GAIA Routes are wildly inaccurate regarding ascent and descent
Jan 27, 2023 at 1:56 pm #3771585SDVanmanBPL Member
Received pretty thoughtful and detailed response today, which I posted below.
TL:DR: GAIA is aware of the issue with it’s algorithm (which in my case caused a nearly 100% over estimation) with no current ETA on resolution.
I will be using CALTOPO as the route calculation looks much more accurate. Who in the world is going to plan backcountry routes when they have no accurate idea what the true elevation gain/loss is with GAIA?
We’ve seen some reports of routes displaying unexpected elevation stats.
Specifically in areas with big canyons, the issue is frequently with the elevation data. The problem is that the elevation data has a 30-meter resolution. Meaning the elevation for any given point along your route could be 15m to the left or right of the point you’re plotting. If you have a trail going along a narrow canyon, the elevation recorded for some of the points could be part-way up the canyon wall, some on the bottom, and a lot of elevation gain will build up quickly because of that.
We’re looking into this more and we plan to update our algorithm so that it better accounts for these elevation swings in situations like this one.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an ETA on when you can expect this update to happen, but we are working on it.Jan 27, 2023 at 3:50 pm #3771591ArthurBPL Member
While they are writing an algorithm, you might want to check out a program called GPS Utility. The Brits wrote this algorithm about 20 years ago that works great. Been using it to smooth out gps tracks for a long time.Jan 27, 2023 at 5:16 pm #3771603Bill in RoswellBPL Member
@roadscrape88-2Locale: Roswell, GA, USA
Arc GIS can handle that, but it is an expensive premier product used by professionals. It also requires a bit of programming to get specific details. A map company has to get enough revenue to pay a staff to implement advanced info to remain viable. The hiking community is niche and not a big dollar market in regards to return on investment. Ive only played w OnX, not tried the paid full featured version but think it would be worth checking out. But do not be turned off by the off-road/hunting market. Those customers make more detailed mapping viable business wise.
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