Topomaps+ is a fantastic topographic mapping and tracking app created by Glacier Peak Studios out of Spokane, Washington. This app has a full suite of features that will allow you to map out your route, add points of interest, and track your progress from the app, whether you have service or not. This app has full support for your desktop computer, iPhone, iPad and even functionality on an Apple watch.
Topomaps+ includes a wide variety of maps to overlay on your screen when planning or tracking your progress along the trail. 20 different overlays are currently included. These overlays will cover your adventures worldwide, with a high level of accuracy. There are over 500,000 marked trails included amongst these overlays.
Included Map Types:
- –NRCAN/GEOBC Topo Maps cover southern and western Canada.
- -USGS Topos maps for the gold standard in USA topographic maps.
- -US Forestry Service maps
- -US National Parks maps
- -US NOAA Marine charts to map out adventures on the water
- -NeoTreks Land cover, Land use, and Slope maps
- -Standard terrain and street map
- -Mapbox Run, Bike, Hike and Terrain maps
- –Glacier Topo is a beautiful worldwide topographic map with hiking and biking trails.
- –Thunderforest is a worldwide topographic map with hiking, biking, and skiing trails.
- -Open Cycle Mapp
- –LINZ Topo Map is the ultimate backcountry map for New Zealand.
- –Satellite Map lets you see satellite imagery for the entire world.
Tracking Your Progress
Route Tracing- From your phone, iPad, or laptop you can trace your own routes, on trail or off, in order to do highly accurate trip planning. The traced route will then provide you with all elevation changes and distances from any added waypoints in order for you to track your progress along the trail. This function is such a great resource for group trips. The trip leader or collective group can trace a route and add waypoints and then share the route to all the members of the group, that way you’re all on the same page even if you get separated along the route.
Adding Waypoints or Points of Interest- You can add as many waypoints or points of interest along your route as you would like, and even add new points of interest to the route in app while following it. The app allows you to designate these points of interest with a great degree of customization including 40 different unique icons to choose from when designating a point. You may also add a note to the given point as well as photos, and can also customize the title of the point, and categorize different waypoints by category. This is super useful for marking landmarks, campsite locations, scenic outlooks, canoe/kayak launch points, porta-potties, etc.
Recording New Track- This function is for when you are blazing a new trail and want the GPS and app to do the work tracing your route in real time. I had found this to be super accurate and it gives me the confidence to step off the beaten path and explore new areas as I can just check the app and follow my route back if I lose my bearings.
Sharing Your Routes, Waypoints, Etc.- all of the info that you input onto your routes, the waypoints, points of interest, pictures and note that go along with them are shareable to anyone else in your party with the app. This way if the trip leader maps out a route and adds a bunch of detailed Waypoints with notes and reference photos, the process doesn’t have to be manually repeated on each individual device. Just share it and your whole group is good to go.
Other Features- Some other notable features include the ability to print your maps and routes to have handy in case your device breaks or runs out of juice. There is a progress on trail function that gives you alerts to your progress along the current trail that you are progressing on. The categories function is fully customizable for saving things like favorite camping spots, fishing spots, hunting spots, or whatever other categories you might like to add.
User Interface and Ease of Use
I found this app to be really intuitive and easy to use. The User Interface is fantastic. All of the menus and functions are all very easily located and work exactly how you would expect them to. Adding new routes, tracing new routes, adding waypoints are all easy functions to navigate and execute and makes trip planning a breeze.
In my testing of this app, I have found it to be nothing short of astoundingly accurate. Even with my phone set to Airplane Mode, and in areas where cell service wasn’t available, the app was always dead on accurate in providing my location, distance, time traveled, elevation gain and always got me back to the trailhead without issue. I tested much of the elevations against my Suunto Core watch and found them accurate as well as the distances vs google maps and found them dead on as well. You can rest assured that this app is accurately telling you exactly where you are when you check it within a couple of feet. The pro service for this app costs $60 a year, and at $5 a month that it costs less than your Netflix subscription. If you are going deep into the backcountry, or even just heading off the beaten path in a dense or hard to navigate area like a slot canyon or ravine system, this is an essential addition to your kit. We all already have our smartphones essentially glued to ourselves, so why not add peace of mind to its capabilities.
*For the holidays TopoMaps+ is offering 20% off subscriptions until January 2, so save some money going into 2018! (This is not a sponsored post. No affiliate links for Topomaps+)