Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => GPS Gear and Tips => Topic started by: RichardM on December 22, 2014, 10:52:46 PM

Title: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: RichardM on December 22, 2014, 10:52:46 PM
Anybody have any suggestions for the best (preferably free, because I'm cheap) app for topo maps on Android tablets? I'd like to be able to use our tablets for some offline navigation out in the Bend (in addition to some paper maps, of course).
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: Homer Wilson on December 23, 2014, 09:33:44 AM
It's not free, but backcountry navigator pro is definitely the best. You should look at Gaia GPS. I don't have any experience with it, but it's free and allows map downloading.
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: kevint on December 23, 2014, 05:30:02 PM
I've been intending to write up a little review for Avenza PDF maps. I have a full set of 1:24000 quads downloaded for the state and national parks as well as some others (like the 1903 map with the old names and roads. The maps are exact copies of USGS maps. I downloaded versions  before the orthographic quads that I don't like. It runs on iPhone or Android.

I believe the program is free.  It will work with any geopdf or geotiff. I have a suspicion that the maps generated by Caltopo are geopdfs but I'm not sure.
Title: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: kevint on December 23, 2014, 05:43:05 PM
Here are some screen captures from my iphone or ipad. The blue dots on some maps show my location at the time I made the screen shot.

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/12/23/e5bd781691444e113422609fb49eb256.jpg)

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/12/23/cc4033613b7c0fca17b8c862f6c751b3.jpg)

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/12/23/5d6648de435abecadb76c32dd46328fb.jpg)

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/12/23/122ccf899bf78ef3d64b1371ebeb6778.jpg)
IPhone

(http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/12/23/69d5c0973495f9b3a5e2992a0c7e0261.jpg)
The 1903 map.

I use it on my ipad when driving the back roads and on my phone when hiking. I would never use my phone as my sole nav aid but I like that I can view the USGS topos.

I don't have acess to my computer right now so this is what I can figure out to share.
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: bdann on December 23, 2014, 07:27:50 PM
It's not free, but backcountry navigator pro is definitely the best. You should look at Gaia GPS. I don't have any experience with it, but it's free and allows map downloading.

That's what I use (Android).  Not free, but you can try it for free.  Has come in handy at Big Bend and a few other places.
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: RichardM on February 09, 2017, 11:58:09 AM
Just thought I'd give this topic a bump, in case anyone has any new recommendations.

If anyone is interested I really liked using the app backcountry navigator pro. Very much worth the$10. Here's what I did for this trip.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/hpka.net/2014/06/11/making-your-own-backcountry-maps-waypoints-and-route-and-using-them-on-your-phone/amp/?client=ms-android-verizon
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: Schroeder on February 14, 2017, 10:00:59 AM
Yes, I really like backcountry navigator. It is definitely worth the $10. I was throughout the np and sp and had no gps issues with my phone. Most hikes I did I didn't have a gpx trail to use. I would use cal topo and place waypoints along my intended route. I also turned on 'tracks' everytime so I have them to use next time or share with others. Battery wasn't really an issue going on 5-6 hour hikes. Of course I printed out the maps to have on me with a compass. Highly recommended.
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: BlindWilly on February 17, 2017, 12:54:24 PM
I just bought a Galaxy Tab A before my trip to BBRSP this past December.
I have Avenza and BackCountry Navigator (the pro versions) on my tablet.
I had an easier time using the Avenza map. Backcountry has great reviews, but I found the interface to be a bit clunky.
With Avenza I was able to download the topo maps from the National Geographic site ( http://www.natgeomaps.com/trail-maps/pdf-quads) and center on them when I was within range.
(I mainly used the "Discovery Topo" map from the state park site.)

My buddy uses the Giia maps on his tablet and loves it. I just haven't tested that one out yet.

I believe all of the options have a free version to test.

Hope this helps a bit.
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: backpacker56 on April 25, 2019, 07:59:19 AM
I just bought a new Android phone and thought I'd explore GAIA.  The free version restricts you to their Gaia Topo maps and doesn't allow map downloading.  The basic membership is $20 annually.
https://www.gaiagps.com/membership/
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: backpacker56 on April 25, 2019, 08:28:38 AM
Here's a link to Avenza GPS pricing/features page:
https://www.avenzamaps.com/subscription_tiers
Title: Re: Best topo map apps for Android?
Post by: backpacker56 on April 25, 2019, 11:48:43 AM
I bought the Backcountry Navigator PRO app for my phone.  I foresee a very long, steep, learning curve.  I don't know why I have such problems with these interfaces.  The intuitive menus and features never seem to make immediate sense to me.  I downloaded a map from CalTopo.  It looks horrible, surrounded by tiles, and every so often I accidentally create a bogus waypoint that no amount of effort can delete or undo.  The compass screen doesn't work; the compass just sits there... :banghead: