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  1. #1
    dbg
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    Smartphone maps when no reception

    Maybe I'm the only one that didn't know about this, but there is an option for getting google maps to work when you are out of coverage. I used this for a recent sailing trip but also consider it for remote location bike trips.

    You can pre-visit an area in google maps and save the location data locally on your device. Calling up google maps later when you are there --will show map details even if you have no cellphone coverage. So if you know there are uncovered areas on your route, you can preload tha maps ahead of time.
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Make paper copies ahead of time? [or just buy a proper Map, I toured Europe many times without technology]

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    Using an app like TomTom is an option too. You can plot routes, access a POI database, get turn by turn spoken directions, bicycle specific routing. All offline.

    But get your credit card out :-)

  4. #4
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    I think a better option is to buy Co-pilot Live or GPS Navigation & Maps.

    CoPilot - Your Best way to Navigate
    skobbler | Apps | Smart mobile navigation based on OpenStreetMap | OSM

    Those are two different GPS navigation apps that cost about $10 or $15 for the entire North American or whichever region you want. I downloaded and reviewed about 10 navigation apps and found these two to be excellent for navigation.

    Co-pilot is very nice since it shows points of interest (restaurants, motels, parks, etc.) even without internet connection. GPS Navigation & Maps also provides off-line points of interest, but is not as complete as Co-pilot.

    Once you download the maps, you won't need a connection again. Both use open-source maps (Open Street Map), which I have found to be very good. Both programs require about 5 to 7 gigabytes of storage for the North American maps. Not bad, I think, considering that also includes points of interest information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    Maybe I'm the only one that didn't know about this, but there is an option for getting google maps to work when you are out of coverage. I used this for a recent sailing trip but also consider it for remote location bike trips. You can pre-visit an area in google maps and save the location data locally on your device. Calling up google maps later when you are there --will show map details even if you have no cellphone coverage. So if you know there are uncovered areas on your route, you can preload tha maps ahead of time.
    OP; If you need a tech based solution, might just look a few days ahead and save the maps to your local phone memory as PDF files...

  6. #6
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    I have an Android system phone.

    I use MapsWithMe Lite (free) and Soviet Military Maps Pro (about $11 USD). The MapsWithMe lets me load an entire state on wifi for off line use later. The Soviet Military Maps, I use the Open Cycle layer and use the bulk download option to save maps ahead of time when I have wifi.

    I do not have a data plan for my phone, so all I have is wifi for map loading. The above apps have served my needs just fine.

    I did what you suggest in Google maps when I first got the phone but over time have quit using Google maps, the other apps meet my needs just fine. The Soviet Military Maps Open Cycle layer has topo lines (unfortunately in metric units) so I can look at a route and see where the worst hills will be ahead of time.
    Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 07-19-14 at 07:19 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Google maps... if you remember to download a large enough section.

    I use MapFactor on my phone and tablet as a back up, works pretty well and is free. You just download the maps for the area you need.

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  8. #8
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    OSMAND (Android only). Free app allows for download of several states/regions. Paid app includes unlimited download of maps in addition to option to purchase contour and shadow maps, etc. Can also use tracks, record rides, etc. Best offline map app I've found.
    "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Emerson

  9. #9
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    My absolute favorite app is Topo Maps by Phillip Endecott. Topomapsapp.com.

    You download the USGS quads for the area of interest (includes bathymetry). The app knits them together. If you've got a cell/wireless/GPS signal you can locate yourself. If you don't....you still have the map. Fab on an iPad.


    On App Store.
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  10. #10
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    Navigon (now owned by Garmin) on the iPhone or Android. Download the state or country maps you want on your device. No cell signal required. Works great. Voice guidance, etc. Not free!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    My absolute favorite app is Topo Maps by Phillip Endecott. Topomapsapp.com.

    You download the USGS quads for the area of interest (includes bathymetry). The app knits them together. If you've got a cell/wireless/GPS signal you can locate yourself. If you don't....you still have the map. Fab on an iPad.


    On App Store.
    IPhone only, yes?
    "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Emerson

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhendrick View Post
    Navigon (now owned by Garmin) on the iPhone or Android. Download the state or country maps you want on your device. No cell signal required. Works great. Voice guidance, etc. Not free!
    Sounded interesting so I looked it up. $40. Really? $40?
    "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Emerson

  13. #13
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revcp View Post
    IPhone only, yes?
    Not sure. That's how I use it but possible it's got an Android compatible. However, I looked on his website...didn't see an Android reference. I've also got it loaded on an old 3GS (use wireless).
    Amerika, Land of the Very Brief.

  14. #14
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    There are many options for getting offline (stored on the phone). For iOS and Android. Most of these use open street maps.

