Smartphone gps that you can enter coords with? - Page 2 - ClubTread Community

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post #16 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 08:37 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Do these manufacturers warn you about geotagging when you first turn them on? Or is it in the fine print somewhere?
I wouldn't know, I don't use cells or handhelds.
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 09:17 PM
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They don't warn you about anything. They're happy to bill you for the resulting inadvertent data transmission. The service providers are more like sharks than your friends in business.

If you're getting into cellular devices, the best way to start might be to get a simple prepaid voice-only phone from 7-11. From there you can get used to the technology and decide what you want and what you're willing to pay for. Like, what are roaming fees and how do you run into them?
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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I'm really digging the SPOT CONNECT released at CES 2011
It turns your smartphone into a satalite phone altho with data only and txts. Still not able to plot coords easily.
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 10:38 PM
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to quote a guy on the NSMB forums, "Cell phones are great in the backcountry. If you're injured, you can use them to play Tetris, which helps pass the time while waiting for cold embrace of Death to envelop you."
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 12:29 AM
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I'm digging the Blackberry Torch with Topo Sports. Topo Sports allows you to download 1:50,000 topo maps for anywhere in North America and store them offline on your phone. Its $15 with the maps, quite a bargain compared to even just buying maps. I got an Aquapak min dry bag for it at MEC, which makes it waterproof while allowing me to use all buttons/touchscreen. With the GPS on, heavy internet use, and constant emails and social media coming in, the phone still holds a charge for at least 24 hours. You could easily get some extra batteries as well, they are small and lightweight.

Thanks for the link on the Spot Connect. I wonder if they will charge more for Facebook type useage? That would be handy at trail races and when my band goes on tour, or to avoid roaming charges where roaming charges apply or no service. I will likely get one though, 3.7 ounces, how could I not.
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 09:53 AM
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Get a proper GPS, phone ones are junk, and not meant to be hiked with and take punishment in the bush. A real GPS is usually a little more protected and longer battery life. I could see one drop in the bush and you could be be (*[email protected]#@!'d.

Carry the phone for emergency, don't use up the battery power, then when need help have no juice. GPS for travelling, Phone for calling for help, carry both. That is the proper thing to do.



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post #22 of (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 01:04 PM
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I think trips of a nature where a gps would be central to survival would be rare (hopefully). Otherwise, a gps is an accessory that is optional to a varying degree. And as such, an inferior gps would be perfectly suitable in many, if not most, situations. Carrying too much stuff can also limit a trip, as evidenced by the drive to lighten backcountry gear.

I think I can decide for myself how much "GPS" I need on a given trip, and for many the smartphone would be perfectly adequate.

Since people often express caution about being reliant on such gizmos, then the same reasoning should support having a gps-enabled smartphone as a backup for the main gps, or the map and compass, or for familiarity with the area. Say, on a long remote traverse.

GPS units used to be less functional than those now in smartphones. I also have an old one. It is far more than 0% useful.

Another way to put this is that for all mankind's bazzillions of years of travels in the backcountry, until about 20 years ago no one had a gps. Nearer the start of that time, gps units were far less capable than todays; yet the technology was extremely effective. So I just don't see how it makes sense to say that unless you have the latest and greatest gps, you're being stupid to have one with you.

As for waterproofness, I would be onside with AcesHigh to discourage using a cellphone gps as the only gps in a party doing a paddling trip on saltwater. Unless it's in a couple of ziplocks or waterproof case.

As for durability, and as I said earlier, the smartphone I have spent 8 months sitting on Flute Mountain filling with rain and condensation, exposed to freeze-thaw cycles, snow etc. I know I'm impressed. Most people don't drop electronic gizmos. Which are pretty robust other than the screen.

As for battery power, it's hard not to be aware of the battery condition on a smartphone. Spare batteries are easily obtained, and are much easier to carry than another gizmo.

As for redundancy, the couple recently rescued at Cypress Bowl facilitated the rescue by having a gps system in their smartphone. Or should downhill skiers carry gps' in addition to cellphones?

As for capability, and as I said, my smartphone's gps is about as good as the second-tier gps units. I can load maps for anywhere I'm going. The maps have everything normal gps maps have, plus color-coded ground cover to assist locating oneself and choosing routes. Can it do waypoints, tracks, trackbacks, gotos? Yes. And SMS meet-you-there.

Can it do route elevation profiles? Are we talking about essentials or entertainment? (Speaking of which, it also eliminates the need for a separate mp3 player.)

Would I take my real Garmin on a trip where heavy gps dependency is likely? Yes, but I'd probably have the phone along also.
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by AcesHigh

Get a proper GPS, phone ones are junk, and not meant to be hiked with and take punishment in the bush. A real GPS is usually a little more protected and longer battery life. I could see one drop in the bush and you could be be (*[email protected]#@!'d.

