New Android mapping app

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by random1781, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. random1781

    random1781 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Wanted to pass on a new (to the public) and free mapping application that blows most other apps out of the water. It'll ingest KML/KMZ/GPX/SHP files, stream imagery/maps from any tile server you define, allows you to download maps for offline use, let's you mark points, get bearings, record your routes, a ton of other things. It's a US-owned and developed app that has seen a lot of success over the years.

    Check out the history and download link here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_Team_Awareness_Kit

    More info:

    https://wiki.takciv.org/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ATAK/

    You can also do some googling and find out a lot more about it, watch videos, uses cases, etc., which I recommend doing.

    If you do any kind of route planning, you should jump on this. The downsides: there is a learning curve, it's Android only, and it doesn't do street navigation.
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  2. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    I remember seeing that while interviewing at the Air Force Research Lab. Was interesting then.

    I see you're in DC. Any chance you've had something to do with this work wise? Have you given it a spin? How would you say it compares to say Locus?

    Anyone on here give it a spin? @ohgood?



    Download link if anyone is interested: http://7n7.us/2
    Downloaded it myself to play with it.
    #2
  3. turtlespeed

    turtlespeed Been here awhile

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    Please note that it looks to me that this app may be export controlled (Export Administration Regulations - EAR) so people outside US should not download it.
    #3
  4. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    The one linked is the civilian version. No notice of any export controls on that one that I saw.
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  5. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Hm.... So, first hurdle on this is, offline maps. It doesn't read the .map format for the ones I use with Locus. So, now trying to find one that it does.
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  6. random1781

    random1781 Been here awhile Supporter

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    There are multiple versions, with this being the publicly releasable version. I was honestly surprised it was posted freely online, but that's the official website and there it is.

    Within the app you can choose your map source and then choose an area to download. Hit the Maps tool, Mobile, and then hit the little play icon on the bottom right. You can also use a tool called MOBAC (https://mobac.sourceforge.io/) to download maps on your computer and copy them over. Sqlite or osmdroid format. Not sure what Locus uses.
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  7. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Interesting. Not quite as convenient as just downloading maps directly, but not a deal breaker either since I only update maps once or twice a season. Can you select where they are stored within the app? I would prefer to store them on the 128gb SDcard I have.

    Spent a good while last night just playing with it, certainly a steep learning curve like Locus, but it appears powerful like Locus so willing to play with it. Don't need routing, but if it can follow a track and I can build a track that follows roads within it then we have something that competes.
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  8. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    cool, thanks for the heads up.

    i tried it on a couple older phones and it wouldn't install, so I'm trying it on a newer one now.

    a little hesitant to trust gov contractors with my stuff, of course, but it might be useful
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  9. random1781

    random1781 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yeah, if it doesn't do it automatically, you just recreate/copy over the atak directory from your phone storage to the SD card. It looks at both locations for data. The limitation with raster maps here is the number of tiles you can have, which is about 500k per file. This is more of a limitation of sqlite.

    My workflow has changed with regards to maps. I used to collect a bunch of offline sat imagery/hybrid maps, but I realized that I rarely actually had any practical use for it. I use this to store and view all my vector data: routes, interesting overlays, etc. 70% of the time I'll have signal, so I'll be able to stream maps from a tile server, and it automatically caches what you look at, so I generally have enough to get by without pre-downloading maps.

    I do use this concurrently with Google Maps on my phone, since that's basically unbeatable when it comes to searching for stuff and routing. The easiest technique for me has been to use Google Map's offline maps feature since it quickly grabs huge geographic areas at a fairly small size that it then routes through offline. That's almost always good enough for me to get by if I'm out of cell service and really need to reference something.

    Displaying large amounts of vector data is where atak excels. Most states have publicly accessible GIS road data that has a bunch of interesting attributes. For example, I pulled NH's data this morning and removed all paved roads, so I can have a state's worth of dirt roads to view at about 18mb:

    nh.png

    It makes riding around from the hip without a pre-planned route a lot easier.
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  10. random1781

    random1781 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Complete agree with you!

    Oldest I've tried is an LG G6. 3D rendering was recently added, which I'm assuming probably upped the requirements.
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  11. random1781

    random1781 Been here awhile Supporter

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  12. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    I can say that this will install on the Kyocera Duraforce Pro no problem.
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  13. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Hm, that NH data you pulled. Was that within the app?

    Also, for MOBAC, what OSM map do you normally go with?
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  14. rswift-ebay

    rswift-ebay Been here awhile

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    I have it running on a Samsung s7 but no idea how to download maps or use it.

    Is there a dummies guide please?
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  15. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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  16. random1781

    random1781 Been here awhile Supporter

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    If you mean what format, osmdroid. There's a tutorial on the wiki.

    No, I downloaded a shp file from NH GRANIT that contains all the roads and then used ArcGIS (free now until the end of August) to filter out all the paved roads. QGIS could do this as well. These are pretty complicated tools though, I don't really expect everyone to be going through this process. There's a lot of really cool mapping data available online, but the main problems are finding it and then formatting it properly. These aren't really hard to do, but it does take a bit of work, and that's how most of these end-user android/ios mapping apps make their money.

    I've been trying to figure out a good way to consolidate this data and make it relevant and available to the community here, so any input would be welcome. ArcGIS has some online capability also and a subscription for non-professional use is $100 a year, so I might wind up doing that to share stuff. If you want the NH files I created, pm me and I'll get them to you.

    Check the wiki I posted above. There's a user guide that goes through the process with pictures.
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  17. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Actually was preparing to plus with QGIS to gram the OSM map directly from them and then formatting it for my own use. Will take a good look at the NH site to see what might be of interest to me.
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  18. random1781

    random1781 Been here awhile Supporter

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  19. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Whoooooo. Heading down the rabbit hole here. Glad I have Monday off.
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  20. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    y'all are killing it with all this good info :-)


    thanks !
    #20