What is the difference between ONLINE and OFFLINE maps?

Within the Hema Explorer app on IOS and Android, there is the concept of ONLINE and OFFLINE maps.

When you install the app, you are prompted to download the included Hema basemap content.

The download takes a while (depending on your internet speed) as it is quite large (up to 4.5Gb).

Once these maps are downloaded, they are on your device, therefore, they are available at any time, regardless of whether you have an internet connection or not.

These maps would be known as OFFLINE maps.

These maps have a maximum zoom level. While offline, you cannot zoom past the maximum zoom level of these maps. If you do so, you will not see a map, as you cannot download tiles for any ONLINE only maps layers while offline.

There are other map layers available within the app, provided by HERE Maps, and other third parties:

  • Street
  • Terrain
  • Satellite
  • Various Topo map sources (if you have a Pro subscription)

These maps are NOT able to be downloaded in their entirety for offline use, due both to licensing restrictions, and the simple fact that to download the entire continent of Australia, at all zoom levels, in any of these layers would be an enormous amount of data, well beyond the storage capacity of most tablets and phones, and liable to blow your monthly data limit on any mobile device.

The HERE Maps and other topo map source layers are available wherever you have an internet connection available.

The HERE Maps layers are therefore known as ONLINE maps.

Within the app, you can choose to download an area of the online map layers (HERE Street, HERE Terrain, or topo sources) which is of specific interest to you, or download areas of the map along a track log or route.

Once you have downloaded a specific area of these maps layers, these areas are then available for offline use.

NOTE Satellite imagery cannot be downloaded for offline use.

The online user guide for each version of the app shows how this is done:

Android User Guide section

iOS User Guide section