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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:06 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Kings Beach, Ca
Now that most everyone and their grandmothers have Iphones/Android device/etc. I'm wondering what people are using for GPS tracking apps? There's a ton in the different app market making it hard to distinguish the differences.

I just tried sport tracker...which seems cool but only the paid version allows map uploads. I'm definitely looking for one that does stats (elevation gains/mileage/speeds/etc.) and mapping routes, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:01 pm
Posts: 800
Location: Colorado
My Tracks for Android is awesome and free.
It gives to elevation, speed and duration information.
If your have built in GPS it needs no network and you can export and import to Google Maps or Google Earth.

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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I've been using GPS Kit for iPhone. There are several other GPS apps as well, I just find that this one works well for what I want. Whatever app you try, just make sure that it lets you cache map data, so that you can still browse the map once you're out of cell coverage. GPS Kit uses Google terrain maps, which I happen to like more than some of the other options.

With the iPhone at least, you'll find that a major issue is battery life; the GPS just eats it up. I've been using this external battery pack with the iPhone, and it's great. Definitely the best battery life vs. size. Even with that you'll only get a full day's worth out of the phone if the GPS app is running continuously. Keep that in mind when planning longer trips.

There's an app called GPSBabel which can convert between just about any types of waypoint format. So even if import/export isn't directly supported by the apps you're using, you might be able to fudge it. For example, I can use TOPO to plot a route, export it, convert it gpx via GPSBabel, then import it into GPS Kit via the web interface (which you can access once you buy the app).


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:08 pm
Posts: 378
Location: near munich
My GPS is a Garmin e-trex Vista HCX .
2 years of thinking bay it ore not - it comes from selv.
It wos apresent from my girl, to find better and faster Home :mrgreen:
one of the best thing s i ever be came for the BC adventur s.

I m in germany, and i youse a free softwear, Map Source, and some free maps.
I like the option see trips on google earth.
Most time i look for free downloads of intresting tours as GPX. Files - in some Forum s as freedownload.
And you can see witch way goes the other gays, and you can change the way and bring an new file.
In europ is a way a cross the mountain - with the MTB - we call it Alpencross.For this is a GPS great , after the cross you can see al waypoints and remanders, distance speed an Hm on your trip report - but a paiper map is every time on the back. a gps is a good thing, but i never give a paiper map away.

A Gps is good for me to MTB , hiking , and Splitboardtouring .
Only critysize point is the battery live time - 20 Hours - i hade every time a second pair of battery in my day pack - the same sizze as my alavanceresiver. On a longer tripp some battery more 2 Day a pair.


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:32 am
Posts: 44
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
jimw wrote:
I've been playing around with GPS and topo maps for a while now... it's pretty fun! One thing I'd love to be able to do, and haven't figured out yet is a way to draw a route in TOPO, or on Google Earth, and export it as a *track* (not a series of waypoints, which is what TOPO does AFAIK), and then load that track into the GPS. That way you could have a continuous track of your intended route preloaded on the GPS. Again this is different from a series of waypoints - that works, but just doesn't seem as clean.

I recently caved in and picked up an iPhone, and I've been playing with some of the GPS apps for it. Pretty cool stuff, and they're updated a lot more frequently than say, firmware for a handheld GPS, so it's only going to get better. Battery life is the main issue, which I solved for the time being with an external battery pack. Interference with beacons is also a concern, but seems to be mitigated to a large extent as long as you keep some physical separation between electronic devices.

I love being able to add a very functional GPS app to my phone for $3. To bad you can't add a phone to a Garmin for $3!! :)


I switch my mobile off during the tour because of possible interference with my Mammut pulse beacon. I believe GPS devices like a Garmin has less interference. I only use the iphone gps when I am mountain biking. Oh and I always bring a map and compass in the backpack. For Europeans, GPS-TRACKS has a ton load of downloadable and graded GPX files which I open and edit Mapsource.

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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:57 am
Posts: 1110
Location: Santa Barbara, CA/Ashland, OR
I've been using backcountry pro for Android (I think it's the same thing Jim is using for his iphone). I also find battery life to be the only issue, although putting the phone in airplane mode while not using it for route finding is helping me last a full day. I did a 5 hour tour on Mt. Bailey last thursday and was able to use the phone as an MP3 player for half the tour, and still finished with 50% after starting on a full charge. Leaving the phone in tracking mode eats lots of batteries though. The mapping is fantastic, and the gps radio is more powerful and reliable then my garmin 60 csx unit.

I echo Jims wish for a continuous track that you can load from Topo! to my Phone though..but that seems to me to be the fault of NG IMHO. It's annoying to have to add a butt load of waypoints in order to get a close approximation of a track.

I also have experimented with my bike computer (Garmin Edge) and it works great as far as recording the track and importing it back into Google earth etc...but it's not a mapping unit, so using it for routefinding is pretty worthless. You could load a route into it and get digital arrow prompts for finding the next waypoint, but still no mapping, you're just following arrows..which..IMHO isn't as effective as just using a compass for the same purpose. Below is a link to a tour I did with Jim and a few other guys earlier this season:
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/87646069

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