Hema apps maps - post errors here

There's a lot of interest in the Hema Explorer app and the Navigator; both have the Hema 150 K topo mapset.

I've invested a good deal in Hema products including the Android Explorer app v2 and v3 with the extra 4WD maps, the Hema Navigator 5HNi and a whole bunch of paper maps.

I no longer rely on their digital maps as I've found too many errors or inconsistencies. Recently on this forum I was told I was wrong by a member whose experience was different so I thought I would list what I've found and invite others to add theirs.

These comments have been gleaned through CASUAL use of the app since the Explorer 150K was released and are mainly about it (abbrev EXP). It's the heart of the Explorer app for Android. In this app you also get HERE street, terrain and sat maps. The 4WD maps are an in-app purchase.

PLEASE NOTE: for current users of Hema digital maps, it's in your interest to stay on topic.


Bogong High Plains and nearby

Most tracks are seasonally closed or MVO (ie. closed to the public) all the time but EXP usually doesn't show this nor where the gates are.

Heathy Spur walking track is shown as a vehicle track. It hasn't been one for many years (EXP).

The Big River firetrail is shown as a medium to difficult track but up to the (unmarked) gate 2WD is fine (EXP). EXP shows a track to the NW of it that doesn't exist. The Here Street map doesn't show it.

In the W Kiewa valley Dungey's Tk is shown as seasonally closed but not the northern section of the W Kiewa Logging Tk (EXP).

Further west, we see the Stony Tops Tk without the gate marked and the legend does not show the southern section as medium or difficult (those classifications are run together in the map legend) when it certainly is at least medium (it's tight and rocky).

Avon Wilderness area surrounds (Vic)

Where you can get to depends heavily on where the gates are and they're not shown.

The track to the top of Ben Cruachan isn't shown (EXP). It's a popular destination.

Desert tracks

Newhaven is a popular place for bird watchers. Further west on the access road is Nyirripi. The Here Street map shows no road from it to Newhaven but shows one to Yuendumu. EXP is the reverse.

Out Innamincka way, the road eastwards from Moomba is sometimes called the Strezlecki track or the Della road by locals. It runs to the Santos - Orientos road and that leg is shown on EXP but not on the Great Desert Map. It's an option if you're coming up from the Warri Gate.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Nov 23, 2017 at 14:37

Thursday, Nov 23, 2017 at 14:37
Hi Sigmund

I can assure you, as I have said in the previous post that Hema is the only major map producer that carries out field surveys and checking.

The idea of using and mobile mapping software or App is accurate and up to date map data, which we all want to see.

The screen shots below are from 3 major suppliers of digital maps, that is the 2008 Natmap series, the current EOTOPO and the Hema 150k Map.

I can tell you the following.

The Natmap data is 10 years plus out of date and at this stage will never be updated due to the cost.

The Hema 150 map is very accurate when used as a moving map when driving, and in fact are going to release an updated version very soon.

The third is the EOTOPO that David said he is working on an update.

The 3 images are all taken are all moving maps with my very accurate track file overlaid, on a section of the Birdsville Track that has not changed for a very long time. My track file follows the Hema track perfectly, compared to the 2 other maps that show the red dashed line as the main road.

For me, yes some maps look better than others, but prefer the map to be accurate, so what do you thing of the 3 above.

Also, have a read of this link

The above link is what travellers want, well that is what I expect anyway.


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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 23:33

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 23:33
Hey Stephen, the maps are in a different order to what your text says... I think.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Nov 27, 2017 at 07:12

Monday, Nov 27, 2017 at 07:12
Hi Tony

Opps....yes they are out of order, but you can see what I am on about.

The top two maps show the main Birdsville Track in its wrong location, seeing that has not changed its current location for a very long time, as with this statement I am talking about 20 years.

Also while on this area, Milners Pile is not even in the correct location, something that I have corrected by alerting the map makers, and in fact is around 5 kilomtres north of the location shown on the maps.


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Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Nov 23, 2017 at 14:48

Thursday, Nov 23, 2017 at 14:48
Spatial Vision does ground checking too.

As I've said, if it's not all verified - and Hema isn't - it's only as good as the weakest link.

So much for keeping on topic.

Hema invite corrections. This is the place to challenge them on their response.

