Give the ability to Select Map download areas on gaiagps.com interface for Sync to iPhone

Comments

47 comments

  • Official comment
    Avatar
    Andrew

    Following up on this thread, I have a couple of notes:

    0) tl;dr; You'll be able to download maps using gaiagps.com/map sometime this year, hopefully in Q2. I'm not willing to spec an exact date yet, because of reasons below.

    1) There is actually big technical hold-up on doing areas/polygons (and with them map downloads) via gaiagps.com/map that I hadn't remembered when I posted before.

    Currently the web map uses a mapping framework called Leaflet under the hood, and it uses an old version of that framework to boot. We're planning to upgrade from Leaflet to another framework (Mapbox GL), for a variety of reasons, but a big one being so we can show vector maps on the web like we do on iOS.

    FYI, vector maps means styling/rendering the map on the device or in the browser, as opposed to sending down pictures/JPEGs of the maps and just showing the pictures. Advantages of vector maps include things like making the text crisp as you zoom in/out, letting text size settings affect the maps, making the maps smaller to download, etc, etc. 

    If you want to see the difference, compare Gaia Topo on iPhone (vectors) to Gaia Topo on gaiagps.com/map (not vectors).

    2) We shouldn't do the work to add an areas/download feature to gaiagps.com/map until we do this upgrade, because we'd have to redo the work. As is, we already have to redo a bunch of features on the map to support this upgrade. It is not trivial - it will take someone at least a month, probably more, and I imagine there will be follow on work to make sure it all works just right.

    3) So, we are planning to do this upgrade to Mapbox GL, and then we will also set it up so you can spec map downloads from the online map to sync to your devices - that feature isn't a huge job in of itself. I think we'll start that large project towards the end of Q1 and hopefully ship in Q2, but we are prioritizing trail search above this right now, and it's not something we can just peel one person off to knock out as a feature.

    And I can't put an exact date on it and feel confident because the current trail search project is big and hairy, and the Mapbox GL project is also big and hairy. So all I want to say at this point is shooting for Q2, and we do realize a lot of the community wants this feature.

     

     

     

  • Avatar
    apfisterer

    This feature would be a nice addition.  It can be difficult to pick the right area for map download using the phone interface.

  • Avatar
    brad

    My single biggest desire for the app.  So much easier on a big screen than on a small phone screen.

  • Avatar
    dougc

    Come on guys, everyone wants this feature, get after it.

  • Avatar
    rene.konijnenberg

    I agree... I am a an offroad guide in Greece and for planning and organising my tracks, waypoints and poi's, I need a normal desktop to work on. Just downloading the map around my tracks on my mobile device is not enough for me. I want a larger scale map when I am on route. 

  • Avatar
    jnbtcr

    @rene.konijnenberg for what you're talking about, create an area on your phone and then select download maps for the area instead of just for a track/route. (I realize that's not what the OP is asking for, but for your case it might be ok) 

    I'd prefer to be able to create areas via the web interface, too.

  • Avatar
    glennz

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Avatar
    MarkDupray

    Yes, when trying to grab big chunks of National Scenic Trails it would be so much easier on the computer. This would be a game changer. 

  • Avatar
    john.solodar

    I was getting ready to e-mail support to find out how to do this and stumbled across this thread.  Really need to add this feature.  I do much more planning from my computer screen than the phone and really would like this feature.

  • Avatar
    rescuejg

    Is anybody from GAIA listening?

  • Avatar
    Ashli Baldwin

    rescuejg,

    Yep, I'm here. It's a little tough to respond to every feature request - though if we did move forward on a feature, I'd come back and mark it as complete so you'd get a notification in your email.

  • Avatar
    arnold.tom

    Yes I want that feature too. Plus, I can NEVER remember how to even select an area to download from the iOS interface. Totally non-intuitive to me. I have to look it up every time, since I only do it a few times a year.

  • Avatar
    ken belt

    A no brainer...basic.  Please add.

     

  • Avatar
    Ashli Baldwin

    To clarify for everyone new to this thread -- it is possible to send maps to your phone from the website, with the caveat being that you can't manually select the area.

    To send a map to your phone:

    1. Go to gaiagps.com/map

    2. Search for a place, park, or trail

    3. An area will get highlighted on the map

    4. In the left panel, click 'Send to App'

    It'll send a map for the highlighted area.

    For this particular feature request, you're voting for the ability to manually define the area to send you to phone :)

  • Avatar
    fcernst

    Yes we definitely want to be able to easily select specific areas on our computers to download to our phones..

     

    I just tried your recommendation for a lake in Colorado which is just a short 1.5 mile hike from the highway, and it wants to download the whole Roosevelt National forest at a whopping 1.46 GB..

    Just need a much smaller area for this.

