Use Maps to walk without using streets

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MarkLMac, Jan 16, 2017.

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  1. MarkLMac macrumors newbie

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    Chicago metro
    #1
    I'm going to an event where there will be hundreds of buses parked in a large stadium parking lot, think disneyworld size. I'd like to use Maps to guide me back to my bus, but I can't figure out how to use it in "walk" mode without it trying to force me onto the closest streets, which generally results in a much longer route. So what I want to do is set a location for the bus, and then from any location up to 1/2 mile away, be able to have it walk me on a straight line to the bus, without forcing me to use any local streets. How do I do that? This would also be useful in the forest preserve, if I just wanted it to walk me straight home without being taken off onto the closest local street.

    tnx
     
  2. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #2
    If you bus is going to stay in the same place just "drop a pin" on that location when you get out of the bus. That way you will find your way back. You can take what ever path you want back to the bus.
     
  3. MarkLMac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    OK thanks, we're having an ice/rain storm right now. I'll go outside later and try that.
     
  4. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Any mapping app is only as good as its data, and the developer's willingness to send you off into the unknown.

    If you zoom on that parking lot (or forest preserve) in map view, do you see the actual road/grid/footpath layout, or is it just an expanse of empty space? If it's empty space, should you expect the mapping app to create a path?

    I just tried to plan walking and driving routes to the center of a nearby woodland preserve, using both Apple Maps and Google Maps. That preserve is bisected by a dirt road that has been there for nearly 100 years (the street was removed from the maps in the 1970s, following conversion to parkland). I placed the "pin" as close to that road as I could. Had the road's existence been known, the routes would have included it. Neither app presented a viable route.

    Apple's walking route was by far shorter, ending on a street to the west of the woodland (I would have had to cut through a private yard to reach the woodland, and find my own path to the destination point). The route included this note: "Directions end at closest road to destination." Google's took me on a much longer route through a strip mall to the east of the woodland (I live to the west of the woodland), and from there, it extrapolated a straight-line path to my chosen point within the park. The route would have taken me over the edge of a 15-foot high retaining wall behind the strip mall.

    Apple chose to end the route in the absence of useable data, while Google was willing to go out on a limb.

    I tried to get Google to extrapolate a walking route in another park to see if it would take me over a 300-foot cliff. In that case, it refused, plotting a very long but safe route via paved park roads (there are footpaths that would have been shorter, but again, they weren't mapped). Perhaps there's a change-of-elevation threshold that the 15-foot retaining wall didn't trigger?

    I'd imagine the legal departments at both Apple and Google get involved in this sort of thing. It's one thing to provide a driving/walking route based on inaccurate data - they can write a disclaimer to cover that sort of thing. It's another to make a recommendation in the absence of data.
     
  5. MarkLMac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I'm imagining an iphone or android can operate the same way a handheld gps can, maybe that's my problem. If I mark a location on my Garmin handheld GPS and then walk off in the woods and get lost, I can hit the goto button to get back to that location and the gps will show me a needle that swings back and forth as I walk to take me on a straight line back to the location. I assumed that since the iphone knows the coordinates of the marked location, and my current location, it could show me what direction to walk to get back to the marked location. I'm starting to think that's not possible.
     
  6. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    #6
    Maybe there is an app for that.
     
  7. MarkLMac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Yes, I see there are a number of apps available for backcountry hiking. They provide the full functionality of a handheld gps, including things like contours, elevations, etc. That's way more than I really need, but maybe that's the only option.
     
  8. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    #8
    Hope it works out for you. I use the dropped pin any time I go hiking . . . . just a little insurance.
     
  9. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #9
    If you used a GPS intended for automotive use, rather than outdoors use, you'd likely run into a comparable problem to the one you have with Maps. Different intended uses, different features.

    There is a Maps feature for "Show Parked Location," accessed through Settings > Maps. It doesn't address your specific needs, though - it depends on a connection to a car's Bluetooth or CarPlay (it automatically stores the location when it loses connection to Bluetooth/CarPlay).

    There's no technical reason why Maps couldn't do what you desire. All the necessary hardware is in place, it's a software design decision on Apple's part. There are definitely apps that do what you want. Search the App Store for "find my car," for example.
     
  10. rijc99 macrumors 6502a

    rijc99

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    FEMA Region 9
    #10
    Use Google Maps. Google Maps has parking lots mapped out so if you zoom in you'll see where the vehicle travel paths are. Versus Apple Maps which only shows a large empty lot.

    Open Google Maps and drop a pin in the app where your bus is. Then select walking mode when you want to get back to the bus.
     
  11. MarkLMac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Yes, good analogy.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 16, 2017 ---
    Unfortunately this is for my wife's trip, she has an iphone. I have an android, but more importantly I have a Garmin GPS. I'd probably just take that if I were going with her. I'm hoping someone organizing this thing has enough sense to provide some kind of system to help people find their way back, so they aren't all walking around like Moses in the promised land.
     
  12. rijc99 macrumors 6502a

    rijc99

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    Location:
    FEMA Region 9
    #12
    Have her download Google Maps in the iPhone App Store.
     

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