Off-Track Tracks in OruxMaps

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Off-Track Tracks in OruxMaps

Postby Off-track » Mon 17 Jul, 2017 5:53 pm

Some forum members have commented that OruxMaps has a steep learning curve. Others say it is worth it. So far I agree with both views. In case it helps other new users, here is how I set up my phone (a cheap ZTE A462 with maximum SD card size) for longest battery life while off-track logging in OM.

1. Turn on the Phone. If necessary, turn screen locking back on (saves battery and problems from ‘pocket clicks’ in an active app.)
2. Turn on Flight Mode (saves battery, especially in remote areas without phone reception).
3. Start the OruxMaps app (OM). Turn off other Apps if not needed, to save power.
4. *Turn on the phone Location services. High accuracy or Device only (GPS) are OK; both use only GPS in Flight Mode (which should turn phone network connection and WiFi off unless over-ridden). You can check in phone system settings or quick settings (swipe down).
5. *If necessary, take OM out of Android/phone power saving to allow GPS use and track recording: System settings > Battery > ⁞ > Battery optimisation > ▼ > All apps > OruxMaps Not optimised.
6. *In OM top menu Track {sym} (or side menu): Start GPS & Start Recording. If there are error messages, they probably relate to the Location and Battery settings in Android mentioned above. Recording continues while OM is open in the background, and GPS activity continues even if you turn OM off!

* Steps 4-6 above may be prompted by simply pressing Start Recording in OM, but this can be a bit confusing if you are not very familiar with your phone’s steps/options for Location services and Battery optimisation.

7. The OM status bar at top left should now show a grey GPS symbol (plus a coloured GPS symbol if Fast or Power-save GPS Mode has been selected) along with a box-in-circle icon and a squiggle for track logging. The accuracy vs power use trade-off is managed under “GPS Mode” which in turn depends on choices made in “GPS settings”.
8. There should soon be a GPS location symbol, and the map should auto-centre there. If not, you may want to use a separate App like “GPS Test” to check on satellites in view and whether you have a position fix.
9. As you move, the OM map will move to keep the GPS location at centre, and a track will be drawn according to settings under Top menu > ⁞ > Global settings > User interface > Tracks and ...... > Colors. Turn off the phone screen when not needed, to save power.
10. If you move the OM map (by dragging a finger on the screen), track recording will be suspended for a short time, while the lower panel (Dashboard) shows the distance and bearing from your (last GPS) location to the spot at centre-screen.
11. Remember to turn off the GPS and Track Recording when you stop for a while (to save battery). You will be offered to continue the track or start a new segment when you resume track recording. There is an OM setting for maximum stored points per track.
12. There seem to be no alarms for loss of GPS signal, loss of position fix, or low battery in OM or Android. Adding Apps for these things will probably increase battery use.
13. Trip Computer TC-4 in OM is handy when you are navigating a route (by waypoint navigation). It can be set to use the GPS to approximate your heading, and it shows the distance and bearing to the next waypoint on your route. Alternatively, these things can be set to show in the Dashboard. Either way, route navigation is independent of track recording.
14. The OM active track (with associated Starting points and Finishing points for Segments) is stored in the --- folder (as displayed the OM Manage Tracks/Routes screen). If selected there, it can be exported as kml or gpx (into the tracklogs folder as accessed through a file manager). You can also set OM to save, export and/or backup tracks automatically.
15. OM can also share tracks in various ways via bluetooth or a data connection. The recorded track can also be deleted, once it is made inactive (e.g. by turning off GPS and track recording). See the OM manual for more information.
Last edited by Off-track on Sat 22 Jul, 2017 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Off-Track Tracks in OruxMaps

Postby ribuck » Mon 17 Jul, 2017 9:24 pm

Regarding battery life: in flight mode (but otherwise with default settings) I get 8 to 10 hours of track recording (and that's with plenty of screen-on time, and using the phone to take photos too).

