I've been using the new Map Pack beta feature. Here are some thoughts.
I'd first like to offer praise that the approach offers creative solution to a problem I noticed and wrote in feedback about ways I used CalTopo (with hotkeys to toggle things, to get more dynamic and temporary view of one screen) that did not have obvious translation to the more mobile-centric GaiaGPS. (As an aside: now I just need a more invasive/detailed slope shading overlay that shades even slight grades, to solve my use case that takes me into CalTopo, which is fine as it goes but is inconvenient for me)
The use of map packs with the compact "tray" of four elements of "Map Packs" that can be swapped, and four "Overlays" that can be toggled, is a mobile-compatible solution for this.
In this way, there is some level of adaptivity and run-length-coding of how many interactions are required to achieve something and turn on and off various layers, in an environment where there can be no hot keys. Well done.
Another, distinct advantage of Map Packs is it takes the somewhat high-effort/obsessives-only blog-post method of instructing GaiaGPS customers how to use the product to achieve things and automates the grunt-work out of it. I personally learned about the hydrography layer from Map Packs. I'm a fan of the pack "Water."
In what I think is probably an omission, I notice that the tray for Map Packs use a most-recent-use algorithm (which is useful) and the tray for Overlays uses a lexical order (really not useful at all, and seems like an omission).
I also have noticed odd and sporadic problems with overlay opacity. Sometimes the hydrography layer seems to have maxed out its opacity for no reason, rendering lakes and the like black.
Although fitting for a new feature, the omission of Map Packs from gaiagps.com is obvious, but resolving it is somewhat tricky, since I use gaiagps.com differently than mobile. I think the situation has solutions, though.
It takes tons of clicks to mess around with customizing layers on a map. Though Map Packs and Overlays have made switching and toggling quick, exploration and dynamism of a more fine-grained kind is laborious and leaves me very conscious that the UI is pushing me towards saving my edits, even when I really just wanted to view the one screen with a different set of opacities for but a moment.
I think this problem is perhaps fixable, by having a special anonymous "customization" layer state associated with each overlay that works more like the existing layering system, that perhaps can be toggled on and off and/or saved into a new overlay and named, or saved back into the existing Overlay...but only in the relatively rare case when the user thinks they have a settings with broad enough use to bother filing. Were it me, quite often I'd be editing the sliders and layer order to look at a map a bit, then dropping all my changes in the next moment. For example: I like to amp up the orange opacity on "roadless areas" to really make some places on the map "pop," then turn it down quite a bit for finer work. I also find it useful to shuffle the layer order in similar dynamic fashion, e.g. when combining "public lands" or "private property" with this.
Otherwise the anonymous layer customization could be toggled off or cleared, filling in some of the weaknesses of the dynamism exchanged for via Map Packs & Overlays.
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