Gaia GPS vs Premium



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    I'm sorry the difference between the two memberships was not clear. We want to make sure everyone is happy with their membership.

    A standard Gaia GPS Membership gives you access to over 50 base maps, allows you to download maps for offline use and print maps on

    Premium Memberships give you access to additional premium base maps and overlays, plus the ability to layer maps.

    Check out this article for more information on memberships. 

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    What you are paying for is the ability to download maps for offline use.  I use these maps extensively while playing in the mountains.  USFS 2016, caltopo, and national map are among my favorites.  Well worth the buy in price for me.

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    I agree with Chad - downloading maps for offline use is well worth the price.  In addition to his list, I favor several from the Premium membership - specifically World Imagery - high resolution satellite tiles that download reasonably quickly and take up a reasonable amount of space on an SD card.  An additional Premium feature I like is the ability to layer maps - specifically public lands over any of the other maps. I adjust the transparency of the public lands as a top layer and then see "through" the land designation to the roads, trails, contours or satellite imagery below.  I found that the public lands at zoom 12 provide great detail and can be downloaded for an entire state at that level.  The zoom 12 can be laid over higher resolution maps so route detail is fine for vehicle, mountain bike, or hiking and the land designation is always available.

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    If you are exclusively interested in satellite maps on line I would agree with you, since Google has higher resolution satellite maps than anyone else I've seen. However the open cycle map (which is the main one I use for hiking) has far more trails and other information than Google maps. I have recommended it to others and they all find it extremely useful and are happy with it. Google downloadable maps are in my opinion totally inadequate as a hiking map. Open Cycle Map is in a base level and I was happy with for years. I only upgraded to get the NeoTreks map.

    Aside from from supporting the application development in general (someone has to pay for that) you are pay for the hosting of web servers which contain large amounts of map data and the bandwidth to provide it to you, $20/year seems like a pretty good price for that. But hey if Google Maps provides all the features you need and your comfortable with their use of your private data, then you should use that.

    I don't care for your last sentence, there are many other apps that charge a similar amount of money or more for downloadable off line maps. And I doubt many people would agree with you.

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