My Experience thus far with Andriod GPS apps

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Thanantos, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    Just, FYI. ALL of the information below is WAY out of date. The Android GPS situation has come a LONG way since I wrote this post almost 2 years ago now. I plan to update this soon and include some apps built by some of our very own members

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  2. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    Reserved for additional info if needed.
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  3. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    Thanks for sharing!
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  4. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    I am thinking about creating an Android app specifically for dual sport riding. I'd like to know what kind of features people want?

    I thought I would start by allowing you to put Garmin map files (the unencrypted variety) and OSM maps into the phone so no network is required. Then, I was thinking that I would cross reference the app with dualsportmaps.com's track database and allow you to download tracks from there to follow. I was also thinking that it would be cool if you could cache google satellite images and store them on your phone the app could download all the tiles over the tracks and cache them (while you are at home) until you tell it to clear its memory.
    The app should output a gpx file of your trip and also probably allow you to push the track directly to dualsportmaps.com.

    Information on the screen would include current speed, time, odometer (for mileage concerns). Interest in a rally computer type interface?

    Obviously the maps would be zoomable, but I was not planning to allow you to create routes on the fly because the interface on the phone is clunky and it would be pretty tedious.

    Please comment on features that y'all would be interested in and I'll see how I can accommodate them.
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  5. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    This would be awesome. The hardest thing with all these apps is that:

    #1. They're not MC specific so no links/interface to MC specific sites.

    #2. Offline map downloads. You need a LOT of those little tiles and i keep running into download / upload errors. A batch download of the whole US via Open Maps or the ability to import Garmin maps would be great.

    I'd definitely pay for an app like that!

    Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk
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  6. RonkoRider

    RonkoRider Wrong Island, NY

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  7. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Trimble is also available for the iPhone under "AllSport GPS" in the app store.
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  8. 919nick

    919nick Adventurer

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    Is this happening? If so, I'll buy it.

    Would this show tracks only or would it be able to calculate a route?
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  9. markwrich1

    markwrich1 Going South

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    The app needs the ability to load Shonky Maps onto it so that I can all of Australia sitting in the app rather be mucking with downloading map tiles all the time, if you can do that I'll use it and give you a BIG thank you:clap:clap:clap
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  10. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    Agreed, lots of apps work very well. Where all of them fall down is getting the maps themselves onto your device. There needs to be a way to download large maps all at once.
    #10
  11. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    I have been at this too. Thanks for the vote on Trimble's app; I find Orux overwhelming to use, and the Mobile Atlas Creator underwhelming. Orux has alot of options, and it will probably be fine once I get up to speed, but the atlas creator is lacking - it should tell you what the max download is so you don't have to keep trying smaller and smaller guesses... :(

    I have also looked at many other free options and one other paid (w/free trial) but never used any enough to say if they are good enough. I'm surprised Google dropped their My Maps Editor, and does not support speculative downloading of tiles to cover areas w/out cellular service (particularly with route planning on My Maps).

    A Garmin rep told me that he knew of no programs that could convert their maps for use outside of Garmin software - but he didn't tell me they were against that, so if you are writing an app, have it read Garmin Topo. :deal
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  12. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Isn't Navigon available for Android yet? They use the same map sets that Garmin does.
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  13. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    Only with European maps. Garmin screwed the pooch shooting for the moon with their own Android phone. It flopped and until their exclusive agreement runs out no one can officially (or unofficially AFAIK) use Garmin maps within Android apps in the US.
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  14. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    $61.59 in the Verizon Marketplace - that is THE most expensive app I've ever seen. Is it worth that kind of money?

    http://www.navigon.com/portal/us/produkte/navigationssoftware/index.html

    And for the record I am interested in Garmin's Topo (1:24K) for backcountry navigation (roads less traveled).

    Thanatos, any trouble with mounting the phone on a bike? I have an Aquabox (and an Otterbox 1900 on the way) and a RAM Mount, but there is still quite a bit of high-frequency/low-amplitude vibration (a measured on the phone with vibration meter app from Android Boy).
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  15. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    I never did hard mount the phone as I was testing and didn't want to spend money on a mounting system. I used the map pocket of my tank bag.
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  16. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    How is the GPS reception on these phones while riding?
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  17. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Perfectly adequate. :D

    (I would wait for someone who has used theirs while trail riding, when little differences might mean the wrong trail, etc.)
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  18. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    It will vary from phone to phone, but accuracy within 3 meters shouldn't be difficult to achieve with any of them.
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  19. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    I used to use Windows Mobile phones clipped to my handlebar with a charger. On those, I had the Garmin XT software. Even though it wasn't as nice as my 276C, it was adequate in most ways. It also ran a program called GeoTerrestrial, which would create tracks real time and upload photos to their site that were geotagged, making it very easy to create a trip log on the go.

    I switched to Android earlier this year, and maps have been a struggle. NOTHING is as good as the Garmin XT software, and the Garmin XT software wasn't all that good. I use it mainly just for visible moving maps, not routing. I bought the app CoPilot, so I would have offline maps and routing. It is decent, and it was under $10. I had been trying a number of programs to display the open source maps, and didn't care much for any of them.

    I have settled on OSMand. It lets you download vector maps easily and it performs well. It also displays Google, Bing and other maps). Routing is so so, but I don't really care. You need to download the latest version from the OSMand site, as the one in the Google app store is a very old version. Some of the items I like about it are:
    1) you can mark a location, and there is an arrow on the screen like a compass that keeps pointing to that location. This is better then routing for me. I choose the roads, and it shows the direction I need to head.
    2) It does a good job at keeping track logs in GPX. Plus you can display old GPX track logs quickly.
    3) I can upload my track logs to EveryTrail, my photos to Picasa, and create a trip log with photos that I can share quickly on EveryTrail.

    It also lets you put map layers on the screen. So you can put a layer of road maps, and lay a transparent layer of terrain maps over it. (it will manage OSM, Google, Bing and other maps)

    Looks like a winner for me for now.
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  20. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    I'll check out OSMand, but right now I'm liking OruxMaps. On my last trip I loaded the USFS georeferenced JPEGS (using OruxMaps' desktop software), created waypoints and routes in Google Maps and then loaded the KMLs into OruxMaps. The App has a function to select areas on the phone to download and store online maps for offline use, and... it does just about everything I've needed. Is it one of those you tried?

    My problem has been overheating - both in the AquaBox on the bike and the Otterbox 1900 on the boat my Motorola Droid X has overheated - presumably due to lack of ventilation since the phone has never done it when not in one of these waterproof cases. I found out the phone has a cool-down mode, protection so your battery does not explode - so kudos to Motorola.
    #20