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The Date is being .. by coolefield   (Show all posts)
2011-02-07 21:04:27
"Screenshot of Motion-X with the OpenStreetMap "Terrain" map." from csd Expand pics
Screenshot of Motion-X with the OpenStreetMap "Terrain" map. (Expand pics)
Using an iPhone as a GPS
My trusty Garmin eTrex finally bit the dust after falling off a rather loose handlebar mount on my bike once too many. Given the straitened times we're in, I decided to look for a cheap alternative rather than splashing out on a new eTrex. Seeing as I'd recently treated myself to an iPhone 4 (ok, maybe times aren't THAT straitened!), I had a look to see what apps might do the trick. The GPS chipset on the iPhone 4 is significantly improved over that in the 3G and 3GS, so I was curious to see if it would be a suitable eTrex replacement.

After searching the App store for a bit, I decided to download Motion-X GPS. This costs €3.99, not free but a lot cheaper than a new Garmin. The big feature that impressed me with Motion-X is the ability to download OpenStreetMap maps (both road and terrain) for use while offline. In other words, you don't need a data signal to use the maps, which is very handy in the remoter parts of the country where phone signal isn't the best. The OpenStreetMap Terrain maps are very similar to pazapas's Emerald Isle maps, showing shaded contours, roads, and other amenities. Motion-X makes great use of the iPhone 4's gorgeous display, and you can get moisture-proof cases to keep your expensive smart phone out of the wet. You can search for and navigate to all the tops listed in MV.

On the downside, there's no support for entering co-ordinates in Irish Grid format (although there is UTM support), but it's possible that this might be added in a future version. The other thing to watch for is battery life. Using an iPhone with the GPS on really drains your battery, so if getting lost would be a problem then make sure you have a paper backup! You can export waypoints as GPX files, but only via email, which isn't handy if you want to dump a whole bunch of them.

I still haven't made up my mind as to whether and iPhone 4 and Motion-X GPS are a true replacement for a Garmin. The lack of Irish Grid support is quite a handicap, and the battery life is a worry because if it runs out you've not only lost your GPS but your phone as well. I probably will buy a second-hand eTrex, but having the iPhone and Motion-X means I don't need to rush out and buy one straight away. Worth a look!
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 14 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Torc Mountain W Top: Big brother ....
hivisibility a day ago.
Here's a picture of Torc itself from Torc West Top. Approx 600m between the two summits.

Summit Comment
Barnahowna: Fine-weather photo
bryanmccabe 2 days ago.
Thought a fine-weather photo of Barnahowna summit was needed!

Summit Summary
Maumtrasna North-East Top: Worth a visit!
Collaborative entry Last edit by: bryanmccabe 2 days ago.
Maumtrasna NE top, approximately 2km NE of Maumtrasna, is worth a visit in its own right. The most direct access is via the steep ridge up to nearby spot height 542. One possible starting point is...

Ott Mountain to Slieve Meelmore
Aidy 3 days ago.
Started at the Ott/Blue Quarry car park on the Moyad Road, and took a route taking in six summits, going over Ott Mou... walk, Len: 10.9km, Climb: 730m, Area: Ott Mountain, Mourne Mountains (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Crossderry: Summit No 2 of a fine ridge walk.
hivisibility 2 days ago.
Here is another view of Crossderry taken from Mothillín. You can see the twin peaks at the summit area. The summit proper is the one on the right. Knocknabreeda in the background.Its pretty rugged...

Glenbeigh to Galway's Bridge
GSheehy 4 days ago.
I?m putting this one up because it was a club walk and I was thinking about the other day. There aren?t too many clu walk, Len: 40.5km, Climb: 917m, Area: Glenbeigh Horseshoe (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Mothaillín: Fabulous views to the west from the summit.
hivisibility 3 days ago.
Fine view towards Broghnabinnia and Caher from Mothillín summit.

Summit Comment
Mothaillín: Summit area as seen from Crossderry.
hivisibility 3 days ago.
Mothillín summit from Crossderry.

Peak bagging in The Sperrins in autumn
peter1 5 days ago.
Again, the use of a mountain bike is highly recommended for this route, if you are a solo walker. I left my bike in a... walk, Len: 16.2km, Climb: 1048m, Area: Mullaghclogha, Sperrin Mountains (Irela

Forum: General
Cable Car to the Hellfire Club - 20/10
cave-dweller 6 days ago.
Hello, There is a meeting being held in the Yellow House Pub in Rathfarnham in Dublin 14 tomorrow night at 8 pm about some proposed "redevelopments" in and around the Hellfire Club/Montpelier Hill...

Summit Comment
Crossderry: Towards Knocknabreeda and Stumoa Dúloigh
hivisibility 3 days ago.
The view towards Knocknabreeda fro Crossderry summit. Stumpa Dúloigh in the background. Knocknabreeda summit is located over to the far left of the ridge.

Slieve Foye
Onzy a week ago.
Sunday route over Slieve Foye and along the ridge for a bit... walk, Len: 9.9km, Climb: 439m, Area: Slieve Foye, Cooley/Gullion (Ireland) Slie...

RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 14 Next page >>