The snow's just getting deeper so let's talk about smart-phone GPSing
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Thread: The snow's just getting deeper so let's talk about smart-phone GPSing

  1. #1
    Senior Member GCFishguy's Avatar
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    The snow's just getting deeper so let's talk about smart-phone GPSing

    I noticed in another thread, that a couple members are liking Gaia. And warning, if you're not interested in any of this and you just want to post "I only use a map and compass because you can't trust electronics..."....well, please don't.

    I've been a GPS-nut forever, well, since I bought the yellow eTrex that you had to build your own cable and kludge a connector up with a piece of an old credit card, the right sized solder blobs, and a hot glue gun. So, walking, biking, ATVing, and now TW-ing, I've always brought the GPS with me and saved lots of waypoints and tracks of each ride. Once in a while I go through the ride tracks and snip and trim and join, etc, so I have relatively organized bunches of tracks that I can stick on the GPS to cover an area I will be in, and plop some waypoints on there so I have some help navigating around and so on.

    So....I always used Mapsource, and I loved it. You could save a file for whatever you wanted with tracks, points, etc...save another for something else, it could have some of the same tracks as another file had...life was good. In came Basecamp with it's database structure, and I'm not a fan. Whatever...deal.

    Now, while I like my GPS units...I also like having a camera, a phone, a calculator, a 'kind of SPOT' where I can hold a button and sent out a distress call to whatever contacts I have pre-chosen along with my coordinates, etc etc... And I found out quick that a motorcycle doesn't have the cargo capacity an ATV does. You're pretty challenged in the crap-lugging department... Plus, as I get older, it's less and less fun to be keeping all these gadgets up to date and making sure this file is on that and that I transferred this to here.. My smart phone will act as a pretty good GPS, emergency message-sender, camera, geocaching gadget...and I think, possibly, it will even make phone calls. But I'm not sure on that last one...further modding may be required.

    So Gaia people (or other people who may use something similar.....) I want to essentially get rid of Basecamp. I want to put my waypoints and my tracks in Gaia-land. I want to be able to see them with the computer and I want to be able to see them with the phone, AND I want them to be hosted in a central location so they are sync'd and current. (Cloud-shunners please refer to the 'paper map and compass' statement at the beginning, and just don't...okay?)
    I want to be able to (within Gaia or whatever) build lists, or folders with lists in them, or lists inside of folders that are nested in other folders...I want to be able to organize my waypoints and tracks the way I do in Basecamp. I cannot stand just having all my stuff dumped into a huge bin. I like to be organized...my fishing waypoints shouldn't touch the waypoints for the hiking trip I did 3 years ago, etc etc etc.

    I have tried Gaia here and there and have not found its folders and structure to be friendly at all. I'll get a couple things where I like them, then I'll export a small list as a gps and Gaia will just say that the gpx isn't readable and refuse to play ball.

    Anyway...the folks that are using Gaia....have you been able to make it THE piece of software you use for organizing all your GPS data? ..or do you still keep everything in Basecamp/Mapsource and copy and paste and snip and upload?
    You may think I'm nuts because I expect one 'suite' to do everything...maybe I am. But that's what I want. Just like I want my smart phone to take the place of my GPS, my camera, etc etc. I know it's not a ruggedized, waterproof GPSr..I can deal with that. I know it's not a DSLR...I can work with that as well. I don't need it to shoot a wedding. I need it to text a picture of a trout to a friend and say, "Hope you're having fun at work!!"

    So...those of you that nodded your head at least 3 times while reading that, please share your experiences. Those of you that shook your head while reading, please just move along quietly.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator JerseyJeeper's Avatar
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    I'm with you. We need a good cloud based mapping app with GPS, topo, photo to point pinning, inter-device cloud syncing and very importantly local device saving of the files in-case of signal loss, emp's etc. there needs to be a pc and mac app for more robust detailed editing but basic device editing of tracks is a must, we need multi-layering especially a LIDAR layer and topo and roads layers as well. All layers need to gave there transparencies adjustable for multi-layering. All waypoints need a way to assign notes along with the attachment of pics. And for good mearsure there needs to be an electronic compass and rfid reader for next gen geocaching (for the nerds).. really, we need this..
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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Can't really help yet but I'm trying to transition or at least test Gaia just like you. I have copied most of my Moab gpx tracks from Basecamp to the Gaia place I created on my computer. I have not yet tried the Gaia GPS on my phone just yet so can't help. I think we may be in about the same place.

