I love Gaia, but I really wish...

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Michael

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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.
This is fantastic feedback! We can invest significantly in user interface and the user experience, maybe even having "Basic" and "Advanced" toggle to present a unique UI. This will make it easier - but the app will also be extensive in functionality - so it will take time to master. Ideally the app can "be there when you need it", meaning it doesn't get in your way, but its easy to figure out how you do a thing when you need to.

Thank you!
 

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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.
GREAT point. We already maintain a "live link" with the USFS database that updates the MVUM layers once per month, so with OB1 you should run into this problem less. We are also developing an easy "Alert" system for marking a trail as closed. Good feedback.
 
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Michael

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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.

View attachment 231099
Yup - this is a near-term add for OB1.
 

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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?
I stopped using Gaia because I absolutely hated the way tracks and waypoints were (are) managed. Editing tracks in the Gaia web portal was infuriating. Maybe my expectations were too high for Gaia coming from a background in GIS, but I found the whole enchilada terrible. I never could tell if my file were downloaded and would work offline. It was a constant guessing game, primarily because of the file management style Gaia uses.

I did love the basemap layering capabilities. With some time I was able to develop beautiful maps. Although 3 (or more) layers of the same area consumed a lot of storage space and download time on my device.
 
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Michael

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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 some reason they removed this functionality with the current release and I find that annoying.
Well then we better add it! "D
 

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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.
Did you stand on one foot? ;) we are guilty of this too. We have video tutorials, but written documentation is still in the works.
 

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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).
So we pretty much have the bases covered on a group thread functionality?

Group Trip Planning feature - awesome!

Including:
- GPX
- Waypoints
- Dates/Times
- URLs
- Contact Info

It really sounds like Rally Point on steroids. A "Crew" ownership of the trip with designated authors. I guess I asked :) we have a number of things in parallel development - all related to a v 2.0 or Rally Point.

- POI associated with a recorded track if added while recording.
- Route planning (with snappy routes TM).
- Trip planner.

I think you are onto something here. It's a big feature, but surmountable.

Thank you for taking the time and providing the feedback!
 
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Jim SoG

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I have moved from Gaia and do Google Earth and OB1. Wish we had pc and app crossover and abilities matched. Wish there was a way to import directly from GE (kml file) to OB!, as is you got to convert the GE file and that sometimes (most times) leaves out things, then import a gpx to OB1.

No matter the app or platform I think most folks want the ability to lay out a route, and then save that route, open the app and follow that route, drop a pin at something you "find" along the way.....


Jim
 

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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.
We kind of already do this - but not exactly. Taking your example, if you search for "Cave" you get results for anything with "Cave" in the title, or in the description closest to farthest.

1653492272464.png 1653492320204.png

We might optionally have a checkbox that says "search my locations" and you might be 90% of the way there. Tagging also - noted. Good feature.
 
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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.
Curation becomes more important as your collection of data grows. I constantly fight "my current nav app" because I have a huge dataset. I really do think a nav program that understands and provides help for large datasets will win in the end. Its going to endear power users, keep them around and benefit from them praising your app's capabilities. Thanks!
 
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I have moved from Gaia and do Google Earth and OB1. Wish we had pc and app crossover and abilities matched. Wish there was a way to import directly from GE (kml file) to OB!, as is you got to convert the GE file and that sometimes (most times) leaves out things, then import a gpx to OB1.

No matter the app or platform I think most folks want the ability to lay out a route, and then save that route, open the app and follow that route, drop a pin at something you "find" along the way.....


Jim
The translation between GPX and KML is pretty simple. If you all have a working GPX importer/exporter then adding KML should be relatively painless.
 
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I have never used Gaia much. For years we have been using the app Oruxmaps with the variety of free maps available. I would therefore still give a suggestion here. Because what is very good about the Oruxmaps app is that it runs mega stable. Exactly what I need on the road. What I don't like about it is that it has so many functions and features that it has become complex to use. If I have not dealt with it for several weeks, I have to look for the right button more often, etc.

And that's what I would like to see in the OB1 app. I find OB1 very easy and intuitive to use and it would be nice if that would remain so despite more and more features - I know that this is not an easy task.

Otherwise, keep up the good work - the continuous development of the OB1 app is really great. Thank you for all the good work!
 
