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Mapbox cross-platform functionality powers Gaia GPS map products and features for web and Android Auto

Key benefits of building with Mapbox

  • Mapbox GL JS provides a fast and flexible platform for web version of Gaia’s interactive map
  • The Mapbox Maps SDK improved navigation with turn-by-turn directions and realistic 3D
  • Mapbox Maps SDK enhanced the Gaia GPS Android Auto app with offline downloads and longer battery life

products used

Mapbox GL JS

Base Maps

Gaia GPS provides a differentiated and customizable outdoor trail and route mapping experience by enabling their users to own and annotate route data, overlay superior topographic maps, and import and export trails with ease. Those users can also download tracks from other users quickly and easily on mobile. These features allow Gaia GPS users to tailor maps to their specific outdoor interests and needs.

With the rollout of Gaia GPS on Android Auto, even more functionality has been added to make mapping and custom routing from your car available even without cell phone service. Mapbox Map SDK adds support in mobile for secondary surfaces and offline downloads making this complex 3D functionality highly performant, visually striking, and available offline. 

More Gaia GPS users can now offroad on overlander adventures confidently, and track their routes on customized maps. Gaia GPS’s detailed map sources can now be accessed from  users’ vehicles running Android Auto, providing turn-by-turn navigation on their saved routes. Map SDK cross-platform functionality enabled developer teams at Gaia GPS to launch new products and features to a wider user base on Android Auto in the summer of 2021.

“I wanted to point out a great experience we recently had with Mapbox. While upgrading the SDK on the web I ran into a bug. [Engineering] quickly resolved the issue and cut a new release of GL JS, which allowed us to complete the upgrade and implement the new fog feature. It is now live on https://www.gaiagps.com/map/.”

John Czaplewski, GaiaGPS


Gaia GPS is the world’s leading backcountry mapping application that empowers their users to go on the wildest adventures on Earth, confident they’ll find their way. World-class Everest guides, wildland firefighters, and record-breaking thru-hikers use Gaia GPS for work and play. Gaia GPS integrates the best topo map sources, offline navigation tools, and planning features seamlessly across phones, tablets, and their website.

The Gaia GPS team has continuously improved their services since 2009. While Gaia GPS has been available on Android and iOS for 8+ years, Gaia GPS’s release this year integrates Mapbox into an Android Auto app with turn-by-turn directions, better battery life for the connected device, offline downloads, and 3D gestures. With 3D, the user is able to shift the perspective of the backcountry map to better visualize changes in terrain on approach.

The release of Gaia GPS on Android Auto improves existing Gaia GPS users’ experience and expands the number of adventurers who can now plan an offroading trip out of cell phone service areas using their own saved routes on customized maps.

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