Author Topic: Viewranger replacement  (Read 1949 times)

ninthace

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #15 on: 11:48:28, 03/04/21 »
Are you saying that the alarm was correct or having a poke at the innacuracy

No.  I had plotted the route.  My house is 5.4km W of the start point so it was spot on.
I had forgotten to shut down the app and the phone was sitting on the arm of my chair when it perked up.  Given it was indoors, the delay may have been while it found a gps signal.
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jimbob

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #16 on: 14:14:25, 03/04/21 »
I followed up to Or response regarding off route alarms and got the following reply,

"You can deactivate the navigation speech output with the small speaker-symbol in the app? Or do you only want to hear the navigation announcements but not the other alarms? This is unfortunately not possible at the moment, as you can only swith on and off the whole navigation speech output."[/font][/size]
[/font][/size] It did not answer my question as to how to set off track alarms or if it would activate alarms even if the phobe was hibernating in my pocket the way VR does.
To be honest I'm not entirely certain I understand what they are actually talking about,
because due to their lack of a manual I have no inkling of what other alarms are available.[/font][/size]
[/font][/size]Also they failed to answer my thoughts on accuracy of track recording given they state it stops hunting for GPS when your phone screen goes blank in your pocket
[/font][/size]
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #17 on: 15:12:22, 03/04/21 »
OK.  I have used OA in anger now so I have a better idea of what is going on.

Firstly, route planning.  This a marked improvement IMHO.  Using the website I plotted a route using roads. public footpaths (green dashed line), tracks and non PROW paths (black dashed lines).  It was enough to set waypoints at the major turns, the softwaere automatically laid a route along the line of the path or road.  This is akin to the snap-to feature in the OS app except that that only works inside national parks.
I saved the route as a plan then decided to go back and edit it.  There is an edit option in the plan screen but that only lets you edit the title and description, however a double tap on the map opened the route edit option and I was able to move some waypoints and re-save.

Transferring my route to the phone was easy.  Go to my page, scroll to the bottom and tap synchronise and the new plan willl appear.

Now to the in the field bit.  I set off with the sound off so I was just using the screen display.  The route was shown on an OS map.  My position was shown as a grey dot but there was no vector arrow as in ViewRanger.  There is however a nifty pull down window at the top of the screen giving navigation instructions.  The pull down window is scrollable to give more navigation information and a route profile showing current position.  If you want to see more map, the navigation window can be parked at the top of the screen.
Once I was happy I parked the phone in my pocket for a while.  After a time the screen dimmed and then the phone went to sleep as it normally does.  I walked for a km or so then reactivated my phone, it needs a PIN or fingerprint.  The app had continued to record a trace and showed current position.  All in all pefectly usable and a possible improvement on VR.

Then I tried to get lost.  As you leave the intended route a red caution triangle appears on the navigation window after about 30 to 45m.  At the same time a red line appears on the map showing you the shortest distance back to the route.  Returning to the route kills the caution.  If you do not have the app open, the caution is repeated in your phones information display.

Now to the voice bit.  To get voice navigation the speaker symbol at the top of the screen has to be selected.  This lets you pick one of your phones text to speech apps.  If you go off route, you get a "You are about to leave your route" warning at around 30m and "You have left your route" followed by information on where the route is e.g. behind you, 50m S etc.  As far as I can tell, the warning does not keep repeating but I was not off route for more than a few minutes.  There is also a message telling you when you are back on your route.  I did not get any spurious alarms even though the error seems to be set at around 30m.  That is probably a quality of the phone gps issue.  The voice navigation works even when the phone is asleep.

When in use. the voice navigation instructions are just like a car satnav with the usual "tiurn right in x metres" sort of thing and it seems the voice navigation package is all or nothing.  No chance of just having the off course option.  Not sure how I feel about that - I would have to try it in wilder country to see how often it talks.  My impression it is just pipes up at junctions so it might be acceptable (I used to drive a route where at one point my satnav said "Follow this road for 520 km" then shut up for 5hrs!)


Hope this helps Jimbob
« Last Edit: 15:16:32, 03/04/21 by ninthace »
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jimbob

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #18 on: 15:47:13, 03/04/21 »
Wow, thanks for this Ninthace.

Did you find all this out through ingenuity, patience and intelligence ( OK, I'll throw in good looks etc). Or did you find a good help section and /or a manual of some sort?

The voice could give me a heart attack I if it occurred during one of my daydream occasions out on the lonely moorland. 😁
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #19 on: 16:59:04, 03/04/21 »
Just good looks and charm I'm afraid Jimbob,  that and a history of using Garmin, ViewRanger, the OS App and GoogleEarth since they were in nappies.   Edit to add MemoryMap, I forgot that flirtation.

