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  • Writer's pictureKai Fitchen

What is the BEST Hiking GPS Maps for Table Mountain

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

Over the years I've been testing out a number of apps while hiking and climbing around Cape Town over the years! Quite frankly I think that the accuracy and interface of these Free versions of these apps puts most Garmin devices to shame. Sure you need a iPhone or smartphone that cost real money but, let's be honest we've all got one! With a waterproof case and the right app you can save weight and subscription fees.







What's in the Apps?


OpenStreetMap is a collaborative, open-source map of the world, and many hiking apps do use this data as a base layer. However, many apps also use other sources of data, such as satellite imagery and topographical maps, to provide more detailed and accurate information. For example, some hiking apps like AllTrails and Gaia GPS use OpenStreetMap data in conjunction with other data sources to provide detailed trail maps, elevation profiles, and information about trail conditions. Other apps, such as Google Maps, use proprietary data sources to provide maps and navigation information.


Accidents!


OpenStreetMap for example is a valuable resource for hikers, but it's not without its limitations and we have seen newcomers getting lost and stranded on Table Mountain using these apps!



So why are these apps not as reliable as we'd like them to be?

  1. Data quality - Varies based on contributions and may not be accurate.

  2. Timeliness - Information may not be up-to-date.

  3. Map completeness - May not have complete coverage in remote areas.

  4. User errors - Incorrect information can be introduced by users.

  5. Bias - Data may not reflect the same priorities and perspectives as the user.

  6. GPS accuracy - This can result in incorrect location information or incorrect tracking of your hike, which can be frustrating and potentially dangerous.

  7. Cost - Some of these apps require a subscription or an in-app purchase to access all of their features.

  8. Data usage - If you're hiking in an area with limited or no cell service, using a hiking app can consume a lot of data. To minimize data usage, it's a good idea to download maps for offline use.


TOP 5 Hiking Apps for TABLE MOUNTAIN & beyond

  1. AllTrails - AllTrails is a popular hiking app that provides detailed information and maps for a wide range of hiking trails, including those on Table Mountain. You can search for trails based on difficulty, distance, and other criteria, and the app provides information on elevation gain, trail conditions, and more.

  2. Maps.me - Maps.me is a offline mapping app that allows you to download maps and use them without an internet connection. This can be especially useful when exploring Table Mountain, as it will ensure that you always have access to a map even if you are out of cell range.

  3. Google Maps - Google Maps is a widely used mapping app that provides turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic updates, and the ability to download maps for offline use. You can use Google Maps to get directions to the trailhead, and then switch to the offline map once you reach the mountain to conserve battery life and minimize data usage.

  4. PeakFinder - PeakFinder is a specialized app for mountain enthusiasts that provides information about peaks, including their names, elevations, and distances. You can use PeakFinder to identify and learn about the peaks that you can see from Table Mountain, and to plan your next outdoor adventure.

  5. Gaia GPS - Gaia GPS is another popular hiking app that provides detailed maps and information for outdoor enthusiasts. It includes topographic maps, satellite imagery, and other data layers that can help you navigate the terrain and plan your route on Table Mountain. You can download maps for offline use and record your track for later reference.

THE WINNER?





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