Favorite GPS Apps

Zak

WFF Premium
I am trying to decide between GAIA premium and onX. I could use some advice. onX clearly provides offline/no cell service navigation, but I can't tell if GAIA also allows me to see my live location on a FS road using just GPS with no cell service.

Any other differentiating factors I should consider?

Thanks!

Zak
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Premium
I am trying to decide between GAIA premium and onX. I could use some advice. onX clearly provides offline/no cell service navigation, but I can't tell if GAIA also allows me to see my live location on a FS road using just GPS with no cell service.

Any other differentiating factors I should consider?

Thanks!

Zak
Zak -
Both Gaia and OnX both have ability to download the map and use w/ no service. Very simple to figure out on both platforms.

They are both pretty similar, but there are some differences.

My $.02 after using both for a while:
Gaia has a better base satellite image. The OnX satellite image is from either late fall or early spring, there's a lot of snow on the ground which makes the imagery less useful in my opinion. I prefer the summer imagery so I can see everything a bit clearer. I haven't been able to figure out if there's a way to switch the satellite imagery on OnX, but if I could it would be a big win in my book.

Gaia has a layer that shows active fires. OnX doesn't have one that I've found. It's a useful layer.

OnX has the ability to see property owners and property boundaries on the app, I can't figure out how to do it on Gaia (but the private land layer is available on the laptop version of gaia).

OnX has a very easy to use and useful feature that allows you to draw a line/track wherever you want and it will tell you how long the line is and what type of elevation gain you're going to be looking at. You can edit the line afterwards too. When you click on the line, a pop up on the side of the screen shows up that shows an elevation profile of your line with green/yellow/red coloration depending on how steep you're line is, and you can hover over the colors and the map will highlight where on the map that section is. See snip at bottom of random line I just drew. Note: the OnX app doesn't allow you to see the green/yellow/red of your line - just the line, but still you can plan ahead on a PC and dial in your route.

I find OnX user interface to be way easier to use than Gaia. Maybe it's just me, but Gaia is kind of clunky for me.

The one main thing that turns me off of OnX is every time I check my track on OnX it is off (e.g my GPS location shows up somewhere near the trail, but not on the trail). Maybe it's there map that isn't accurate, but with Gaia, my position is always directly on the trail (if I'm in fact on a trail). Not sure what causes this, but it's a turn off for me with respect to OnX.

If OnX had a better base satellite image and tracked it's trails better I'd say it's a clear winner, but those two things kind of turn me off it a bit.

Hopefully that helps.

1632525383645.png
 

Zak

WFF Premium
Zak -
Both Gaia and OnX both have ability to download the map and use w/ no service. Very simple to figure out on both platforms.

They are both pretty similar, but there are some differences.

My $.02 after using both for a while:
Gaia has a better base satellite image. The OnX satellite image is from either late fall or early spring, there's a lot of snow on the ground which makes the imagery less useful in my opinion. I prefer the summer imagery so I can see everything a bit clearer. I haven't been able to figure out if there's a way to switch the satellite imagery on OnX, but if I could it would be a big win in my book.

Gaia has a layer that shows active fires. OnX doesn't have one that I've found. It's a useful layer.

OnX has the ability to see property owners and property boundaries on the app, I can't figure out how to do it on Gaia (but the private land layer is available on the laptop version of gaia).

OnX has a very easy to use and useful feature that allows you to draw a line/track wherever you want and it will tell you how long the line is and what type of elevation gain you're going to be looking at. You can edit the line afterwards too. When you click on the line, a pop up on the side of the screen shows up that shows an elevation profile of your line with green/yellow/red coloration depending on how steep you're line is, and you can hover over the colors and the map will highlight where on the map that section is. See snip at bottom of random line I just drew. Note: the OnX app doesn't allow you to see the green/yellow/red of your line - just the line, but still you can plan ahead on a PC and dial in your route.

I find OnX user interface to be way easier to use than Gaia. Maybe it's just me, but Gaia is kind of clunky for me.

The one main thing that turns me off of OnX is every time I check my track on OnX it is off (e.g my GPS location shows up somewhere near the trail, but not on the trail). Maybe it's there map that isn't accurate, but with Gaia, my position is always directly on the trail (if I'm in fact on a trail). Not sure what causes this, but it's a turn off for me with respect to OnX.

If OnX had a better base satellite image and tracked it's trails better I'd say it's a clear winner, but those two things kind of turn me off it a bit.

Hopefully that helps.

View attachment 296240
Awesome info, thank you!
 

