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Topic: iPhone App or Dedicated GPS Mapping< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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giraut Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 03 2013, 2:46 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here's what I want to do: download to my computer from the Web a topo map of an area I want to hike in; plan a trip itinerary; upload that map and itinerary to an iPhone GPS mapping app or a dedicated GPS unit; use this topo map and itinerary for navigation; use my iPhone app or GPS unit to track where I actually hiked; and download the actual track of where I went to my computer so I can see it on the map on the big screen and maybe even compare it to what I had originally planned to do.

Is this possible?  And if so, what hardware/software do I need in order to do it?

Thanks.

Giraut
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PostIcon Posted on: May 03 2013, 3:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Take a map, whatever you do, because relying solely on electronics is foolish.

Do you have software on the computer already? I have used National Geographic's Explorer, and now use MacGPS as my desktop is an iMac. GPS software packages mostly have the same functionality as any. I've done what you describe a number of times. But you won't catch me out there without a map, because the GPS can be just. flat. wrong. and being able to check against a map is critical at some points for me.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 03 2013, 7:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just about any hand held GPS can do this.  I wouldn't trust the iPhone unless you know you'll have a strong enough triangulated signal they entire time--even then, those apps tend to be battery killers.

As stated above, bring a real map.  Electronics fail.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 03 2013, 7:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Considering the battery life of an iPhone(or any smartphone for that matter), I would definitely not rely on that if you're using it for anything but fun.
That said, I've used mine on numerous trips, but I have extra batteries for my phone (swappable) and can easily exchange them if my "play" battery dies and I need my backup battery to get me out of a bad situation.
The last thing you want is a dead phone if something goes sideways.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 03 2013, 8:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

how long do you plan on being out?

A phone will probably only last a few hours for tracking the whole time.  A dedicated GPS MAYBE up to 24, depending on model and settings.  Either way, if you're out for more than a couple days, you'll need a pile of spare batteries.  

Couple of things:

Only use the GPS or phone for spot checks.  A phone WILL be less accurate than a dedicated receiver.  In good conditions, they'll be close enough that it won't matter.  When reception gets sketchy, the phone will flake out worse.  You can buy a bluetooth GPS receiver for the phone that will boost its GPS performance, but that's an extra device, an extra battery, and increased drain on the phone from the Bluetooth radio being active.

Devices that charge your batteries in the field (solar, etc) only become worth their weight/bulk when you're out for extended trips.  With an i-gadget, you don't really have much choice, though.  You cannot carry spare batteries, which is the recommended course for any device when you're out for up to a week or so.

Carry a paper map and compass (get that digital topo printed, or go to MyTopo and order one with a custom extent and an overlay of your anticipated route).

If you REALLY have to have a track, consider a small, low-power GPS datalogger that doesn't have a screen to power.  These things have some pretty serious battery life.  They don't do much for you in the field, though some will provide a simple coordinate readout, but the data they collect can be used in various ways at home afterwards.  Most commonly, they're used to geotag photos, so you'll find a better selection of them at a photo shop (like B&H Photo, for example).


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PostIcon Posted on: May 03 2013, 8:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use a map, compass, and gps.  but some of the people who hike with me use android and iphone apps.  One of the Android users carries 2 spare batteries.  the iphone users are sol when hikes longer than 4 hours.

I think my ATT android gps chip works independently of the cell service.  I've never tested it, but my blackberry gps use to work without cell service with one or two programs that were not dependent on cell service.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 03 2013, 9:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am an off-trail hiker. I bring a dedicated GPS, an Android phone with GPS app (which is used most frequently), and a portable charger that gives my phone 4 full charges. My phone will last one day on a charge if I turn the screen brightness down, put it in airplane mode (except for the GPS) and don't monkey with it much except for the GPS app. I also bring two sets of maps (one on my person and one in my pack along with a primary compass, and two backup compasses (one is very small). If on an extended trip, I would lean toward the dedicated GPS as bringing extra batteries is much easier than bring a portable charger...and then another one if I exceed my four day limit. I could actually get eight days because I actually only use it when I want to get an exact position which is relatively rare because I prefer working with a map and compass. Is it doable? Yes. Be wary of rain/snow on your phone if it isn't waterproof. Also, extreme temps can also affect it.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 11:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For a phone app give Gaia GPS a try.  

The maps are storable for offline, out of service range viewing.

Under the "settings" tag at the bottom you can access a user guide.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 11:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ May 04 2013, 8:08 pm)
QUOTE
For a phone app give Gaia GPS a try.  

The maps are storable for offline, out of service range viewing.

Under the "settings" tag at the bottom you can access a user guide.

+1

That's the one I use. You can set the area pretty much as large as you want and as detailed as you want.


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