    I am very comfortable with Basecamp and my Garmin etrex but I'm finding it hard to see the screen as I get older. Small screen and old eyes are why I'm trying Gaia because my phone has a much bigger screen. I know some people use even larger devices but I still to the phone if all works out.

    It will be interesting to hear peoples advice.
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    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
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    I noticed in another thread, that a couple members are liking Gaia. And warning, if you're not interested in any of this and you just want to post "I only use a map and compass because you can't trust electronics..."....well, please don't.

    I know how you feel!!!!!
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Tweaker's Avatar
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    JJ and GC. I am kinda cheap so I didn't buy a Gaia pro subscription which has a lot of the features you talk about. The $20 version does what I want , records tracks, tells me where I am at , I can add notes and pics to waypoints and preload maps for areas out of cell range. Most of the maps , are free. The layering features are not. I didn't want to buy a $500 single purpose GPS when I already have a smart phone. So for me I have what I want at a low cost. The pro is $6 a month or $40 a year. The developer seems to be very responsive you may want to contact them about your desires and or do a trial to see what it has for you.
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    Super Moderator JerseyJeeper's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll be checking them out. My NUVI just died on me


    Quote Originally Posted by Tweaker View Post
    JJ and GC. I am kinda cheap so I didn't buy a Gaia pro subscription which has a lot of the features you talk about. The $20 version does what I want , records tracks, tells me where I am at , I can add notes and pics to waypoints and preload maps for areas out of cell range. Most of the maps , are free. The layering features are not. I didn't want to buy a $500 single purpose GPS when I already have a smart phone. So for me I have what I want at a low cost. The pro is $6 a month or $40 a year. The developer seems to be very responsive you may want to contact them about your desires and or do a trial to see what it has for you.
    Ken likes this.
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    Senior Member buellzebub's Avatar
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    Excellent post GC, I'm following this one. I use Memory-Map in the UK and France but although excellent the coverage is limited to just a couple of countries. I've also used Sygic which has, I believe, almost whole world coverage but this seems restricted to mostly 'paved' road navigation. It does have an off road' function but the maps aren't detailed enough, very good quality nonetheless.
    I love GPS and all its possibilities so I'm interested to see your results 👍
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  9. #8
    Senior Member GCFishguy's Avatar
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    Oh, and I'm also one of those oddballs that geocaches. (Geocaching: Using a network of multi-billion dollar navigation satellites to hunt for Tupperware in the woods.)

    So...it would be nice if whatever 'system' I was to commit to could also be used for Geocaching....I have Pocket Queries (14) that result in around 12200 caches, so this magical product would need to be able to pull those from the geocaching website, download them, and import them into the app for use in the field (as as to not use data, and/or be available when there is no cell coverage.

    There are several decent geocaching apps that do that, but they pretty much just do the geocaching stuff...they're not set up for holding hundreds of tracks and categorized waypoints, all unrelated to geocaching....

    Maps, I really don't care about that much; if there IS an app that's that heavily geared to all those things, I'm sure that it would have multiple options for importing offline maps from several sources, building your own overlays...

    And we just finished an ice storm that left some people without power for up to 12 days, then a pretty good sized snow storm on Friday, it's -23 C (not counting wind chill) and they have just issued a blizzard warning for tonight and tomorrow; "...very strong northeasterly winds, and blowing snow resulting in blizzard conditions to much of the southern half of New Brunswick. Snowfall amounts between 25 and 55 cm is expected with winds gusting up to 100 km/h. "

    If I hear one of you SOBs talk about how you got up this morning and went for a nice ride, I swear to God..... ;-)
    Last edited by GCFishguy; 02-12-2017 at 05:45 AM.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member buellzebub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCFishguy View Post
    Oh, and I'm also one of those oddballs that geocaches. (Geocaching: Using a network of multi-billion dollar navigation satellites to hunt for Tupperware in the woods.)...
    Yep, guilty of that one too. And Munzee hunting (looking for little QR bar codes to scan, possibly even sadder! lol)
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Tweaker's Avatar
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    Gc seriously you should open a dialog with the Gaia developer.
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