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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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!
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>
Track
Quick up and down Knockakishaun
markwallace 10 hours ago.
Starts from layby opposite a house about 1km before the road crosses the bridge over the Bunowen River.Short traverse ... walk, Len: 4.4km, Climb: 308m, Area: Knockakishaun, Croagh Patrick (Ireland)

  
Forum: General
MOUNTAINVIEWS MEMBERS MEET SEPTEMBER 2018
liz50 a day ago.
Traverse of Brandon Ridge is scheduled for Saturday 8th September. The walk from the Connor Pass to Brandon Creek is around 18km with 1300m ascent taking around 7 hours. There is a slightly shorte...

  
Track
Near Slievanea, Central Dingle (Ireland)
simon3 a day ago.
Important note. The end of this route is at Ballyduff Graveyard around Q54076 10104. We no longer recommend finishing ... walk, Len: 16.5km, Climb: 849m, Area: Slievanea, Central Dingle (Ireland) Sli

Summit Comment
Crocknafarragh: The High Route around Glentornan Lough
jsramsey1491 3 days ago.
Last Thursday (16/08/2018) a few friends and I decided to do a recce of a walk around Glentornan Lough. We started close to the Gaelic pitch on the southwestern shore of Lough Nacung Upper, passed...

  
Summit Comment
Knockakishaun: Bunowen River can present problems
markwallace 2 days ago.
Parked at a layby further up the valley from the crossing point mentioned in James Sheerin's comment to do a circuit of Laghta Eighter and Knockakishaun. Access to Laghta Eighter was easy from hig...

  
Summit Comment
An Bhinn Bhuí: Benwee Head Loop.
sandman 4 days ago.
As already stated Benwee Head has some of the most dramatic costal scenery in Ireland and with this in mind i decided to enjoy on a clear sunny day the joys of walking the 12.4km of the Benwee Hea...

Track
Burrane Upper
conormcbandon 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 0.8km, Climb: 43m, Area: Burrane Upper, Clare Coastal Hill (Ireland)...

  
Summit Comment
Knocknanacree: Storm Beach and Cliffs at lower western reaches
Bunsen7 4 days ago.
A view of "Acres" from Minard Beach. This is apparently a geologically interesting spot in itself as it is a storm beach comprised of large sandstone boulders. The castle is on private land and no...

  
Track
Kilmore
conormcbandon 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 1.0km, Climb: 26m, Area: Kilmore, Clare Coastal Hill (Ireland) Kilmo...

Summit Comment
Knockafeehane: From the horse's mouth
Bunsen7 4 days ago.
This is the trail description post at Q59652 00497. It summarises the route if taken from east to west, as per track 3881.Vastly superior to my own garbled efforts!Annascaul obviously is a very we...

  
Track
Oileán an Bhromaigh
conormcbandon 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 1.1km, Climb: 21m, Area: Oile?n an Bhromaigh, Galway Islands (Irelan...

  
Summit Comment
Knockafeehane: Easily Accessible and not overly demanding
Bunsen7 4 days ago.
There is a waymarked trail to the summit which loops over the ridge leading west from this hill. See track 3881.The quickest route to the top would see you park in Annascaul village and walk up th...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>