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The High Court has.. by CaptainVertigo   (Show all posts)
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csd
2011-02-07 21:04:27
"Screenshot of Motion-X with the OpenStreetMap "Terrain" map." from csd Contract pics
Picture: Screenshot of Motion-X with the OpenStreetMap "Terrain" map. (Contract 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!


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 29 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Lackagh Mountain: Holy Boley
TommyV 7 hours ago.
My approach to Lackagh mountain also known as Boleybrack was from the West side of the mountain. There is a road leading to G90078 31002 where there is a road leading into a forest with unauthoriz...

  
Track
Brandon point to Sas Creek to Araglen
Fergalo 12 hours ago.
Brandon point to Sas Creek to Araglen returning to Brandon point be Teer bog road walk, Len: 16.2km, Climb: 554m, Area: Faill an tS?is, Brandon Group (Ireland) F...

  
Forum: General
Mountainviews Walk in the Mournes
BleckCra 13 hours ago.
...

Summit Comment
Carrane Hill: Navy Seals only for this approach
TommyV 8 hours ago.
I decided to try Carrane Hill from the East side as it looked on my map as if there was a forest track going most of the way up and indeed there is. It's possible to park at a forestry gate at G86...

  
Summit Comment
Curlew Mountains: The Blair Witch Project
TommyV 8 hours ago.
It's hard to believe this has been visited by 19 members. paddyhillsbaggers description is about right. The first stage is a stumble over stumps and felled trees before entering the forest. I had ...

  
Summit Comment
Croaghmuckros: A great reward for a leisurely stroll
bertandally a day ago.
We parked up at the entrance to the comms mast access road at G6186975866 as we thought the access road was the best option for us as we had our 6 year old with us and regardless the recent weathe...

Track
Dingle to Cloghane
Fergalo 12 hours ago.
Challenge walk from Dingle to Cloghane over the dingle way. walk, Len: 45.7km, Climb: 1592m, Area: Brandon Group (Ireland) Brandon, Brandon...

  
Summit Comment
Carronadavderg: Very unremarkable.
TommyV a day ago.
Not much to add to the comments here except that there appears to be some maintenance work being carried out on the access road so there is a mound of gravel at the access gate so parking is a bit...

  
Summit Comment
Carricktriss Gorse: Looking for a trig in the trees.
TommyV a day ago.
Followed the directions provided by wicklore and jackhil. Happy to report that there is no sign of the rottweiler but the house does have a beware of the dog sign. Just to mention it's possible to...

Summit Comment
Knocknamuck: Usain Bolt.
TommyV a day ago.
This is purely for a quick bag. Accessed via the road mentioned in other comments. The area is now a small windfarm and there are signs at the access gate stating no unauthorized personnel. As the...

  
Track
An Starraicin
Fergalo 12 hours ago.
An Starraicin overlooking lockadun starting at the Lockadun start point Cloghane walk, Len: 9.0km, Climb: 533m, Area: An Starraic?n, Central Dingle (Ireland) An...

  
Summit Comment
Clomantagh Hill: The Kilkenny Burren.
TommyV a day ago.
Eamonoc's directions are spot on on but there is an obvious track made by a tractor so following this will also take you close to the summit. It's a lovely little walk but very obviously on farmla...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 29 Next page >>