Folders tragically broken

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  • Official comment
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    Chris Hill

    Hello all,

    Folders are now available in the Saved Items sidebar!

    We've implemented a lot of the features you've been asking for. Here are some highlights:

    • Nested folders - Items filed to folders are no longer shown at the root level. Opening a folder takes you to a view of just the items in that folder. This functionality should feel familiar to anyone who has used folders in Windows Explorer or Finder.
    • Create, edit, and delete folders from the sidebar.
    • Filter the sidebar by Folders
    • Adds a button to “Create a new item” to the saved items sidebar. Allows you to create new items while inside a folder.
    • Adds the ability to file items and folders to folders. Adds an interface that allows you to either select a recently used folder, create a new folder, or browse your existing folders.
    • Adds the ability to change the visibility of folders

    There are a few limitations with folders at the movement:

    • Folders shared with you will not be displayed below the root level.
    • From the sidebar, folder privacy can be toggled between public and private, but there is not a way to share or view the details of folders just yet. 
    • If an item is filed to a folder, that folder is not displayed when viewing the item’s details in the sidebar.

    We are continuing to work on this and we have a few follow-ups already planned:

    • Address the current limitations
    • Allow an item to be filed to a folder from its details sidebar
    • Improve support for shared folders


    You can read more about working with folders in the sidebar here.

    If you have any issues or feedback please reach out to Support here.

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    Greg

    I agree about 'folders tragically broken'. It is a real pain. Gaia GPS can be really powerful if some of this stuff would be cleaned up and designed intuitively.

     

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    jnbtcr

    I was going to start a new folders topic, but since this is already here...

    I agree with sjmj3us. The folder UI and structure is clunky and a little confusing. Instead of trying to invent a new folder system, go with what all (most) operating systems use. If you need inspiration for the web interface, look at google drive, onedrive, dropbox, etc.

    This should probably be a separate feature request, but adding the ability to tag objects (tracks, routes, waypoints, etc.) would make searching for things way easier. For example: I have a list of waypoints: trail heads, campgrounds, random points I think are cool, etc. I have to come up with a folder system now to organize everything so I don't have to scroll through all waypoints to find what I'm looking for. Instead, if I could tag my waypoints, I could easily apply a filter to find campgrounds in New Mexico. Or mountain bike trail heads in Arkansas. Said waypoint would be tagged: campground, New Mexico, Santa Fe National Forest, remote, etc.

    Currently, if I didn't diligently create the waypoint, then file it away in the right folder, I might forget/miss that one.

    If adding multiple tags to everything was an option and good filtering was in place, you could probably even forego the folder system?

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    John

    This is a total mess.  This isn't a folder structure that a lay person would understand.  I find no clear instruction given on how to navigate or manipulate these "folders". 

    If you accidentally file a folder into another folder what is that actually doing?  How do you get it back out?  Once you manage to get your data into a folder, the choices are download data, drive/navigate to, file this folder, and delete folder?  What does filing a folder mean in to the lay person in computer language?  Where is the option to move a single file into another folder?  Why even lead someone to the idea of using folders if you can't selectively put things in or out of them as you would typically think? 

    Imagine this: a paper file cabinet where you can put papers into a folder.  But, once they are in the folder you are told you can file that folder into another folder.  If you manage to file the a folder into another folder, you now see the papers in two different folders, but you don't know which ones are the real ones because they appear to be in both places.  When you look for instructions on how to use this filing cabinet, you get this:  https://help.gaiagps.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003640648-Managing-Folders-on-gaiagps-com .

    You're at an impasse or a mess because the process is non-standard and not sufficiently explained.  Where are the detailed instructions? There has been corporate acknowledgment of the problem--2 years ago!

    Because of the concern for losing my data, I created a folder for all of my personal waypoints in order to be able to download them.  Strangely, that seems to be the only way reach the option for downloading.  However, once you have made the new folder, selected the files and "filed them", you have no way of knowing if they actually have been moved into the folder or simply copied into the folder.  They--are--"Filed".  Confusingly, they still appear to be in the original Gaia pre-defined Waypoints folder, but are no longer on the main map page.  They are also now in the new folder you created.  how do you explain that to a user?  They have disappeared from the Gaia map, but they are found in two apparent folders.  Take a guess at which ones to delete or even how to undo what you've done! 

