Topographic map apps

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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 22 Oct, 2018 1:48 pm

I thin that Motion-X and Pocket Earth are both quite functional but Motion-X is a bit clunky in its interface where as PE is really excellent in terms of ease of use. Have them both.
Last edited by GPSGuided on Mon 22 Oct, 2018 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby LachlanB » Mon 22 Oct, 2018 2:35 pm

Orion wrote:
LachlanB wrote:I'm pretty fond of Motion X. You have to pay a once-off fee (think it was $5-10?) to get access to the option to download custom maps, but once you've got it, there's a large range of free-to-access map tile servers out there (like SIX Maps). Less flexibility than some other options, but pretty good overall.


I deleted that app from my phone. It didn't seem to be worth the space on my phone's screen.
Did I miss something?


Dunno. What were you looking for? It gives me access to external map tile servers (ListMap, SIX Maps, QTopo etc), and geolocates you on the resultant maps (and lets you cache them for offline use). Plus, it does all the usual GPS type things like recording tracks and waypoints, as well as allowing you to upload other people's tracks. Has an easier to use interface than some of the other mapping programmes I dowloaded at the time when I was deciding what one to use as well... Does the job for me! :D
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Orion » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 2:21 am

LachlanB wrote:Dunno. What were you looking for? It gives me access to external map tile servers (ListMap, SIX Maps, QTopo etc), and geolocates you on the resultant maps (and lets you cache them for offline use). Plus, it does all the usual GPS type things like recording tracks and waypoints, as well as allowing you to upload other people's tracks. Has an easier to use interface than some of the other mapping programmes I dowloaded at the time when I was deciding what one to use as well... Does the job for me! :D


I just wanted an app that would display my GPS position on a reasonably well-rendered map, stored for use without cell service. Nothing fancy. It's been about a year and I don't remember exactly what the issues were but I seem to recall it had to do with downloading maps for off-line use. And the map quality itself wasn't anything special.

But I didn't buy the option to access external map servers. Maybe it's worth reinstalling the app and spending the $5. Is it complicated figuring out how to use the external servers? Do they have additional fees for access? Can they be saved off-line?
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Huntsman247 » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 6:06 am

Backcountry Navigator is probably your best app for mobile use. I'm pretty sure it's only available on Android but it's extremely versatile and easy access to many map sources. It's on the steeper side for cost but it has a trial period to test it out. It does contours and cliffs well and support is pretty good.
Also the interface is rather clean given all the features.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby LachlanB » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 8:19 am

Orion wrote:
LachlanB wrote:Dunno. What were you looking for? It gives me access to external map tile servers (ListMap, SIX Maps, QTopo etc), and geolocates you on the resultant maps (and lets you cache them for offline use). Plus, it does all the usual GPS type things like recording tracks and waypoints, as well as allowing you to upload other people's tracks. Has an easier to use interface than some of the other mapping programmes I dowloaded at the time when I was deciding what one to use as well... Does the job for me! :D


I just wanted an app that would display my GPS position on a reasonably well-rendered map, stored for use without cell service. Nothing fancy. It's been about a year and I don't remember exactly what the issues were but I seem to recall it had to do with downloading maps for off-line use. And the map quality itself wasn't anything special.

But I didn't buy the option to access external map servers. Maybe it's worth reinstalling the app and spending the $5. Is it complicated figuring out how to use the external servers? Do they have additional fees for access? Can they be saved off-line?


I don't want to sound like a fanboy for Motion X, I just ended up using it because it was the best of the half dozen mapping programmes I originally downloaded. There very well could be better iPhone apps out the, just I couldn't be bothered looking for them. :)

Having said that, yes I totally agree with you that free Motion X is garbage. The basemaps it comes with are (OSM?) not much use outside of popular areas. The rendering may not be the best, but afaict the quality of the mapserver the app is linking to seems to be more important. For instance, the coarse resolution SIX Maps are pretty hopeless now, because the NSW govt mapserver seems to have changed how it handles tiles- you get the same thing with desktop SIX though... I think there was a thread a while back where all us NSW/ACT types were complaining about it :P

