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smartphone for navigation

Old 02-20-17, 05:43 PM
  #1  
ysbrand
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smartphone for navigation

I don't want to start a smartphone versus dedicated cycle-computer discussion and I very well understand why for some people a dedicated Garmin eTrex is the better solution. But for those of you that think a phone might do the job: it does for me. Note: I only use it for navigation and track logging, not for measuring heartbeats and cadence.

I use an old Galaxy S4 (100 US$ on eBay) plus a supersize battery (30 US$ on eBay) which will make the phone run for three days.

Tracks I prepare off-line using Google Maps, and then I upload the resulting gpx-track into my phone. The phone has OsmAnd with all maps downloaded so I don't need internet while biking.

For more detail, I wrote a small tutorial, here:

https://zwartwit.galama.net/posts/20...ke-navigation/
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Old 02-20-17, 09:28 PM
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Thanks for sharing your method.
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Old 02-20-17, 10:18 PM
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Of the few map apps for Android I tried, I liked OsmAnd best as well. I have fond that it's own routing to be very cumbersome and lackluster unfortunately. I like the method you have there, and I'll give it a go. I do wish that while out and about, if I want to go someplace else, I could just use OsmAnd's own routing ability and it be up to the task. I don't understand why they can't seriously improve it. Perhaps there is a better app for this purpose?
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Old 02-20-17, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ysbrand View Post
I don't want to start a smartphone versus dedicated cycle-computer discussion and I very well understand why for some people a dedicated Garmin eTrex is the better solution. But for those of you that think a phone might do the job: it does for me. Note: I only use it for navigation and track logging, not for measuring heartbeats and cadence.

I use an old Galaxy S4 (100 US$ on eBay) plus a supersize battery (30 US$ on eBay) which will make the phone run for three days.

Tracks I prepare off-line using Google Maps, and then I upload the resulting gpx-track into my phone. The phone has OsmAnd with all maps downloaded so I don't need internet while biking.

For more detail, I wrote a small tutorial, here:

https://zwartwit.galama.net/posts/20...ke-navigation/
+1000000

Thanks for sharing this and I learned a lot!!!!!

I have a cheap cell phone and I'm thinking of doing the same thing this summer. I will look at your option but will have to carry an external battery.

However, I find that Garmin really creates an integrated solution that's simpler and works very well. Saving your files online and loading them to your device is seamless. I do like that today's cell phones can be used as backup in case my Garmin starts having issues.

Thanks.
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Old 02-21-17, 08:08 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by ysbrand View Post
Tracks I prepare off-line using Google Maps, and then I upload the resulting gpx-track into my phone. The phone has OsmAnd with all maps downloaded so I don't need internet while biking.
I tried something similar a few years ago. I had started listening to podcasts in one ear and thought the navigation prompts would be a natural. The weak link proved to be the prompts. I don;t remember the program, it could have been the same, but it had trouble recognizing where I was, and wouldn't say turn left or right, but north, northwest, south, etc. It was imprecise and annoying. I thought I would revisit this concept again later after the software got better. Perhaps it has.

Your tutorial will be helpful. THanks!
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Old 02-21-17, 03:22 PM
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Paper maps work without batteries, but Most USA maps found easily are for cars, so lack details

Like the hills.. Europe had better maps.


Paper Charts on a Sailboat, Go in a water proof clear map holder..

I used one on my bike tours . big detailed maps.

re folded as i went along..

Dutch Falk Map of NL for Cyclists was made to be easy to read,
and open the right section in a stiff wind, which they have there.

you guys are sitting at a computer for a job people, so of course all you want is software solutions.
and $700 phones..


I learned Map reading in the Boy Scouts in the 50's.. Map and Compass have always done it for me





....

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-22-17 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 02-21-17, 04:06 PM
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Paper maps work very badly in the rain and wind, @fietsbob.
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Old 02-22-17, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Paper maps work very badly in the rain and wind, @fietsbob.
Krebs Cycle Products plastic coated paper maps work fine in the rain, highlight preferred routes, and show grades although I really wouldn't want one mounted on my handlebars.



Line weight indicates traffic, the green dotted lines show preferred routes, number of chevrons indicates grade, etc.
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Old 02-22-17, 10:09 AM
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OsmAnd is very good, but with both on my phone I always find myself choosing MapFactor Navigator for simple navigation because of the much simpler, more convenient interface. It cannot import gpx however so I've done it similarly with OsmAnd, using mapmyride (seems easier) to create and export the gpx.

It all seems unnecessarily clunky though. Doesn't any navigation app have its own paired website to create routes, and seamlessly send it to the phone?
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Old 02-22-17, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Krebs Cycle Products plastic coated paper maps work fine in the rain, highlight preferred routes, and show grades although I really wouldn't want one mounted on my handlebars.
I was following something like that with a cue sheet printed on the back. Kept it folded in a pocket, but I'd occasionally unfold it to check the map and the next turn I had to watch out for. A gust of wind took it while I was checking, and then I had to find my way back to my car without it.

