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Geek


Topic # 65259 1-Aug-2010 08:15
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Hi Folks,

I'm looking to start a thread about the different Navigation software out there utilising offline maps on Android smartphones.  With the high data charges and lack of 3G availability outside of the city centres; offline maps seem to be the way to go.

There seem to be a wealth of paid and free software:
    - Google Maps Navigation (using manually cached tiles)
    - Copilot
    - Skobbler  (uses OpenStreetMaps) 
    - MapDroyd 
    - rMaps
    - AndNav2
just to name a few.

What is your favourite piece of software and why?

Thanks
 

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325 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 361364 2-Aug-2010 09:38
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So far I have tried:

Copilot: works well enough, the maps seem up to date, not many POIs for Christchurch. Voice is not great as it's poorly timed and overlapping so "at the end of the road" is not finished before "turn left" starts. There's no Text-to-speech for street names although there is a greyed-out option on the menu for it.

Sygic: works OK but least "Androidy" user interface, it's a very minimal port from the other platforms so no pinch zoom etc. Menu structure is annoying. Maps and POIs are a bit better than CoPilot. Best voice so far.

nDrive: map download took forever, and the map seemed a bit dated (the map trial has expired now so I can't check). Apart from that it's a competent but very basic nav program.

Google Maps/Navigation (brut offline hacked version): fully synthesised voice is pretty irritating (anyone remember Dr. Sbaitso?). Maps are great obviously. Needs data access to change route or navigate somewhere new, but the caching in the brut version does work well to keep the data usage down.

What I would really like: a version of iGo that works with the Galaxy S screen resolution, and/or for Garmin to release their Android app separately from their Android nuviphone GPS so I could use the NZ OpenGPS maps.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 362016 2-Aug-2010 23:07
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not sure if you saw the other post I wrote...


I have found a way to get offline GPS topographical mapping on my phone (i.e. you can use it without being in a cellphone coverage area). This is useful for tramping, mountain biking, off road running, etc. It is not as good as using a real NZ topo map but it isn't too bad.

The source of the topo maps is http://www.openstreetmap.org/
Select the "Cycle Map" layer using the blue (+) button on the right hand side of the map.
The OpenCycleMap tiles seem to be a little bit hit and miss, but the level of detail is good.

The mapping application I have been using is Run.GPS. It is a paid application costing NZ$35. However, I am pretty sure you can create offline maps for a few other applications, some of which are free. See http://trekbuddyatlasc.sourceforge.net/index.html

To download maps for offline use in Run.GPS, go to Configuration/Map Settings/Items on Map. Select the OpenCycleMap layer, and select "Download Now" to download the map shown in the navigation screen (it will download all zoom levels).

By the way, Run.GPS is pretty cool. You can do a 3D google earth fly through of your routes, while monitoring your pace, heart rate and all that guff. I am sure it would be useful if I was some sort of athlete (ha ha)

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 362023 2-Aug-2010 23:17
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Its surprising theres no decent GPS Navigation apps it seems - Google Maps even with Brut mod seems it cant guide you to a place as easily as say TomTom for windows mobile could.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 362065 3-Aug-2010 07:32
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MapDroyd will do me its run on gps but you have to download maps,also no directions from go to whoa

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 362203 3-Aug-2010 11:25
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Any nav software is really only as good as the maps it uses, if the maps are a year or two out of date then expect problems.
The most up-to-date maps for NZ are the ones produced by the NZOGPS, these are updated weekly.
If only Garmin produced an Android version of MobileXT !
However, we are starting to see applications appear (Navdroyd, Skobbler) that use the OSM format. Now currently the OSM map for NZ is far from complete but I have heard that the NZOGPS map data may be converted to OSM format in the near future, watch this space :-)



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Geek


  Reply # 362224 3-Aug-2010 11:39
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Thanks Folks!!  Your input thus far has been really interesting!!..

I trialled MapDroyd (using OSM) from Wellington Airport into the city yesterday, and most of the roads (particularly around Cobham Drive and Evans Bay Parade) are located "IN" the harbour!!

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 362594 3-Aug-2010 19:36
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peejayw: Any nav software is really only as good as the maps it uses, if the maps are a year or two out of date then expect problems.
The most up-to-date maps for NZ are the ones produced by the NZOGPS, these are updated weekly.
If only Garmin produced an Android version of MobileXT !
However, we are starting to see applications appear (Navdroyd, Skobbler) that use the OSM format. Now currently the OSM map for NZ is far from complete but I have heard that the NZOGPS map data may be converted to OSM format in the near future, watch this space :-)


nzogps is a great project but just because they are updated weekly doesnt mean they are up to date.
They rely on people using it to repot changes etc and I have had both mapsets (garmin based maps and the nzogps maps) installed on my nuvi and the nzogps can result is very strange routes...  taking you on lots of backroads etc....
I like to have both but I always try a route with the garmin maps first.

37 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 364567 7-Aug-2010 09:17
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Hi, recently took a trip from Wellington to Taupo and because I like playing with my HTC Desire, asked Google Maps Nav Brut to show me how to get there.

Drove up using version 3.4 of maps brut. It has a number of problems such as no turn by turn voice (or should I say very occasional speaking) and the green instruction bar just displays 'Unnamed Road', other than that it got us to where we wanted to go. I didn't download the map tiles before we left so it was downloading as we went. Downloaded approx 50mb - not a problem as my smartplan on vodafone still does 3gb/month.

Anyway, in Taupo I downloaded v4.3 of maps brut and the changes were great. Voice nav now tells you that turns are coming up before you get to them and the instruction bar works. It also looks more polished. Unfortunately the music player stops when the voice speaks but I'm sure that can be fixed with a setting tweak.

The battery drain using both versions was very heavy even though the phone was plugged into the car charger via a belkin iPhone 2 port USB adapter (my wifes iPhone...). On the way back down I had to turn off navigation at Waikanae because the phone warned me that battery was almost empty. I had been thrashing the phoen though - apart from the navigation apps (gps etc) and usual background apps (mail, talk, facebook, handcent etc) it was running bluetooth, music player, and for a while there, the 3g wireless hotspot. I must say that it performed admirably and I noticed no lag in any application.

So I'm pleased with Google Nav however I must admit that I've had very little exposure to traditional GPS devices.

The Wikitude Drive app (http://www.wikitude.org/dewikitude-drive-eyes-road-againenwikitude-drive-eyes-road) looks interesting. No tiles to download but likely to be a killer on battery life.

Spiny

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 368057 16-Aug-2010 06:07
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Just trying Wikitude Drive now, seems you need to download map tiles as you go.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 368303 16-Aug-2010 18:50
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I see there is a newer update for maps brut (9 august)

37 posts

Geek
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Reply # 368344 16-Aug-2010 20:29
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peejayw: Just trying Wikitude Drive now, seems you need to download map tiles as you go.


Hi peejayw, do you have an apk for Wikitude Drive that will work in NZ? I tried the preview a couple of months ago and it told me that only worked in the US, and according to the site its not released until later this month... You couldn't give me some clues as to where you located it could you?Laughing

Cheers

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 368347 16-Aug-2010 20:32
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Just emailed them asking and they sent me a link

37 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 368354 16-Aug-2010 20:43
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peejayw: Just emailed them asking and they sent me a link


Excellent! Often the simplest method.

Cheers

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 370658 21-Aug-2010 13:23
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anyone got any cached map packs for google brut maps? particularly christchurch.




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