a trail app that doesn't store maps offline? I don't understand.


Original Post
Rich Carlson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

This is an amazing app. Except for one small detail. It's completely useless when you need it. Everything else about the app is fantastic. Great database, great trail descriptions, easy to use. But for the life of me I don't understand why it doesn't store maps. When you really need to refer to a map you often don't have great cell service. You bookmark the hike, you drive to the trailhead, you pull out the app to check the route, and... nothing. What good are GPS tracks floating on a white screen? This seems like such a basic preliminary that I can't imagine why it's missing. Is it intended only for use in planning future hikes? Or only for use on hikes on the fringes of cities? A map app without maps. I don't get it. Is it a licensing thing? Are there plans to store maps in future versions so it becomes useful?


Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 7,985

Hey Rich, 

Thanks for reaching out with some great feedback. We hear you loud and clear! Currently, we access Google's map tiles, which we think provide a lot of good information. However, these map base tiles are very data dense, and take up a lot of storage space on a mobile device. We can certainly understand the utility of having downloadable base maps, and we're currently working to find a solution that will be accessible offline as well as compact enough for most mobile devices. 

In the meanwhile, we have a workaround. If you know that you'll be hiking a particular trail, you can look at that trail in our app before you lose service. That will sometimes cache the base tiles, allowing you to see the map under our trail data. It's not a perfect solution, but we're working towards one! 

We appreciate your patience in the meanwhile. 

Mikhaila 


Rich Carlson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

How about adding the option of just downloading the bottom level tiles specific to the hike you're saving rather than dealing with all the zoom levels for a whole state? That's basically what it sometimes caches anyway but you could be certain they were there instead of just hoping they're there. That wouldn't take up much space. 


Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 7,985

Hey Rich, 

Ah, that is a very interesting idea, and I will pass along your suggestion to the engineering team! Thanks for your continued recommendations, we appreciate hearing ideas as we continue to improve the app! 

Best regards, 

Mikhaila 


Don Mullins · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 24 days ago · Points: 0

You could also make the amount of downloaded tiles be user selectable. There are other apps the offer this feature.

Pick a spot, drag a circle or maybe an cigar type shape (they called it a "route" shape) and only download those tiles.

You only need the tiles with the trail on it to be offline typically; most trail heads have coverage due to being near a road.


Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 7,985

Hey Don, 

Thanks for reaching out with another great suggestion. The problem at the moment is that Google doesn't allow us to download the base map tiles per their user agreement. We're hard at work on getting a custom set of base maps developed, and hopefully we'll be able to get those tiles added to the app for full download soon! 

If we end up running into those same space-storage issues, I think that your recommendations provide some great solutions. I'll record your notes on only downloading a smaller volume of base tiles, and will pass them along to our engineers! 

Thanks for your help, 

Mikhaila 


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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