Author Topic: smartphone/GPS/map  (Read 2030 times)

happyhiker

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #15 on: 13:09:07, 14/12/17 »
To say I don't agree with smartphones almost sounds like an anti-religious rant in this day and age but I resist as I don't want to fall into the trap of having my nose in one when I should be socialising. So until it packs up, I have my ancient Nokia. It's is small, light, lasts ages on a charge and does everything I want a phone to do.


For planning walks, I use Memory Map, Bing (as I don't have 1:25000 for the whole country for Memory Map) and/or paper maps. It really depends whether I happen to be on the PC, iPad or not or on holiday. Either way, I love my paper maps and always take one on walks, plus compass.


For navigation in the field, I generally use my old Garmin Geko, with pre planned routes downloaded. It does not have maps but is perfectly adequate most of the time. Once you get detailed maps on these machines, the cost shoots up and I balk at paying! I am a Yorkshireman!


Occasionally, I need the map if, for example, I need to know which side of a field boundary the path runs, if not clear on the ground. Sometimes, especially across farmland, it is actually easier to use the map as you can keep track of where you are in relation to farm buildings, fields etc.


Currently debating with myself whether paper maps or the laminated variety are best. For some areas, I have both. Paper maps can be folded over in a map case for the bit you want but often have to be taken out and re-folded. A pain, especially if it rains or is windy. Laminated ones are too bulky to keep folded over in a map case, so you have to open the whole thing out each time, though more manageable in wind. Printing out and laminating. (Say from Bing) is not always practicable as you might need several sheets. Anyone got any views?

Lemmy

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #16 on: 14:04:46, 14/12/17 »
I print out the main pages I'll need from QUO and slip them in the map holder. Makes them easily accessible, and I don't crynwhen they get soggy. I keep the OS map proper in my pack as a back up.  I carry a compass but don't use it much - there are usually sufficient landmarks and handrails to navigate without.

photonut

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #17 on: 14:38:08, 14/12/17 »
I use the OS Explorer 1:25000 laminated maps and a compass.  So far I've never had a problem partially opening the map out to the desired part I need whilst out in inclement weather (plenty of opportunities in the future for that plan to go awry I'm sure).  I guess in this day and age navigating by map and compass is a little 'old fashioned' but I enjoy the challenge of getting from A to B using that method.  However, I always have my Garmin 64 primarily as a tracker to see where I've been and how long/ fast it took me.  Additionally the GPS is with me for those moments when, what I see around me, no longer resembles what I think I should be seeing on the map :D  I've only had to use it a few times whilst out walking thankfully.

I do have my smartphone with me but switched off.  I've never been sure of the phones capability to predict my position accurately and how long the battery would last (that's pure ignorance on my behalf though), hence I purchased a dedicated device that I was confident would be able to do the job when required.


frustin - if you can't print, Ordnance Survey do a grand range of paper maps.  They can be bought a little cheaper here:


https://dash4it.co.uk/ordnance-survey-maps/series/explorer.html


Hope this helps  :)

..or pop along to Go-outdoors and get a price match... that way you get them even cheaper than Dash4it :)

Cheers
Lee
« Last Edit: 14:51:40, 14/12/17 by photonut »

fernman

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #18 on: 18:34:54, 14/12/17 »
I do have my smartphone with me but switched off.  I've never been sure of the phones capability to predict my position accurately and how long the battery would last

The GPS to Grid Ref app on my Windows Phone uses the phone's gps and it works when there's no signal. It's as accurate as you could wish, though I only use it to find the ref on a paper map; it'll show a spot on a map on the screen but as I enlarge the map it moves off centre. I assume there are similar apps or better for Android and iPhones.

I'm only a novice when it comes to saving battery, but I do things like disabling apps I won't be using during a hike, not using the camera (I prefer my compact), turn off email and wifi, and set it to 3G rather than 4G. I'm not sure but I think Airplane Mode will do a lot of that as well. Staring with a full charge, my phone easily lasted 4 days on my last long walk.

gunwharfman

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #19 on: 18:53:44, 14/12/17 »
'I've never been sure of the phones capability to predict my position' In 2015 I was walking the GR10 in the Pyrenees and in one section it was really, really foggy. In fact it was so foggy I lost the route and felt very nervous. I looked at my SityTrail app and it guided me back to the track, thereafter everytime I verred off more than three or four feet the phone bleeped twice, when I returned to the track it bleeped again, it was very comforting. Its the one and only time I've had this problem. Mind you, staring at the screen, for what became a four hour foggy trek, really made my eyes ache and water and then suddenly I was out in sunshine.

jimbob

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #20 on: 00:47:13, 15/12/17 »
When using GPS on a smartphone you do not need  a sim card installed.  Since you use the same satellites as say a Garmin, then the accuracy is exactly the same. (The software that works out the positioning from satellites is mainly open source, I believe).  I also have a small solar charged battery back up which is surprisingly efficient even at this time of year.
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sussamb

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #21 on: 06:46:14, 15/12/17 »
Since you use the same satellites as say a Garmin, then the accuracy is exactly the same.