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Well then we better add it! "D
But please retain a single map that has a good set of roads/etc on it. Funny that some love Gaia's layering/opacity - i cannot stand it. Different strokes.
Also interesting that multiple folks have complained about Gaia being too complex - I feel a bit lost in OB1 because it is not complex enough ;) @Michael your idea of toggling between basic and advanced modes was awesome!
 
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Michael

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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.
Great feedback - you got my brain spinning on this one: "Inability to create and download offline maps from the PC and then load into dropbox/one drive for up load later onto multiple devices". This is a really hard feature! I mean - your app has to work on all devices required, and then it needs to be able to upload a saved...a saved what? But then I got to thinking, Avenza has the ability to import GEO_PDFs - we currently have the ability to display GEO images - meaning an image that will display at the right location - Raster map layers are an example of this. So, we could allow you to export a high resolution image and use it while on a trip. It wouldn't be as dynamic as in-app content, but might get you close to what you are asking for. Good note - filed as "Support GEOPDFs" cause then the app doesn't care where it gets it from.

Regarding listening...Absolutely! Overland Bound One is for the community. Feedback is critical and we iterate rapidly. We sometimes launch a feature within days of hearing the request. Example is the recent "pull location from image" feature to allow you to take a picture, then add the location to the app later. Boom. Done.

APRS - man that is a difficult one requiring hardware, software, and user expertise - BUT we are fleshing out integrated APRS layers. The hardest part is that we want your local crew to be visible regardless of cell or internet reception. It is possible, but not easy. It's on the table for sure.

Thank you for the feedback!
 

Michael

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I have moved from Gaia and do Google Earth and OB1. Wish we had pc and app crossover and abilities matched. Wish there was a way to import directly from GE (kml file) to OB!, as is you got to convert the GE file and that sometimes (most times) leaves out things, then import a gpx to OB1.

No matter the app or platform I think most folks want the ability to lay out a route, and then save that route, open the app and follow that route, drop a pin at something you "find" along the way.....


Jim
Hey Jim!

KML and KMZ support is forthcoming. It is needed for a few reasons.

M
 

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Curation becomes more important as your collection of data grows. I constantly fight "my current nav app" because I have a huge dataset. I really do think a nav program that understands and provides help for large datasets will win in the end. Its going to endear power users, keep them around and benefit from them praising your app's capabilities. Thanks!
Another thing about our approach - we consider digital maps, routes, and data an adventure legacy. In yon times of yor, you might pass along your old map book filled with notes. Now - folks want to archive their adventures and pass them along digitally. It should be easy to organize, have interchangeability as pure data, and be totally secure.
 

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But please retain a single map that has a good set of roads/etc on it. Funny that some love Gaia's layering/opacity - i cannot stand it. Different strokes.
Also interesting that multiple folks have complained about Gaia being too complex - I feel a bit lost in OB1 because it is not complex enough ;) @Michael your idea of toggling between basic and advanced modes was awesome!
Usability is an ongoing struggle. I've now spent over 25 years building what might be described as mass-consumer software, meaning - not just something you and your buddies use. For OB1 (even in this thread), you will hear "It's impossible to use" alongside, "intuitive and easy".

What we are striving for is an app that has what you need, when you need it, and its easy to find. If you don't need to quickly measure distances between points, the tool is not in your way, but there when you need it. That said - I also hear every day, "It would be great if OB1 could do this", and it already does that.

We'll continue to strive for this and it won't be a thing where we one day go, "there! its done!". It will be ongoing. Because of the depth and complexity of features - I'll be happy if a person only has to say, "I wonder if I can...", and with a little poking around, find what they need.
 

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Another thing about our approach - we consider digital maps, routes, and data an adventure legacy. In yon times of yor, you might pass along your old map book filled with notes. Now - folks want to archive their adventures and pass them along digitally. It should be easy to organize, have interchangeability as pure data, and be totally secure.
Funny, I was pondering exactly this over the weekend and had the same conclusion ;) With that kind of thinking I am excited for OB1 and to see where it goes. You are only one feature away from having me use it ;)
 

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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.
There is a new Setting to disable Map Packs and go back to the old way. It seems they changed the default to “on” in the latest update.
 
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