Author Topic: Mobile phone GPS apps.  (Read 2134 times)

Johnny Thunder

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Mobile phone GPS apps.
« on: 13:33:00, 08/05/20 »
Hi. Does anyone use a mobile phone app such as Viewranger for recording your walking routes, or are there any others that you would recommend?


Thank you.

sussamb

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #1 on: 14:14:13, 08/05/20 »
I use VR but only as a back up to my GPS when walking.  Use it along with other SAR team members when searching, and buddy beacon sends our locations to our control vehicle.
Where there's a will ...

ninthace

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #2 on: 15:02:45, 08/05/20 »
I use both ViewRanger and the OS app.
The OS app obviously has OS mapping which is a big plus but its main disadvantage is that you cannot record a track while following a route.  However, if you are planning routes, the "snap to path" function in the associated website is a great planning tool if you are planning a route inside a National Park.
ViewRanger has the advantage of being free and the basic mapping is not bad but OS mapping is an extra.
Both apps have a great collection of routes available to use.  The OS routes are free, the VR routes can be free but many require the purchase of credits.
Solvitur Ambulando

Johnny Thunder

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #3 on: 15:33:49, 08/05/20 »
I've downloaded the View Ranger app to my phone and started having a play around with it.
I have found routes local to me and added them too. It seems like a decent tool to use.
I think I will select one or two routes to try and see how it goes.

ninthace

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #4 on: 15:50:08, 08/05/20 »
I've downloaded the View Ranger app to my phone and started having a play around with it.
I have found routes local to me and added them too. It seems like a decent tool to use.
I think I will select one or two routes to try and see how it goes.
Enjoy.  One other features of VR you may enjoy is BuddyBeacon, which allows your nearest and dearest to keep track of your whereabouts when you are out walking. In these difficult times when we are walking from our front doors, it enables Mrs N to decide when to put the ice in my G&T so it is at the perfect temperature as I come through the front door.  :)
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gunwharfman

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #5 on: 16:12:39, 08/05/20 »
I use Wikiloc, (I can also post directly to Skype with it as well) there is also Komoot, My Maps, etc, there seems to be a lot of them. I have recorded all of my running routes on Wikiloc, to have a look just type in 'Cosham' or my name 'Reg Edmunds' and it will give you a view as to what's on offer. I also use 'Backcountry' which uses free OS maps, I can record a track on it as well but for some unknown reason, I've never used it, I've no idea why? What I like about all of these apps is that if you are ever in strange area, you just tap the screen to locate where you are and are loads of instant walks, runs and cycle routes come up.

strawy

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #6 on: 10:43:15, 09/05/20 »
Ive used Viewranger for over 5 years now,although i dont use most of the functions(alarms/route following etc),its never once let me down & have never "got lost",love it  O0

Dread

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #7 on: 11:35:08, 09/05/20 »
Just to clarify both Viewranger and OS Maps are free to download and have free maps. If you want proper OS maps on either you need to pay a yearly subscription, usually around 24 but there are occasional deals. Both are great. VR has more bells and whistles but some folk find it less intuitive.


Maverick and Backcountry are both more basic and less well designed but offer OS maps for free. Not sure how they do this. Maybe they pay for it with advertising or maybe they sell on data. They may use Bing Maps which are free OS maps you can access on your PC.

ninthace

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #8 on: 12:18:42, 09/05/20 »
Maverick and Backcountry are both more basic and less well designed but offer OS maps for free. Not sure how they do this. Maybe they pay for it with advertising or maybe they sell on data. They may use Bing Maps which are free OS maps you can access on your PC.
Do they allow you do download a map to the phone so the app will work without a data signal?
Solvitur Ambulando

GoneWest

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #9 on: 12:23:42, 09/05/20 »
Viewranger for finding myself on a map. I haven't used Buddy Beacon, yet, because I have other means of tracking myself and reporting my position back home, but I might use it someday. I'm not really into creating routes in advance, though, and still less likely to follow a route published by someone else (who, by so doing, has maybe made the route too popular). Expeditions require advance planning but for my day-walks I like to give myself the freedom to modify my route (usually just held vaguely in my head) as I go.

