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Droid wannabe but please tell me this--GPS

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by MedicineMan999, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. MedicineMan999

    MedicineMan999 New Member
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    I am an avid hiker/backpacker--just finished a 151 mile section of the AT in NJ and NY. I carried a Storm 1 and as far as storing data it's great. The GPS/Blackberry Maps/etc. all require a cell signal--maybe this is a Verizon thing. What I need to know is if the Verizon Droid will be capable of using satellites and not rely on cell signals. This is important when hiking because we often don't have cellular service.
    If the Droid can do real GPS then when my upgrade comes in February I will be a Droid user.
    Thanks!
     

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  2. JackT

    JackT Well-Known Member
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    I haven't used the Droid yet, but I have heard that the GPS will work without cellular service; however, Google Maps will not work without it. Google Maps will cache map data if you lose service for a limited time, but you can't store Google Maps ahead of time.
     
  3. Fadelight

    Fadelight Well-Known Member
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    Well.. you sort of can.

    GM will cache your route, if you have one planned out. At that point, you shouldn't need cell reception.
     
  4. dbarrett480

    dbarrett480 Well-Known Member
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    Yes, there are turn by turn navigation programs that store your maps on your card (copilot). It doesn't need a data signal to work. There are also gps maps for hiking/hunting/geocaching etc that you can download topo maps for and put on your card. I have used both without cell signal and they work great.
     
  5. TonyG

    TonyG Well-Known Member
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    Do you mind listing the best topo map sites for the Droid that you have used? Which of those allow one to preload the topo maps on the device? I have lots of topo maps on Garmin GPSrs, but am interested in having some on my Droid as well.
     
  6. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA
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    I'm not sure if Google GPS will work well for hiking, I would try a test on a small trail and see if it actually follows trails or just makes a straight line to your destination. Also I'm not sure what topo maps are availible for Google, I'm sure if you did a few searches you can find out if it does have those options. Also don't worry about cell signal, when you are setting your route for the first time just make sure you have a decent connection like 3G or WiFi and it will download your entire route and cache it so when you lose cell signal you won't lose your map.
     
  7. TonyG

    TonyG Well-Known Member
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    The Droid GPS receiver works very well, it's highly sensitive and it appears to be as accurate as any dedicated consumer GPSr, confirmed by running tests side-by-side with two of my 'real' Garmin GPSrs: nuvi 770 and GPSMap 60Cx, and using the free GPS Status app from the Market. The My Maps application (also free, from the Market) shows a highly accurate track on the maps, on and off road; the tracks can be stored and upleaded in the standard GPX format. I have also tested the free Open GPS Mapper app which provides a nice color-coded speed track drawn live on Google Maps, but that one seems to eat battery life way too much (per battery use stats from Menu > Settings > About phone > Battery use screen).

    Thus it seems to me that the Droid is a full-fledged and very capable GPSr; the only thing I'm missing are good topo maps to store for use in off-3G coverage areas. And don't forget to recalibrate the magnetic sensor before each use by slowly waving wide figure-8s while outdoors .
     
  8. gg4775

    gg4775 New Member
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  9. TonyG

    TonyG Well-Known Member
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    Basically, it's to zero out any biases created when the phone (and its magnetic sensor) have been used in the area with magnetic materials and fields (metal parts, power supplies etc.). So, if you get out of the car and watch the Mag. filed (uT)/decl. field on the GPS Status screen, you will see that it may be as high as 130/52, but by waving slowly the phone in the 8-pattern outside and away from any lager mass of metal, those two values will become essentially the same, and the sensor will show true magnetic north. That's at least is my take on it... :)
     
  10. TonyG

    TonyG Well-Known Member
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    I think their price at $149 is way too high--US topo maps for Garmin GPSrs can be had for $62: Amazon.com: Garmin US Topo! 100K Topographical Maps: Electronics.

    This set seems to be for WM devices only:

    [...Pocket Quads is Topographic Map software for Windows Mobile devices (Pocket PC's) that displays your current GPS position* on topographic maps in real-time...]
     
  11. gg4775

    gg4775 New Member
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    thanks for that link , i never used the software i ususally just use a physical trrail map. does the software designate the different trail colors like on the paper trail maps. im assuming it does but just curious.

    thanks

    g
     
  12. MountainX

    MountainX Well-Known Member
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    What is the best way to carry the Droid while hiking in order to get an accurate GPS track and also protect the phone? So far I am just carrying it my pocket and the GPS tracking seems to work really well. But getting it in and out of my pocket isn't always easy. Does anyone recommend a good arm band that won't leave the phone exposed to damage?
     
  13. ClayPete

    ClayPete New Member
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    So you guys have mentioned that you can get topo maps onto the droid but how do you do that. Once you have the maps, do you need an application to run them or what exactly do you do to be able to view your gps location interlaced with the topomap?

    If someone knows how to do this and can explain further I would be very grateful.
     
  14. vikingisson

    vikingisson Well-Known Member
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    This might not be of any help but this is what I've done before getting a cell phone (lived for years with only WiFI). My WiFI only Nokia has a decent GPS but I couldn't justify the cost of preloaded maps. However the GPS itself worked fine combined with a paper map and would save the GPS tracks. And once I was back online the stored GPS tracks would overlay onto Google Maps and I'd have a detailed track of where I've been. The paper plus GPS kept me on the trail and google maps saved a nice record for me.
    I never needed turn by turn especially for hiking :) so it was more about where I've been than where I'm going.
     
  15. MountainX

    MountainX Well-Known Member
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    I have a Droid, and I'd like to know more about this too. Thanks.
     
  16. Steel Cobra

    Steel Cobra Active Member
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    I'm not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for but from the maps appiclation, if you click the menu button then press "more", you have the option to go into the "Labs" options. There is a Terrain layer that can be applied to the map itself under the layers section.
     
  17. blue

    blue Well-Known Member
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    but if you miss your turn and out or data range, it wont work, found that out yesterday. it will show the map, but wont recalculate the new turns
     
  18. dB Zac

    dB Zac Well-Known Member
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    you can get a compass app that uses the internal compass and GPS and does not need internet access but there are no maps. I think it will even store a position and leave you an indicator on the compass to remind you what direction to go to get back. I don't know if garman or any of those company's have and android solution (because google nav works so sweet) but if they did, they also do not need internet
     
  19. dB Zac

    dB Zac Well-Known Member
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    well just like they tell snipers in the army, don't miss! LOL
     
  20. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member
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    There are apps which will record the GPS log much like a handheld GPS, My Tracks is one. OruxMaps is supposed to let you download maps so you can have them without a data connection. I haven't had a chance to try either yet.
     

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