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Using GPS with no service?

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  1. sc34fd

    sc34fd Active Member

    A few of us at work are wondering if we can use the google map or anyother type of locating device on our phones without phone servie. Does the google maps show our location using the cell towers?


  2. Little Darwin

    Little Darwin Well-Known Member

    I am not sure, but I believe the reason that GPS is unavailable out of coverage is because the maps are on the network... The GPS is a true GPS, it just doesn't have a map to display unless you are in a covered area.

    And logically, this would apply to Google maps as well.
  3. joseamirandavelez

    joseamirandavelez Well-Known Member

    Someone told me that the gps api call requires a connection to the network. Maybe to prevent people from using the phone as a gps unit without having cellular service.
  4. tatonka_Hero

    tatonka_Hero Well-Known Member


    It's a GPS, but doesn't have any maps loaded. It'll show your location (coordinates), but without internet, the map won't load. There might be an app or two that allows for downloading of maps to your SD card, and then the maps would work offline, and the GPS would show your location on that map.
  5. oldjackbob

    oldjackbob Well-Known Member

    The GPS module in the Hero is capable of operating in any one of four modes, and Standalone Mode is one of those modes.

    I just performed a little experiment on my phone. I have Maverick Lite installed on my Hero (very nice app, btw), which is an off-road GPS tracking app that supports off-line maps.

    First, I placed my phone in Airplane Mode, which disables all two-way radios (phone, wi-fi and mobile internet), but still allows GPS reception. I then enabled GPS and opened my Maverick app. After a minute or so (I'm inside a large building at the moment) the Maverick app popped up my correct location on the screen, using my offline map.

    Nothing to it.
  6. duga

    duga Active Member

    When I use Sprint nav and I go out of cell range and it stops working, It causes me major problems.

    I would love to get a fix for this.

    Hope this thread continues
  7. vinay

    vinay New Member

    GPS works without the Cell service.. You only need the GPS Chip in the phone and open sky to connect to the satellites..

    You need cell service to connect to the Google Maps or other servers to download the map images and display your positions..

    hope I am right.
  8. cooolone2

    cooolone2 Well-Known Member

    There are alternate methods available and apps coming out soon with downloaded maps which will provide independent service (without data link) from the GPS unit on your phone.

    Google's EULA does not allow apps to use turn based directions from it's mapping service, so if you want this you must use something other than Google. Google uses the GPS antenna in the phone for location detection but uses the cell network to download and update maps on your phone as you move, nothing is permanently stored on your phone.

    Maverick works as mentioned but it is a bit TECHie to get it done, I even read it works well this way when going abroad if you want to go through the process of obtaining and converting the maps for Maverick's use. Just to note, these independent GPS apps, which will have your phone working like a store bought GPS unit cost $50+ from what I have seen as all the MAP providers solicit huge royalty for their images.

    Anyway, yes, your Hero has an independent GPS antenna and can function without data service.

    Happy Trails
  9. Wiskid

    Wiskid Well-Known Member

    I contacted high-level customer support at Sprint to ask if I could track our cruise route with My Tracks and the GPS w/o getting charged. Her answer was this:

    "The GPS requires network access to establish a connection." This meant that I would, in fact, be charged the insane fee's for out of the country network usage. Needless to say, I did not use My Tracks to track our route... lol

    So, in short, no, you will not be able to use Google Maps or anything like that w/o a service.
  10. nick325i

    nick325i Well-Known Member

    On the contrary I use my GPS as a golf rangefinder with "How far am I" and have my mobile connection turned off when doing so.
  11. Wiskid

    Wiskid Well-Known Member

    Even with the Mobile off, it can still make a Sprint network connection (Via the 1X crap...). Correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm just assuming.
  12. cooolone2

    cooolone2 Well-Known Member

    I guess maybe you missed my post? I thought I explained it quite clearly... ;) hehe... In other words - Google already provides a Turn based mapping app and is very protective of any app offering the same on it's wares, MAP makers also charge huge royalty's for their image file use. But... There are some open source - publically available files out there, maybe not so detailed but can do the job. That said...

    Check the "GPS Underground", supposedly, there are two GPS programs which MIGHT run on the Android based handsets: IGO My Way and Navigon. I have not tried it myself, but these are in addition to the alternate method I said above. I remember also reading about a real nice commercial products that was supposed to be coming to Android by summer 2010, so we'll see with that one.

    Bottom line is if you want to be able to use GPS without DATA you will have to obtain a Map/GPS app which will allow the use of stored map files. These files are not readily available just at a click, but can be gotten with a little homework and elbow grease. You will need an app that can reference stored map files, learn what type they are, get the public domain files and convert them and then hope they work... lots of work for me, but maybe others have higher tolerances for pain.

    True offline maps for your Android - unplugged ! | MapDroyd

    AndNav.org - Android Navigation System

    Voice directions on your GPS phone: TeleNav
    (not yet available for Android/HTC Hero)

    GpsUnderground Forums - Unlock The Power Of Your GPS!

    iGO My way for Android - The ultimate navigation for Android
    (Not Available as of yet but looks real promising)

    Navigon on Android -- NaviGadget
    (also, not available yet, and will be first time they use over OTA navigation??? might not be what we're looking for here)

    Anyway... I would say SOON... but not right now, you will be able to do the GPS Nav thing without data. Hope this info. helps. Enjoy!

  13. joseamirandavelez

    joseamirandavelez Well-Known Member

    What I meant is that you need a network connection to get the api call to work. Once its running you don't need the network for it to keep running. A guy in the Droid forum told me that.

    He says that if you turn your phone on in another country the api would not get some sort of response (license) from the network and the gps would not work.
  14. cooolone2

    cooolone2 Well-Known Member

    I believe that is referencing using Google Maps... I might be wrong, but the GPS Antenna is independent and seeing the Android is open source cannot think the Antenna belongs to Google. Yahoo has now created Mapping with it's own API keys as well for use on mobile platforms. That said, the API's are to reference Google Maps and services such as street view etc., you will not see those on 3rd party software, but the map/gps programs may be just as good in their own respect.

  15. nick325i

    nick325i Well-Known Member

    The GPS is in fact independant, which is why i posted about using my hero as a rangefinder with gps when my mobile is turned off.
  16. Grung

    Grung Active Member

    I use MapDroyd when off the network. Download the area you want to your SD card (smaller U.S. states are less than 1MB). Not Google Maps, no POIs etc, but for basic navigation it's decent vector-based mapping with some nice features.

    Was in northern Vermont a couple of weekends ago and did some exploring using nothing more than MapDroyd. Worked just fine...


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