  • Avatar
    rjthtx

    7 months ago and nothing? Hmmmmmmmm. Cancels subscription*

  • Avatar
    Ashli Baldwin

    @rjthtx - shoot a message to support@gaiagps.com and we can help you with a refund. I think the apps existing features speak for themselves, but if this particular ability is very important to you, I understand.

  • Avatar
    apfisterer

    Maybe Gaia could provide us users with some insight as to what is going on.  I'm a software development manager so I deal with competing priorities for features and projects every day.  I also routinely make trade-offs on features and schedules due to complexity.

    Is the issue that this just isn't a high enough priority?  Or is this a particularly complex software problem for reasons mere users may not understand?

    Thx...Adrian.

  • Avatar
    Andrew

    @apfisterer It's not horribly complex, it's a whole feature to build, and we haven't prioritized it all that highly.

    That said, I'll evaluate the exact work for this and see if we can schedule it sometime soon. I'll write back here on the thread next week after our Tuesday staff meeting, I'm supposed to be on vacation at the moment.

  • Avatar
    fcernst

    '..we haven't prioritized it all that highly...

    That's odd..it has the most votes of any feature request..  Arguably this conspicuous intuitive capability should have been built in from the start for a Web app..

    We need to be able to quickly and easily delineate areas on the computer and put them in our Folders. Then the phone would sync up, and we would have all our areas on our phone.

    We also need to be able to turn on a layer in the Main Map on the computer to confirm our manually delineated areas with the bright orange areas. 

     

  • Avatar
    rescuejg

    If you work on this feature see if you can also add a feature to show what areas a user has already downloaded.  

  • Avatar
    Telar2

    ". Go to gaiagps.com/map

    "2. Search for a place, park, or trail

    "3. An area will get highlighted on the map"

    Yes but that only works if the app finds what I'm looking for.  Half the time my searches return an incorrect result or no result.  I'll bet that happens to a lot of people and that is why you are getting so many requests for this feature.

    One example:  The Ozark Highland Trail was cited by Outside Magazine as among the top seven winter backpacking trails, not in the US or North America but in the entire world.  My search only came up with a part of the trail.  The map does not have enough info to extrapolate what I need to highlight.

    I can usually get the coordinates off a paper map that would cover the area I need.  If I could enter those four coordinates and it was highlighted on the Gaia map then I could download it.

  • Avatar
    Andrew

    @Telar2 That's actually what we're prioritizing above this feature and all others at the moment - making the search for trails work well and provide complete, hike-able routes.

    More coming on the download maps via website thing though. 

  • Avatar
    Telar2

    Thank you.  Good luck on the endeavor.  Looking forward to this feature.

    While I'm at it extending subscriptions from the old app demonstrates a commitment to your customers.  I recognize that and others do as well.  That's how you hold customers and develop trust.  You don't have to be perfect if you show integrity.

  • Avatar
    apfisterer

    @Andrew : thank you for the update and technical description. As a developer I can completely relate to what you're going through and, yes, doing it twice sucks.  Sounds promising for backpacking season though.

  • Avatar
    fcernst

    Priorities...got it backwards #1 and #2..

    Still not hearing your hearing your customer's priorities on this... We don't care much for the "canned" search area the Trail Search routine would provide.

    Much better to be able to search for a trail, area, peak, lake, etc.  then be able to quickly and clearly delineate the area we want to download to our phone. 

     

     

  • Avatar
    dougc

    @Andrew:  Thank you for explaining the technical issues and your development plan.  Open communication with users will always result in a better product and increase customer loyalty.  I do agree somewhat w/ fcernst in that I would never use a "canned" search area from the Trail search routine.  It is also highly unlikely that I would ever search for a specific trail.  I do go into a general area and turn on all trails and look at them.  When I finally determine the area I am going to hike, I get very detailed with my download area depending on the landmarkers I want to make sure I have on my map for navigation purposes / emergency evac routes.

  • Avatar
    Andrew

    @dougc and @fcernst - I hear you, but a lot of folks are wanting to be able to discover hikes in Gaia GPS.

    The forum votes are one signal that guide work, but there are other measures too. Also, if we went strictly on votes, then the top voted feature would be geoPDF import, from the iOS board, which is a big request from the 'pro' users of Gaia GPS. 

    We will get to this work on the online map, and it is important. 

  • Avatar
    fcernst

    We are specifically talking about having the ability to delineate areas working from our computers. ..Really need to stay on point please..

    I haven't seen much interest here in the canned hike areas from users, actually the opposite.

  • Avatar
    kirk.visscher

    I'll be glad when you can download (vector) maps from the website, but in the meantime, I find it very useful to work on an iPad, even though I will use GaiaGPS in the field mostly on my phone.  The bigger display makes the selection of map area much easier, and it all syncs to my phone.

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