Caltopo access in Gaia GPS and Backcountry navigator #2

William Croft's Avatar

William Croft

25 Aug, 2019 01:41 AM

I would have posted on the previous topic of this name, but it was closed.

I have Backcountry Navigator Pro. And inside the app, purchased the $12 annual CalTopo addon. So I was expecting to see the same trail maps that I see in the online site for my area. These maps also show up on the CalTopo Android app. So I don't understand why they are not visible in BNP. Any tips? Or am I just out of luck until these trails are synced with BNP databases? I believe the trails have been in your system for multiple years. So a sync issue seems questionable. Here is the link showing the trails online. Red dotted lines.,-122.2892&z=15&b=mbt

Thanks for your insights.

William Croft, Mount Shasta, CA

  1. 1 Posted by William Croft on 25 Aug, 2019 02:24 AM

    William Croft's Avatar

    I notice that when I use your online map, it is labeled "MapBuilder Topo" in the upper right corner. When I go into the layer selection process of BNP, there are various layers for CalTopo, but none with that specific title. Here's what they show from CalTopo:

    1 CalTopo US 24K Topo Maps
    2 CalTopo with Slope Shading (subscription, which I have)
    3 CalTopo Topo / Aerial hybrid (sub)
    4 Hybrid: CalTopo with Accuterra
    5 CalTopo (no other additional description phrase)

    I have tried 1, 2, and 5. None have the trails. #2 does indeed have shading.

  2. 2 Posted by William Croft on 25 Aug, 2019 05:15 AM

    William Croft's Avatar

    OK, I think I've answered my own question. MapBuilder Topo will only ever be available via the online interface or the CalTopo apps. This gives some incentive for membership and possible future app sales.

    Meanwhile, I did find that the BNP layer from Thunderforest (TF) does have these same trails and matches what is on MapBuilder. Somewhat harder to read on TF without the colors, but still usable. Related thread:


  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by rmarcucci on 25 Aug, 2019 10:00 PM

    rmarcucci's Avatar


    It looks like your research led you in the same direction I would have pointed you. CalTopo does license some layers to 3rd party apps and you've listed them above. There are no future plans to license the Mapbuilder layer.

    TF and Mapbuilder (as well as a host of other online map sources) both have trail data coming from Open Street Map ( This is an open source, user editable database. We encourage users to make changes on there if they see any inaccuracies in the trails on Mapbuilder.

    Regarding why we thing Mapbuilder is an amazing layer, we've worked really hard on readability and accuracy. You've alluded to the former in your post, but know that we are pulling data like elevation, waterways, trails and more from a host of sources to make it as accurate and informative as possible.

    The app is a work in progress (hence beta) but as it continues to improve I think you'll really find it to your liking.

    Thank you for reaching out and using CalTopo,

  4. rmarcucci closed this discussion on 25 Aug, 2019 10:00 PM.

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