phone GPS on the ocean (work or not)?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by hotwheels22, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. hotwheels22

    hotwheels22 motorradRP

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    3,874
    Location:
    austin
    i have a gaggle of phone GPS apps i was trying out on a trip to the canadian provinces last summer. some paid apps like navigon but really a whole host of others.

    all seemed to work when i was on land.

    but when i took the ferry from nova scotia to maine i noticed they all left the marker for location at some small distance odd shore and did not pick up again until outside of the coast of maine.

    somehow i am thinking i don’t understand something about how GPS works or about how phone GPS works.

    just thinking here and imagining that the roof of the ship prevented reception but this would not account for the fact that it worked fine until we dot some distance away from shore.

    what am i missing?
    #1
  2. ywouldi

    ywouldi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    71
    Probably road navigation apps, they often stick the marker to the nearest road.
    #2
    Marcham and hotwheels22 like this.
  3. hotwheels22

    hotwheels22 motorradRP

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    3,874
    Location:
    austin
    ach. duh. so the software just gets confused and plunks it down?

    but then this brings up what they would do in very remote places or what the actual “tolerance” is for the apps.

    seems like you would want to know where you are at at all times but /especially/ when you are not on a road.

    is there software for the phone that will tell you where you are at all times?

    this is going to bug me...!
    #3
  4. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,971
    Location:
    Westside WA
    Don't anything about how google phones work but a real GPS works great on the ocean. Some phones don't accutally pickup GPS Satellites but rather use cell towers to triangulate positions. Those are horrible inaccurate even on land.
    #4
    hotwheels22 likes this.
  5. hotwheels22

    hotwheels22 motorradRP

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    3,874
    Location:
    austin
    yeah. i have a section for “cell tower GPS” and a section for “true GPS” apps.

    i had thought the true GPS were working fine. i was in labrador and i son’t recall ever having a problem (well except for checking radar and not seeing any rain but that’s another story...).

    wasn’t until i for our on the seas that the “true GPS” apps weren’t showing a location and this is sort of why i organized them so i could test them.

    <edit: was using an iphone 6 and 7>
    #5
  6. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,593
    Location:
    alabama
    smartphone gps doing fine at 20-30,000 feet and 300 mph:


    set your location settings to "GPS ONLY" and use a good app that isn't set to "follow roads only" and you'll always know where you are. no cellular/wifi connectivity needed.

    if you look at hte strava heat map, you'll see quite a few traces around islands/similar.

    i haven't found a place that smartphone gps doesn't work yet, except caves and tunnels ;-)
    #6
    hotwheels22 likes this.
  7. hotwheels22

    hotwheels22 motorradRP

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    3,874
    Location:
    austin
    hey man.
    so i need to set the phone to gps only in setttings or something? also what is strava heat map? what app is that?
    THANKS
    #7
  8. sanjoh

    sanjoh Purveyor of Light

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,579
    Location:
    Mountains of Central Florida:)
    Navionics is a great water navigation app. You can download maps for offline use.
    #8
    ohgood and hotwheels22 like this.
  9. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Bitch called me a feminist.

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21,787
    Location:
    Nippon
    I have a track saved on OsmAnd flying from Okinawa to Tokyo.

    Makes for an amusing chart.
    #9
    ohgood likes this.
  10. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,593
    Location:
    alabama

    lol I bet !
    #10
  11. hotwheels22

    hotwheels22 motorradRP

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    3,874
    Location:
    austin
    hi guys

    i am not finding a Settings > Location > Mode or really anything close on iphone

    i DO see a setting for cellular that i can turn on and off. and of course i have a wifi setting i can turn off.

    where is “device only” and what is it supposed to do? i ran a search and i found the result below. is this it?

    also i have OsmandMaps and it IS in my “real GPS” apps folder so i would have been checking this. i do remember checking some apps on an airplane flight once and i think i got one app to show me altitude, speed and location but i’m not remembering which app it was.

    i’d like to solve this. it is a but disconcerting to have a GPS app drop location for hundreds and hundreds of miles...
    #11
  12. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,593
    Location:
    alabama
    LOCATION settings, but I was referring to devices running android. I have no idea how it's handled on ios devices.
    STRAVA heat map is a map generated using millions of people's tracks, uploaded and filtered, to show where they have traveled. google it, it's cool.
    STRAVA is a hiker/biker/exercising persons app. generally they compare times or keep logs of their workouts via gpx tracks that contain heartrate/cadence/etc stuff that your phone (or at least android phones) can record.


    sorry, see above, I assumed you were using an android device.

    your references to "real gps apps folder" is.... confusing. I have no idea why you would sort them into folders via real/fake descriptors, since they all use the gps antenna to determine location. i mean, yes, you COULD have a driving application that only worked via bluetooth proximities to library scanners that had bluetooth, but it wouldn't be very good for the 99% of the roads that didn't have a library, or a scanner, or bluetooth ;-)
    #12
  13. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,739
    Location:
    Hog Mountain
    Are you using an app that has the maps loaded ON the phone? Or are you using an app with the maps on the internet? They have to be ON THE PHONE for it to work out of cell range.
    #13