With the map downloads option, it's pretty simple, you just need to navigate the app (the option is a little buried), and put in the address of the tile server. I think there was a thread earlier this year where someone compiled a bunch of them, but I couldn't find it? Once you've paid the $5, there's no additional fees, and you can save as much map for off-line use as you have space on your phone (or at least that's what I've found, but my phone has little space compared to new ones). Hope that helps?
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby johnrs » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 8:51 am

And Folks
No mention of Avenza here, what has changed?
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Orion » Fri 26 Oct, 2018 11:40 am

LachlanB, that does help. I seem to remember that there was some trade-off between resolution and memory usage with MotionX. Maybe because of the way it represents the maps? For example, I wanted to download all of Tasmania in the highest resolution and it simply would not fit on my phone, not even close. But I did that with three other mapping apps simultaneously, as well as part of Tasmania with a fourth app (Avenza).

Maybe it's worth another look; $5 isn't much. I've reinstalled it on my phone and I'm going to play with it a bit.

----

Avenza -- I've used it for Tasmania since it hosts high quality maps, albeit at a price.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 31 Oct, 2018 9:14 am

If you havent already, check out Oruxmaps (Android). Its free and does everything listed above and more. And the developer takes requests
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby ribuck » Wed 31 Oct, 2018 7:18 pm

Orion wrote:... trade-off between resolution and memory usage ... Maybe because of the way it represents the maps?


It's always better with vector maps than with bitmap maps. They use much less storage - you can easily have the whole of Australia on your phone.

And vector maps open up other options, because you can customise the display, for example you can switch items on/off (contours, cliffs, road gradients, lookouts, water sources, toilets, etc).
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 31 Oct, 2018 9:05 pm

ribuck wrote:It's always better with vector maps than with bitmap maps. They use much less storage - you can easily have the whole of Australia on your phone.

Yes, vector maps are much more efficient in its rendering and display, giving smoother scrolls and is more responsive. What's questionable is the need to have the whole of Australia on the phone. Whilst I am also an offender in this, putting on all the different states in but realistically, I rarely go outside of NSW. Probably go overseas more than interstate. I often questioned why do I have the whole of Australia on my phone... :roll:
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Orion » Thu 01 Nov, 2018 11:23 am

So maybe that's it, that MotionX is bitmap based. My phone doesn't have all that much memory so even if I'm more selective (I was only trying to include all of Tasmania, not Australia) and just download a few areas it's still an issue.


Oruxmaps has been suggested as a good app multiple times in this thread. But it's only available on Android.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby tastrax » Thu 01 Nov, 2018 11:58 am

There is a comparison of IOS mapping apps here however it doesn't indicate if the maps are raster or vector renders

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Com ... plications

Galileo is certainly one that supports vector maps

https://galileo-app.com/ Free app is a 5 day trial - $6.00 for full app
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Warin » Thu 01 Nov, 2018 12:41 pm

GPSGuided wrote:
ribuck wrote:I often questioned why do I have the whole of Australia on my phone... :roll:


I too have done this.
It makes searches for an address slower too.

I now only have NSW loaded ready to go. But I keep a separate directory with other states if I'm going to visit - just swap the files over and your good in the other state. While this does consume space, it is not being used by the program .. so it is just space.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 01 Nov, 2018 1:27 pm

Orion wrote:So maybe that's it, that MotionX is bitmap based.

I understand it supports both mapping formats but OSM which is what most of us use for our activities is in tiled raster format. Apple and Google maps are vector based and is supported by the OS by default.

As mentioned earlier, I’d suggest that you should check out Pocket Earth on iOS. Have both here and very pleased with it for both local as well as overseas use. Good supply of OSM based maps and topo (as a paid add on).
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Orion » Tue 20 Nov, 2018 12:34 pm

GPSGuided wrote:
Orion wrote:So maybe that's it, that MotionX is bitmap based.
As mentioned earlier, I’d suggest that you should check out Pocket Earth on iOS. Have both here and very pleased with it for both local as well as overseas use. Good supply of OSM based maps and topo (as a paid add on).