    This single source of confusion is enough to crush this platform for anyone wishing to use data points.  I can really see no excuse for why there isn't a comprehensive help page explaining how to understand these functions.  If they are non-intuitive, please at a minimum explain how it works.  Share your intuition with us.  Right now, it seems to be a total mess.

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    MTJ

    I don't know if it's just me but for the second time I deleted a folder when I meant to delete a track. I really just cannot tell in some cases beforehand what it delete. Also for me people like me it would be nice if they implemented a recycle bin maybe with a 30 day expiration, so I could get my data back after a screw up.

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    Greg

    Its not you. This thing is unusable for organizing your tracks/trips. Then I see all of these posts about tags but nothing happens. You can talk about tags all day long but unless its implemented its a waste of time. I don't get it...

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    Ashli Baldwin

    Switching away from folders to tags would be a monumental task, but the addition of tags is more doable.

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    jsdavis2296

    I so agree on the idea to make folders work like most OS systems.  It is so un-intuitive right now and so slow.  To be able to organize my data via a browser and have it show up on my mobile device would be a dream!  

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    MTJ

    Wow there are a lot of comments here. I wonder why so little work has been done in this area.

    I was trying to add photos to a track I recorded and somehow deleted the track.

    So first please implement a recycle bin.

    But because I wanted the track as a history I decided to create a synthetic one. What I did was recreate it in a route, downloaded it and uploaded it as a track. This is where I again entered the folder nightmare.

    1) The track doesn't show in my tracks? It says it's a track, but it's not there?

    2) It's in a folder of the uploads folder so I file to folder the track, except that's not what I appear to have done, what I did was move the folder with the same name as the track to 2020.

    3) Realizing this mistake I try and move the actual track.

    4) I attempt to attach my photos to this new synthetic track.

    What I now appear to have is two routes one in routes (is routes a folder or not?) and one in a sub-folder called 2020 of routes. Now I got two I don't understand.

    5) I remove the 2020 folder from routes (dangerous since I don't know what it's actually doing).

    6) Next I try and remove the route from the folder. I don't know how do do this so I look at the documentation here: https://help.gaiagps.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003525187-Managing-Folders-on-Android and it links to a "saved folder list" which is an IOS link and so I have no idea how to do this. Note to Gaia don't have Android directions link to IOS directions.

    7) Next I try and delete this new folder and have to do that three times and refresh before it actually disappears. Too bad it deletes the one I actually wanted right away but the erroneous ones stays around.

    8) So I go to tracks I don't specify any name and I upload by GPX file. Successfully uploaded and I'm in the uploads folder with a picture of my (hopefully track) and now I want to move track to my 2020 folder and it says "You don't have anything in this folder". There's a picture of it there and yet it won't acknowledge that it's there!

    9) A page refresh solves that. But it's a route. I asked to upload a track, not a route. I know I created it as a route but how does it know that? It's not like the GPX file tells it that.

    In some ways I rue the day I started using folders.

     

     

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    Greg

    This folder problem has been going on for at lease three years. I complained about it back then. Nothing with folders is getting fixed. If they don't respond to a plan to fix it then don't get your hopes up. They are ignoring this area for some reason.

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    duncan.hoge

    I'd agree with TAGS being a better mechanism for GPS track organization than FOLDERS. I'd actually hate nested folders, as a track can only belong to one folder. I'd much prefer being able to do one folder for each and then have global tags that I can associate regardless of folders. Then I could tag something with traits (hilly, flat, crowded, wishlist) etc. 

    TL;DR: Folders aren't broken, but there is a need for Tagging.

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    Ashli Baldwin

    Hi all,

    We see your feedback, and it's appreciated.

    FWIW we do plan a large scale overhaul of these folder pages, but I don't have an ETA on that just yet. We'd ideally like to wait until our UX designer returns from a current project he is doing elsewhere. 

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    TroySmith80

    I'm not going to read this whole thread, I trust there are good suggestions in it. Just look to basically any conventional file manager for examples. I just want to add my support for improvements here because I too find the functionality there sorely lacking. 

     

    I would like to be able to 'check' or 'enable' folders of tracks/routes/points on the map view, so that i can see more than one set of data on my map, but not have it cluttered with ALL my data.