Addition: Diamantina Horseyards track off the W Kiewa Logging Rd is missing in EXP.
AnswerID: 615176

Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Thursday, Nov 23, 2017 at 19:56

Thursday, Nov 23, 2017 at 19:56
Funny thing is we drove the alt way to Santos in Sept and to tell you the truth I never saw a reason to open anything other than standard Explorer map so I cant see that as a negative. Standard Explorer showed all the creeks we had to cross and the hills we had to go round.
AnswerID: 615178

Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 08:09

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 08:09
So let's consider for a moment what we mean by accuracy and how much we need typically as offroad or remote tourers.

@Stephen, when I compare the map extracts you've posted the thing that jumps out at me is that there are four tracks shown on the Natmap and EOTopo and which are missing from EXP. That's a decided black mark in my book.

Then there's Hema's boast about recording roads and tracks with a GPS.

Hema will have sourced their data from a third party. If it is so unsure about its accuracy why only verify some tracks and roads, why not all? Looking at the 4WD Vic High Country map only a minority have been tracked. If there's a real problem with their data, why would we be confident using the untracked routes?

And how important is any discrepancy between the marked and the actual route? Well that depends on your uses. I'm not relying on these maps for property boundaries or mining leases. I'm using them to get from A to B, to find out how far that would be and perhaps what there is to see on the way. Sometimes I'll want to look at gradients. It matters not a jot to me if a road alignment has changed by a hundred metres as long as it gets me to B.

Roads like the Birdsville are so well sign-posted anyway that you need no map at all. And it's a good example of alignment change over the years which means that it's quite likely the actual line departs from the representation on any given map and unless your eyes are glued to the screen you'll miss it as it has no consequences.

I'm not interested in map comparisons here. That's not the purpose of the thread and has been canvassed elsewhere. But I won't take map publication date as evidence of innacuracy. Yes, it's a heads-up to go looking but the key date is when the data was acquired and the key variable is how much roads and features have changed since.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 at 08:10

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 at 08:10
Here are some comments about the Hema Vic High Country 4WD map.

They relate to an area I drive, walk and ski, which is just a fraction of the whole.

The map appears to have been published after 2009.

No legend is included with mine

The map does better than EXP at showing gates and seasonal closures.

However there's a gate on the road to the W Kiewa power station closing it to the public and the track over Holland's Hill is MVO.

There's a high diversion ommitted on the W Kiewa Logging Rd that avoids a couple of river crossings.

Heathy Spur walking track is shown as a vehicle track.

A vehicle track is shown between the start of the Big River Firetrail and the Australian Alps Walking Track.  It doesn't exist.

Trappers Gap Tk has been realigned to avoid the steep pitch out of Trappers Gap.

Near the junction of Trappers Ck and Trappers Spur Tracks a track is shown leading to Bull Hill.  It doesn't exist.

Niggerheads were renamed Jaitmathangs some years ago.


Ropers, Blair and Weston are shown as ruins.  They're not.

Maddisons is shown as standing when it's been a ruin for decades.

New and Old Fitzgerald's Huts are shown; only the new hut exists.

Michell Hut is misspelled.
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Follow Up By: Member - JOHN C16 - Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 at 22:29

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 at 22:29
Maddisons Hut was still standing in 1980, but only just. It completely fell down the following year. It was also known as Aertex Hut because it had as many holes as the thermal fabric of the same name.

Aertex the original cellular cotton fabric


I use Hema 4WD Maps and Hema Explorer on an Apple iPad Pro. Different devices sometimes display different information. Hema VHC East and West do not have a legend but Hema Snowy-Kosciusko does. An intact hut is shown as solid black and a damaged/destroyed hut is shown as a white hut with a black outline.

Some huts such as Ropers were burnt down in extensive fires 15 years ago and have since been rebuilt. This may account for some of the hut discrepancies. However there is no accounting for Heathy Spur being marked as a vehicle track. I have been a frequent visitor for 40 years and it has’nt been a vehicle track in that time.

I also have VicMap 25k East. This shows the VHC accurately but costs $99 as an in-app purchase and is a 5gb download.

Another solution is Rooftop’s paper maps. They no longer offer a digital version as they have been pirated too often.

