iPhone GPS apps - remote use ?

Discussion in 'Maps, GPS and Google Earth' started by tlk, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    I going on a mission trip to east Africa in a couple of months and would like to use my iPhone as a backup GPS unit. Do any of the GPS apps work without cell service? Will the apps work as designed over there with the cell services they have? I can't seem to get a firm answer on these questions within the app store.


    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  2. GPSmaps

    GPSmaps Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I can't give you a firm answer either, but most GPS apps will not work without cell coverage. Some of them you can download certain areas while in cell coverage areas, then you can see the map while you are out of coverage. So it depends on the app.

    You also run into the problem of battery life while using your GPS on your cell phone.

    Hope this helps
     

  3. ColoKeb

    ColoKeb Member

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    YES.

    I found an article on this in detail ... search google for "The GPS you always carry."

    A company called gaiagps.com has both an android and Iphone app for $10 that will let you store maps for offline use with a GPS. The price gets you access to their licensed map library!

    Another app for android is viamici.com ( He has a nice video on his web site )

    This one lets you scan, download, even photograph and then store maps. ( My experience with trying to get detail photos has not been great due to data resolution, but scanning has worked well. Using Delorme Topo to save custom maps in .JPG format has worked quite well. I see a use for Viamici where group could all buy it, load the same map, and then coordinate activites such as a meeting point. Another use might be to store Hunting Game Units so you have the boundaries. )
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  4. Brett

    Brett Active Member

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    Motion X allows you to pre load maps, for when you do not have cell service and seems to be the best app for GPS, check there web page out.
     
  5. TexasHunter

    TexasHunter <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    The iPhone works great as a GPS w/o cell service. The best topo GPS app I've tried here in the states is the Gaia version. Motion X maps aren't as good. Don't know if either company supports maps for Africa. Let us know what you find out. I'm headed over in June.
     
  6. ColoKeb

    ColoKeb Member

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    Viamici supports maps everywhere that you can pre-scan or photograph a paper map. It is not dependent on web site downloads. The issue with photographing a map is getting enough detail ( I can't get good enough photos to read fine print from photos of maps such as Nat Geo or BLM from 4 feet back ) ....nevertheless it will show the GPS location on the phone and map, and then in a pinch you just unfold the paper map and find that spot. Since Google Earth will let you save a view as a picture file, you can use that for almost anywhere in Africa.

    Just where are you going to hunt?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  7. Texas Republic

    Texas Republic Well-Known Member

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    Most iphones are great for gps. But, I think only iphone 3GS and 4 models have this out of service gps capability built in. The older iphone models use cell towers to find your location.

    I have used a lot of gps apps. So far, GPSKIT is the best. I actually have a lowrance endura, but it stays in the pack as my back up. You download map tiles that you can use later while not in cell service. It has radar tracking that allows you to see other users in real time. Its private because both users have to dialed in to the exact address to see eachother. Give it a try.

    Google earth is great if you dont need to navigate or save tracks. Even though you dont download tiles really, it does save your cache as you scroll around on it so you can use it later.
     
  8. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    OK, I'm reviving this thread 'cause I got updates. I took my iPhone to multiple countries in both rural and metro areas.

    Long story short - take a GPS. There are places where the iPhone is not supported on the cell infrastructure. Best bet is to take it and expect to use it for all the non cell-tower applications; once you get to your area if it isn't supported you can get a local pay-by-the-minute cell.

    My GPS displayed the names of the towns I was in and the routes I took and stored all of the important way points I had. Also, I only had to take more AA batteries for it and a solar charger for the batts. The iphone required an international converter and the appropriate plug adapter and POWER (defintitely not something to trust - I should have gotten a solar charger for it). The internet conncetivity whenever I found cell service/WIFI spot (rare) and the camera made it worth bringing because it reduced my gear, its just not an electronic leatherman.

    It is worth considering that a GPS can be stolen without as much of a loss as compared to an iPhone. That and a common local phone aren't as desirable - sometimes it really pays to go lower-tech for your own good. Even a cheap Casio g-shock watch gets advertised there and can cause more than second looks.

    For certain applications the GPS is still very much a necessity IMO.

    Probably too long but I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  9. permaculture

    permaculture Well-Known Member

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    Which model iPhone do you have that was not working without cell reception?
     
  10. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    We had both a 3G and 3GS.