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    BWSmith

    With the recent highly-touted Android update, I have subscribed to Gaia Premium for a year to see if it can support my use-case.  The map selection in Gaia is much superior to my existing application and the idea that I don't need to manually move my planned tracks/waypoints to the portable device is enticing.  I overland in a vehicle, sometimes leaving my home in northern Utah without a clear idea of where I am going to spend the next several days.   I currently use a popular Android GPS subscription app, which is interface and map dated but works without fail off-grid. In the other app, I have downloaded to a tablet all states to level 14/15 west of the Colorado/Nebraska line in Accuterra Land Use.  I have organized trail maps and waypoints by State.

    I am attempting to replicate something analogous to this system in Gaia GPS.  The principal issue seems to be just basic data management including folders, waypoints and tracks.  I am completely confounded by the folder system.  As an example, I presume that "File to Folder" means to move the data to the named folder, but it is not clear that it becomes a subfolder.  Or that you can reverse that process or even visualize the subfolder.  I see that this thread is at least three years old which leads to certain conclusions, especially since I am on the bastard platform.

    Also, the inability to hide whole folders in the web application, since that seems to be the default organizational method, seems to seriously limit the utility compared to something like Caltopo which is not really folder-based, but just file-based.  Sad, I love the mapping options in Gaia.

     

     

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    ajgbuy

    I have just done a tremendous amount of work regarding a new trail system, tracks, waypoints etc. I have loved the app until today when using GPS online I tried to put the data into folders and made mistakes. I don't seem to be able to rename a folder, move the data between folders, delete wrongly used folders without risking loosing the data. Consequently, I spent the entire afternoon looking for solutions and then came across this very weary thread. If at the outset, Gaia had admitted they could not yet offer a user friendly folder system I would still be a happy paid subscriber. Alas, I now join the list of disgruntled users.

    AJG 

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    John

    I've just come across another reason showing why Gaia needs to adopt a more coherent folder system.  Today, I needed to replace an old data set of over 1k imported waypoints.  Sadly, they are all mixed together in the My Waypoints "arena" (previously described as a page and not a folder).  There was no clear or efficient way to do this other than selecting the waypoints in 20-per-page increments and and deleting them. 

    Perhaps, if there were a working folder system--like any other software we all use--it would have been best to delete the contents of the entire folder.  

    As paying, premier customers, please either provide a detailed instruction manual describing how we should use your waypoint organizational system or give us a self-explanatory, intuitive folder system.  

    From the timeline on this thread, we're left to guess if the engineers are hamstrung pushing out newer map offerings, instead of building basic usability and function into the program.  Who knows?  Is this a largely abandoned project?

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    MTJ

    ajgbuy,

       As I have lost several tracks trying to do what you are doing, I my opinion you are doing the right thing and that is don't delete anything. If I had to go back the most I think I'd do is just create a folder called RecycleBin and move things it.That said there is this link:

    https://help.gaiagps.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115008582068-Ability-to-move-waypoints-tracks-in-out-of-folders

    I've never used it so I can't say if it's a disaster or not.

    Another thing is you can export an entire folder, to use a a back up.

    All that said I believe they are actively working on a redesign of the folder system, but they can take a very long time to push changes out.

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    wmacevoy

    +1, the folders and sharing folders are a mess.

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    Kristian Andersen

    Folks, any update on this? It really is amazing how bad folder/file management is and this request has been up for over three years now. Any movement of getting this updated? If you want to see how broken it is, try uploading a GPX file with five tracks and 25 waypoints in it - now move all of that to a single folder... Will probably take about an hour - but really should only take two seconds via drag and drop or "select all" > "move".

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    MTJ

    The tag concept sounds like gmail labels and I completely agree. What's nice is an object can have multiple labels which makes organization better. I think the direction in software engineering is to go away from folders and just use tags (in addition to Gmail, sharepoint seems to work that way).

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    jnbtcr

    Good call on the gmail labels. If they made tagging like gmail, that would be awesome! I love that I can "file" an email into a label but still have a bunch of tags for searchability.

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    Camp4x4

    Came across this post while posting another bug and figured I'd add my voice: I personally don't have any issue with the existing folder setup, save 1: the fact that things can only be in one folder at a time. I create folders for every trip I do so I can share it with the people going on it. That means when I do a trail (OHV 4x4 here) over multiple trips it ends up getting moved from one folder to the most recent. That's a bummer for people I've shared the folder with who'd like to have that folder as it was when we took the trip. Yes, those folks can and maybe should copy those tracks to their own folders, but that seems kind of silly when I've already created a folder.

