View topic - Using smart phones and tablets as GPS devices on canoe trips

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PostPosted: December 5th, 2016, 2:16 pm 
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You wrote ,I will wait for a deal on a better quality device if fixing my Map 78 is not worthwhile.

Have you considered looking for an used Map 78?

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PostPosted: December 15th, 2016, 9:51 am 
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rpg51 wrote:
.

After a summer of using the Gaia App do you have any complaints? Thanks.


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PostPosted: February 1st, 2017, 8:11 pm 
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I should have reported back in after my trip this last summer and my use of these devices. In the end the iphone was terrific using Gaia. The tablet was not satisfying. The screen is very hard to see during daylight. It was a real struggle. I ended up not using it very much. I probably won't carry it again. It did not pay its own freight.

The iphone worked very well and with careful use I was able to make it last two weeks on one full recharge using an external battery. I marked every mile on the maps I was using so I could tell in a glance how many river miles we had left to go to our take out. It really worked very well for my purposes.

I also liked the inReach device a great deal. Our bush pilots used one as well. I did not have to charge that at all. I don't do any tracking. I used inreach for messaging home each day and I used iphone for position checks and to put myself on paper maps quickly and easily.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2017, 5:33 pm 
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true_north wrote:
wotrock, for canoe tripping I am not sure why anyone would use anything other than the Federal Government 1:50000 Topo maps which are downloadable using this particular app -

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/topo-ma ... 57820?mt=8

The app is free - and the maps themselves are also free. I am not sure if there is an android version of this app.

You need to download the relevant topos while you still are connected to the internet before you set off on your trip.



Ok, TN and any other Iphone users, I have a very specific question. My son just 'donated' his 'old' phone to me(Ahhh-kids these days, gotta have the latest gadgets, y'know. :D ). So I downloaded the app you suggested as well as another topo app. I'm not sure what the second one is called but it has Caltopo on it. With the suggested one I needed to download 1 sheet at a time and it doesn't show me my location. My other topo app as well as Google maps asks me if I want them to know my location. The 'maps Canada' one doesn't ask me and I don't see how to turn the GPS function on while using it.

I'm new to these fancy phones---what I had before was an 'old fashioned' flip phone.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2017, 5:47 pm 
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I suggest you use Gaia and download relevant maps using that app. But, you also need to be sure your iphone is new enough so that it has a good gps chip. Without that your experience won't be good.

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PostPosted: February 9th, 2017, 8:01 pm 
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wotrock. For Topo Maps Canada app pressing on arrow icon, bottom left, will turn/toggle tracking on and off.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2017, 10:34 pm 
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thx, I tried that several times but it didn't work

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PostPosted: March 1st, 2017, 4:22 pm 
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I think I know what the prob is---my phone is a 4 or 4s and apparently that function does not work with older phones.

I downloaded Topo+, though, and it seems to have the same quality of maps. The trouble I'm finding with that one is that I sometimes get stuck on a screen where it seems to insist that I create a route. I can then only see the topo on the to part of the screen. I guess there may be some instructions out there somewhere to tell me how to use this app, but so far no luck in finding any.

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PostPosted: March 1st, 2017, 5:37 pm 
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wotrock, just saw your latest post and noted your problems in getting Topo Canada to work. You wrote -

With the suggested one [Topo Canada] I needed to download 1 sheet at a time and it doesn't show me my location. My other topo app as well as Google maps asks me if I want them to know my location. The 'maps Canada' one doesn't ask me and I don't see how to turn the GPS function on while using it.

With David Crawshay's Topo Canada you do indeed have to download the specific 1:50000 sheets you want while you are connected to the internet.

Once you have downloaded the sheets - BTW- did you download the specific sheet for your current location? - you need to start the app by clicking on it. Once the app is on, the map showing your general area will appear. Clicking on the bottom left arrow icon will place a flashing circleon the map indicating your precise location.

Possible Problems:

1. Perhaps you have not allowed the app to access your location? Go to Privacy>Location Services and make sure it is on. then scroll down to see the various apps using location services. You will find the Canada app. it has three options with respect to location services - 1. never allow access; 2. allow access while using the app; and 3. always allow access.

I chose #2.

2. Perhaps you need to update the ios on your iPhone. I had an iPhone 4S and had it running ios 9 with no problem other than a bit of a speed hit. Maybe your son can update the ios for you - if he hasn't already done so.

As of ios 8.3 or so it became possible to put the device in Airplane mode and still have the gps function work.

