It’s 2019. Slow download speeds are unacceptable

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14 comments

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    snell

    I completely agree with this observation.  Sometime back I recall a comment from representatives of Gaia suggesting that the new mapping platform would be accompanied with greatly improved download speeds (at least for some maps).  Any updates on that?

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    Robyn

    @TomMoen
    It looks like you may be using the Classic version of Gaia GPS. We made tremendous improvements in how Gaia GPS works on many levels in the updated app. 

    To get set up:

    If you have any trouble, shoot us an email at support@gaiagps.com

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    jwwilhit

    I just downloaded the app AGAIN from the android app store because Gaia stopped working completely. Resynced all of my tracks and I am trying to download some maps along a route and it is beyond agonizingly slow WHEN it works at all. Most of the time it just sits there and spins on a file that shows completely downloaded and never moves to any other downloads. It's been like that for over an hour now. I just don't understand how it can be so bad.

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    ChadSkidmore

    I have the "new" app on an iPad Pro and am experiencing the same glacial download speeds. I have tried from multiple networks, hardwired as well as wireless, and nothing has really helped. There are many things I like about the app but when I have to do map downloads for an area and it takes a good month to do so it is unacceptable.

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    Robyn


    Slow download speed issues are usually map source specific. @jwwilhit I noticed you may be trying to download the OpenStreetMap in the app. This map isn't available to download per request of the map source provider. Sorry about that!

    @ChadSkidmore Click here to contact support directly and we can take a closer look at your account to troubleshoot this issue. 

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    snell

    Robyn:

    Thanks for the information.  Relating download speed to the source of the maps makes sense.  However, one of the slowest downloads I usually experience is with Gaia's own topo map.  Do you serve that map directly?  If so, is there anything you can do to improve it's download speed?

    Thanks.

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    Robyn

    Hey @snell,

    Yes, Gaia Topo is served directly and is typically one of the faster maps to download. If you are experiencing slow speeds with this map source,  recommend:

    1. When downloading multiple large maps, pause a few of the downloads and only resume one or two at a time
    2. Leave Gaia GPS open on your phone while a download is processing
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    thomas.backhaus

    Same issue here. Download speed is a whopping 15 Mbps. I'm using the iOS version 2019.07.10 and I try to download one map at a time (Sweden topo) - for the last 12 hours.

    Any recommendations? I like the app, but this is a dealbreaker. It simply makes the app absolutely useless for hiking.

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    Robyn

    @thomas.backhaus It sounds like you may be downloading a pretty sizable map. Large map downloads can take some time - I recommend leaving the app open and your phone plugged in overnight for very large map files

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    thomas.backhaus

    Robyn -

    I have to admit that I fail to see how the map size relates to the download speed. Sure, a bigger map obviously requires more time than a smaller one. But 15 Mbps is just snail's pace for any map...

    The stats for that particular map were (if memory serves) roughly 600MB in total size, with a download time of ~20 hours. Just for comparison: a similar mapsize with e.g. google maps takes roughly 3 minutes.

    Yeah, it might be hard to compete directly with google maps in this context. But it should be possible to deliver things at a more reasonable speed.

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    jwwilhit

    It's the standard answer from Gaia... Instead of fixing the issue it is always a map size issue or some other excuse. Just plan on starting 2 days before you actually need the map. I'm not trying to be a jerk about it but it never seems to get better. It's been going on for at least a year as far as I know.

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    thomas.backhaus

    Yeah...Googling the issue seems to confirm that... Unfortunately.

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    TomMoen

    Yea. Unfortunately it looks like Gaia’s default answer is to pass blame and make an excuse instead of doing something to fix it. Might as well go to hema.

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    Ashli Baldwin

    Hey Folks,

    The long answer here is that there are a ton of factors that go into determining map download speed. 

    Some factors that could limit download speed

    a) One of them is how fast the server that the map is hosted on can respond. Sweden Topo isn't hosted by Gaia GPS, so there isn't really anything we can do to speed that up. 

    b) In addition to that, the server that hosts the map will likely be caching popular tiles -- that means if you're downloading maps in a less popular region, they won't download as fast as some other areas of the same map!

    c) Please also note that the speed you're seeing in the app reflects the actual speed it is being written to disk -- so it will never be the same speed as your internet connection.

    What we're doing about it 

    We do have control over Gaia Topo, and we've done a lot around making that map download blazing fast. 

    We also did a lot of work around being able to download certain types of maps faster. Are you familiar with the terms 'raster' and 'vector'? Vector maps are a type of map that we are able to get to download much faster -- and did some big projects to make them work in the app. Sweden Topo isn't a vector map source, unfortunately. But I wanted to mention this so that you know that we're doing what we can with maps that we don't host, where possible. 

    Notes for Android Users

    For folks on this thread that might be using Android - the 'vector' maps work is not yet complete, but it is in progress. You'll also want to note that if you've moved your root folder to your SD card, the download speed will also be limited by the transfer speed of your SD card.

    If you're still experiencing a problem

    Because there are so many factors that go into the speed of the map download, it is very difficult to look into without some specific information. Here are the steps I would recommend taking if you're still experiencing a problem:

    1. send an email to support@gaiagps.com
    2. let us know what type of device you are using
    3. let us know what map source you are downloading
    4. let us know the latitude and longitude of the area you're trying to download

    If we determine that there is something we can do to speed up that map, we will most certainly look into it.

    If I missed anything

    If I missed any important notes in this response, or if you have any questions or concerns, please send me an email directly to ashli@gaiagps.com.

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