Hema Explorer - How do you use the new Layers panel/zooming compared to earlier versions?

There's a video with some explanation of the new Layers panel hosted on YouTube here:


When version 3 of the Hema Explorer app was launched, one of the major changes was the introduction of a more flexible map layer management panel. While it is more flexible, initially it may seems a bit confusing compared to the old Layers panel.

The earlier Layers panel

In the older version, the Layers panel basically had two sections:

  1. The top section showed the Hema layers
    • 1:1M Road Atlas
    • 1:250K Topo Atlas
    • Cape York
    • Fraser Island
    • Great Desert Tracks
    • The Kimberley
    • VIC High Country
  1. The bottom section showed the HERE Maps layers
    • Street
    • Terrain
    • Satellite

You could have multiple Hema layers active, and one of the three HERE layers active.

In practice, what this meant was that when you reached the maximum zoom level of the current Hema Layer, the app would automatically switch to the selected HERE Maps layer.

Many users did not like this functionality, and would have preferred to "lock" or stay on a specific Hema layer.

The new Layers panel

In the New Layers panel, there are a few concepts that will make the use of layers easier and more understandable (hopefully) for you.

In the new Layers panel, map sources can be in THREE places:

  1. In the ACTIVE section at the top of the Layers panel
  2. In the AVAILABLE section of the Layers panel (which is right underneath the ACTIVE section)
  3. Tucked away under the "Manage Map Layers" button under the AVAILABLE section of the Layers panel.
Think of these 3 locations in terms of paper maps:
  1. ACTIVE maps are sitting on your knee while you read them. You MIGHT have one or two maps on your knee at a time, and shuffle between them. Whichever one is on top is the one you are currently looking at or using.
  2. AVAILABLE maps are the bunch of maps which are squeezed down beside the seat, or piled on the dashboard, where you might get to them easily and move them to your knee to look at (like moving from the AVAILABLE to the ACTIVE section of the Layers panel).
  3. The map layers under the "Manage Map Layers" button are like the ones tucked away in your glove-box. You might need them at some point, but you don't want them out squeezed next to the seat or on the dash with the other maps, or on your knee cluttering things up.
When you first tap the layers button, you should see the words ACTIVE and AVAILABLE.
If the map you wish to use is in the AVAILABLE list, grab it by it's handle (the little button at the right of the map button), and drag it up to the top of the ACTIVE list.

The map which is at the top of the ACTIVE section is the currently visible map layer.

You can grab any map layer button by it's handle and drag it to change the order of layers, or move between ACTIVE and AVAILABLE lists.

If there is a map layer in one of the categories of the "Manage Map Layers" panel, you can add it to the AVAILABLE layers section (take it out of the glove-box) by tapping the PLUS sign next to that layer

From the AVAILABLE section, you can move it in and out of the ACTIVE section as needs dictate.


You may think, "Well, why not just put all my maps in the ACTIVE section of the layers panel"? 

Keep in mind that the app has to draw ALL active map layers, regardless of whether they at the top of the ACTIVE panel or not.

If you load up the ACTIVE section with say EIGHT different map layers, the app will slow down, as you are asking it to do a lot more work drawing map layer tiles.

It is recommended to have no more than, say, two map layers in the ACTIVE section of the Layers panel.

Is it true that the new app doesn't zoom in as far as the old one?

In a word, no!

When using the new Layers panel, if you feel that the Hema Explorer map layer does not zoom in as far as you remember in the earlier version of the app, remember that If you have only ONE active map layer, once you reach the maximum zoom level of that layer, it will stop zooming.

If you drag one of the HERE maps layers to the active panel, and position it BELOW the Hema Explorer layer, then the app will function pretty well the same as it used to in the older app version.

ie. when you reach the max zoom level of the Hema Explorer map, the app will switch to the HERE layer, and continue to zoom, until the max zoom level of the HERE layer is reached.