Here’s a comparison of two popular Android hiking apps – Backcountry Navigator and Atlogis US Topo Maps Pro.
I previously wrote about Gaia GPS vs. BCN, and it’s clear that Atlogis is a distant third. In this case, it comes down to the maps. I could take some fun jabs at the usability and performance of these apps relative to one another, but maps make the rest moot.
I’ll also note that we’d like you to compare Gaia GPS to both apps – we’ll give you a refund if you prefer our competitors, and we’ll give you a free GaiaPro subscription if you write to tell us why you like Gaia GPS better. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BackCountry has Better Topos than Topo Maps Pro
If you are looking for USGS topo maps, then you are much better off using Backcountry Navigator than Atlogis. BCN uses the same USGS topo maps that we do in Gaia GPS – the amazingly clear and updated USGS topos provided by CalTopo. On the other hand, Atlogis seems to have stitched together their own quilt of USGS topo maps – you can tell because of the ugly watermarks they superimpose on what are actually government maps.
Atlogis maps are also just obviously less clear and inferior – CalTopo renders the images to a higher resolution with a better method.
I can’t help but point out that Gaia GPS is best of all in this respect – not only do we have the clear CalTopo maps, but we let you adjust the hill-shading in the app itself, if you have a GaiaPro add-on. Personally, I prefer to have hill-shading turned off in the field. See for yourself which USGS topo is the best:
BackCountry has Better Map Selection than Atlogis
It might be that if you are looking for a weather app, Atlogis is what you want. There are a lot of weather layers, and like Gaia GPS, you can animate weather radar in the app and get some forecast info.
But for offline satellite imagery, international maps, and special sources like hunting layers and NOAA nautical charts, Atlogis isn’t going to do it for you.
I think people who buy Atlogis Topo Maps Pro do so for very random reasons, related to marketing and effort to promote the app. BCN is just better, and Gaia GPS is best of all.
Email email@example.com and let us know what you think.