Gaia GPS versus Onx maps

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!

Tray

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

1,990
San Antonio, TX, USA
First Name
Tray
Last Name
Cooper
Member #

16777

Ham Callsign
WB5TRA
So I am looking for the best mapping for the money. Since both Gaia and onx charge memberships for the "extra features", does anyone have both...and if you do and you had to choose one for off roading/overlanding which would you pick and why.

I always thought of onx as more for hunting but it appears they atrying to capture some of the offroad business too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jku Ben

JeffnMar

Rank I
Member

Contributor II

271
Oregon
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Wilson
Member #

17026

I don’t have any experience with onyx , but have used Gaia successfully for some time now ,mainly for over landing .

- route planning features
- downloadable maps
- several of the premium maps are top notch
- layering of maps
- use on both my iPad ( driving) and iPhone (hiking).


Just my two cents , I was primarily using pocket earth for the longest time . I now use pocket earth to mainly save my waypoints , Gaia for everything else ..
 

Tray

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

1,990
San Antonio, TX, USA
First Name
Tray
Last Name
Cooper
Member #

16777

Ham Callsign
WB5TRA
I don’t have any experience with onyx , but have used Gaia successfully for some time now ,mainly for over landing .

- route planning features
- downloadable maps
- several of the premium maps are top notch
- layering of maps
- use on both my iPad ( driving) and iPhone (hiking).


Just my two cents , I was primarily using pocket earth for the longest time . I now use pocket earth to mainly save my waypoints , Gaia for everything else ..
Thanks for your insight, I appreciate that!
 

Jku Ben

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,857
Alpine, CA
Member #

10566

I could be wrong but to the best of my knowledge both mapping programs were created by the same 2 guys that invented this product. I have used on x maps for hunting for the past 4 years & after getting into overlanding got the Gaia app & I could have sworn in my research it the same guys.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

Tray

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

1,990
San Antonio, TX, USA
First Name
Tray
Last Name
Cooper
Member #

16777

Ham Callsign
WB5TRA
I could be wrong but to the best of my knowledge both mapping programs were created by the same 2 guys that invented this product. I have used on x maps for hunting for the past 4 years & after getting into overlanding got the Gaia app & I could have sworn in my research it the same guys.
That's interesting, a lot of the premium features are very similar except on x is much more expensive. Have you tried using on x for overlanding yet? If so, which do you prefer?
 

Jku Ben

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,857
Alpine, CA
Member #

10566

No I have not only have on x for my I pad, I phone, & have a couple of micro sd cards for my garmin e-trex 30. Love on x for hunting for property lines, property owner info etc. love Gaia for off-roading/overlanding. Just my 2 cents & im sure you could use either for dual purpose to save some $ I can say both apps or programs work great. Money well spent.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

Tray

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

1,990
San Antonio, TX, USA
First Name
Tray
Last Name
Cooper
Member #

16777

Ham Callsign
WB5TRA
No I have not only have on x for my I pad, I phone, & have a couple of micro sd cards for my garmin e-trex 30. Love on x for hunting for property lines, property owner info etc. love Gaia for off-roading/overlanding. Just my 2 cents & im sure you could use either for dual purpose to save some $ I can say both apps or programs work great. Money well spent.
Many thanks!!!
 

PNW EXPLR

Rank VI
Member
Supporter +

Influencer I

3,898
Kennewick, WA, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Denniston
Member #

3030

I use both for different activities like others. I would love to be able to import the x overlay to Gaia. I have spotted some nice game while exploring and have wondered what area I was in.
I wyoming, it is sometimes difficult to find access to BLM land because it is locked up by private. Sometimes there is a tiny strip that is made unrecoverable by land owners....on purpose.
If you pay a membership you should have the rights to the maps. I have always had a peev that my membership is via my smart device, but I have to but a chip for my garmin.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

Tray

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

1,990
San Antonio, TX, USA
First Name
Tray
Last Name
Cooper
Member #

16777

Ham Callsign
WB5TRA
I use both for different activities like others. I would love to be able to import the x overlay to Gaia. I have spotted some nice game while exploring and have wondered what area I was in.
I wyoming, it is sometimes difficult to find access to BLM land because it is locked up by private. Sometimes there is a tiny strip that is made unrecoverable by land owners....on purpose.
If you pay a membership you should have the rights to the maps. I have always had a peev that my membership is via my smart device, but I have to but a chip for my garmin.
I went ahead and bought the Gaia premium membership, which is cheaper than the on x. With the premium you can put the same overlays on the map to show public and private lands. I don’t know if it’s better than on x but it’ll help out during this next hunting season in NF, so we’ll see.
 

