acquiring offline map tiles for our team

caver456's Avatar

caver456

02 Mar, 2021 01:27 PM

Hello, how would you suggest that we tell our SAR team members to acquire standardized sets of map tiles for their phones, for offline use with the app?

This is more of a trainability question than anything else. https://training.caltopo.com/all_users/mobile/offline is very helpful and we will definitely point our members to that page. The downloader in the app is very handy and intuitive to me and to others who are comfortable with the app (it has come a long way since the early days, thanks for all your work there), but, our goal here is to get a standardized set of tiles onto all searcher phones. In that context, the trainability of the downloader, for a target audience with a very broad range of app-savvy, is probably not the best solution. It would be great to get this down to a single-tap solution.

The good news is that we've already built several standardized sets of mbtiles files, in various 'install' sizes to cater to various amounts of available space on their phone/card, and ideally we'd just get the users to download that whole set of mbtiles files.

What's the latest on where they should download that set of files to? It's different for android vs iphone, and different for downloading to a memory card vs internal memory, right? Does anything have to be done in the app to get it to recognize tiles downloaded to an arbitrary directory?

This could also be a feature request idea for someday: if the team account admin could specify a set of links where team account members could just tap a button in the app to 'install' the standardized set of tiles of the appropriate install size, (after having done the work of creating said standardized sets), that would probably be a big value added.

Thanks

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ben Lantow on 02 Mar, 2021 06:14 PM

    Ben Lantow's Avatar

    The easiest way to get users with the right tiles in the right spot on their device is to have them download the tiles through the application. I'd like to say there was another fast easy way to do so but there really isn't. iOS and Android both store files different locations and those locations have to be correct for the app to see the tiles automatically. Neither iOS or android offer a quick easy ways to access their file system structure, you can't just "download to" a specific location. It is going to be far more work trying to get users into the file system of their device than just telling them to download the pertinent areas.

    Your suggestion for the future is something we've already considered having a "base layer package" for a team or just for a specific search, but is not in the near future.

    On idea is to create a map with markers in each corner of the download area and have users open that map and then the downloader, the dots will be visible, and the purple outline for the map extent should outline approximately the area you are having users download.

    Best,
    Ben

  2. 2 Posted by caver456 on 02 Mar, 2021 06:18 PM

    caver456's Avatar

    thanks for the reply. That's a good idea, we will try that out with a few
    folks for starters.

  3. Ben Lantow closed this discussion on 02 Mar, 2021 06:26 PM.

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