Can you point me to a good explanation of what it does? I'm usually pretty good at digging up stuff with google but so far I haven't really been able to figure out what Pocket Earth really does.


What I'd love to be able to do is scan a paper map and calibrate it to the GPS. Naively I believe this should be a trivial thing, to have an app put a blue dot on a map that I've given it. I usually have maps in the form of jpgs or PDFs on my (iOS based) phone on trips but they aren't coordinated with the GPS. It would be quite useful if they were. Is that asking too much?
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Son of a Beach » Tue 20 Nov, 2018 3:15 pm

Orion wrote:What I'd love to be able to do is scan a paper map and calibrate it to the GPS. Naively I believe this should be a trivial thing, to have an app put a blue dot on a map that I've given it. I usually have maps in the form of jpgs or PDFs on my (iOS based) phone on trips but they aren't coordinated with the GPS. It would be quite useful if they were. Is that asking too much?


It's not asking too much. The old mapping app that I created for iOS did this. You could import a map in a wide variety of image file formats or methods (eg email it to yourself, or just take a photo of a paper map with the iPhone), and then you could calibrate it (ie, georeference it) in a few different ways. One of them was to have it semi-transparently overlaid over the standard iOS maps, and you could drag/zoom either the foreground (imported) or background (iOS) map until they matched. The other was to nominate any* two points on the map and enter their coordinates. If required you could get those coordinates by going to those two locations and getting a reading from there. Unfortunately, the app has not been maintained by the developers that bought it from me, and it doesn't play nicely at all with recent versions of iOS. (The third method was to enter the coordinates for the top/bottom/left/right boundaries of the map image.)

I used this method a number of times when on holidays and staying at a hotel, or similar. They often had a local map with specific sites of interest marked on it in the room. I would simply take a photo of the map, calibrate/georeference it and then have it on my phone in a form that was easy to navigate by in a location I was unfamiliar with.

I had planned to include similar functionality in my new mapping app, but development of the new app stalled about a year ago, and I'm not sure if I'll ever get back to it at this point.

* Well, the two points had to be significantly different in both X and Y axes, but the point is that they could be arbitrary points chosen by the user who knows (or could find out) the coordinates for those points.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Orion » Wed 21 Nov, 2018 12:32 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:It's not asking too much. The old mapping app that I created for iOS did this....

....Unfortunately, the app has not been maintained by the developers that bought it from me, and it doesn't play nicely at all with recent versions of iOS.


I had read about your app here previously and came to the conclusion that I couldn't use it, unfortunately.

Apparently Avenza used to have this feature. Or rather, used to have it for free. If I understand correctly you now have to have a yearly subscription.

But there must be other apps that allow this... no? I don't care if the app isn't fancy. Avenza isn't fancy. I use it with TASMAPS that I paid them for. The UI is pretty crappy. But it puts a blue dot on the map. That really all I'm asking for.

Surely some other apps... ?
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Warin » Wed 21 Nov, 2018 1:02 pm

For android there is the old 'oziexplorer' that will do what you want. There are probably others too .. on android that will do the same for any paper (raster) map. (there is even a free clone of oziexplorer ..Androzic if you want)
Not an iPhone user here so I cannot help with that .. but it is possible.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Happy Pirate » Wed 23 Jan, 2019 12:48 pm

Also check out Australian Topo Maps app. I don't know if it's available for iOS. It has multi level NSW topo maps available free and can cache maps for offline use. Vic Topo maps have to be purchased so there I'd probably use Orux or Avenza and import my own.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Thu 14 Mar, 2019 11:17 am

Does anyone know how to copy downloaded Avenza maps onto an SD card?

The Avenza website says that it isn't possible as the maps are locked to a phones internal memory to protect vendor content.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby Happy Pirate » Thu 14 Mar, 2019 12:07 pm

I create my own maps and store them on my phones SD card. I don't know about maps purchased from their store. You may be able to copy them from phone to SD card using your phone's file manager.
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Re: Topographic map apps

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Thu 14 Mar, 2019 7:55 pm

Unfortunately I'm unable to access the data on my phones internal memory. I'll keep looking for ways to get around it.
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