Need help with offline maps

CreeperSleeper

Cascade Cruisers
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To be honest, I don't even know exactly what I should be asking so I'm going to give you a lot of info first.

This is my background: I have never used a stand-alone GPS system other than my Garmin golf watch. The only experience I have with digital mapping is with the factory navigation system in the 4Runner and Google Maps. Everything I do is with a paper map usually a Delorme Atlas or a USFS unit map. I will use the navi or Google Maps (along with physical landscape features) to help find my position on the map, which is usually faster than calculating lat / long.

And now the "problem": I was given a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 for work, but it doesn't do what I need it to for work. I was thinking about using it for a digital map. The tablet is running Android 8.1.0, has 32GB of internal storage, and can use up to a 400GB MicroSD card. Bottom line is I don't know anything about this stuff and could use some recommendations on where to go from here.

I really need something that is simple to use (or I will just go back to my paper maps). I don't want to spend hours trying to find and download maps that I need. From my limited research, it seems like Benchmark digital atlases in Avenza Maps would do everything I would want, but I don't want to spend $25 per map. I already did that when I bought my atlases! I've heard that Gaia is good, but it seems like the features and usage would be over my head.

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated. Please feel free to ask more questions. I'm sure I am ignorant about almost all of this, so please speak to me like the dumb redneck I am. LOL!
 

CreeperSleeper

Cascade Cruisers
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I use an app called Backcountry Navigator and download free maps off the webs.

Thanks Kevin! Do you mind me asking what free maps off the webs and where you get them? Also, could you walk me through that process? I honestly have no idea what all that entails.
 

45Kevin

 
Joined
May 10, 2005
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Calgary, Alberta
I would find the area I wanted to wheel in and download map tiles onto my Galaxy Tab 7. The files are fairly large.
BC Navigator will lead you through this process. It is not the easiest app to use but a little practice will get you through it.
The app is quite cheap IIRC. Less that $20 a few years ago.
I have not tried any other nav apps so I don't have any comparisons.
The nav in my camper van has an SD slot and I am going to try using downloaded topo maps on that one of these days.
 
Joined
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Oregon
I just started playing with Gaia. I have some more experience with GPS than you do as I also have a older Garmin 60csx and Garmin 800 for biking so I am familiar with waypoints, tracks, etc.

I started with a Gaia account online, and then downloaded it to my phone to start, with cellular I had access to some of their maps. On my phone it was free to get the hang of it.

I got a used Samsung Tab E, 16g, 8" screen off Facebook marketplace and added a 128g card to it. I was able to google a couple month free trial period which opened up several other maps, roads, topo and satellite etc. I just started small with downloading local road and topo for my area and started using it in my car. Since I have DL'd the maps from home wifi, they are saved to the 128g card and they are then accessed offline.

It works pretty well so far, I'm still playing it, I have some little complaints but oh well.

I think your TAB A with the bigger screen would work very well. Give it a shot.

You can also download Google maps for offline use.
 

CreeperSleeper

Cascade Cruisers
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Thanks for your input! If you don't mind me asking, what complaints to do you have with Gaia?

I forgot about the offline Google maps. They also have terrain. I may need to try that out.
 

yotadude520

Mini-Truck Enthusiast
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I use Gaia too. It's pretty easy to use and does exactly what you need. The first time I used it I made my own map and then downloaded it into the app. Worked fantastic offline.

Google maps does work offline ONLY if you put your destination in somewhere online. Same with GAIA. You need to download the maps beforehand.
 
Joined
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Oregon
Chad, my complaints are minor, related to the app and not the maps, and might be user error.

With my TAB E, 8" screen Gaia uses a top and bottom toolbar which eats into the useable screen, IF these toolbars were transparent or had the ability to toggle them open/close it would be helpful for me.

When you download the different map pages/tiles you can view them under the lower 'saved' tabs. But unless you name each download specifically its hard to see just what you have downloaded. If Gaia could change the way you viewed what you had downloaded it would be nice. I look at the 'saved' tab for maps I downloaded, open it up and it opens up a map highlighting whats been downloaded. IF that makes sense.

Some other little stuff, day/night mode for screen brightness, etc .. but could still be user error
 

yotadude520

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Yeah, I just know that if it is too difficult, I just won't do it. LOL!
Yeah finding saved maps is just as easy as described above. When I made my own map for Gaia, I routed my route on Google Maps using coordinates and then once my route was created I converted it into a GPX. You have to get a Google API key but it's free. This is the website I used.

 
Joined
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And.... You lost me...

start small, download it to your phone, turn off the cellular to the app so it has to use wifi at home, download their road base map tiles for your area and play with it in the car.. easy pesy

And... If you find yourself in Salem area, LMK and we can borrow some wifi and get it set up


Chad, my complaints are minor, related to the app and not the maps, and might be user error.

With my TAB E, 8" screen, Gaia uses a top and bottom toolbar which eats into the useable screen, IF these toolbars were transparent or had the ability to toggle them open/close it would be helpful for me.

** and thanks to YouTube, I found out how to toggle the toolbars closed and open
 
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