Andrew Shoemaker

Active Member
Listen to Long Rod. He’s spot on. I also use both OnX and Gaia, but mostly OnX. Gaia does have the better satellite imagery and also a better functioning altimeter but OnX is hands down better for logging and tracking points and routes. OnX also does now have an active wildfire layer as well as historic. The thing that truly sets OnX apart from anything else I’ve ever used is their public and private land ownership layers. This has been an absolute game changer for me in terms of finding public access and ways around private land to fishing and hunting spots. So much so, that I almost hesitate every time I tell someone about OnX. It will change your life if you’re good with maps. So my two cents is definitely get both map apps. Pay for the premium OnX and just use the free Gaia and they compliment one another quite well. For just driving directions I keep the whole state of WA downloaded into my offline Google Maps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zak

dekartes

Active Member
I find Gaia very intuitive and easy to use for backcountry travel. I don't hunt and am always on public land. You can definitely use it with just your GPS enabled with your phone in plane mode. I have used the National Geographic Topo series for route planning for years and with Gaia's premium subscription you are able to download those (it's the only way you can get them without going to Ebay). Super easy to record waypoints and add photos for future reference. I bring a Garmin mini for communication and navigation emergency's (phone runs out of power, etc...), but my phone with Gaia is pretty damn easy to use. Can't speak to logging roads. I am old school there and use the Delorme Atlas's. If I get confused about an area I am in I can cross reference quickly with Gaia. Although the useful layers are an obvious plus to using Gaia or OnX. Gaia works well for me for the style trips I take. For long floats in Alaska I pre-plan 1 mile waypoints so I can quickly reference how far along I am on a river. The topo maps are super useful there. I also find it very easy and useful to create historical information. For backcountry I just leave it on and let it track. The data you get is great. I attached a couple screenshots.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20210927-064212_Gaia GPS.jpg
    Screenshot_20210927-064212_Gaia GPS.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 10
  • Screenshot_20210927-064426_Gaia GPS.jpg
    Screenshot_20210927-064426_Gaia GPS.jpg
    755 KB · Views: 11
  • Screenshot_20210927-064717_Gaia GPS.jpg
    Screenshot_20210927-064717_Gaia GPS.jpg
    809.6 KB · Views: 10
  • Screenshot_20210927-064933_Gaia GPS.jpg
    Screenshot_20210927-064933_Gaia GPS.jpg
    283.9 KB · Views: 11

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Premium
...but my phone with Gaia is pretty damn easy to use. Can't speak to logging roads.
I use Google maps stored for offline use in my phone for routing while driving but find this level of roads detail in Gaia is very helpful.
1632766407435.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zak

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Premium
OnX has the ability to see property owners and property boundaries on the app, I can't figure out how to do it on Gaia (but the private land layer is available on the laptop version of gaia).
Gaia has good Private Land (and Public Land) layer(s) with ownership data inside the boundaries that is displayed nicely with the Gaia "basemap".
1632769302393.png
The problem is the Gaia USGS, USFS, NAT Geo... topo and satellite maps containing the vital detail such as names of roads, bodies of water... are at the same layer in the stack and have the "screen focus" priority over the Private (& Public) Land layer(s).
The topo map layers can be "blended" out enough to provide visibility for the Private Land layer visibility but that diminishes clarity (saturation and contrast) for the contending layers.
1632769215529.png

The layers are downloaded for offline use separately and can be blended on the fly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zak

long_rod_silvers

WFF Premium
Gaia has good Private Land (and Public Land) layer(s) with ownership data inside the boundaries that is displayed nicely with the Gaia "basemap".
View attachment 296578
The problem is the Gaia USGS, USFS, NAT Geo... topo and satellite maps containing the vital detail such as names of roads, bodies of water... are at the same layer in the stack and have the "screen focus" priority over the Private (& Public) Land layer(s).
The topo map layers can be "blended" out enough to provide visibility for the Private Land layer visibility but that diminishes clarity (saturation and contrast) for the contending layers.
View attachment 296576

The layers are downloaded for offline use separately and can be blended on the fly.
Are you able to see the private land layer on your phone?
I've been able to pull it up on the computer and see that on the PC, but can't get it to show up on the phone app. OnX is very easy to see on the app and PC.
 

Zak

WFF Premium
Thanks so much, everyone! I've bought the Gaia premium map service, downloaded the app, and am figuring it out. I was glad to learn that I can easily import folders of Google Earth placemarks (.kmz format) into the Gaia map.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Premium
Thanks. Guess I need to spend some time figuring out what I'm doing wrong....or not doing right.
The topo map layers can be "blended" out enough to provide visibility for the Private Land layer visibility but that diminishes clarity (saturation and contrast) for the contending layers.
I notice that the Private Lands layer does take the screen focus over the with the offline layers I have downloaded and displayed at full brightness- strength on my phone (below) when zoomed in enough to display an "as yet to be determined" amount of boundary and the ownership detail. At this particular location the PL layer doesn't reliably display until the mileage legend is at reads 1000 ft - 2000 ft, regardless of the Topo layer mix setting.
Screenshot_20210927-152215_Gaia GPS.jpg

Screenshot_20210928-132908_Gaia GPS.jpg
@long_rod_silvers , try zooming in-out to see if the PL layer displays.
Also, the Gaia website support section is an excellent resource.
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top