I don't believe you can say that.  Tests I've done indicate a dedicated GPS is more accurate than a smartphone, what I can say though for the sort of navigation that walkers need a smartphone using GPS is more than sufficient.  There are other reasons why I prefer my GPS, but I can understand why others might prefer a smartphone.
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geordie33

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #22 on: 08:20:50, 15/12/17 »
I have ran viewranger and garmin side by side.Viewranger looses signal easier (much smaller antenna)and measures about 10% less than garmin in mixed walking.It is adequate in my view for moderate walking.Last week I lost my garmin 62s in a snowdrift.Happily it was recovered 24 hours later and it was still working and the batteries had plenty left in them which is why I prefer gps.A smartphone would be dead if a similar thing happened.
I am also running an OS subscription.Good value at 20 with all of the 1.25 maps etc

photonut

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #23 on: 08:32:25, 15/12/17 »
Perhaps these are worth reading:

https://www.quora.com/How-accurate-is-mobile-phone-GPS

http://www.zdnet.com/article/your-phones-gps-is-about-to-get-a-massive-upgrade/

Like Sussamb, I understand why some prefer to solely use their mobile phones, it is after all a big cost saving (and half the weight too).  I prefer to have a separate dedicated unit for the task, predominantly because I walk alone and if anything nav related goes awry then I like the confidence of being able to sort it out with my Garmin.

Cheers
Lee
« Last Edit: 09:35:41, 15/12/17 by photonut »

jimbob

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #24 on: 10:17:35, 15/12/17 »
Sussamb I have  never looked too closely. The differences may be caused solely by mathematical inaccuracies, (rounding errors) rather than differences caused by the satellites. Even though the basic software is the same Android may round up to less decimal places than say Garmin , which cumulatively will lead to differences, however small. In fact Geordie33 has a valid point re antennae.  Scan rates may also cause differences, (how often the phone questions the satellites compared to the dedicated device) What is solid fact is that they use the same basic software and the same satellites.

Like you & Geordie33 I tend to mainly use my old Garmin due to its solidity and reliability. I use Viewranger, as my track recorder now. In fact most everything I know about my Garmin has been gleaned from this forum. One day I may even buy a newer version, but hey I'm a tightwad and this one works.
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Doddy

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #25 on: 13:59:34, 19/12/17 »

I now use a Lenovo2 phone which because it has a large battery weighs in at 6 oz.
I now use Memory Map (MM) all of GB at 1:25K on the phone.[/color][/font][/size]
That battery gives three days use.
I get more than three days use [/color][/font][/size]
as I carry printed off maps of my routes and only use the phone when clarity is needed


My set up important to me as I wild camped all the National Trails therefore could not recharge phones very often. Several years ago I did the earlier trails without a phone or techy maps; later ones I did with a LG Nexus 4 phone with MM GB1:50K maps on it but I had to nurse the battery all the time.
 
I walked Glyndwrs Way recently and needed the phone maps a lot as the waymarks/stiles were often just out of sight over a brow and the phone maps were great as I knew which direction to head for the stile/gate and avoided wandering around field boundaries looking for them.

NeilC

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #26 on: 15:22:25, 20/12/17 »
I think it depends on the sort of walks and conditions. For day walks and overnighters in reasonable conditions a phone is easily good enough and dream compared to manual map reading in foggy conditions or going off path. But if you're going on extended trips or in cold conditions where you need your gloves on then a dedicated unit with replaceable batteries and big buttons is going to pay dividends.

I use my cheapo phone and bought the the viewranger 1:50K maps which cover all the UK national parks and it only costs 10!
Previously I'd been buying waterproof Explorer maps which aren't cheap but are massive pain the the [censored] to carry and unfold in the wind etc. I was surprised how I didn't miss the 1:25K details, mostly because I can see exactly where I am on the screen. So the small details aren't so important. I just wish my phone had compass - something I forget to check when I bought it. So everything is North.

Doddy

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #27 on: 16:06:33, 20/12/17 »

There are compass apps for a phone.
I have no connection with Lenovo phones, I should have mentioned with such a large battery for a three day trip there is no need to take a charger; though you may feel more secure if you do.The phone also is a quick charger.

Mel

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #28 on: 18:31:17, 20/12/17 »
...  Since you use the same satellites as say a Garmin, then the accuracy is exactly the same. ..


I think the processing power of your device (certainly with a smartphone) plays a part.  I have 2 phones, both with ViewRanger installed.  Sat in my house, my older one will plot me as being on the road outside and the location jumps about a bit when zoomed in (accurate enough for my needs though), the newer one plots me actually in my house, some 20ft away from the road and seems more stable in terms of jumping about.


Just my observations anyway.  Can't pass comment on a dedicated GPS's (eg. Garmin) accuracy in that respect as I don't have one.
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fernman

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Re: smartphone/GPS/map
« Reply #29 on: 20:01:59, 20/12/17 »
There are compass apps for a phone.

But not for Windows Phones up to and including 8.1, regrettably for me and anyone else who has one, they are only for Windows Phone 10.