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Discussion Starter #1
So I've plotted my route for this month's solo trip out on google maps. I'll have no problem navigating because its a relatively simple route, but I figure that its a good time to iron out my preferred nav methods. Staying budget minded, I want to see if my iphone can meet the task first before dropping money on a garmin. So I downloaded DMorneault's GPS Tracks app. So far it's been a very helpful and interesting introduction to waypoint navigation. But it's sparked my couriosity to see what apps the forum might be using. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone.
 

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When I had an android smart phone, I downloaded BackCountry for topo maps. As far as field work, I liked it better than my Garmin. The screen is bigger, and the colors are more defined on the smart phone and it would actually plot tracks with the phone in my pocket. My Garmin doesn't do that. It was accurate enough for me, for most things, but not as accurate as the Garmin. The UI on the smart phone with BackCountry was infinitely easier to use than the Garmin (the touch screen helps). As a plus, you get to try the demo free for 30 days. I never really tested how it worked once I got home and on the computer.
 

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When I had an android smart phone, I downloaded BackCountry for topo maps. As far as field work, I liked it better than my Garmin. The screen is bigger, and the colors are more defined on the smart phone and it would actually plot tracks with the phone in my pocket. My Garmin doesn't do that. It was accurate enough for me, for most things, but not as accurate as the Garmin. The UI on the smart phone with BackCountry was infinitely easier to use than the Garmin (the touch screen helps). As a plus, you get to try the demo free for 30 days. I never really tested how it worked once I got home and on the computer.
That app looks awesome for offloading.
 

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Just make sure whatever app you choose can store maps on the phone and operate if the phone has no service. Where I ride there are some places where the phone won't cut it because it needs cell service to run the GPS.
 

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^ Good point. BackCountry is not that way. Download the maps before you go though.
 

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Motions gps is my off road preference.
 

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^ Good point. BackCountry is not that way. Download the maps before you go though.
I'm contemplating a budget TW GPS set-up and am leaning toward BackCountry with an old Android phone we have laying around. The original GPS phones relied on having a phone signal. The newer ones have a built-in GPS chip so they can operate without a signal. It appears the BackCountry maps require large amounts of memory (at least this was the case with the USGS map I tried). Maybe other map sources are less memory-intensive.

I have a good mount for the phone. I need to work out a "weatherproof" charging set-up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a good mount for the phone. I need to work out a "weatherproof" charging set-up.
I've looked extensively, it seems that the simplest way is going to be routing my charging cord through my eventual tank bag and then run my phone through the transparent map screen on the lid. All the water proof options I saw are way too bulky and require me to remove my phone cover.



Back to my OP, after much more research, it seems that transferring your saved "My Places" maps on desktop google maps to your mobile google maps app is not possible. This would be my preference, as I could pre-plot my routes easily from a desktop, then see the routes dispayed in turn-x-turn display on my iphone, but google disable this once had feature because of apparent safety issues of people taking routes too literally.

So I'm still posed with the problem of navigating a pre-plotted route from my phone. I don't mind just using a road map, but I'd really like this over priced phone of mine to earn its keep. Thanks for any and all suggestions/feedback
 

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... It appears the BackCountry maps require large amounts of memory (at least this was the case with the USGS map I tried)...
A valid point. It worked well on my DroidX.
 

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I'm contemplating a budget TW GPS set-up and am leaning toward BackCountry with an old Android phone we have laying around. The original GPS phones relied on having a phone signal. The newer ones have a built-in GPS chip so they can operate without a signal. It appears the BackCountry maps require large amounts of memory (at least this was the case with the USGS map I tried). Maybe other map sources are less memory-intensive.

I have a good mount for the phone. I need to work out a "weatherproof" charging set-up.
I am using a Samsung S3 smartphone with Gaia as my android GPS software, it appears more intuitive to me than Backcountry navigator. It is picking up a lot of the old logging roads that no longer show on the expensive recreational maps and are marginal on my topo maps. I have this feeling ( conspiratorial me) that when the logging companies on both sides of the border decide to restrict access to 'their" roads the recreational /fishing people are coerced into removing a lot of what used to be readily available road/fishing information.

I have my S3 running off my TW200 battery using a wired in 12V to USB converter along with a 10 amp boost cigarette lighter module. In damp weather I cover it with a ziplock. It's really nice to see the green charged light on my GPS after 5 hours use! The S3 Gaia downloads a multitude of off-line map and does not require cell access or a contract. I am lead to believe Smart phones have to be able to access 911 whether you have a contract or not therefore the non cell emergency responders must know where you are using satellite GPS. I have had my phone for three years as an outright buy from Walmart for 150.00 Canadian and have never had a contract or used it as a phone. Great as a WiFi,GPS,ereader,camera and music player!

Cheers....
 

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I am using a Samsung S3 smartphone with Gaia as my android GPS software, it appears more intuitive to me than Backcountry navigator. It is picking up a lot of the old logging roads that no longer show on the expensive recreational maps and are marginal on my topo maps.

I have my S3 running off my TW200 battery using a wired in 12V to USB converter along with a 10 amp boost cigarette lighter module.

Cheers....
Thanks for bringing up this Gaia App info.

On our recent ride in North Idaho, one of our riders, Sidekick Chad, used the Gaia App on his Android Phone. He didn't use it to navigate as he didn't have a mount for the phone, plus there were plenty of us with our GPS's guiding us.

At a stop, he showed it to us. The map looked very good and he also imported the ride tracks I created in "Ride With GPS", which was very cool. If he would have had his phone mounted he could have used it to navigate.

Since seeing the App, I'm now investigating the possibility. My thought right now is the screen on the phones are larger making it easier to see than my small Garmin eTrex screen. If everything else is equal, this App may be worth it but I'm going to do my homework before I switch.

My Garmin has a Power or Cigarette type outlet plugin and I have the Power Outlet wired from the battery and mounted near my instrument cluster like you. No power issues. Plus I have a USB to Power Outlet adapter to charge camera's and other electronic devices should I need too!
 

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I tested the Gaia App on my phone yesterday and it synced and worked well. All the tracks I had previously loaded in my Gaia Web account, I could now see on my iPhone.

There is a little extra work involved to create a map/track for use offline when out of cell phone range but I watched a tutorial video and now it's easy. The choice of several different map styles or Satellite view for use offline is pretty neat.

Kind of a bonus, but when I scrolled the map to the Moab area, I could see all of the Moab Trail tracks on the map which I loaded in my web account. Much more to learn but I like the larger screen.

The only downsides I see right now is protecting the phone from dust and the battery gets depleted/discharged rather quickly so one would probably have to connect a charging wire if used all the time.

Moab area tracks. These were loaded on my www account and they auto-synced to the phone.


Some of my tracks as shown on the phone. These same tracks are on the WWW.


On my phone I tapped a track and up popped the name of the track. Cool!



Same thing by tapping a waypoint pops up with the name or info
 

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I use Samsung S7 with Backcountry Navigator. Phone is water resistant, and ability to add accessory memory chip makes storage problems go away. I keep it loaded with both USGS sheets and with maps on a state-by-state basis from OpenAndromaps. This setup is a pleasure to use (and to review past rides on these winter days).
One software I don't see mentioned is Avenza Maps. This is a free app that works with maps in PDF format, for example, those for National Forests. It does not have as many features as BCN but you can record your route. It seems to work with any PDF map that has location data married to it. For example, here in Vermont each town has a state-maintained map (available from State of VT over the web) of all of its public roads and each road's class. I was very happy to discover that these maps have location data so that makes it easy to keep track of which roads are in fact public, even if in terrible condition (and therefore of interest to masochists!).
 
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