    I use Galileo on the iPhone and island/orux/locus on an Android tablet. Being able to load gpx tracks is a key feature for me.

    Note that navigation is a separate thing. You might want to avoid apps that provide navigation for cars.

    You typically get more detail with an electronic map than paper and it's easy/free to get updated maps. It's also easier to carry maps on a phone than a pile of paper.

    There are obvious risks in relying on a phone (but you know that).
    Last edited by njkayaker; 07-19-14 at 07:03 PM.

  15. #15
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
    I think a better option is to buy Co-pilot Live or GPS Navigation & Maps.

    CoPilot - Your Best way to Navigate
    skobbler | Apps | Smart mobile navigation based on OpenStreetMap | OSM

    Those are two different GPS navigation apps that cost about $10 or $15 for the entire North American or whichever region you want. I downloaded and reviewed about 10 navigation apps and found these two to be excellent for navigation.

    Co-pilot is very nice since it shows points of interest (restaurants, motels, parks, etc.) even without internet connection. GPS Navigation & Maps also provides off-line points of interest, but is not as complete as Co-pilot.

    Once you download the maps, you won't need a connection again. Both use open-source maps (Open Street Map), which I have found to be very good. Both programs require about 5 to 7 gigabytes of storage for the North American maps. Not bad, I think, considering that also includes points of interest information.
    CoPilot works very well. Even has a bike routing option. Though I do not think it uses bike trails like google earth.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    OP; If you need a tech based solution, might just look a few days ahead and save the maps to your local phone memory as PDF files...
    Using an app that stores maps would be much better than using PDF files. And much less work.

  17. #17
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    For folks using CoPilot, Orux, Locus on Android, I'd be interested in knowing whether you struggled to download maps for offline use (and how you ended up getting them to work). No idea why, but I've been unsuccessful in getting OSM maps to work offline. OSMAnd works for me, but none of the above three.

    I should mention too to the OP, you can use Map Bike Rides with Elevation Profiles, Analyze Cycling Performance, Train Better. Ride With GPS to create gpx tracks to upload to OSMAnd to follow a route. Ridewithgps does a great job of routing along bike friendly streets and including bike trails when they are available.

    With Google Maps you are limited to the zoom level originally saved. So if you're going any real distance you have to download multiple tiles, making sure you have adjacent edges included as you zoom and download. You also can't use tiles to search and I believe you can't use tracks. Google Maps is great when you have wifi or cell signal, but it's almost functionally useless offline.
    Last edited by revcp; 07-20-14 at 05:45 AM.
    "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Emerson

  18. #18
    Senior Member stevnim's Avatar
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    Kind of an unknown mapping gem is Avenza PDF Maps. There are both Apple and Android versions available. You then download PDF maps from their store which has 1,000's of free and paid maps. There are road, historical, airplane navigational, marine and all kinds of maps available. Once the PDF maps is downloaded you no require a connection unless a GPS position is required. Here's a video from them explaining their maps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyIA...ature=youtu.be

  19. #19
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    I've been using OSMAnd for a few years and like it very much.

    I use Google Maps on my computer (i.e., not my phone) to plan my routes, and I then use gpsvisualizer.com to convert the Google Maps URL into a gpx file that I then have OSMAnd overlay as a "track" and use it for navigation. It works quite well.

    As an added bonus, instead of being spoken, the navigation notifications from OSMAnd cause my Pebble watch to vibrate, and the screen displays the command. This uses very little battery power on the phone, as the screen is off just about the entire time. (Occasionally I need to take a look at it for confirmation.)

  20. #20
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    On last weeks tour to Northern Vt and Quebec I used my android phone with the free Navfree app. I downloaded each state I needed and the entire country of Canada into the phones memory before leaving. Since I had no cell access while in Canada I left the phone in Airplane mode most of the time. I had no issues at all using the downloaded maps, they came up instantly after launching the app.

  21. #21
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    For anyone who needs offline map support I'd recommend considering Windows Phone. I run a Lumia 920 and it has full offline map support. I have maps stored for the entire country and they aren't extremely large. Very useful when you are out of service range but need mapping.

    The maps can be shared across apps. So I can use my standard GPS navigation app or even my cycle computer app without data coverage.
    Last edited by Wiggle; 07-28-14 at 01:54 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    My absolute favorite app is Topo Maps by Phillip Endecott. Topomapsapp.com.

    You download the USGS quads for the area of interest (includes bathymetry). The app knits them together. If you've got a cell/wireless/GPS signal you can locate yourself. If you don't....you still have the map. Fab on an iPad.


    On App Store.
    Thanks for this. I've been using MapsWithMe, which is nice at $5, but having topo information would be really nice. Also useful for backpacking, mtbing, and other offroad pursuits, I bet.

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