Subscriptions Go Live
While I don’t expect this news to be greeted with thundering applause, CalTopo subscriptions are now live. Based on feedback from y’all, I moved to a two-tier pricing model:
You can still create, share and print maps for free, but prints will be limited to 5 pages of 8.5×11 and KMZ and MBTiles exports will be size limited.
At the moment, the Pro level is simply everything the Basic level has, but bigger – maybe I should have called it “super size” instead. Unless you really need large-format PDFs or large scale KMZ or MBTiles exports, I realize it may be a tough sell for $50 at the moment. However there are some additional features slated for the Pro tier that I’m pretty excited about, and some of which will carry significantly increased costs, and I don’t want to be stuck needing to raise prices in six months.
For the detail-oriented, there a few sneaker items in that table:
- PDFs can now go to 48″ instead of just 36″. Perfect for those with access to office plotters and ink purchased by the barrel.
- The maximum PDF length is now 40 pages, but multipage PDFs are limited to 8.5×11 and 11×17. If you absolutely need a 5 page 24″x36″ PDF, you’ll need to make five separate documents and combine them on your own. That keeps my server much more sane.
- The default PDF retention limit is now 7 days. Most people don’t need a linkable PDF longer than that, and PDF data was becoming a significant portion of my total DB size.
- KMZs now go to 200 images instead of 100. Be aware that most Garmin GPSs won’t handle more than 100 images across all KMZs loaded on the device, because Garmin wants you to buy BirdsEye imagery instead.
- MBTiles exports are now possible. This has become the go-to tile storage format for smartphones, and I’m excited to offer it. More on that in another post, but if you use an app that already licenses my map layers, such as Gaia or Backcountry Navigator Pro, you’re generally better off downloading maps directly through them.
In addition to those user-facing features, I also upgraded (again) to a new server with twice the RAM. For the second time in a year, CalTopo had started experiencing short, intermittent outages from running out of memory during heavy usage.