Downloading Layers for Mobile

Downloading Layers for Mobile

Downloading tiles for offline use requires a subscription to CalTopo. Basic subscriptions allow for downloading of topographic layers, pro subscriptions allow topographic layers and aerial imagery. More information can be found here. Instructions for downloading in desktop installations can be found here.

To get started on mobile, the download layers interface is found within the main menu in the top left corner, under Download Layers

Main Menu

The download interface is designed to convey several pieces of information:

  • To see offline availability of layers

  • To select an area for download

  • To select layers for download

Some layers have limited geographic availability, for example the FS Topo layer is only available for USFS and immediately adjacent terrain, and some aerial imagery layers do not have nationwide availability.

Upon opening the download layers interface you'll see the availability shown for a layer. You can select a different layer to find availability using the drop down menu which is highlighted below in the top image. If a tiles are unavailable for an area they will be shaded in red demonstrated below. This reflects only availability of the layer selected on the screen.

Main Menu
Unavailable Tiles

On this initial screen you can also select the area you wish to download, selection of layers will be done on the next screen. Selections are outlined by yellow rectangles, areas already downloaded are shaded in blue. This screenshot shows areas highlighted for download. This screen is only to select AREA for download, the layers will be selected on the next screen.

Unavailable Tiles

After selecting area for download the down arrow in the top right corner leads to the download screen where layers can be selected for download. The list of ALL available layers for offline download will be found here. It will be noted in red font if a layer does not cover the entire area selected for download, you can use the back arrow or cancel button in order to return to the previous screen and inspect that layer and the coverage area available.

Unavailable Tiles

Once you select which layers you want to download the layer resolution will appear next to the layer as demonstrated in the above photo. Available resolutions vary from layer to layer and may also vary based upon your subscription level. Download size is displayed at the bottom of the screen along with available device space and a visual representation of storage capacity. Be aware that downloading high resolutions of large areas will result in very large downloads. In order to ensure downloads do not accidentally happen over cellular data CalTopo defaults to downloading map data over wifi only.

Download on Wifi

With the default settings if you are not connected to wifi, a popup will open as pictured here asking if you want to download on cellular. Selecting yes will change your system setting for all downloads going forward and can incur carrier costs for downloading data. CalTopo is not responsible for any data costs incurred by users while downloading data.

The option to download on wifi only is found in the main settings menu and can be seen here under "Allow Cellular Downloads".

Download on Wifi

After downloading tiles your phone will default to those downloaded tiles for best performance and will automatically load from those tiles when offline or in marginal cell service.

At this time there is no ability to delete downloaded tiles through the app, though this will be available in a future release.