    So, my one piece of input to this issue is this: please allow items (waypoints, tracks, routes) to be in multiple folders. If re-envisioning folders as tags makes this more possible then I'm all for tagging instead of folders.

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    David H

    I'm struggling with folders. I agree that it is not intuitive. 

    While we wait for an update - is there any post or description that recommends how you should organize your stuff using the current design? Geographically, Share-ability (public/private), Activity (bike/hike), etc? How were folders design to work?

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    cinemarob1

    Super glad this thread has your attention Ashli! This app's potential is enormous, unreal, now that phone batteries are getting to a tipping point where hikers can reasonably expect to keep a phone alive for a full day outdoors, or even a whole weekend with an external battery.

    When I bang my head against the UX problems trying to do basic organization stuff, it makes me feel like I am a very early beta tester, except I bought a subscription. I wish the fundamental features would be improved at the expense of the extraneous features in general. Is the Gaia team super small / is this like a group of developers' weekend passion project?

    I will continue to bricolage CalTopo and Gaia together to make one semi functional app. Can't wait for a more fully thought-out Gaia, crafted with more input from users. https://breakingsmart.com/en/season-1/running-code-and-perpetual-beta/ I could see it becoming a super polished thing that sells a lot of subscriptions and transcends its market and brings the company preposterous wealth

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    fjscot

    I'm really struggling with folders too (full disclosure: I struggle to use several areas of the app/site). There doesn't seem to be a way to edit folder names... when you select a folder during upload, it just creates a duplicate... moving things doesn't really work the way I would expect... it's kind of a mess.

     

    Looking forward to when they hire more designers and developers. As a seasoned product designer who's EXTREMELY passionate about the outdoors, peak-bagging, mountain biking, skiing, navigation, and wilderness first aid (the list goes on), I would love LOVE to work on a product like this... but not if we don't have the resources to address issues.

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    Sachelis

    Regarding workflow, I want to upload multiple items (e.g., waypoints) into a folder. E.g., a folder named, "Tetons".

    Currently, when I upload waypoints, they go into their own folder. One waypoint, one folder. That's not helpful for me. And if I upload multiple waypoints, each time specifying the folder as, for example, "Tetons", I'll end up with multiple folders named Tetons with only one waypoint in each.

    So I'd like:

    1. To be able to upload multiple waypoints (or tracks, etc) at one time.

    2. To be able to select an existing folder (from a list... not from memory) and to have the option of creating a new folder. 

    3. To not allow multiple folders with the same name.

    Thanks.

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    glacial_til

    I'm uploading some .gpx files for a bicycle trip. The files are from the Adventure Cycling Association. In order to group them by map section, I have to upload them one at a time, then navigate into that upload folder, click into the .gpx track, then manually add each one to the folder I want them in.

    My suggestions:

    1- Ability to upload multiple files

    2- Ability to upload files to an existing folder

    3- Select multiple files, then either drag and drop or use an 'add file to folder' button to move all of the files to the target folder

    4- Eliminate duplicate folder naming

    Folder management is extremely frustrating as it stands. Gaia has the potential to become a great repository for trip planning and histories, but only if I can organize all of my data in a simple, straightforward manner. 

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    zakzackzachary

    I would honestly love something similar to a file-structure-tree like how RockAuto does their parts list. Each thing could be a folder, within the folder it'd be nice to be able to toggle visible/hidden. Drag/drop waypoints and stuff. Right now folders are incredibly confusing.

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    bob

    I'll add to the list of people frustrated with folders. I'm coming from Basecamp and it is much better at managing and organizing tracks. A tree structure is an obvious interface for managing folders and it's not even difficult web programming. Basecamp is also better at showing and hiding tracks. I've lost folders in my attempts to hide the clutter on a map. Sigh. 

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    IDHikr

    I like the idea of tagging and filtering to find categories of things (mountain hikes, hikes with wildflower photos, specific people I've been with, etc.)

    I also find it useful to associate maps with tracks that are found on that map, and waypoints with the tracks on which they were collected. Folders can handle this kind of hierarchical organization easily, but doing it with tags might mean one tag per track and a second tag per map. That could get pretty cumbersome, so I don't think tags are a solution by themselves. 

    One possibility might be to use the Windows folder structure for hierarchical stuff and tags for everything else. Some photo programs already do something similar when they allow you to specify a folder with pictures (e.g., the "Pictures" folder) and automatically make everything in subfolders available for tagging, editing, etc.

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