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 at 05:10

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 at 05:10
Maddisons was I gather set alight by vandals in 1978, along with Bogong Hut.

Yes, Ropers and Weston's were both rebuilt after being burned down in bushfires. Fitzgerald's was accidentally burned down by a school group.

The best source of rich geospatial information for the Vic high country is the VicMap topos. You can buy just the maps you need in georeferenced PDFs in several scales for c. $8 each and run them on the Avenza app. Link. A free source is being developed: link. It exports in geoTIFF that Avenza can also read. NSW offers free topo geoPDF map sheets in several scales. Google Six maps.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 at 08:58

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 at 08:58
I might have to consider a download of Avenza again :)
Will check out how much high country area is covered in an $8 map, might be enough for decent coverage and well worth it.

I expect it would be far more than a regular 1:25/30/50 etc sheet, maybe a few ?
Perfect for high country trips if so.
I have paper roopftops maps, but always good to have a decent detailed moving map.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 at 13:12

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 at 13:12
Hey Les, sample the offerings in the 2nd link in my post. If they can be adequately exported the map source is free. The issue is what the screen size is capable of showing and therefore exporting. It's not the best on a tablet.

But prior to this I've paid for a few 50 K topos. A couple around Mt Beauty covers most of my stamping ground.
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 at 14:46

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 at 14:46
From a post to our Blog (www.cuppa500.com/Blog) last September.

The day we left Lochern NP was the day I learned not to trust the maps in the mapping system we are using. The problem was not user error this time, but map inaccuracies. Actually inaccuracies is perhaps not the best description rather a mix of out of date inaccuracy & blatant fibs fits the bill better! These are maps provided on the latest & greatest Hema off road GPS navigator , the HX1. Purchased just a few months ago, shortly before we left on this trip I thought it reasonable to expect that it would be pretty much up to date. For those unfamiliar with the Hema product it’s ’off road mode’ displays your position on a map rather than giving turn by turn directions like most road going gps navigators (& indeed the road navigation mode on the HX1).

The first instance which suggested there may be inaccuracies was 45 minutes along a two wheel rut 4wd track following a river north – a potentially interesting shortcut, which promised to save us over 200kms. Interesting it had been, with frequent creek crossings (dry) of varying difficulty – enough to have me comment to MrsTea that this would be a shortcut which would save us in distance but probably not time, & that it was good to be getting away from roads. (She agreed). We had reached a fork in the track, having noticed a few kilometres earlier that the GPS showed our position to be heading away from the track. A short distance along one of the two tracks ahead of us were some steel stockyards & a red Nissan Patrol ute, which started toward us.It seemed prudent to await the driver’s arrival to enquire which track we should take.

The stocky unshaven & rough looking chap pulled up across our path, got out & walked toward us. It was hard to read his expression, but it didn’t appear especially welcoming. I quickly explained our situation & received the curt response of “Ya way off the mark there” …. not even a “mate’. When I made reference to the track shown on our map ….. “That track hasn’t been in use for over forty bleep ing years & would just dump you way out in the scrub”. I deferred to his knowledge which seemed to soften his intial disposition a little, only a little, but it was tangible. He went on to tell us stories of near disaster when folks without local knowledge went gallivanting around this country. I assured him that with our gps position at odds with the track we were on the point of turning around, & now on his added advice would do so. He told us to follow him back to the station (we had passed earlier). Not wanting to ‘put him out’ I began to say there was no need, that we could follow the track back without his assistance but he quickly made it clear he was not offering us a choice. By the time we reached the station his attitude had softened a little more, probably, we thought, because he had observed that we had done the right thing on our way in leaving every gate just as we found it. At the homestead another car pulled up in front of us. Red car driver told us to follow it back the the road & that he would follow behind us to shut the remaining gates. It seemed that we were clearly being escorted off the station in case there were any chance that we might turn back to give the track a second go if left to our own devices. Red car turned back to the station after the final gate. At the road the other car pulled up in front of us & Alex the driver got out. “Well that was a bit of an adventure” I opened the conversation with, “I hope we didn’t cause too much of a problem”. His broad smile conveyed that the ice had been broken. “Nah, it’ll be fine” he said – there two bachelor brothers got the station, you met one of ‘em. I agist some of my cattle on there place. They’re alright & will no doubt enjoy telling the story about a couple of crazy Victorians who were driving off into the never never when they’re next at the pub”. With that he gave us directions & then headed off in the opposite direction to us.

