I love Gaia, but I really wish...

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Michael

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What do you love about Gaia? What would you change? What would you add? What would you simplify? What really annoys you? What is a complete show-stopper for you?

It's exciting times. On the near-term roadmap for OB1 (our app here) we have a number of most-commonly requested features for the app. Useful layers, route planning, Gaia import, and much more.

OB1 is built for you. Respond to this thread and let us know what you need!

Thank you to everyone who has contributed and provided feedback so far!
 

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That is loaded... OB1 is getting better and better and there is one reason that I did not switch to it when I recently made the move to onX (please correct me if I am wrong). That is syncing between web UI and the app. I plan on the big screen with the web UI and navigate with my iDevice. I have no interest in planning on a small iDevice screen clumsily poking at it with my finger. That said the Apple Magic Mouse does work with later versions of iOS...

Gaia... Their web site is very buggy and - they (or their parent) are a woke company. I'll vote with my $$$ and choose not to vote for political companies. Their apps are passable and mostly all right (this is their strength) - however syncing between the web UI and the app is problematic. The iPad app lost a bunch of waypoints that I had previously synced and that was "inconvenient" over this last weekend while out of cell reception and needing those waypoints (glory be to onX for working flawlessly). I believe that OB1 and onX use "merged" maps - that is one map with all the goodies living on it as equals. Gaia's many layers "merged" by setting opacity is terrible; you can barely see anything because it is always somewhat opaque. I appreciate truly merged maps because I can see all the things. Gaia's web site loses my work, sometimes displays it and sometimes hides it for me (I never hide anything in gaia because their hide/un-hide UI is terrible and causes a lot of extra work). The problems described finally overcame the strength of their iOS apps and that has me moving on.

I would love to see OB1 have "asset curation" for the person who has decades of GPS data to sort and organize. A repository of GPS data as well as a map viewer. And hide/unhide functionality that easily allows hide everything, hide everything but this collection, show everything, show everything but this collection, detect duplicates and be able to act upon them, export a collection or export all.

Kudos on all of the awesome progress with OB1 - I did truly consider it as my new nav app but passed because I want/need planning on the big screen where one can zoom in and out and get the big picture and easily access other resources (e.g. web pages, notes, etc) and work with a mouse or track pad.
 
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shansonpac

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GaiaGPS is a complex application, and I suspect that much of my trouble initially using it had to do with user error, and not bugs in the system. I really like the vast amount of layers available. One mistake that I made is that I thought that the CarPlay integration was not good, until I realized that the CarPlay screen was only mirroring the layers and settings on my phone. Syncing is sometimes instantaneous, and sometimes not. Not sure what is going on with this, but eventually the website and devices synchronize. GaiaGPS meets my needs, and I like the synchronization feature with Trails Offroad. I especially like the 3D mode on the website.
 

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I too do all my mapping on my PC then switch over to my tablet for navigation. I started playing with this stuff back in the middle 90s and have searched for a system that works great. What I found was either compromise or one that worked great but the company stopped supporting it. Now I'm back to compromise.
Every time something new comes out, I see if I can load it in my PC to create maps or if it's compatible with the maps I create with what I have. If it is, I buy a single year premium subscription and give it a good try out. As it sits now I have two subscriptions I cant use because they don't fit what "I" need. I'm back to Gaia.

Trying to make the best GPS system out there is a great idea and I applaud you for it. If its too "feature rich" it will probably confuse people.


Things I would change.

1. Creating folders is easy, importing to a folder is not. If I import a route with waypoints and a track, I need to go to diffrent screens to get everything into one folder. It would be nice to be able to "select all" by dragging a square over an area and copying, dragging or just importing to a folder.

1a. Data organization. I was going to add this into the above comment but decided I needed to separate them. Ugh... I cant seem to put this into words. I think the data can be organized better. It works but finding something I don't know the name of and not in a folder can be tricky. I'll just leave it like that.

2. Names. This one is difficult. When zooming in the name of the road/route/waypoint, the lettering scales down. This can make it impossible to read. If I zoom in and out I can see it before it shrinks. On the other hand, other GPS software I've used, the name scales up when you zoom in and takes too much room.

3. Big learning curve. This one I don't mind. Most of the issues I had in the beginning were due to my lack of understanding. The main one being the subscription. The free version has some features but if someone sent me data from their paid premium, some of the data didn't mesh well. Most of the issues I've seen that people have, is pretty much lack of understanding. With the premium version you can do more. This is great for me but most people need simple.