If I'm doing a long trip and need more recording time, I go to "Settings | Sensors | GPS | Minimum Time", and set the time between readings to 30 seconds (rather than the recommended 2 seconds). I can get a long weekend of track logs this way (three days, 8 hours recording per day). If I'm doing very fine navigation, I temporarily switch it back to 2 seconds, because it's a pain waiting 30 seconds for the dot on the map to update, but for track logging on a long trip 30 seconds per point is OK.
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Re: Off-Track Tracks in OruxMaps

Postby Off-track » Wed 19 Jul, 2017 10:41 am

Correction to the OP: OM does provide alarms for "1st GPS position" and "Notify no GPS signal".

Set them under OM Top menu > ⁞ > Global settings > Text to speech/Sounds > GPS > ....

The phone GPS is amazingly sensitive (partly because it uses all kinds of positioning satellites), but it can lose a fix (for example indoors when pressed up underneath my aluminium boat hull!). Then OM seems to take about a minute after GPS Test shows no fix, before sounding the no GPS signal alarm (even in fast GPS mode). OM does not notify when GPS fix is regained (only the 1st fix per track is notified), but it does notify if GPS signal is re-lost.

That is useful information on battery life from ribuck. A fast way to switch between GPS sensing intervals in OM is to use “GPS Mode” which for the default mode depends on choices made in “GPS settings” (Power saving and Fast modes are not user-adjustable, but the OM fixed settings are sensible). Both settings are available under the OM track recording menu (squiggly arrow in Top Menu), or you can put what you want into one of your side button bars if desired. A neat feature is that you can preselect a GPS mode to use later when recording. Otherwise the default GPS mode starts when recording is activated.
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Re: Off-Track Tracks in OruxMaps

Postby Off-track » Sat 22 Jul, 2017 2:29 pm

An undocumented (for now) feature to be aware of is the OM “move WPT” function. If you long-press on any displayed waypoint, it will jump some arbitrary distance to the NW to get out from under your finger (with a vibration alert). Then if you have kept pressing, you can drag the WPT to a desired new location on the map.

The OM model is that waypoints are really only for route navigation, so you will have few on the map and it is handy to be able to move them easily to adjust the route. But if you use WPTs for other purposes, and especially if you have many displayed on screen, it is easy to accidentally long-press a WPT, which will then jump. Even if you notice there is no "undo", other than dragging it back if you remember where it belongs. If you are displaying the WPT via "Load into active route" (which seems to be the new way to "See on map" in OM) once the waypoint has jumped (even if you do not drag it) the changed coordinates are permanent in the waypoint record.

If the WPT is in a KML layer, it still jumps, but the changed location is not saved, so the WPT appears in its correct position after overlay remove and reload. For me, this is another good reason to display waypoints on the map via a kml overlayer. At least then accidental waypoint moves are not permanent.

If future versions of OM are made more friendly to those who use WPTs for diverse purposes, there might be some warning - like having an option to move pop up rather than just having a WPT jump automatically to a new position.
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Re: Off-Track Tracks in OruxMaps

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 25 Jul, 2017 4:09 pm

Off-track wrote:An undocumented (for now) feature to be aware of is the OM “move WPT” function. If you long-press on any displayed waypoint, it will jump some arbitrary distance to the NW to get out from under your finger (with a vibration alert). Then if you have kept pressing, you can drag the WPT to a desired new location on the map.
.


Ive found that feature a bit annoying, as you said its relatively easy to accidentally pick up a way point and drag it somewhere unintentionally. (and its surprising fiddly to drag it back to the exact location it was previously)

Re waypoints not specifically connected to a route. Ive found putting routes and relevant waypoints in a specific folder for that walk or region has helped tremendously. Otherwise its easy to end up with a single folder that has a large amount of waypoints called camp or water etc with no easy way of identification (unless you write a description or link a photo to that waypoint)

One feature I do like is the ability to single press a waypoint and then delete it or add a description or photo.
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