Actually, I have an uncanny knack of breaking software.  During my career I left a trail of weeping software enginners in my wake.  Some of them used to run an hide when I was called in to test their latest product.  I frequently break automatic supermarket checkouts too.
« Last Edit: 17:06:15, 03/04/21 by ninthace »
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Kev06

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #20 on: 17:51:07, 03/04/21 »
Jimbob - My paid-for Backcountry app (now 12.99, a one-off payment) is definitely OS.
Thanks for mentioning this! If we're thinking of the same app (by CritterMap) then I'd noticed their website but had moved on when there was no mention of OS maps; I shall have to give it another try.

Though.. it looks like crittermap are introducing a more lucrative subscription version called XE; perhaps (like everyone else) there is a chance they'll drop the one-off (Pro) version at some point. I'd be reluctant to invest in extra map purchases, but if you can get OS maps included in the initial 12.99 that seems quite reasonable assuming that it lasts at least a little while.

jimbob

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #21 on: 18:00:00, 03/04/21 »
I have eventually found the help pages on OA, They specifically state that they plan changes to the app so use FAQs rather than a tutorial manual to save updating said manual regularly. Which to me is a load of old codswallop as the FAQs will also need to be updated as the app changes.
But it is there,  and it seems to be useful.
So I think it's time to just sit down , take a deep breath and read their help guide in the hope that when I come across a problem my memory may take me to the correct area for help.
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #22 on: 18:05:30, 03/04/21 »
I looked at the website and Backcountry Navigator appeared to be just a means of downloading a map for map reading in conjunction with the phone gps.

Can you:
Record a track?
Follow a route?
Is there an associated website to support route planniing and track management?
Import and export gps files?
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gunwharfman

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #23 on: 18:16:51, 03/04/21 »
I don't know, I've used it for years but have never really looked into the questions you've asked.

I just open it to where I am and aim it in the direction I'm heading for and use the small arrow on the screen.

jimbob

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #24 on: 18:29:30, 03/04/21 »
Backcountry seemingly can do all those things,    but the more you want from it the more you have to pay for it.

I had a good look at it. Used as GWM, I. E. An electronic map with global positioning it looks fine.
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #25 on: 19:30:23, 03/04/21 »
Backcountry seemingly can do all those things,    but the more you want from it the more you have to pay for it.

I had a good look at it. Used as GWM, I. E. An electronic map with global positioning it looks fine.
Not sure you are entirely right  Jimbob.  My impression is the a route/trail  has to be imported as a gpx file.  This means it has to have been created by a 3rd party source rather than within BCN.  I stand to be corrected by any BCN users out there.

https://trailplanner.co.uk/2015/01/05/using-backcountry-navigator/
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jimbob

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #26 on: 21:07:12, 03/04/21 »
You could be correct about the track creation prior to a walk,  use of third party software may be a necessity, but Google earth is useable in this respect. One version of BCN definitely will create a track on an actual walk.

I found the following which is interesting https://adventuretaco.com/route-planning-with-backcountry-navigator-xe/

Given the number of posts over the years I wonder if Navigation deserves its own section.
« Last Edit: 21:11:19, 03/04/21 by jimbob »
Too little, too late, too bad......

sussamb

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #27 on: 21:14:30, 03/04/21 »
Given the number of posts over the years I wonder if Navigation deserves its own section.


Agreed. It's been suggested before but never taken up.
Where there's a will ...

ninthace

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #28 on: 21:47:03, 03/04/21 »
You could be correct about the track creation prior to a walk,  use of third party software may be a necessity, but Google earth is useable in this respect. One version of BCN definitely will create a track on an actual walk.

I found the following which is interesting https://adventuretaco.com/route-planning-with-backcountry-navigator-xe/

Given the number of posts over the years I wonder if Navigation deserves its own section.
That article confirms my opinion  about the need for 3rd party software to create the route in BCN..  So why not just use a product that includes that capability from the get go?   We have not addressed the other issues such as route following and off route alarms raised by the OP.


By its name, BCN appears to be aimed for the US market where back country hiking is very different from U.K. and European hiking. The suggestion of GoogleEarth as a primary route planning tool seems to confirm this.  In the U.K. and Europe, GE is very much a secondary tool to confirm what the maps say and to spot unmapped paths. Again, many other apps include aerial imagery as part of the package so why seek an alternative and then import from it?
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ninthace

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Re: Viewranger replacement
« Reply #29 on: 12:51:25, 04/04/21 »
Another trip today using OA with the voice navigation active throughout.  With my phone in my thigh pocket the announcements were no more intrusive than the garmin waypoint pings.  I only had one spurious off course alarm in 6 miles - better or on a par with my Garmin (which is set to an off ourse error of 100m).  I suspect in part this is because OA plots the route more accurately than I do using a mouse and map
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