4. Map Downloads


Q1. "What is the difference between cached maps and downloaded maps?"

A1. Downloading maps and map caching are two similar but distinct features. Both improve map performance and enable offline map viewing. Map caching automatically saves tiles viewed on the Maps page as you scroll and zoom. The cache limit is 250 MB; beyond this limit the oldest cached tiles are overwritten as new tiles are cached. Downloaded maps are downloaded using the Download Maps tool from within MotionX-GPS, where you define a specific region and range of zoom levels for downloading and storage. Downloaded map tile sets are stored on your device until you delete them.


Q2. "What zoom levels should be selected when downloading maps?"

A2. The Min Zoom level (smaller numbers) gives a broader overview. The Max Zoom level (higher numbers) provides greater detail. Higher zoom levels for a given area result in more map tiles. The zoom level is displayed in the lower right corner on the Map screen. Sample zoom levels:

Since it can take a significant amount of time to download the max zoom level across large areas, we recommend downloading an overview of the areas you're interested in using zoom levels 10-12, then in a separate download, select smaller areas in which to download greater detail at higher zoom levels.


Q3. "Where can I view the maps I've downloaded, and how do I know they will be available without a data connection?"

A3. You can view an overview of a specific map set you've downloaded from Menu>Map Downloads>View. Check to ensure your map tiles are available offline:

  1. Turn off Map Data from Menu>Maps>Map Data.
  2. Go to the Map screen.
  3. Select the same map type that you downloaded (i.e. Road, Terrain, or Marine).
  4. Zoom out and pan to identify the lowest zoom level downloaded, then zoom in to view higher map tile zoom levels.


Q4. "Why are some map tiles missing above 60 degrees North Latitude?"

A4. The MotionX Terrain maps are provided by OpenCycleMap and the MotionX Road maps are provided by OpenStreetMap. OCM and OSM are open source map projects which rely on contributions from users. While much of the world has been mapped, there are areas with fewer contributors which contain missing data. If you'd like to contribute to OCM or OSM, see our section on Adding and editing content in OpenStreetMap and OpenCycleMap.


Q5. "Are my downloaded maps backed up with iTunes syncing?"

A5. Cached and downloaded maps are not backed up when syncing with iTunes to significantly decrease the iPhone-to-iTunes sync and backup times.


Q6. "How do I prevent map downloading from stopping when MotionX-GPS is running in the background?"

A6. If the iPhone's location services are not actively being used, iOS 4 will terminate the downloading of map tiles after 10 minutes. If your iPhone is running iOS 4 and downloading map tiles in the background, set your signal mode in MotionX-GPS to "Outdoor GPS Mode" or "WiFi/Triangulation Mode" (touch the signal indicator globe icon to select a mode). Then, from MotionX Settings > Multitasking, set your GPS signal search to Always On. Make sure to switch back to the Optimized setting when you're done to prevent excessive battery drainage.


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