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Old 02-02-2011, 07:20 PM   #1
Thanantos OP
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My Experience thus far with Andriod GPS apps

Just, FYI. ALL of the information below is WAY out of date. The Android GPS situation has come a LONG way since I wrote this post almost 2 years ago now. I plan to update this soon and include some apps built by some of our very own members

Quote:
Hey all,

I've spent a good deal of time this winter researching a way to use my Android phone (Samsung Moment) as a decent GPS device for following some of the great tracks that are out there. I prefer to use my phone because I already use it to listen to music while riding and I'm a cheap ass. Hey, I ride a KLR!

Following tracks is important to restate. There are lots of apps (many that work very well like MyTracks from Google) that record where you have been, but not many that allow you to follow someone else's tracks.

Below are the two best options I have found. Both work offline (out of cell coverage) and both allow you to record your own tracks or follow someone else's. One option is free and one is paid. I've used both, successfully, in my cage.


THE FREE OPTION:




I've found that Oruxmaps (follow the link for the barcode or search in the Android Market) is a very good free option, but can take a little while to learn. It has many different options (more than the paid option I write about later), but all those options also increase the learning curve a bit.

However, the documentation provided is easy to read and fairly comprehensive.

For offline map use they recommend you use the Mobile Atlas Creator which is also free. In theory this app allows you to do Mapsource type uploading and editing of GPX tracks and then output them to your phone. It also allows you to define an area and download the map tiles (in whatever zoom levels you like) for offline use. In practicality I was unable to upload any tracks into this program (although I could upload them to Oruxmaps and follow them there) and also had problems downloading the map tiles. I believe this is because that program is designed for hikers and bicyclists and not motorcyclists who are downloading LARGE areas of maps (it did work when I reduced the area or zoom levels thus reducing the number of tiles downloaded). The Orux team also provides documentation on how to use Mobile Atlas Creator specifically for Orux.


Mobile Atlas Creator


THE PAID OPTION:



As you might imagine, because you have to pay for it, I found this option the most effective and user-friendly. The app I used was Trimble Outdoors which was $9.99 in the Market. Kinda pricey for a phone app (cheap as hell for good GPS software though), but I found the cost was ultimately worth it.

The app itself is pretty and has all the options one would expect from a full functioning GPS app. Orux has a few more options (lots of different types of maps such as ones for aviation, etc), but none that I missed using Trimble.

The Trimble website has two functions that will be important for you:
#1. The site has a very user-friendly and robust webapp that allows Mapsource type functionality with the upload and editing of GPX tracks. Once you are done editing your tracks they are downloaded to your phone via the app itself so there is no need to copy anything manually to your SD card.


#2. It also has a spiffy offline map download site where you define an area, the zoom level and then download the map tiles. These do have to be manually moved to your SD card.


Lastly, about Trimble. If you have problems or questions the actual software engineers themselves take part in their discussion forums and are very good about providing prompt assistance. Their customer service and support is definitely top notch.

Good luck, and I hope someone is able to find this helpful!
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:16 PM   #2
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:41 AM   #4
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I am thinking about creating an Android app specifically for dual sport riding. I'd like to know what kind of features people want?

I thought I would start by allowing you to put Garmin map files (the unencrypted variety) and OSM maps into the phone so no network is required. Then, I was thinking that I would cross reference the app with dualsportmaps.com's track database and allow you to download tracks from there to follow. I was also thinking that it would be cool if you could cache google satellite images and store them on your phone the app could download all the tiles over the tracks and cache them (while you are at home) until you tell it to clear its memory.
The app should output a gpx file of your trip and also probably allow you to push the track directly to dualsportmaps.com.

Information on the screen would include current speed, time, odometer (for mileage concerns). Interest in a rally computer type interface?

Obviously the maps would be zoomable, but I was not planning to allow you to create routes on the fly because the interface on the phone is clunky and it would be pretty tedious.

Please comment on features that y'all would be interested in and I'll see how I can accommodate them.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:17 PM   #5
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This would be awesome. The hardest thing with all these apps is that:

#1. They're not MC specific so no links/interface to MC specific sites.

#2. Offline map downloads. You need a LOT of those little tiles and i keep running into download / upload errors. A batch download of the whole US via Open Maps or the ability to import Garmin maps would be great.

I'd definitely pay for an app like that!

Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Trimble is also available for the iPhone under "AllSport GPS" in the app store.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftycoder View Post
I am thinking about creating an Android app specifically for dual sport riding. I'd like to know what kind of features people want?
Is this happening? If so, I'll buy it.

Would this show tracks only or would it be able to calculate a route?
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:25 AM   #9
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Android App

Quote:
Originally Posted by craftycoder View Post
I am thinking about creating an Android app specifically for dual sport riding. I'd like to know what kind of features people want?

I thought I would start by allowing you to put Garmin map files (the unencrypted variety) and OSM maps into the phone so no network is required. Then, I was thinking that I would cross reference the app with dualsportmaps.com's track database and allow you to download tracks from there to follow. I was also thinking that it would be cool if you could cache google satellite images and store them on your phone the app could download all the tiles over the tracks and cache them (while you are at home) until you tell it to clear its memory.
The app should output a gpx file of your trip and also probably allow you to push the track directly to dualsportmaps.com.

Information on the screen would include current speed, time, odometer (for mileage concerns). Interest in a rally computer type interface?

Obviously the maps would be zoomable, but I was not planning to allow you to create routes on the fly because the interface on the phone is clunky and it would be pretty tedious.

Please comment on features that y'all would be interested in and I'll see how I can accommodate them.
The app needs the ability to load Shonky Maps onto it so that I can all of Australia sitting in the app rather be mucking with downloading map tiles all the time, if you can do that I'll use it and give you a BIG thank you
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markwrich1 View Post
The app needs the ability to load Shonky Maps onto it so that I can all of Australia sitting in the app rather be mucking with downloading map tiles all the time, if you can do that I'll use it and give you a BIG thank you
Agreed, lots of apps work very well. Where all of them fall down is getting the maps themselves onto your device. There needs to be a way to download large maps all at once.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:58 AM   #11
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I have been at this too. Thanks for the vote on Trimble's app; I find Orux overwhelming to use, and the Mobile Atlas Creator underwhelming. Orux has alot of options, and it will probably be fine once I get up to speed, but the atlas creator is lacking - it should tell you what the max download is so you don't have to keep trying smaller and smaller guesses... :(

I have also looked at many other free options and one other paid (w/free trial) but never used any enough to say if they are good enough. I'm surprised Google dropped their My Maps Editor, and does not support speculative downloading of tiles to cover areas w/out cellular service (particularly with route planning on My Maps).

A Garmin rep told me that he knew of no programs that could convert their maps for use outside of Garmin software - but he didn't tell me they were against that, so if you are writing an app, have it read Garmin Topo.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meat popsicle View Post
A Garmin rep told me that he knew of no programs that could convert their maps for use outside of Garmin software - but he didn't tell me they were against that, so if you are writing an app, have it read Garmin Topo.
Isn't Navigon available for Android yet? They use the same map sets that Garmin does.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Isn't Navigon available for Android yet? They use the same map sets that Garmin does.
Only with European maps. Garmin screwed the pooch shooting for the moon with their own Android phone. It flopped and until their exclusive agreement runs out no one can officially (or unofficially AFAIK) use Garmin maps within Android apps in the US.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:38 PM   #14
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Isn't Navigon available for Android yet? They use the same map sets that Garmin does.
$61.59 in the Verizon Marketplace - that is THE most expensive app I've ever seen. Is it worth that kind of money?

http://www.navigon.com/portal/us/pro...are/index.html

And for the record I am interested in Garmin's Topo (1:24K) for backcountry navigation (roads less traveled).

Thanatos, any trouble with mounting the phone on a bike? I have an Aquabox (and an Otterbox 1900 on the way) and a RAM Mount, but there is still quite a bit of high-frequency/low-amplitude vibration (a measured on the phone with vibration meter app from Android Boy).
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meat popsicle View Post
$61.59 in the Verizon Marketplace - that is THE most expensive app I've ever seen. Is it worth that kind of money?

http://www.navigon.com/portal/us/pro...are/index.html

And for the record I am interested in Garmin's Topo (1:24K) for backcountry navigation (roads less traveled).

Thanatos, any trouble with mounting the phone on a bike? I have an Aquabox (and an Otterbox 1900 on the way) and a RAM Mount, but there is still quite a bit of high-frequency/low-amplitude vibration (a measured on the phone with vibration meter app from Android Boy).
I never did hard mount the phone as I was testing and didn't want to spend money on a mounting system. I used the map pocket of my tank bag.
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