Over forty years since the track has been used & shown on the latest mapping system …… Sheesh!

Around 40 kms further on our map showed a crossroads with all four roads attributed equal status – that of ‘main’ dirt road. We had intended to turn right (northward) at this point. Only problem was there was no right turn, the crossroads was only a T junction with our only option to continue straight ahead – a route which would add almost 300kms to what we had expected. Thankfully we had sufficient fuel in our tanks to cover this as there are no towns or fuel stops until Winton. It’s not hard to imagine someone relying on the Hema map & running out of fuel – potentially a life threatening situation for those less well prepared than us.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 05:46

Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 05:46
Mt Disappointment State Forest & National Park

Most of the tracks aren't named.
No seasonal closure gates are shown and there are quite a few.
The track over the mountain was closed some years ago.
The road north from Upper Plenty isn't a through road.
Mill Range Rd is a track, not a road.
AnswerID: 615843

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 08:47

Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 08:47

It looks like you have a very old edition of the Hema High Country West map.
Maybe even the 2008 or 2010 Edition. That had a lot of errors in the Kiewa / Bogong area then. I sent through quite a few suggestions with GPX tracks and exact coordinates for them to reference and they incorporated those changes in later editions ( 2012 and 2014). They must have also spent a lot of time on that area after that because the 2017 edition has fixed most of the issues you raise.

All the huts you mention, are as you describe in the 2017 version.. Eg Ropers, Blair, Weston,Maddisons, Fitzgerald's Michell Huts.

May I suggest that you get a 2017 edition map and review that. Then email any corrections to Hema. They will listen to you. It won't do much good posting your suggested corrections here. EO is kind of their competitor in this respect. You can't expect Hema to keep an eye on every forum...

Also I'm quite sure that Mt Niggerhead, Niggerhead Creek, and the Niggerheads never changed name and even still appear that way in Park Notes and the Australian Name Database. I understand that the Government planned to change the name to Jaitmathang about 8 years ago but the Aboriginal locals considered that more offensive than the original name. So the original stands.

That is my understanding. Unbelievable huh?
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 10:07

Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 10:07
The comments are based on the latest Explorer app update Boobook, so if the maps are old that's what Hema gives you. If they've updated their paper maps but not their digital versions we should wonder what they're doing. "Best topographic maps" ? Not by a country mile.

Niggerheads was changed and appears on the current Vicmap Topo Falls Creek sheet as Jaitmathangs. There's also an information board on it on McKay if memory serves.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 10:39

Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 10:39
Interesting Sigmond, I am going by the dates of Memory Map digital versions of Hema. I have 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2017 versions. The 2017 version was released about 6 months ago.

Try this to see if it shows an updated map?

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 11:51

Monday, Jan 01, 2018 at 11:51
Ok. The Explorer app is v. 3.0.4 dated 18/12/2016.

This is the Android version. Updates are automatically notified, and installed if permission is set.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2018 at 09:47

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2018 at 09:47
Re Explorer 150k Android version:

In Mt Disappointment SF, Drag Hill Rd is marked as a road. Actually it's a seasonally closed 4WD track.

Anyone looking to explore in that SF, or Tallarook or Mt Robertson SF would be better off using the Rooftop maps or the VicMap 50K Glenburn.
AnswerID: 615986

Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 10:13

Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 10:13
The Hema website says that one option on tablets that don't work properly with the Explorer app is to delete what maps you can and then uninstall and reinstall the program.

Tried that on the Galaxy Tab S2 with no change. As with the Tab A, it doesn't properly redraw after zooming - unless you have a connection.

The reinstall updated the Explorer 150 mapset. Now we have the correct status for the Vic high country huts I mentioned but they've lost their names. I haven't yet checked the other errors listed above.
AnswerID: 616739

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Feb 22, 2018 at 19:52

Thursday, Feb 22, 2018 at 19:52
On Middle Range Rd north of Licola - Hema marks a Morris Rd heading west. In fact it's Macmillan Spur Tk.
The only time in a week of driving in the Vic high country I relied on Hema Explorer and it was wrong. That cost me over an hour.
AnswerID: 617113

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