As I said, all of these are a compromise. What works for me may not work for someone else. I wish I could remember the system I used in the early 2000's. It was android only and to date was the best overall gps/mapping software I have ever seen. Too bad they stopped supporting it and they never supported I-pad.
 

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Another vote for PC mapping than sync to phone. Key feature.

Another feature that is confusing and could use some work in Gaia is how to look at Routes others have posted. The user generated content is difficult to follow with no comment or pics included. And when you have 20+ overlapping routes it is hard to determine where they all go exactly.
 

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I wish the maps were updated more often. I often find a lot more roads out then what is listed on Gaia. Just this last weekend, our OB trip had to re-route due to a landslide that closed the road we were going to continue on. We had to backtrack and there was a very well maintained road with official Forest Service signage and complete with a name for the road, that was not on Gaia. Nothing on the apps map where this road should've been. However, it was on another app and even on my onboard Jeep Nav system, but not on Gaia. This is not the first time I've run into this with Gaia.
 
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Ubiety

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CarPlay integration
More votes for Carplay and Apple watch integration! You asked ;)
I absolutely love turn-by-turn navigation on pavement with Apple maps and Carplay and Apple Watch; they all work together and I never miss turns anymore.


What I found was either compromise or one that worked great but the company stopped supporting it. Now I'm back to compromise.
1a. Data organization. I was going to add this into the above comment but decided I needed to separate them. Ugh... I cant seem to put this into words. I think the data can be organized better. It works but finding something I don't know the name of and not in a folder can be tricky. I'll just leave it like that.
Compromise exactly. Gaia always was a compromise for me, stable sensible app and then the bad stuff.

On data organization I would love to see a feature that says "delete tracks/routes/waypoints" when deleting a folder. That way you could optionally get rid of hanging chads when you want to clean out everything in the folder. The reason is that I would like to have an iOverland folder that contains their downloaded data. When they update their dataset I could delete my folder and all it contains and import the updated data into a new folder.
Road following is also a must for creating routes in the web UI.

Integrated WX - not sure of OB1 already has this (I think it does), onX has it and I love it. Pulls the WX for your current location.
 

Ubiety

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I don't understand this term. What does it mean.
WX is shorthand for weather. So if my device and I are in Missoula Montana my nav app would show me the weather for Missoula, or if I was in Fields Oregon I would get the weather for Fields (or the closest point with a prediction). I looked but don’t see weather displayed in OB1, thought it was there. Screenshot from onX - there is more data available if you swipe up on the weather pane.

99881E62-50C5-42A1-9DF0-6491B5512805.png
 

Tundracamper

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2. Names. This one is difficult. When zooming in the name of the road/route/waypoint, the lettering scales down. This can make it impossible to read. If I zoom in and out I can see it before it shrinks. On the other hand, other GPS software I've used, the name scales up when you zoom in and takes too much room.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves with Gaia. The screens keep getting larger and larger but the fonts keep getting smaller and smaller.

Also, as noted previously, the folder organization can be clumsy. When one selects the option to move to a folders, the app seems to list just about every file and folder, making the selection process a lengthy search for the folder name in a huge list, even if one only has a few folders.
 
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socal66

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I liked the Gaia feature where you could select multiple map layers and specify a stack order and visual transparency level for each. I could then do things like view current satellite over the topo map add cell coverage for a quick check, etc. For some reason they removed this functionality with the current release and I find that annoying.
 

TahoePPV

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Zero useful tutorials. I’d like to use my pc, or even tablet, to draw a route. I know where I want to go, but getting the app to draw it in, good luck. Do I double click, triple tap, hold a wet finger up, pray to Zeus or what. No idea at all.
 

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Right now our SGV OB group is communicating the various bits of info on a trip we will be all going on through Utah, Moab, and Colorado, etc for the next two weeks in a discussion thread between group members which also includes some file attachments or external links to videos/info, etc. I think this is a common need and approach for our various trips.

