Hiking GPS App with offline maps?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by LoneWolf121188, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #1
    I'm looking for an app that replicates the function of a Garmin hiking GPS...something with offline maps, similar to TomTom. Preferably an app with higher-quality/resolution maps than the USGS ones. Does such an app exist?
     
  2. woodman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #2
    Check out Park Maps. It's only for national parks I believe, but that's what I've used in the past.

    The problem I've had with using iPhone for navigation while hiking is: battery life and water damage. It's no good for an overnight hike. And my original iPhone's touch screen was ruined (bottom row stopped being touch sensitive when not plugged in) after it got exposed to moist hiking conditions (hiking in rain with phone in pocket).
     
  3. Victor Star macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    #3
    Check out AccuTerra. Try the free version first but the Unlimited version is what I ended up with.

    I wish it had higher resolution maps but it's pretty good. Hope this helps.
     
  4. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #4


    Sorry, but AccuTerra sucks. Had it when it first came out and bought a number of the state packs, then subsequent updates wiped out my maps and they also changed the bundles available to the point where i didn't even know what i purchased and could safely redownload vs what i couldn't. Not to mention a clunky and confusing interface coupled with low resolution topo maps. One word.......crap. don't waste your money.
     
  5. Victor Star macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    #5
    I'm sure the app has changed since it first came out. I know it has since I've started using it. When higher resolution maps come out the old ones do have to be replaced, that's called an upgrade.

    Everyone has an opinion but you should at least be familiar with the current version before giving a review.

    Like I said to the OP, try out the free version and decide for yourself.
     
  6. diesel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #6

    I have tried their latest version, the unlimited one. And let's be honest the so called HD maps are not really HD. crap is crap. The resolution is horrible.
     
  7. Victor Star macrumors member

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    Dec 3, 2008
  8. bstpierre macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    #8
    As far as the moisture issue, you can play through a ziplock sandwich bag.

    They also make half sandwich bags that may or may not fit the iPhone.
     
  9. ToddAS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #9
    I've been happy with Gaia GPS as a Garmin-like GPS for hiking. However, its maps, which are based on USGS maps, are not crystal clear. The best scans of USGS maps I've seen (and I wouldn't claim to have made an exhaustive study) are to be found in the Topo Maps app, but the tracking features of the Topo Maps app are limited relative to Gaia GPS. Finally, Trails is also a nice app for GPS tracking, but it relies (for better and for worse) on OpenStreetMap maps rather than USGS quadrangles.

    While I wouldn't say that AccuTerra "sucks," as diesel did, I have been disappointed by the quality of their HD maps (and, yes, I do have the latest version).

    Todd
     
  10. firewood macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #10
    You can use a heavy-duty clear zip-lock bag, or something even more rugged, to keep your iDevice dry (I used to keep my paper topo maps in a clear plastic pouch for the same reason when backpacking). There are also several companies that make external battery packs for the iPhone, some small enough that you could carry a couple. Haven't tried one of the larger solar panels, but that may be a possibility for longer trips.

    Make sure to use Airplane mode when hiking far from cell towers, as that will drain the battery very quickly. An iPhone 4 is fast enough getting a fresh GPS lock that you can shut it down completely ("Slide to power off") when not using it.
     
  11. LoneWolf121188 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #11
    Yeah, definitely. I wasn't looking to do extended trips with it anyway, mostly just day hikes. It would have come in handy yesterday when I thought I was much further along the trail than I actually was, and ended up getting back to my car at almost 5:30 when I planned on being back by 3:00!
     
  12. woodman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #12
    The ziplock just didn't provide enough protection (apparently) on that one hike (four days). What I needed to do was just pack it away instead of keeping it on me like a city boy.

    And the battery stuff just weighs too much for the long hikes. I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to carrying the weight!

    On a canoe trip, the Park Maps app really saved my but in the Adirondacks. I had it in two bags, and they got so steamed up it was hard to use. Still, I'd have been paddling for another hour looking for the portage.

    What I really want is a waterproof case.
     
  13. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Troy, MT
    #13
    Lonewolf...I use MotionX GPS for my treks into the wild. I use their Drive for driving GPS. I have never had an issue and it works very well.

