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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 .. 17 Next page >>
Track
Lake District: Loughrigg Fell
Onzy 3 hours ago.
walk, Len: 5.0km, Climb: 278m, Area: Loughrigg Fell, Lake District - Central & ...

  
Summit Comment
Truskmore: Access update 18 Feb 2018 from carpark at IG78210 48924
ColinCallanan 6 hours ago.
I had intended to summit Tievebaun and/or Truskmore, and had also hoped to check out "Eagles rock" using the car park as a start point at IG78210 48924, so I proceeded to park my car at this offic...

  
Track
Lake District: North Central Fells
Onzy 3 hours ago.
walk, Len: 17.3km, Climb: 727m, Area: Bleaberry Fell, Lake District - Central &...

Summit Comment
Knockanaffrin South Top: Steep Ascent
peter1 16 hours ago.
There is ample parking at the trailhead, where a number of circular walks start and finish. Approaching the Knockanaffrin ridge from the East, provides a number of options once Coumduala Lough is ...

  
Forum: General
Gleniff Horseshoe
Aidy 2 days ago.
Headed out last Sunday to climb Tievebaun, but the lightning put me off. Got some great views in the Gleniff Horseshoe as a consolation.

  
Track
Lake District: AboveTroutbeck
Onzy 3 hours ago.
walk, Len: 13.8km, Climb: 721m, Area: Sour Howes, Lake District - Eastern Fells...

Summit Comment
Mount Kennedy: Find the wall going north to south (or vice versa) over the summi
Bunsen7 a week ago.
I had to laugh when I looked at the tracks on the site and compared it to my own from O2276 0476. If I were to upload it there would be three tracks all of which reached the summit but took an unn...

  
Forum: General
How's this for a mountainview?
mcrtchly 3 days ago.
The majesty of the otherworldly night sky over the iconic Vestrahorn massif in SE Iceland. The moon had just risen and illuminated the snow-crested mountains, whilst the Milky Way arched overhead ...

  
Track
An enjoyable route up to Tievebaun with stunning views into Donegal.
ColinCallanan 6 hours ago.
This was a very enjayable walk. We started in the carpark which has an information board titled "Eagles rock". walk, Len: 6.6km, Climb: 448m, Area: Tievebaun, Dartry Mountains (Ireland) Ti

Summit Comment
Fananierin: Fantastic Views for Minimal Effort
Bunsen7 a week ago.
On a clear day, surely this represents one of the best viewing points in Wicklow? The picture perfect vista down Glenmalure ensures it lives up to its billing as one of the longest glacial valleys...

  
Forum: General
Meelmore the concluding argument
BleckCra 5 days ago.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, the case of :-Meelmore, what the place name means in English.BleckCra -v- Ptempan.Summing up for the prosecution.The defendant avers and publishes that the Mounta...

  
Track
Steep approach!
peter1 16 hours ago.
My GPS system went a bit weird after I reached the Knockanaffrin ridge! This route is quite steep though very enjoyable. walk, Len: 6.8km, Climb: 440m, Area: Comeragh Mountains (Ireland)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 17 Next page >>