How about including a function in OB1 that would allow a group of individuals to create, update and view a trip itinerary? An itinerary would be more than just a well annotated GPX file. It would consist of multiple routes/waypoints that would be set to a calendar for specific date/times. Beyond the usual route and waypoints we should be able to add external links to websites (NPS, BLM, etc.) and YouTube videos related to the planned itinerary, specific campsite information for the group that needs to be communicated, a roster of those that will be on the trip with their vehicle and contact info (phone, Garmin, etc.), uploaded PDF files. We should also be able to annotate information related to specific aspects of the itinerary such as important notes about an individual route or day (such as fuel requirements, time to break camp, hours important things open/close, etc.) and not have those buried in some note field that you have to find only if you are looking for it. I am thinking of having the ability to collect all of this information as part of the itinerary creation process and then having it organized in a easy to use format for all that walks you through the trip day by day (perhaps mimicking those old Triptiks that AAA used to produce for you back in the day but on your phone/tablet). The information collection/refinement process should be collaborative in nature with the ability for multiple group members to add, change, delete as in our case some are focusing on putting together than plan for Moab and others for Colorado as an example.

Additional items for group trip planning could also identify who is carrying what if you are sharing resources/responsibilities in the convoy (i.e. firepits and related large propane tanks, firewood, specialized recovery gear or medical kits).
 

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Tagging would be the big one for me (I think that's what @smritte was getting at above too). I still think CalTopo handles maps, folders, and routes better than Gaia but neither are perfect and neither really seem to have a searchable tagging system. Sometimes I want to look up a cool spot (a cave or a cool overlook, for example) that I don't have a name for and I can't remember exactly which trip I saved the waypoint to. Instead of loading the entire map it would be nice to just be able to tag a waypoint with things like "scenic overlook" where I can map out just items with that tag regardless of which folder it's in.
 

OTH Overland

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Purchased a 5 year subscription to Gaia before they got bought out and before OB1 was a thing.

Things I Like or love about Gaia:
- Being able to route plan and do recon on the PC - absolute critical feature for me, have multiple 32" monitiors I can spread out maps like crazy - old eyes suck at planning on a 10" or smaller screen.
- Fairly happy with folder system and ability to organize waypoints, trails and such.
- Plenty of map layers, mainly use USGS, Public & Private land, MVUM, forest service, and wildfire maps. Sometimes use releif maps, historical, mineral and mine maps, time zones, and cell coverage.
- ease of overlaying geocache waypoints along a route so we can see them when travelling without looking up on phone.

Things i do not like or hate about Gaia:
- Inability to create and download offline maps from the PC and then load into dropbox/one drive for up load later onto multiple devices. (I use two tablets and a cell phone on trips, main tablet in rig, secondary tablet for using in camp to route plan, or organize waypoints from days trip, and phone for away from rig travel). Have to use service to select an area on each device and then download. downloaded maps do not end up identical this way. way easier to place on a thumb drive
- Contrast of roads / trails against background, or lack of adjustment, hard to see many secondary trails in sunny conditions. ability to have black and white or a contrasting color to make them stand out woudl be great.
- downloading offline maps take forever, especially if selecting maps in formats not of thier own making or satelite images, some of this is inveritable due to large file size of maps.

I still travel with paper maps and compass as it has been burned into me from survival and navigation courses of yore. Still find them a great resource to spread out on the hood and have a group gather around for trail briefings,

Been using OB1 as a secondary navigation tool with GPX routes on both, Happy to see how fast the app is improving, Just the fact that you as for input and listen to the members speaks volumes for what this application will become! Not sure how I would speak to anyone of importance at Gaia or the other nav apps, and pretty sure they would not care to here my input if i could. lol.

From the other comments above, adding a Web based interface that allows download to storage or device of choice would be a game changer for the way we plan our adventures.

One feature that would be above and beyond the others is native APRS intergration to show location of others in real time, seems to be a big increase in interest in Ham/APRS.

Thank you for all the effort that has gone into this.
 

M Rose

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@OTH Overland we are working on full APRS integration to OB1… this is a difficult process because unlike CalTopo (who is the only app with this feature) we want to integrate real time APRS reports (CalTopo needs internet access inorder for the APRS spot positions to show up). @Michael is also wanting to implement APRS to SMSGATE messaging between members. Now how all of this will actually pan out… who knows… but we are working on it.

Back on topic:
I haven’t found anything I like about GAIA… when I first started using a tablet for navigation, Back Country Navigator was the premiere app. I paid for a lifetime subscription, and to this day I feel it was the best navigation piece of software out there… unfortunately BCN is no longer, but OB1 I feel will pick up where they left off and crush it.