Maverick1701

Rank I

Traveler I

136
Lubbock, TX, USA
First Name
Chris
Last Name
Tiedemann
Ham Callsign
KG5KBG
I vote for Gaia. I switched last year and now I wish I had switched years ago.....

I still use OSM & Maps.me for off-line mapping as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

1Louder

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,228
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
I could be wrong but to the best of my knowledge both mapping programs were created by the same 2 guys that invented this product. I have used on x maps for hunting for the past 4 years & after getting into overlanding got the Gaia app & I could have sworn in my research it the same guys.
Gaia and OnX have nothing to do with each other. Not the same people at all.
 
Last edited:

1Louder

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,228
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
I use both for different activities like others. I would love to be able to import the x overlay to Gaia. I have spotted some nice game while exploring and have wondered what area I was in.
I wyoming, it is sometimes difficult to find access to BLM land because it is locked up by private. Sometimes there is a tiny strip that is made unrecoverable by land owners....on purpose.
If you pay a membership you should have the rights to the maps. I have always had a peev that my membership is via my smart device, but I have to but a chip for my garmin.
Any hunters should talk to Nate at Gaia GPS. He is the hunting guy for Gaia and works on all of that stuff, or at least he used to.
This was from a couple of years ago. I am sure many things have changed in each app but it will give you an idea of what Gaia can do with regards to hunting, https://blog.gaiagps.com/gaia-gps-vs-onx-hunt/
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

1Louder

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,228
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
No I have not only have on x for my I pad, I phone, & have a couple of micro sd cards for my garmin e-trex 30. Love on x for hunting for property lines, property owner info etc. love Gaia for off-roading/overlanding. Just my 2 cents & im sure you could use either for dual purpose to save some $ I can say both apps or programs work great. Money well spent.
Gaia has property owner information and property lines. Not saying you have to stop using OnX but a lot of what OnX has with regards to hunting Gaia does too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

1Louder

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,228
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
I always thought of onx as more for hunting but it appears they atrying to capture some of the offroad business too.
Android only at the moment. I would be curious to see how the "select and go" feature works for trails. I have an Android phone so maybe I will download the free trial and take a peek. It won't make me switch from Gaia but it would be interesting to see. I have seen many promises from other developers who claim to show and build routes automatically and I have never found one worth the hype. Crowd sourced tracks and data from places like TrailsOffroad.com have always worked well for me.

Update: I downloaded the app for Android. At first glance the "select and go feature" just really seem to do what they claim. It appears they are just showing MVUM trail data and highlighting it. It doesn't allow you to build a route or track. That really does nothing for me. The information is very generic, only what the government provides. Gaia has that same info, possibly more. MVUM data is useful to find out what trails are currently legal to use but does not provide any useful information on difficulty or conditions.

Color me not impressed. I will do more research as I have time. Competition is always good but OnX is nowhere near close to anything Gaia offers for the off-road and overland community.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

smritte

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

3,857
Ontario California
Member #

8846

Ham Callsign
KO6BI
I have used most of the mapping programs over the years. I haven't heard of onx yet. Back Country Navigator has had the best mapping for the areas I use. Too bad its android only. I currently use Gaia with my IPad. What disappoints me is not being able to see waypoint info without clicking on it. I can deal with the fact some of my roads aren't there and it shows roads that don't exist. I haven't found 2 programs that show the same. So far Gaia has been the best for my apple and the Off-Road Magellan GPS (cant remember name) has been the worst.

Now I'm going to give onx a shot. I also would like to hear from more people who have used it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

1Louder

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,228
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
I have used most of the mapping programs over the years. I haven't heard of onx yet. Back Country Navigator has had the best mapping for the areas I use. Too bad its android only. I currently use Gaia with my IPad. What disappoints me is not being able to see waypoint info without clicking on it. I can deal with the fact some of my roads aren't there and it shows roads that don't exist. I haven't found 2 programs that show the same. So far Gaia has been the best for my apple and the Off-Road Magellan GPS (cant remember name) has been the worst.

Now I'm going to give onx a shot. I also would like to hear from more people who have used it.
BCN has been working on an iOS app forever. It was a Kickstarter project. Way behind and over budget. You can sign up for the beta test. While I have not used it in depth I still see no reason to switch from Gaia.