OS Locate for convenient one-off postion reports. It's also a handy way of recording spot positions for personal use; I can send them to myself and subsequently refer to them.

NOT OS Maps. I used to use this but it got more buggy with every so-called update until I gave up on it and uninstalled it. I won't reinstall it until I see some evidence that it has been rewritten by a professional. 

Great Britain Topo Maps. A great range of maps is provided and I also downloaded OS maps at 1:25000 for the whole of Cornwall for a very reasonable price. They are shown with relief shading, which is a mixed blessing. 

Locus Map. Installed out of interest, but haven't really made any practical use of it. 

Earthmate. The companion app for my Inreach. More for tracking and messaging than for navigation; the built-in map isn't particularly exciting. 

GPS Essentials. Essential for navigation geeks, like me. Lots of features to play with. 

GPS Logger. A beautifully simple track logger, with all sorts of ways to report or publish the track as you go. Haven't done anything with it yet. 

APRSdroid. A live-tracking app for radio amateurs only. Connecting it to my radio is still on my todo list but it will also work over the phone and I have used it often in this mode.

Map Tools. Converts position coordinates, e.g. Lat:Lon <-> OS grid. Will also calculate distances between given points in various coordinate systems.

ImrayNavigator. My sailing days are more or less over, I think, but I installed this because the built-in sample chart covers the whole of the UK south coast and it added interest to my day-trip to the Scilly Isles last year.

 MC 50. A programmable calculator. I'm going to program it to calculate positions by resection, when I get round to it. Alternative to tryng to plot pencil lines on a map in the wind and rain! May come in handy for other things, too.
« Last Edit: 15:00:14, 09/05/20 by GoneWest »

ninthace

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #10 on: 12:39:08, 09/05/20 »
Viewranger for finding myself on a map. I haven't used Buddy Beacon, yet, because I have other means of tracking myself and reporting my position back home, but I might use it someday. I'm not really into creating routes in advance, though, and still less likely to follow a route published by someone else (who, by so doing, has maybe made the route too popular). Expeditions require advance planning but for my day-walks I like to give myself the freedom to modify my route (usually just held vaguely in my head) as I go.
For a lot of punters visiting a new area for the first time, VR routes are a useful tool.  They will show the best ways to go and point you to some of the interesting features of the area.  The route planning tool gives you a route profile which can be helpful in picking a route.  As to published routes being popular, they are easy to spot - VR will have multiple versions of the same route.  Doesn't make them a bad thing though - they are often popular for a reason.
Solvitur Ambulando

watershed

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #11 on: 12:41:04, 09/05/20 »
I have Used View Ranger since 2017, with down loaded OS Maps.
I haven't tried any other APP, but don't see the need as it does everything I want.
I have used it to design walks and see no reason to change.
It has never let me down.
When on a big walk somewhere new I make use of the "snip tool", print of my route maps and take a compass as a back up.
I did that for example for 2 TGO challenges.
My phone I keep hanging from my neck in an Aquapac which seemed a dear purchase when I bought it, but in hindsight one of the best purchases I have made for walking.
« Last Edit: 12:45:07, 09/05/20 by watershed »

gunwharfman

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #12 on: 14:47:37, 09/05/20 »
I've never printed a map.  :-[

ninthace

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #13 on: 14:53:10, 09/05/20 »
I've never printed a map.  :-[
I only use maps I have printed. Much more convenient.
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GoneWest

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Re: Mobile phone GPS apps.
« Reply #14 on: 14:57:52, 09/05/20 »
I have Used View Ranger since 2017, with down loaded OS Maps.
I haven't tried any other APP, but don't see the need as it does everything I want.
I have used it to design walks and see no reason to change.
It has never let me down.

On re-reading my last post, I think I may have given the impression that I am fairly indifferent to Viewranger. Not so, in fact. It is well engineered and has done everything I have asked of it really well. The fact that I don't use some of its features is down to my choice; it's no reflection at all upon the app. If I were limited to just one navigational app on my phone, this would be it. However, the other apps I've listed are also interesting to me, for various reasons, and sometimes useful as well.