Like others mentioned, the ability to use a web based interface for planning, better orginazation of user generated data, a way to share the organized data with other users for group planning (this is, or should be, a big one for Directors and Member Reps), creat parties with the ability to select party members to different roles within the group for quick messaging,

OB1 has been growing leaps and bounds and I will be one of the first to say I’m loving the direction the app is going. Keep up the great work team development.
 

Ubiety

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Who woulda thunk APRS would elicit a response from me? ;)

One feature that would be above and beyond the others is native APRS intergration
Totally agree with that! As @M Rose points out this could be a sticky wicket. I think you would want to get APRS data over the internet AND via direct connection to an APRS receiver (receiver at least). Fetching data from APRS-IS over the internet is easy as long as you have connectivity - but is the least interesting of the two (by far). Getting APRS data from a radio is going to be problematic - just how do I connect my Kenwood TMD-700 to my iPad? Is there a serial to Apple device cable available? Bluetooth is another obvious link but a lot of radios don't have that capability. UDP is probably the lowest common denominator but would require some sort of device connected to the serial port of the radio and the network. None of these are insurmountable by the knowledgable hobbyist - but that is a smaller percentage of users. Unfortunately lots of variables, such as supporting 8 trillion different radios, is the kind of thing that kills features...

The marine industry has analogues - AIS and NMEA. AIS being "marine APRS" and NMEA being the protocol used to pass the data between devices. In my experience AIS devices speak NMEA, then some sort of device needs to be inserted that converts from NMEA to UDP so that the nav station can receive it (easily).

That said, BRING IT ON! Been wanting to display APRS data, gathered over RF, in my nav app for YEARS! Want to be able to send messages as well - if you are going to receive and display APRS data allowing the user to send/receive an APRS message from their device would be golden.

implement APRS to SMSGATE messaging
If you could send an APRS message from your device adding this would be simple as it is just an APRS message addressed to SMSGATE that follows formatting rules. Adding more vanilla APRS messaging would be the better way to go as it automatically includes SMSGATE messaging and other scenarios (direct messaging to a convoy, etc.)

If this is something that anybody would like to chat about DM me and we can chat without boring everybody else ;)
 
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Michael

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That is loaded... OB1 is getting better and better and there is one reason that I did not switch to it when I recently made the move to onX (please correct me if I am wrong). That is syncing between web UI and the app. I plan on the big screen with the web UI and navigate with my iDevice. I have no interest in planning on a small iDevice screen clumsily poking at it with my finger. That said the Apple Magic Mouse does work with later versions of iOS...

Gaia... Their web site is very buggy and - they (or their parent) are a woke company. I'll vote with my $$$ and choose not to vote for political companies. Their apps are passable and mostly all right (this is their strength) - however syncing between the web UI and the app is problematic. The iPad app lost a bunch of waypoints that I had previously synced and that was "inconvenient" over this last weekend while out of cell reception and needing those waypoints (glory be to onX for working flawlessly). I believe that OB1 and onX use "merged" maps - that is one map with all the goodies living on it as equals. Gaia's many layers "merged" by setting opacity is terrible; you can barely see anything because it is always somewhat opaque. I appreciate truly merged maps because I can see all the things. Gaia's web site loses my work, sometimes displays it and sometimes hides it for me (I never hide anything in gaia because their hide/un-hide UI is terrible and causes a lot of extra work). The problems described finally overcame the strength of their iOS apps and that has me moving on.

I would love to see OB1 have "asset curation" for the person who has decades of GPS data to sort and organize. A repository of GPS data as well as a map viewer. And hide/unhide functionality that easily allows hide everything, hide everything but this collection, show everything, show everything but this collection, detect duplicates and be able to act upon them, export a collection or export all.

Kudos on all of the awesome progress with OB1 - I did truly consider it as my new nav app but passed because I want/need planning on the big screen where one can zoom in and out and get the big picture and easily access other resources (e.g. web pages, notes, etc) and work with a mouse or track pad.
This is great feedback!

1. Desktop route planning
2. Data integrity and security (don't lose my stuff). Others have had this issue with Gaia too.
3. Data curation (i love this) (folders, hiding, map viewer, detect duplicates)

My current thinking (glad for feedback) is to focus on the app for tablet and phone to make it truly exceptional, then follow on with desktop. Reason is we have some meat and potatoes features to get done for the app ASAP including route planning, CarPlay/Android Auto, and device specific UI.