View Full Version : Best GPS/map program for Galaxy?

05-13-2014, 21:47
I am something of a Luddite, so please be gentle lol.
I have an upcoming trip to Yellowstone this summer and plan several multi-day trips. I would like to be able to:
1. View downloaded maps (with campsites marked if possible)
2. View my GPS-verified location on those maps.
3. Learn the distance from my location to my next camp....

What programs do I need?

05-14-2014, 18:32
I have Gaia, Backcountry Navigator, Pdf Maps and Maps on my Note 3.
All 4 are disappointing.

What I'd like to see is Google Earth with a GPS position marker that operates in real time, it needs to be the size of a small tablet, as light as a paperback book and should last a week on a set of batteries. Probably been drinking the Kool aide again

Also I've got/tried 2 handheld Garmins and had 3 Garmon for the cars.
My conclusion is that the GPS software has a ways to go yet. And Garmin does not support their own software as well as I expected.
Guess I'm stuck with maps and guide books.

Sent from my Samsung Note 3 using Tapatalk.

Another Kevin
05-14-2014, 20:29
A smartphone GPS - or a dedicated GPS, for that matter - is a nice toy. But I'd not depend on it for navigation.

I use Backcountry Navigator, with a map set that I designed myself. It's as serviceable as any of the options. But, as you point out, weight, battery life, and screen size are all disappointing. I do stretch things out by carrying a lightweight phone charger that runs off lithium AA batteries. That's enough to get me through a clueless weekend if I use it primarily for recording tracks, leave it in airplane mode except for a text message once or twice a day, and don't light up the screen very often. GPS simply is power-hungry. (I like having it, though, because I like to show tracks in my trip reports (https://dftscript.blogspot.com/) and upload them to OpenStreetMap (https://www.openstreetmap.org/).)

Most of my hiking has significant elevation changes and routefinding isn't horribly difficult. It's trail walking with some bushwhacking for peak-bagging. On half of each of the bushwhack segments, the most significant navigation rule is, "the summit is up." For this hiking style, I find that I look at my wrist altimeter more than my GPS, and depending on how obvious the path and sight lines are, maybe even more than my compass. The nice thing about an altimeter is that it allows any contour line to serve as a catching feature. And GPS is a lousy altimeter; its vertical position goes wonky when there's even a slightly compromised view of the sky.

05-31-2014, 21:15
WB user 1azarus has made me aware of an Android app called Maprika. It has a capability that seems pretty awesome, but the program is buggy on my Galaxy S4. (I presume it's the latest version of the program; I just grabbed it from the Play Store today.)

If I understand it correctly: you can scan your own map, and then follow your position (via GPS) on that map. There's a calibration process whereby you identify two or more "anchor points" that pin your own map to the Google Map view.

So I took one of the BCT maps in PDF form and converted it to JPG at 360 dpi using high quality (low-compression) JPG settings. Maprika invariably hangs during the set-anchor-points process. I got one map pinned with three anchor points but then Maprika went bonkers in a different way. I removed the app, too buggy for me.

This won't be for the AT or any other long trail, I'll be using it to hike the Bay Circuit Trail around Boston. BCT has downloadable maps and guides, but I've been having a heckuva time locating trailheads on the BCT and occasionally following the trail (some of it is unfinished and merely "proposed" trail.)

So I'm wondering: what are the alternatives? Does this capability exist in other apps that you know of?

Wise Old Owl
05-31-2014, 23:40
Yea I posted a detailed thread on that... several years ago put all my favorite parks in there,,, then stuffed it into a portable garmin... who knew!

06-01-2014, 00:36
Try AlpineQuest. I use it for local hikes. After the hike I export that data, clean it up with "gpsprune". I then import into Google Earth to track all my hikes.

For the AT, I skip the GPS and I just follow the white blazes.