Author Topic: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging  (Read 2418 times)

ninthace

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ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« on: 15:49:26, 16/11/20 »
For a while now I have had the odd email from ViewRanger concerning them joining with OutdoorActive which, to be honest, I have largely ignored.  However, today I received an offer that cannot be ignored.  It seems that they will no longer being offering pay to download routes on VR from sometime in the new year.  Instead pay per download routes will only be available through OA and VR will only show free routes.  These free routes will be reproduced in the OA app.

I have published over 460 routes on VR.  I charge the princely sum of 33 credits per download, which was the minimum price I could charge at the time, I think in cash terms it is about 10p.  The trickle of downloads keeps me in credits to redeem on VR subscriptions for mapping, particularly overseas maps.

The options offered are to:
Delete my routes altogether
Make my routes free to download.
Transfer my pay per download routes to OA.

The trouble with the last option is they are only interested in users who have more than 500 pay per download routes so I am 30+ short, but I do have enough gps traces stored up to publish more routes Ė I just have not got round to it yet.  The way this option is framed is as if I was a commercial enterprise interested in revenue streams and advertising and I am not.  Equally, I have taken time and trouble over the routes.  Each one was recorded live by gps rather than just plotted and I write a fairly detailed route description.  OK, they do not earn much but at the same time they keep me in maps that I would otherwise have to pay for.

Anyone else had this email - what are you doing about it?
Solvitur Ambulando

watershed

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #1 on: 17:06:04, 16/11/20 »
Hi Ninthace, Yes I have had the letter.
I only charge for a couple of walks the rest are free.
I think I will just make the few I charge for free.

Mel

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #2 on: 17:55:41, 16/11/20 »
I've not had the email but the few routes I've made available are free, so that's probably why.


I think if I was in your shoes, ninthace, I'd do the transfer.  It would seem the "500" figure means not a great deal otherwise they wouldn't have sent you the email.  Plus, like you say, it keeps you in maps you'd otherwise have to pay for  :-\



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archaeoroutes

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #3 on: 18:17:59, 16/11/20 »
I'm quite upset by it. One of the things I really liked about VR was its support of little route publishers. Having looked at their competitors, who had similar schemes to what is now going to happen, it meant you either had free routes or routes from biggies like Trail Magazine, nothing in the middle. It's a bit like a shop saying they'll only sell things from Bernard Matthews, though they'll allow people to take the local chicken farmer's meat for free.

I guess I'll have a look how many I've got, but I doubt it is anywhere near 500 as I've always been very picky about what I publish. Those that are currently free can stay there, the rest I'll probably remove.
I was one of the early publishers with them and in the first group invited to have curated collections listed. But I'm not a big company churning out routes who will now be given even more of a market stranglehold.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

ninthace

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #4 on: 18:20:56, 16/11/20 »
I'm quite upset by it. One of the things I really liked about VR was its support of little route publishers. Having looked at their competitors, who had similar schemes to what is now going to happen, it meant you either had free routes or routes from biggies like Trail Magazine, nothing in the middle. It's a bit like a shop saying they'll only sell things from Bernard Matthews, though they'll allow people to take the local chicken farmer's meat for free.

I guess I'll have a look how many I've got, but I doubt it is anywhere near 500 as I've always been very picky about what I publish. Those that are currently free can stay there, the rest I'll probably remove.
I was one of the early publishers with them and in the first group invited to have curated collections listed. But I'm not a big company churning out routes who will now be given even more of a market stranglehold.
I think I saw some of your routes are already on the OA site.  I was hoping you knew what the deal was.
Solvitur Ambulando

jimbob

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #5 on: 18:31:26, 16/11/20 »
Why don't the two of you get your heads together and offer an online gps route shop. It may be you could do it through Amazon.
Sadly I think the advantages of VR may have been spotted by a big boy looking to cash in. I worked for a couple of companies which merged, what it meant in reality is that one company was bought out but the staff the predator wanted to keep were kept, and the goodwill of the name was kept, for a while until custom service cost too much and was shed. I suppose I was lucky to have been within the predator company.
 
Too little, too late, too bad......

