos, only the road maps.
Can you tell me more about Avenza? Does it do routing, tracks (GPX exports), Caltopo)?
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
545
Location
Palo Alto, California
Can you tell me more about Avenza? Does it do routing, tracks (GPX exports), Caltopo)?
The Avenza app is free; they make money by selling maps. Download it and give it a shot. I have no experience with routing but it does create tracks of your drive.

I have limited use of Caltopo. So far, I have downloaded tracks from Caltopo and uploaded them to Gaia. I suspect this should work for Avenza too.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2003
Messages
3,918
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
 
 
 
I use backcountry navigator. Last big trip through western Oz bush (about a 4000km loop) I had pre-downloaded a LOT of bing aerial map stuff (much better coverage at aerial quality versus satellite resolution than google earth). About 50gigs worth :) The only trick is to download as a tiled database (sqlite) otherwise the tiles would create 100's of thousands of little files that brings android to its knees. You can download at quite high resolution at least 50 to 100 mile rectangles/shapes. Basically need to keep each sqlite 'file' at about 4gig max (to made android happy again).

That gave us aerial quality imagery of our entire trip (both on a tablet running on the dash) and on our two android phones. So, whether on foot or in vehicle we had very good imagery to navigate by (when tracks weren't marked on maps or had 'faded' over the years).

With backcountry running on the tablet and on the phones (obviously with cell turned off - since there's mostly no cell out there...) the copilot could be looking at maps as well as the driver to help with decisions.

I also run oziexplorer (just because maps are much more scarce in oz vs the US) and have that going in parallel with backcountry (they obviously share the same tablet/phone GPS) and then one can quickly switch between map and aerial as quick as switching the app focus. This allowed us to compare the map's topology/tracks with aerial when trying to locate a 'faded' track.

Track log running all the time, so we had a continous log of the entire trip in multiple devices. Since we carried the phones (as a GPS) when on foot etc, we had logs of the driven trip and also all our on foot excursions.

cheers,
george.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 25, 2008
Messages
1,161
Location
Sacramento area, CA
 
 
If you are a Ham or thinking of becoming one, look into APRSDroid as it maps you and other folks with APRS on your tablet. Also can send location to the internet so family can track you, if you are in range of a repeater. This link shows some examples of what internet view looks like.
Curious about APRS - here is my last week
You would still need other mapping software to do routing, but does add a unique set of features.
Highly recommend Ham for offroading.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
3,239
Location
Oregon
 
 
 
I use backcountry navigator. Last big trip through western Oz bush (about a 4000km loop) I had pre-downloaded a LOT of bing aerial map stuff (much better coverage at aerial quality versus satellite resolution than google earth). About 50gigs worth :) The only trick is to download as a tiled database (sqlite) otherwise the tiles would create 100's of thousands of little files that brings android to its knees. You can download at quite high resolution at least 50 to 100 mile rectangles/shapes. Basically need to keep each sqlite 'file' at about 4gig max (to made android happy again).

That gave us aerial quality imagery of our entire trip (both on a tablet running on the dash) and on our two android phones. So, whether on foot or in vehicle we had very good imagery to navigate by (when tracks weren't marked on maps or had 'faded' over the years).

With backcountry running on the tablet and on the phones (obviously with cell turned off - since there's mostly no cell out there...) the copilot could be looking at maps as well as the driver to help with decisions.

I also run oziexplorer (just because maps are much more scarce in oz vs the US) and have that going in parallel with backcountry (they obviously share the same tablet/phone GPS) and then one can quickly switch between map and aerial as quick as switching the app focus. This allowed us to compare the map's topology/tracks with aerial when trying to locate a 'faded' track.

Track log running all the time, so we had a continous log of the entire trip in multiple devices. Since we carried the phones (as a GPS) when on foot etc, we had logs of the driven trip and also all our on foot excursions.

cheers,
george.
Are you using the "new" XE version or just the "Pro" version? I may just try the Pro since it is a one time charge ($15) and it looks like you then have access to the Caltopo maps that I am wanting.
 
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