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  1. #1
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    Back Country Navigator

    Has anyone used this application for smart phones in place of a GPS? How did you find it?
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  2. #2
    ebf
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    what do you want to do ? topo maps for NZ on Android ?

  3. #3
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    Yeah, topo maps with a GPS facility. I've downloaded Back Country Navigator for my Android and it seems to be quite good. It shows me where I am and lets me use waypoints etc.... I'm just wondering if it could replace a dedicated GPS unit like Garmin or Magelan. I'd rather spend $500 on something else to be honest !
    Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay it's price

  4. #4
    ebf
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    Ok, the short answer is Yes

    Some smartphones use assisted GPS (A-GPS), basically triangulation using cell towers - no good when you are out of cell range. To check this, switch your phone into "flight mode", and see if the GPS still locks onto position while moving about.

    Assuming you have "real" (not A-GPS), your next problem is battery life. While in the bush, switch your phone to flight mode so that it is not hunting for network signal. Also look at some other ways of recharging battery, solar or wind-up are 2 realistic options.

    As far as software and maps are concerned, I suggest you visit the NZ Open GPS Forum. There is a user called Mr Purple who has created an awesome topo mapset for NZ. Software wise, at the moment (Oct 2012), the best topo option seems to be Oruxmaps, available for free from Google Play store. Very fluid area, new software and maps coming out on a monthly if not weekly basis...

    F.Y.I. for turn-by-turn navigation I use Osmand and the Open Streetmap

    Hope this points you in the right direction...

  5. #5
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    I've been using New Zealand Topo Maps Pro for my Android device and have been impressed so far. Just remember to download the section you want before going bush / offline!

  6. #6
    Member GravelBen's Avatar
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    I use back country navigator and find it pretty good. I've only used it for topo + gps location so far though, haven't tried it for navigating to waypoints etc.

    Not sure why you'd bother with custom maps etc when apps like back country navigator (and presumably nztopomap) use LINZ topo50 anyway.

    As ebf said the biggest issue is battery life, and remembering to download the map area in advance.

  7. #7
    Member gadgetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nztopomap View Post
    I've been using New Zealand Topo Maps Pro for my Android device and have been impressed so far. Just remember to download the section you want before going bush / offline!
    +1

    I'm using this too and very impressed. Have downloaded the entire south island.

    A-GPS is assisted GPS and uses triangulation to towers to assist the inbuilt GPS receiver in order to get a faster fix. This can use a bit of data quota. They all still should have a GPS receiver in them.
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  8. #8
    Muppets Inc. SIKAHUNTER's Avatar
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    Re: Back Country Navigator

    I use Locus Pro for topo on my Android, liked it over the others.

    I guess remembering to download the right map is the same as taking the right paper map. I have the whole North island topo50 maps always on my phone.

    Ebay is a good place for spare phone batteries if yours is replaceable.

    The one thing I do wonder about is the sensitivity of the GPS receiver on phones compared to the high sensitivity units found on the garmins? I know my phone GPS is way better than my old garmin geko (which has the old non high sens receiver). I also know that different phones gps's perform differently too which makes definitive comparisons against dedicated units difficult to achieve.

  9. #9
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    I used BCN on my Google nexus tablet in fiordland and was mightily impressed, fast accurate fixes under bush cover, better than my old GPS.

 

 

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