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Offline vs Online Map (speed comparison)


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Hello Nic

I am always disappointed with the speed of loading the offline maps. That's why I made two comparison videos: 
Video 1 shows the offline map of Switzerland
Video 2 shows the same online OSM map

As you can see, loading the offline map takes much longer than loading the same online OSM map! 

My setup:
- iPhone 6 / 64GB, iOS 11.2.5 connected to WLAN
- Cachly 4.0.1 / Location/Maps: Switzerland

Why is the offline map so slow? When you're out in the field, it feels like forever... The main reason for me to use the offline map is that small ways are better visible.

-- Dave

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Offline OSM maps take information from the downloaded map database that you have downloaded for that particular state or country, uses that information to draw shapes such as buildings, rivers, labels, roads, etc (hundreds of various types), styles them using a style sheet and renders those out to an image file that is then used as a map tile on the map. There can be many many tiles per screen. This is all happening in realtime, so rendering greatly depends on your device and the processor.

Online OSM maps are ONLY downloading image tiles that have already been rendered and saved as an image on a server. They are very fast for this reason.

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Cachly offline maps are rendered on your device. The OSM maps are rendered on a big server somewhere and the rendered tiles delivered to your device. An older model phone may take a lot longer to render offline (raw CPU power). The trade off is that you can get offline maps without data connectivity. 

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I fully understand that offline maps are rendered on the iPhone and that the performance of the device is also crucial.
But I hope that everyone agrees with me that the cards are an absolutely important element of such an app and not just a small appendix.
Especially in countryside or wooded areas, where internet reception is often not so good, offline maps are important. And that's where good and easy-to-read(!) map material counts. I have already pointed out in another thread (https://goo.gl/XvSVMW) that I don't like this one and would like to integrate my own maps, but this is another chapter.

Back to speed: First of all I have to repeat that Cachly is the preferred geocaching app for me. No doubt about it. Nevertheless, Cachly has to face the competition. And that's why I also downloaded the offline map of Switzerland in Looking4Cache. The maps in L4C renders extremely much faster!! I find practically no delay in zooming or moving! Watch the video here.

I think that's where Cachly should be. Faster and, from my point of view, better readable maps. Logically, the question now is, why are other apps superior in this point? Does Cachly use any (slow) standard framework for map visualization? Isn't there better frameworks for this? It is obviously possible, as L4C shows.

I hope that this wish will find its way into the to-do list and be weighted accordingly. As I said, maps are absolutely important. I'm sure everyone will agree.

-- Dave

PS: Map comparison between Cachly and L4C. Which map is better readable? Decide for yourself.


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Maps are always something that we are working to make better, but they are a difficulty technology.

L4C does use the same framework as we do, but it also looks like they are doing some Open GL rendering which is much faster than rendering images. Really nice as you said.

As stated, maps are something that I continue to work on and I will have more to announce about this in the future.

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