Access to hunting land seems to be getting harder and harder to find and obtain. Thankfully there are a few products on the market that can help you find pieces of public land or help provide information before you knock on a door looking for permission on private. One of the newest apps to hit the market, and my current source of information, is BaseMap.
Founded in 2013, BaseMap has positioned itself to take on its biggest competitors with new features that other apps don’t provide. These features include an in app electronic journal, fishing information, real-time location sharing, SmartMarkers, and 3D mapping on iOS devices. Like other apps on the market, BaseMap also provides public and private land boundaries, various mapping options including satellite layers, saving of waypoints and tracks, caching saved maps for offline use, and a host of other features.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages BaseMap has over its number one rival in this market space is price. Basemap’s biggest competitor, onX, charges $100 per year for all 50 states on their mobile app. One state will run you $30 per year. BaseMap has priced itself to be very aggressive in the space and is only $30 per year for all 50 states with their Pro Membership. That is less than 1/3 the cost of their main rival. Users can also purchase an add-on for $10 per year that gives you access to addition hunting information. There is also a free version that provides a lot of great mapping options.
One feature that I find myself using more than others is the 3D mapping that is available on iOS devices. This works like Google Earth and will show you what an area really looks like. We can all look at topo lines and understand elevation changes based on those lines, but what does it really look like? With the ability to change to a 3D map you can see the elevation and use that information to try to find a better route to the location you are trying to get to. This feature isn’t available for offline use or on Android devices.
Recently BaseMap released an update that provided a new patent pending feature called SmartMarkers. When you save a waypoint, the app will record local weather information at that very moment and include it as information on the waypoint. This is a great feature for trying to catalog or track information based on weather information. By keeping track of this info, it could help you decide on locations to hunt based on current condition when you are headed out to the field.
Real-time location sharing is a great feature that does require cellular service in the field. Users can turn on location sharing and select friends to share it with. Your friends list includes people that you follow with the BaseMap in app journal. This is a great feature for tracking friends or family members while out in the field. BaseMap users can also text or email waypoints to anybody that uses BaseMap. Again, this requires cellular service in the field.
Speaking of the journal that is part of the app, this is a great feature to help log your hunts, fishing trips, hikes, etc. You can log a journal entry with a photo or a waypoint. The user can then add additional information related to what is going on. You have the option to share this with all BaseMap users, friends, or keep it private. You can also then share this log to your social media pages. When a log is made, you have the benefit of saving a waypoint as well as logging weather information with the SmartMarkers.
BaseMap offers unlimited caching of offline maps for use when you are in areas without cell coverage. Users will have to save maps prior to heading out into the field and should do so using WiFi based on the size of the files. When downloading a map you can select how large of an area to download. The larger the area, the less detail you get on the map. The saved map will also include any active layers you have at the time of download. When you get into the field you can go “offline” and all of your saved maps are active at one time.
Another great feature of the Pro Membership is the ability to log into your account on a computer to see all of the information on a larger screen. This is great for e-scouting from home prior to a hunt. You can see all of your saved waypoints, tracks, photos, and lines. Anything that you add online will automatically transfer to your mobile device.
There is only one app in this space that has any type of fishing information and that is BaseMap. While they don’t have There is also bathometric data for the Great Lakes and coastal areas. The SmartMarkers show tide information as well. BaseMap recently developed a map that highlights water making it easier to see on the app.
The previously mentioned hunting information add-on is called Hunt Research. This will provide you with a desktop hunt planner, unit filtering, nationwide season dates, and western big game harvest data. If you are planning a hunt in the western part of the country, this could help you to narrows down units to look at or apply to. Having historical harvest data shows you the odds of tagging a trophy or the chances of filling your freezer. It is better than trying to gather data from friends or on forums.
Aside from all of these features, BaseMap simply runs smoother, faster, and is more reliable. The maps will load faster and look a lot clearer than the competition. These are all valuable features to have in a mapping app.
There are a number of choices in the app stores for mapping apps. Some are geared towards hunters and others towards outdoors enthusiasts. BaseMap has positioned itself as an app for everybody looking for information while out in the field. The biggest push is always towards hunting information and data, but many others can use this app. Before dropping your money on another product, give BaseMap a look. You might just save yourself some money that can be used for more hunting gear!
The author of this review, Ed Gramza, is the BaseMap Ambassador Manager. He has used other apps and has vast knowledge about how these products work.