What type of info would you like to see from each waypoint? Does this answer your question? Waypoint Name’s Visible A while back there was some talk of having Gaia notify you when you are approaching a waypoint. Maybe with an audible cue and distance. I haven't heard anything recently. I would highly suggest posting ideas in the Gaia GPS community forums. They read that and will reply. People can vote on other folks ideas as well. With that said they have development roadmaps already in place and any idea the community suggests and is agreed upon by Gaia may take a while to be implemented. Gaia was primarily a hiking app but with lots of folks in the overland community we have shaped ideas to make it IMHO the most capable vehicle app. I still prefer iOS and have seen folks have random issues on Android. I don't necessarily fault Gaia for this. Android is such a wide open platform with some many different versions on different devices I think it just makes it more difficult to work well for everyone.

onX Offroad is Android only. If I was to give it a 1-10 rating I would give it a 3. Gaia would probably be around 8-8.5. I doubt any app would be a 10 for me. onX offers a free trial like Gaia so have at it. Some of the reviews in the Google Play are not kind. But it's great they offer a trial. I am not a regular Android user. I have a nice LG phone that I occasionally use while travelling internationally so I am able to test things when I have the desire to do so.

I can deal with the fact some of my roads aren't there and it shows roads that don't exist.
Just remember the data is only has good as the provider who provides it. (That's a mouthful) If the US Government, for example, doesn't keep everything up to date then that's what will show in any app which uses said data. There was some comments on a video Lifestyle Overland posted on YouTube about the MVUM maps being "horribly out of date." I checked with Gaia and they had the latest info as of January 2019. So any "out of date" information would be because of what the respective forest services provided. There was a new update to many of these maps the first week of July. I have asked Gaia to do a refresh when possible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray

smritte

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

3,857
Ontario California
Member #

8846

Ham Callsign
KO6BI
Does this answer your question? Waypoint Name’s Visible
WOW thank you for that.
As for the data, Yeah, I understand how it all come's together. I've been using GPS for a long time and usgs maps even longer. When I lost my old Garmin NUVI years ago, I started on a mission to find the best tablet system out there. BCN for me rocked. Too bad most of the issues were my tablet's (went through several trying to find one that I liked).
ONX being android means I wont be trying it. Thank you for that info.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray and 1Louder

reaver

Rank III

Contributor III

511
US
First Name
Brian
Last Name
McGahuey
I have both Gaia and OnX. The biggest difference is there's currently no way to import GPX files into OnX, nor is there any way to access it outside of your smart device. I know for a fact that they are working on both of these features. I mentioned in a review I posted to the play store that I wouldn't even consider switching until these were implemented, and they gave me a free year subscription so I could follow the developement, which I thought was pretty cool.

I like the fact that OnX highlights trails that are passible by different types of vehicles automatically. Maps also load MUCH faster than Gaia, which is slow as molasses, even via wi-fi.

That being said, right now, I'm sticking with Gaia for now. I'll re-evaluate once gpx import and the web interface are ready (which they said was planned for this year).

My $.02.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tray and 1Louder

1Louder

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,228
AZ
First Name
Chris
Last Name
K
Member #

1437

Ham Callsign
K1LDR
I have both Gaia and OnX. The biggest difference is there's currently no way to import GPX files into OnX, nor is there any way to access it outside of your smart device. I know for a fact that they are working on both of these features. I mentioned in a review I posted to the play store that I wouldn't even consider switching until these were implemented, and they gave me a free year subscription so I could follow the developement, which I thought was pretty cool.

I like the fact that OnX highlights trails that are passible by different types of vehicles automatically. Maps also load MUCH faster than Gaia, which is slow as molasses, even via wi-fi.

That being said, right now, I'm sticking with Gaia for now. I'll re-evaluate once gpx import and the web interface are ready (which they said was planned for this year).

My $.02.
Everyone else may have a different experience but..... I have never been on a open MVUM trail which was not accessible with my vehicle. My experience is mostly in northern AZ though.

There are sections of the Great Western trail which are only accessible with a quad or smaller. Especially in Utah. However, I never looked to see if any of those sections were in any MVUM map. What I came across was just NW if Capitol Reef. The trail signage was very good though and it clearly spelled out no vehicles.

I just took a quick glance near Capital Reef and there doesn’t appear to be an available MVUM map. I will take a glance at onX off-road to see what it might show for available trails. Still a strong NO vote though.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tray