JohnML

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #6 on: 00:02:59, 15/02/21 »
My concern on the takeover is the loss of maps... I have spent hundreds of pounds on OS maps and others... and in return it seems I am being offered a 1 year subscription... surely they can't just steal the stuff I bought?

sussamb

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #7 on: 07:12:33, 15/02/21 »
There's no suggestion that if you have VR and it's maps you will lose them.
Where there's a will ...

fernman

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #8 on: 10:31:50, 15/02/21 »
There's no suggestion that if you have VR and it's maps you will lose them.

I don't think that'll happen either, but some companies can be a bit heartless, as I've experienced two times.

I bought a CD of OS map of a national park with routemaking, it cost a few pounds and I used it happily until our desktop PC died. To install it on the replacement PC I needed a new code from the maker. Sorry, they said, we don't support that version any more. What was I to do? I could have paid again for a new one, now an online download rather than a CD, but it covered a smaller area than my old one. Very luckily for me there's an IT guru on this forum who had already encountered this problem and gave me access to a code generator he had made, with the result that I am now able to use the program again.

The other upset I had was with some natural history recording software, again on a CD. This one required an annual subscription for updates, which I paid until a combination of hard times and three years of no updates for my specific interest caused me to drop out. It wouldn't install on the new PC, and the developer abruptly declined to help me because I hadn't paid the subs. All I'm left with are two useless CDs of backed-up records that I can't access.

JohnML

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #9 on: 11:53:51, 15/02/21 »
"There's no suggestion that if you have VR and it's maps you will lose them."[/size]

I understood that the VR App will not be updated and hence would stop working... I can't get an answer as to when the map shop will no longer be available to download - I bought the full set of OS 1:25000 series, but of course don't/can't keep them all downloaded on my phone... I just download them depending where I'm visiting (in normal times!)

sussamb

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #10 on: 16:45:21, 15/02/21 »
We use VR in our SAR team and have been told it'll continue working 'as is'.  As for maps I have downloaded the full UK set and again been told they will continue to work. What I don't know as yet is what access you'd have to maps that you've paid for but not downloaded.
Where there's a will ...

JohnML

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #11 on: 16:57:39, 15/02/21 »
We use VR in our SAR team and have been told it'll continue working 'as is'.  As for maps I have downloaded the full UK set and again been told they will continue to work. What I don't know as yet is what access you'd have to maps that you've paid for but not downloaded.


Thank you, thatís really helpful to know in the short/medium term. It still leaves open what happens when the phone on which itís downloaded is replaced or stops workingÖ as far as I know there is no way to transfer maps between devices, Iíve always just re-downloaded when Iíve changed my phone. Anyone know differently?

sussamb

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #12 on: 17:36:10, 15/02/21 »
Just had this answer from VR support:

Yes, the ViewRanger application will remain available for download to new devices, including being able to sign into your existing account and access your owned maps for downloading for offline use.

But we have discontinued the ViewRanger subscriptions, so these are now only available in Outdooractive.
Where there's a will ...

JohnML

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging
« Reply #13 on: 18:01:51, 15/02/21 »
Just had this answer from VR support:

Yes, the ViewRanger application will remain available for download to new devices, including being able to sign into your existing account and access your owned maps for downloading for offline use.

But we have discontinued the ViewRanger subscriptions, so these are now only available in Outdooractive.


Thank you again sussamb - that's very good to hear. I guess, given how short-lived technology is these days I was naive to expect "lifetime access" to mean "lifetime" - but I'm knocking on a bit, so maybe it will see me out after all!

stevewood6948

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Re: ViewRanger OS maps expiring
« Reply #14 on: 12:54:22, 17/02/21 »
Viewranger users need to be aware that offline access to purchased maps can be withdrawn by Viewranger.  I have paid £200 for a full set of the OS 1:25,000 maps for my devices.  A few days ago, Viewranger stopped working completely on one of my units.  No access to my OS maps or any others.  Viewranger support tell me it is because they no longer support the version of Android my Garmin has and the Viewranger software has to talk to their servers even for offline use........  Presumably other versions of Android will be treated similarly in the fullness of time.Fortunately, I wasn't lost halfway up a mountain when I discovered it no longer worked!! >:(