I hope you get the thing working! I already bought a Pelican waterproof case for my iPhone 6 - a hand-me-down from my wife! - and plan on taking it on our next canoe trip.

Still undecided is whether I will also take along my Garmin Oregon! For occasional location checks the iPhone is perfect; for continuous tracking and archiving the Garmin is still a better device.

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PostPosted: March 2nd, 2017, 9:47 am 
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true_north wrote:

With David Crawshay's Topo Canada you do indeed have to download the specific 1:50000 sheets you want while you are connected to the internet.

Once you have downloaded the sheets - BTW- did you download the specific sheet for your current location? - you need to start the app by clicking on it. Once the app is on, the map showing your general area will appear. Clicking on the bottom left arrow icon will place a flashing circleon the map indicating your precise location.

Possible Problems:

1. Perhaps you have not allowed the app to access your location? Go to Privacy>Location Services and make sure it is on.

I don't see how to find those settings. I somehow got my location to show but I'd like to know how so I can fix it in case it mysteriously disappears again :)


then scroll down to see the various apps using location services. You will find the Canada app. it has three options with respect to location services - 1. never allow access; 2. allow access while using the app; and 3. always allow access.

I chose #2.

2. Perhaps you need to update the ios on your iPhone. I had an iPhone 4S and had it running ios 9 with no problem other than a bit of a speed hit. Maybe your son can update the ios for you - if he hasn't already done so.

I asked my son and he said it could not be updated. Maybe my son is mistaken, or maybe Apple no longer allows that?

As of ios 8.3 or so it became possible to put the device in Airplane mode and still have the gps function work.



Still undecided is whether I will also take along my Garmin Oregon! For occasional location checks the iPhone is perfect; for continuous tracking and archiving the Garmin is still a better device.

I didn't think you could show waypts or tracks on the phone either. I haven't reread the prev pages to verify that. I find that quite useful as a part of trip planning





Comments embedded in bold, above

Thx for all your help so far. Limke so many things, I can't decide whether to call this tinkering around a challenge or a PITA----there's a fine line between the 2 and I guess it depennds on which side of the bed I got out on! :D

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PostPosted: July 24th, 2017, 11:04 am 
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rpg51 wrote:
Gaia has a satellite view available that is quite detailed in the area on the Peel, (canyon), that we need it most so at this point I think will go with that. Its easy to load and it works really well as a layer in the gps app.


A couple of friends use an app called Findfriends that also has sat pix. It apparently comes loaded on the phone, so no need to buy like you do for Gaia.

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PostPosted: July 28th, 2017, 4:13 pm 
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I've just read through this thread from the beginning--thanks to everyone who has posted.

I'm headed out next week for a trip on the Manistee River in the central lower peninsula of Michigan and want to try out using my Samsung 7 Android phone as a gps device.

To that end, I've just downloaded the app US Topo Maps free by Atlogis, but found I'd have to upgrade to the 11.99 version to use the map caching feature.

The price is not an issue, but before I do that I wanted to check to see if anyone had any experience with it.

FYI the same company makes Canada Topo Maps (free and pro). Is this the same app mentioned earlier in this thread? I haven't found one for Android named Topo Canada.


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PostPosted: July 29th, 2017, 1:37 pm 
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I'm in about the same boat - Samsung S7 phone and I've been playing around with the free version of the Canada Topo Maps app. I'm probably going to spend the money on the pro version to download cached maps. The biggest thing that I want out of the app is tracking, but I'm not sure that it will do that while the screen is off. And to keep the screen on and the app active, would kill my battery. I suppose that I could probably use my Google Fit app or similar to do the tracking.

For other GPS-like functions, the Delorme InReach app should do the job.

My Garmin GPSmap 78 died this week, about 2 hours from the end of 10 days on Reindeer Lake. I opened it up when I got home and there is corrosion on the board and it looks totally fried in the area where the external antenna attaches to the circuit board. :(

Bryan

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PostPosted: July 29th, 2017, 9:25 pm 
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I downloaded the pro version of US topo maps and cached the area we are going to in Michigan. I just walked around the block at home with my screen off and it did keep tracking me.

There are a bunch of features and preferences that I'm just starting to figure out.


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PostPosted: July 31st, 2017, 7:17 pm 
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You can download the Google maps onto your phone , Just use the dropdown menu , on Maps , select offline maps , and then select your own map , usually less than 50MB
The phone's GPS is quite good .


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