We take your feedback seriously over here at Gaia GPS, and that’s why we’ve been working tirelessly to make our iOS and Android apps more intuitive and easier to use. And we have great news: we’ve simplified the top five features in the app so you can spend less time looking at your phone and more time exploring. Waypoints, locating yourself on the map, taking a geotagged photo, recording an activity, and downloading maps for offline use are easier to access than ever.
Think of this update like reorganizing the gear shed. All the tools you know and love are still there. We’ve simply moved them to more convenient locations and gave them a fresh coat of paint. Read on to learn about this update and how to make the most of our top features on your adventures.
1. Mark Up the Map with Waypoints
Whether they’re pins, icons, or emojis, waypoints let you mark up the map. Label key water sources, epic campsites, breathtaking views, the location of your car, you name it, so you can find it again later.
Now it’s easier than ever to add waypoints to the map:
- Hit the big green plus button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
- Tap the pin icon.
- Add pins, icons, or emojis to your current location, or move them around to anywhere on the map.
- Further customize and color-code your waypoints by changing the color of the border.
2. Find Yourself on the Map
Locating yourself on the map is probably the most useful and important tool in Gaia GPS. It’s how you find your way back to the trail when you get lost, how you see how much further to go until the lunch break, and how you avoid avalanche terrain.
Now you can locate yourself on the map by hitting the arrow icon on the lefthand sidebar. The map will shift to automatically center you on the screen, as denoted by the arrow on the map. Tap the locate icon again to change navigation modes.
3. Take a Geotagged Photo
Memorialize that epic campsite, viewpoint, or waterfall by photographing it in the app. The photo will automatically get dropped on the location where it was taken so you can find that place again later.
To take a photo in the app:
- Tap the big green plus button on the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Tap the camera icon.
- Add a title and notes, if you wish.
4. Record an Activity in the App
Whether you want to leave a breadcrumb trail of your adventure so you can retrace your steps if you get lost, or you want to marvel at your travels once you get home, recording your activity in the app is the way to go.
To record an activity in the app:
- Tap the red circle at the top left of the screen. (You can also start recording an activity by tapping the “Trip” button at the bottom of the screen. That page makes it easy to follow along with your progress, take a photo waypoint, see your coordinates, and check the accuracy of the app’s GPS.)
- To stop recording, simply tap the time in the red box on the top left, or hit the time button on the trip page.
5. Download a Map for Offline Use
Orient yourself on the map, navigate along the trail, and re-route on the fly—all without cell service—by downloading a map. While you can download pretty much any map you like, we recommend starting with one of our proprietary base maps: Gaia Topo, Gaia Overland, and Gaia Winter. These file-efficient maps are designed to pack world-class quality and detail without clogging up precious storage space on your phone. Plus, even huge swaths of the map can be downloaded in a matter of minutes. Download the map for your whole state so you’re never caught off the grid without it.
To download a map:
- Tap the map layers icon on the bottom left of the screen.
- Hit “save offline maps.”
- Select the region of the map you want to save offline.
- Keep “Include data to create and navigate routes offline” toggled on so you can enjoy snap-to-trail route planning without cell service.
Your App for Your Adventures
Customize the app to your heart’s delight to tailor it for your adventures. While the possibilities are endless, starting with choosing the right maps from the 300-plus map catalog and layering maps together to unlock even more detail, you can also:
- Modify what’s shown on the stats bar at the top. Just tap it and choose from the dropdown menu.
- Hide stats bar entirely to reveal even more map. (Go to Settings → Map Layout)
- Move the plus button from the bottom left to the right of the screen (Go to Settings → map Layout → toggle “Add Menu Location” from right to left.)
- Enable landscape mode (Settings → Map Controls → toggle on “Allow Rotation”)
- Change your location arrow color (Settings → Map Controls → Location Marker)
Navigate Like a Pro with Gaia GPS Premium
Unlock the full power of Gaia GPS—and your inner adventurer—with a Premium membership.
Gaia GPS Premium gives you access to the entire 300+ map catalog, including high-resolution, world-wide satellite imagery; our suite of National Geographic maps; and specialty maps ranging from historic topos to slope angle shading.
With Premium, you can also download maps for offline use so you can find your way—even without cell service. And you can layer maps together to reveal even more terrain, weather, and safety features.