GPS app for walking

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by fredf, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. fredf macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008
    This may be dumb, but here goes:

    I going to Italy for 3 weeks of cycling and just wandering around Rome.
    I thought it would be useful to have a GPS (particularly for the cycling). And I want all the maps on the phone to avoid roaming charges.
    I figure that rules out Maps, MotionX, etc and I need to go with Navigon or iGo (my 2 leading contenders).

    Here is the question: when walking around Rome would it be best to have a map of Rome on my phone (one of the $0.99 to $2.99 apps) or will Navigon/iGo be good for walking as well as driving?
    Would they work like Maps but with data on the phone so I'm not charged?
  2. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2007
    Unless you get the Italian map version of either Navigon/iGo, it will be worthless for you. If you buy North America maps, you only get the North American maps. So you will be buying a ~$70 app that will only be useful for your vacation. My suggestion, buy a map for $5 when you get there.
  3. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    iGo is not designed for that, it seems like it will only make things harder. I see the buildings just making the roads around you less visible. This is only to make it "seem" cool. I don't need 3D buildings blocking the names of roads around me.

    Navigon is the way to go:

  4. LostLogik macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2008
    You could check out RouteBuddy Atlas, so long as you don't want turn by turn navigation, and if their shop has local maps for you (I don't know how extensive it is). But for the UK it has OS maps and is great for a GPS and map in one unit. I've used it with 1:25k maps.
  5. fredf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008
    I am going to buy a navigation app, whether Navigon or iGo. I will be buying for North America/Canada and for Europe for my vacations there.

    But I just wanted to know if these GPS apps are useful for just walking around major cities, like Rome, Venice, etc.
    Can you use them to locate yourself (like on Maps) and as a street level map? I wouldn't be wanting turn by turn as a pedestrian. I just want something like the Maps app with maps on the iPhone so I don't have to access air time.
  6. fredf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008
    Regarding RouteBuddy: Can I download the entire OpenStreetMap for Rome and open it in RouteBuddy to have it offline and then will RouteBuddy use the iPhone's GPS function to show where I am on the map without a data connection?

    It certainly got very poor ratings in iTunes.
  7. netjack macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    good question. can all these gps apps work without a data connection? I plan on going to EU in a couple weeks and will be removing my sim card so I don't have any data charges.

    Please advise.

  8. LostLogik macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2008
    No, the open maps are I believe download only. But you can buy naps from their online store and have those stored offline, to use where you will. This is what I've done with the OS maps.
  9. netjack macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
  10. nparmelee macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2008
    We were in Italy this May and used a GPS for driving around in Tuscany, we played with the GPS in ROME and because of tall buildings, most of the time it showed where it could last pick us up and then would catch up to where we now were when it could. Not worth it!
  11. fredf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008

    I know you've got a both Navigon and Tom Tom

    Can you answer this: is Navigon suitable for walking around a city with?
    Would this be as good an any of the apps with dedicated maps for a single city?
    For example, there are a number of apps of maps of Rome. If I owned Navigon,would that be at least as good for a walking tourist?
  12. clampton macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2009
    I would also like to know the answer to the same question. Is it better to just use normal maps for traveling abroad on feet, or would GPS apps like Navigon and TomTom be useful?
  13. LostLogik macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2008
    Although car-based GPS apps are generally ok for use when walking, they are after all just maps, some will not have details of footpaths/cut throughs etc as they are biased towards car use. But they will show your location on a road map and if you want directions to a location, give them to you (but again, from a car's perspective, so one way streets will follow the flow of traffic, and not necessarily be the quickest).
  14. fredf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008
    this may be useful information (although note that I haven't tried it out in practice yet):
    I bought MotionX-GPS for $2.99 (much cheaper than any of the big names). They told me that if I open up OpenStreetMaps inside the app (after appropriately setting the cache size to allow it) the maps will be stored on my phone. But tile by tile at each resolution.

    While it was a bit tedious (it took me about an hour), I did all of Rome (I'm going to Italy) at several zoom levels moving east/west and north/south across the city. I did Venice and some other areas as well.

    In total it was 10MB of caching (I had set the total cache to 250MB).

    The GPS function on the iPhone works independently of air time.

    So, the plan is: turn Roaming off, have the maps downloaded on the phone, and I will be able to track myself on the maps using the innate GPS device on the phone while incurring NO data charges.

    I'll see how it works in practice but for $2.99 that's a pretty good alternative I think.
  15. DenniZ macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I think Navigon has a Scenic route profile.

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14 August 18, 2009