Carry the phone for emergency, don't use up the battery power, then when need help have no juice. GPS for travelling, Phone for calling for help, carry both. That is the proper thing to do.
Anyone 100% relying on an electronic gadget to bail them out, especially in the Coast Mountains is pretty much already f**ked. I really don't see the point of carrying two devices which may or quite likely may not help you when you need them most. The phone GPS seems to work as good as any I've seen, durability can easily be overcome with a case (and as someone already mentioned Blackberries are fairly rugged), and I am a lot more likely to carry the phone if it serves another purpose. It's not like you're going to receive calls in the Hanes Valley for example, if you want to save battery power keep the thing off unless you need it. Also as I already mentioned you could just carry an extra battery. Carry a compass and a map, and use the gadgets but don't expect they'll actually save your ass if you need it.
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 12:18 PM
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I just finished a test. The Blackberry lasted 7 hours on a full charge, with the gps app running and the gps receiver continuously active.

In what sort of situation would you need the gps running non-stop for 7 hours?
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 02:43 PM
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Correct, shouldn't rely on electronic devices, old fashioned method is recommended (compass/maps/stars/sun). One dunk in the water and that COULD be the end of the device.



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post #26 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:55 PM
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Question.

If someone has a smartphone with a gps.

Are there any apps that allow you put input a waypoint so you can find a location.

I KNOW I KNOW, use a GPS.

But many people have smartphones and for local trails this could be an option.

What datum would they use?

Decimal?
WSG84?
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 11:47 PM
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I've mentioned it before that TrekBuddy can record waypoints and you can then set them up for "goto" or "navigate to". You can also record tracks and do "trackbacks".

TopoSports also does waypoints and tracks.

Which isn't exactly what you asked about. TrekBuddy allows you to edit any waypoint, so you could modify an existing one to what you want. You can also locate the cursor anywhere and record a waypoint there. Or you can build a custom waypoint from scratch. I expect TopoSports can do the same things.

TrekBuddy has a list of 15 datums you can select from, including WGS 84. I don't use TopoSports so I can't readily verify this on it, but their website should say. TrekBuddy has four coordinate systems you can choose from.

There are also ways to load trail tracks into the apps.
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post #28 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 12:25 PM
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I use a rooted T-mobile G1 with Cyanogen 6.0 (a replacement for the stock OS). I tried several map/GPS related applications, such as Mytracks (Googgle), Backcountry Navigator, TrekBuddy, OruxMaps, GPS Tracker etc. The more or less full list of Android can be found on the following web page:

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Android

It lists the majority of mapping/logging applications available for Android with screenshots, descriptions, etc.

My favorite app is OruxMaps, this is not a navigation software but it allows you to follow the route, search a point on a map using coordinates in different formats, use online and offline maps, create log tracks in GPX and KLM formats and more. The application is free but is worth donating.

It should be noted that the battery life is not the strongest side of my smartphone. I use an extended battery (2700 mA) plus I carry an additional stock battery (1050 mA), sometimes 2 (with a compass and a paper map in the backpack) just in case. I would expect the phone to be working (OruxMaps, GPS logging, extended battery) no more than 15-17 hours at best. But that's a brutal mode, normally you just want to use it as an advanced compass to know where you are on the map, be sure that you stay on the course, figure out where to go etc - in this mode the phone would work up to 1.5 days (approx, depends on many factors).

Last weekend (Sunday) the phone was about 4 hours under pouring rain in a Chinook plastic case (a great case allowing you to use the phone touchscreen under such extreme conditions, but it can be different if the temp is really low). And it seems the humidity made it reboot once - I was surprised since I have never seen that before.

And last but not least - You can geocache using the smartphone, there are apps for smartphone allowing you to download the coordinates of the geocaches in the area where you are hiking. It's even possible to send coordinates from the geocaching program to OruxMaps on the go - I like that! Just for your info, the attached picture shows the hidden geocaches hidden around Buntzen lake.





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post #29 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 01:46 PM
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This might be a good one...if you have iphone..

http://topomapsapp.com/
It was free few weeks ago..

you can download maps you need..and use it without data..


but honestly...any phone gps can't beat the stand along gps..due to battery drainage..

I still bring my gps around..and never get to use this app.
Would like to keep my phone for emergency call..

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post #30 of (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 12:09 PM
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Just got a portable solar power charger at MEC on clearance for $28. Solar Uno+. It is super light, if I'd remembered to get a 9V for my kitchen scale I'd weigh it but it couldn't be more than 2-3 ounces. It comes with 2 X AAA rechargeable MEC is getting the Spot Connect in about a month and they should have BlackBerry software out soon I'm hoping! I'm going to make a mount for it that makes it easy to move around to get the best sun. It also has a 5V 300mA USB output assuming you have enough sun. It seems reasonably solid and simple.
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