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Navigating with Smartphone

Old 05-02-17, 08:56 AM
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preferdownhill
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Navigating with Smartphone

I noticed that on my IPhone using Google maps its hard to tell the orientation of the phone in order to determine how to take a turn relative to the phone. When I place the IPhone level, on google maps there is a triangle on the dot representing me that apparently tries to indicate how the phone is oriented. When I rotate the phone around, the triangle is all over the place relative to the phones orientation. Problem is identical on my other favorite app, Maps.me. Apple maps gets around the problem by not showing any indication of the phone orientation, just a round dot. However, there are lots of compass apps that I can download that track the phones orientation perfectly. Also I have some of the astronomy apps that show stars corresponding to the phones orientation perfectly, and they have some functions for calibrating the phone for further accuracy. So why is Google and the other maps programs having problems?

Last edited by preferdownhill; 05-02-17 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 05-02-17, 02:09 PM
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Tap the icon for the compass. That's a toggle. It goes between north-up and your-direction-up.
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Old 05-02-17, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by preferdownhill View Post
When I place the IPhone level, on google maps there is a triangle on the dot representing me that apparently tries to indicate how the phone is oriented. When I rotate the phone around, the triangle is all over the place relative to the phones orientation.
Don't rotate the phone around?

The blue triangle is trying to show your heading.

On my iPhone 5, the blue triangle in Google maps shows my heading very well (even inside). The iPhone has an electronic compass, which means it can determine heading without moving.

To make it work better (and make more sense), orient the phone in one way (portrait/top pointed away from you or landscape/top pointed to you left or right) relative to your body. Maintain (lock) that orientation to your body when you move or turn. Keep the phone always square to your chest. The idea is to have the orientation of the phone match where your chest is pointed.

If you rotate the phone in different orientations relative to your body, you will get confused.

The same problem happens with normal compasses.

Keep noglider's suggestion in mind. It won't solve your basic problem but it might make more sense to you to have the map "track up" rather than "north up".

With "track up", the whole map is rotated to follow your heading. But you still have to keep the phone orientated in one way relative to your body.

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-02-17 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 05-02-17, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Tap the icon for the compass. That's a toggle. It goes between north-up and your-direction-up.
Apple maps and maps.me has a compass that changes between "north up" and "track up".

It doesn't seem Google maps does.
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Old 05-02-17, 07:26 PM
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Old 05-03-17, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Apple maps and maps.me has a compass that changes between "north up" and "track up".

It doesn't seem Google maps does.
My Google Maps has the feature. I'm using an iphone. What are you using?
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Old 05-03-17, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
My Google Maps has the feature. I'm using an iphone. What are you using?
It's a standard feature. So, it should have it.

Not sure why it was not working before. It might not have been in another state.

The button is the location dot at the lower right above the "go" button.

This either recenters the map OR changes the mode between "north up" (shows a dot) and "track up" (shows a needle that points in a fixed direction).

A compass needle shows up under the "layers" button (near the upper right) but it sometimes disappears.

Google's "track up" mode is a "3d" style.

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-03-17 at 11:19 AM.
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