I don't know why fietsbob is terrified of technology but it's a big step forward in many ways and has improved the lives of millions of cyclists.
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Old 02-22-17, 10:49 AM
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ysbrand
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't know why fietsbob is terrified of technology but it's a big step forward in many ways and has improved the lives of millions of cyclists.
Because a map never runs out of battery, and still works after a drop. Phones and Garmins are nice, but I always take a map as backup.

And I agree all this OsmAnd stuff is a little clunky still, not much we can do about it
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Old 02-22-17, 10:57 AM
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My map didn't work after I dropped it. The wind carried it, well, who knows where? I was sure glad I had my trusty, reliable Garmin when my paper map failed me.
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Old 02-22-17, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Krebs Cycle Products plastic coated paper maps work fine in the rain, highlight preferred routes, and show grades although I really wouldn't want one mounted on my handlebars.



Line weight indicates traffic, the green dotted lines show preferred routes, number of chevrons indicates grade, etc.
Their maps appear to cover a very limited area.
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Old 02-22-17, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Paper maps work without batteries, but Most USA maps found easily are for cars, so lack details

Like the hills.. Europe had better maps.
Not very helpful.

Is your retirement tied up in the stocks of paper map companies?
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Old 02-22-17, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't know why fietsbob is terrified of technology but it's a big step forward in many ways and has improved the lives of millions of cyclists.
It's fine if people want to use paper maps. It's fine if people are looking for mapping options.

It's silly to respond with "use paper maps" to questions about digital maps.
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Old 02-22-17, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Doesn't any navigation app have its own paired website to create routes, and seamlessly send it to the phone?
Ridewithgps does but you need a subscription for it (you can basically subscribe month-to-month if you don't always need it).

The app appears to work well.

(Mapmyride might work the same way but I'm not sure.)

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-22-17 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 02-22-17, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ysbrand View Post
For more detail, I wrote a small tutorial, here:
There are other route planning websites that provide gpx files directly (this avoids the kml to gpx conversion).

Ridewithgps is one of them.

Ridewithgps allows you to use Google maps but OSM maps also (the OSM maps match what Osmand uses).

It also gives easy access to satellite and street-level views.
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Old 02-22-17, 01:14 PM
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Wow this RideWithGPS is very nice. Superfast, works in Europe and Russia, clear interface. Very cool. will use that one now.
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Old 02-22-17, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Ridewithgps does but you need a subscription for it (you can basically subscribe month-to-month if you don't always need it).

The app appears to work well.

(Mapmyride might work the same way but I'm not sure.)
Yep it's actually ridewithgps that has most of the routes I've created and exported, and only a few on mapmyride. I used the free version of ridewithgps for the easy mapping and export, but haven't looked at the navigation app because of the subscription.
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Old 02-22-17, 01:47 PM
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My map case was Tied down , so I never lost a Map.

you can buy map proof and waterproof your own too.

Time to re order another Case Lot of Oregon Coast Maps, from ODOT.
for giving out to the summer cycle tourists. LBS goes thru hundreds..




...
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Old 02-22-17, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
My map case was Tied down , so I never lost a Map.

you can buy map proof and waterproof your own too.

Time to re order another Case Lot of Oregon Coast Maps, from ODOT.
for giving out to the summer cycle tourists. LBS goes thru hundreds..

...
More useless silliness.

No one has said not to use paper maps.
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Old 03-20-17, 08:18 PM
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I guess I'm a bit of a nerdy type, but I've been using my iphone as an assistant to biking for sometime. The nice thing about a cellphone is that it can do many things at the same time.

I run the following apps while I ride
Phone
Messenger
Spotify
RidewithGPS
MapMyRide
Google Maps

I also wear a bluetooth heart rate monitor (Polar 7) and a Gonovate bluetooth ear piece in my right ear.
Sometimes I use airpods, but generally and legally I like to have only one earpiece in at a time. Note I can hear a normal conversation just fine using both airpods. The airpods can use Siri to issue commands with a double tap on earpiece.

Since my iphone 5S won't last over 3 hours on a battery charge, i carry a combination hand warmer and USB recharger cabled up so that I can recharge the phone while I ride.

Lastly I have mounted my Polar watch to the handlebar instead of a speedometer to use as a kinda personal tachometer.

It all works very well, tracking everything I want to track, entertaining me as much as I want, and keeping me in touch with the outside world. All of the bicycle apps can work outside of cellphone areas, but I don't use that feature much day to day.
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Old 03-24-17, 08:08 AM
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Bikemap is also pretty nice. You can plan your routes online with desktop or app and use them offline in the app.
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Old 03-28-17, 07:35 AM
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What works on a Windows phone?
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Old 03-28-17, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
What works on a Windows phone?
Nothing (probably).

The number of users on that platform is to small to throw development money at.
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