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Offline Maps

Original Post
Justin Kilpatrick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Is it possible to make maps offline for those back areas that don't have cell/data coverage?

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 6,094

Hey Justin,

Thanks for reaching out with a great question! Are you talking about recording a GPS track when you're in the back country, or are you wondering about using the map as a reference when you're out of cell phone service?

It is possible to take our maps to an area with no cell coverage. You'll want to download the area beforehand, but once the data has been downloaded to your device, you should be able to locate yourself using GPS.

Let me know if that answered your question, or if there's any more information that I could provide!

Best regards,


Nite Rage · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

There is no option on the android version to download the maps, currently on my device I have installed all of California, Oregon & Washington.. I started on my Pacific crest trail thru-hike a couple weeks ago & so far only the tracks show up if there is no signal cell/wifi. With the gps enabled I can see my location on the track...however, not being able to actually see the map makes this program almost useless. I have gone back to using "backcountry navigator" as I can use gps only with my downloaded maps. Please advise if maybe I am missing a setting. I would really like to use hiking project as my primary Neo-Nav app :)

Brian Smith · · Boulder, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 10,627

@Nite Rage - Unfortunately, there isn't a setting that allows you to download map tiles at this point. This is something that may be considered for future iterations of the app, though.

That said, there is a bit of a hacky workaround. If you play around with the app while you do have service, and check out all the sections of the trail you'll be on that don't have service, the app will cache the map tiles. If you completely quit the app, however, that data will be lost... a bit hacky, like I said.

Hope this helps - good luck with your PCT thru-hike!

Nite Rage · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Awesome, tyvm for the info :)
I try to remember to not close the app

Joseph Gruber · · Arlington, VA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 72

I'd like to ask for this feature as well. Google Maps allows offline caching of their tiles in the API. I was out in Shenandoah this weekend and went to use the app thinking that since I choose this area to download I'd have both the trails and map. Unfortunately, it only provided the trails and there was no map which really didn't provide to be very useful. Having the ability to cache the map for offline usage would be an incredible feature to have especially for our parks where there is little to no cell coverage.

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 6,094

Hey Joseph,

We hear you loud and clear! I appreciate your reaching out, this is definitely a capability that we're working hard towards getting installed in the app! As we continue our site and app-wide redesign, keep your eyes out for improved functionality, and hopefully that feature will be accessible soon!

If there's anything else we can do for you, please don't hesitate to reach out!


Rusty Shackleford · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

As a developer it seems easy to leverage the built in google maps caching for this problem

Mikhaila Redovian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 6,094

Hey Rusty, 

Thanks for reaching out! While it would indeed be possible to utilize the built-in Google Maps caching, we found that implementing the caching would significantly increase the volume of memory that our app would need to store on an individual device. Since we didn't have a perfect solution, we decided to wait until we could develop something that would balance those two needs. I'll reach out to our engineering and mobile development teams to see what it might take to make caching happen, though! If you have any other feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out, we really appreciate hearing from those who use the app! 

Best regards, 


Scott Traver · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

I have had great success with offline maps with apps like Maprika (free) and US Topo Maps (paid?) as an app on my phone but mostly use a good quality paper map like http://www.adventuremaps.net/

fabien BATTINI · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

Instead of working with Google maps, I would recommend you to go to open source and open data solutions, e.g. open street maps. Aka OSM the data more accurate than Google, there are open source renderers, you can very easily build your own maps and have the users download them. Users can also store tracks, share them...

A good example is OSMAND. The app is free. You could also build osmand plugins. And have people see your data within osmand.

Joe Nicolussi · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2018 · Points: 0

Has the work offline feature been fixed? Planning a hike of Thunder River/Deer Creek Falls loop in the Grand Canyon in 13 days. I want to make sure if I use this as a back up to my paper map that it will work. I know there wont be signal once I dip below the rim. I want to make sure the map will be there, saved on my iphone. 

Meredith Kaufman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

How do you download the offline maps?

Clayton Transigent · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2018 · Points: 0

Here's another vote for offline map downloading via Google maps API. Device storage isn't a problem for most users these days. Allowing users to choose what (map) areas they want downloaded (not talking about hike routes by state, here, but the Google map tiles) and let them manage their own storage puts the onus on them. Not sure why this requested feature isn't ranked higher by the product owner.

Bridgette Dunn · · Yellow Creek, NC · Joined 2 days ago · Points: 0

Hmm, I usually take screenshots of my route.  Close up sections and then larger views.   I'd love to have a gadget that would track my progress, but there is ZERO signal for phones or gps in these mountains.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

REI National Park Guide
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