    Also take a look at iTopoMaps. I have not used it in a long time but it does constantly get updates. This is my backup but have never had to use it because of how well MotionX has worked for me.

    Good Luck, hope this helps:)
     
  14. LoneWolf121188 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
  15. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Troy, MT
    #15
    I gave you the links so you could see/read for yourself....yes;)
     
  16. Scuby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Location:
    Fareham, UK
    #16
    Worth having a look at Memory Map too - they do a free version, or a paid version. You'd only need the paid version if you want to buy "Desktop" maps (MM also have PC software and sell map packs on DVD, etc) - otherwise there's an in-built map store on both versions that you can gets maps of the US (and other countries) from. Not tried the US maps, but the UK ones are great - its the only app i use for mapping.
     
  17. slester macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #17
    Do all of these apps have to have the screen on to track your hike, or can I shut the screen off? Do any of them have background functionality so I can do other stuff or do I have to hit some sort of pause button? Thanks.
     
  18. uptownnyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    #18
    @SFC_Archer

    Thanks for the MotionX recommendation. Just downloaded it, and it looks like a perfect fit for my needs. Offline maps in a place with no data availability. Thank you!
     
  19. jjk454ss macrumors 601

    jjk454ss

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #19
    I'm going to check out a couple of these, but what I'm looking or is something like this with the ability to create my own trail maps and save them for later. I know apps like run keeper and others will save you path, but I want to keep adding to it. I'd like to be able to hike an entire park, then have all the trails mapped out. Editing the map after would be great as well, to mark trails etc.
     
  20. qubeofwar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    #20
    That's a nice idea. someone should make an app that allows you to make your own maps using the GPS and you can design the map as you need to. then you can upload it to a global database.
     
  21. smellalot macrumors 6502

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    Dec 6, 2011
  22. TJ61, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2012

    TJ61 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    #22
    Yeah, I would guardedly recommend this one. I say guardedly, because the offline maps feature (which, albeit from 2 years ago, is the OP's subject) is still somewhat mysterious to me. I tried to test it by downloading some maps, then put my iPhone in Airplane mode so I could be sure that I wasn't getting real-time map updates. When I went to look at the map, I was seeing way more than what I originally downloaded. So, I guess my complaint is that I have more map than I...ummm...well, I like to know how things work, and I haven't quite figured this one out yet.

    Some other aspects that could be improved in the offline maps:
    1. Would be nice to be able to name the maps -- you can't tell what you have, really, without going in and looking at it.
    2. When you're looking at the big map to select an area to download, it would be nice if you could see your previous downloads on that big map, especially since you're warned not to put too many tiles in any one download.

    The tracking seems to be rock solid. I tested it on three outings; they were ~30 minute car outings, but I was impressed that, while being in a car, with the iPhone in my shirt pocket, there was barely a misplaced breadcrumb. You can select any or all of these tracks to show up on the current map. And getting the gpx OR kml files off the device is pretty straight forward (e-mail them to yourself).

    Regards,
    Tom
    p.s. I'd be interested to hear other's experience with GPS Kit, especially if you can enlighten me on the offline maps thing.
     
  23. Descarreaux macrumors newbie

    Descarreaux

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Montréal South-shore
    #23
    I should have done this search before going trekking

    Hi folks

    I just got back from trekking the Tongariro and the Taranaki in New Zealand.

    I thought I had a gps application (trace my step).
    But the version I had only provides 15 minutes of traces.
    I searched to find an app but I haven't find anything that worked for New Zealand.

    I am planing to trek the south island late april. I would have some questions.

    (I need off line maps.)

    1- With MotionX do I have to find and load myself the maps that I need?
    Or I need just to enter the name or coordinates and the app does the job?

    2- What about http://mobile.accuterra.com/index.php ?

    3- Any other suggestions?

    Thank you in advance
     
  24. AquaMAp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    #24

    You could try Terra Map (http://www.globalterramaps.com), I'm using it in Italy and works fine. They claim to have NZ also (other than US, EU, Canada, ...).
     

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