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Thread: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    I do not subscribe to cellular service and have no intention of doing so.

    After much ado à la this thread here, I wound up choosing some devices of both the iOS and Android variety. However, the two that get the best battery life are the diminutive iPhone SE and the much larger Samsung Galaxy Tab Active. When hiking, I've taken to dropping the iPhone SE in my pack. I use the program MapsWithMe

    Android link here
    iOS link here

    with a very high degree of success navigating urban, suburban, and rural landscapes, and the program is granular enough to see popular trails while hiking, which allows me to note if I missed a trail junction or made a wrong turn.

    90% of my hikes are routes I find pre-planned on the Internet; however, occasionally, I like to make my own loop up, which makes me curious as to the distance I have traveled.

    If MapsWithMe allowed you to press "START" or "STOP" and remember the distance and route you took, that would be awesome; however, it does not yet have this functionality (perhaps in the future it will be added).

    It looks like the pro (pay) version of the program "Trails" (little orange footprint) will allow you to download offline maps and then hit "START" and "STOP" to calculate distance, but, I am on a quest to find a free program that can do this.

    Criteria:

    1) Free
    2) Fully offline
    3) iOS or Android

    If I cannot find a program that can do this, I may just entertain purchasing a high quality pedometer and using that instead. However, I do think it would be cool to be able to see my distance on an actual map. The Pro version of "Trails" is five bucks, so, if I cannot find what I am looking for here, for the steep price of admission, I may just go that route, pun fully intended. However, I believe a free version or way to do this must exist. :-)


    Free Options Confirmed By Me or Another CPF'er To Do What I Want

    Viewranger



    Free Options Not Yet Confirmed By Me or Another CPF'er To Do What I Want

    LD-Log FREE - GPS Trip Logger
    Geo Tracker - GPS tracker
    LiveTrekker
    BasicAirData GPS Logger
    My Tracks (discontinued by Google but .APK sideload readily available) (need to test and confirm working)
    Maps & GPS Navigation — OsmAnd

    *Maps.Me (if they add the functionality)


    Pay Options

    LD-Log - GPS Tracker & Logbook
    Trails · Outdoor GPS Logbook
    Galileo Offline Maps Pro
    Ride with GPS
    Locus Map Pro


    Plain, Simple, GPS

    Garmin Foretrex 301
    Garmin Foretrex 401
    Garmin Foretrex 601
    Garmin GPSMAP 64st
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 09-23-2017 at 06:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    I use Viewranger through Android, with the free satellite imagery. Official trails are marked, distance traveled, altitude change and miles per hour are computed. Viewranger will sell you various maps but my phone is so meager (seems Viewranger can't utilize map data stored on an SD card) with phone memory, I dare not try it.

    I am using Republic Wireless. They prioritize Wifi access and for less than $14/month we use wireless when needed, and less than 1GB of data through cell. You would need to see if Viewranger requires initial service. Plenty of times I use GPS without service but needed to use Wifi (or cell data) to get the imagery beforehand.

    Hopefully I am making sense.
    Last edited by KITROBASKIN; 09-17-2017 at 08:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    Thank you.

    I updated the first post. :-)

    I would be happy to add other suggestions.

    EDIT:

    1) I just downloaded and sideloaded Google's own "My Tracks" program. It installed without a hitch and upon initial open, displayed a large banner "Google My Tracks is deprecated and will stop being supported April 30th 2016."

    I am presently downloading offline Google Maps and will test to see if they work with the software.

    2) Tested and offline Google Maps confirmed not working.

    3) Going to take a 1.50 to 2.0 mile walk and test to see how/if it works...will stick to roads I know well for this first test...

    4) Returned from walk. My bag must have blocked the signal, as the program noted 38 minutes of recording time but only 12 seconds of movement. Grrr...I suppose my little walking pack must have blocked the signal. If that's the case, I may just go with a dedicated GPS (the Garmin Foretrex® 401 is my current top pick) because it should do what I wish it to do, with accuracy, with a longer battery life than a tablet, with the ability to easily be strapped to the outside of a hiking pack for optimal GPS reception.

    5) I can't totally rule out that there was a fault with the program; I suppose I could try it on my next 5+ mile drive and see how it fares...stay tuned!
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 09-21-2017 at 03:22 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    I don't know of any free apps that would do exactly what you want, but since you mentioned considering a dedicated GPS unit instead ... I have been very pleased with the Garmin GPSMAP 64st
    ... is the archimedes peak

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    Thank you, archimedes.

    I've thought about my "needs" (wants) and I would really only need the device to log "tracks" of how far I've walked/hiked; if I needed a map, I would use the iPhone SE with MAPS.ME (MapsWithMe) or download an offline Google Map in advance of my adventure.

    Since the EU's Galileo satellite constellation should be fully operational in 2020 with one meter accuracy, I would like a device which can support that, which rules out my current crop of iPhone/Android devices.

    Therefore:

    I am going to pick up a Garmin 601 once firmware updates have corrected problems the beta-testers (early adopters) find with the product.

    If I were going to choose a pay option to use with a mobile device, "LD-Log - GPS Tracker & Logbook" looks to be a lightweight program that would do what I want.

    Thank you for the input!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDAdd1ct View Post
    Thank you, archimedes.
    ....
    Thank you for the input!
    Sure, cheers !
    ... is the archimedes peak

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* techwg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    I prefer Here maps. Or I think they renamed to something like here we go maps or something. I really like that one.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    You mentionned OsmAnd, so what is left with that program?
    Can do anything requested and much more

    by the way: out of all those apps named above --> recording a track is a Problem?
    I would not have had any doubts that this key Feature is offered by anything that has "map" in its Name


    From my experience - mountainbike riding & orienteering - OsmAnd works flawlessly but getting the maps workable on the phone was a bit annoying (several hours of computing time with a map creating program. Or downloading ... a few map downloads (10?) are free)

    the last time we all here have witched, some use: Locus,
    the rest - me too - now on: Orux Maps (correct, that is € 3,-- (?) donation).
    free Maps, self installing through the App, can be had from www.openandromaps.org (again donation requested ... and deserved)


    PS: how long do Your hikes last, so that ANY phone gets battery "Problems" when not using phone Service itself?
    for my friends I am "strange", considering that I want a small phone - and am constantly searching for one - and small phone means small battery.
    But almost any I used the last years had no Problem to go the typical 5-7 hour bike tours, with Screen on for orientating often, with phone Service on, data on, GPS on, track following and track recording ...
    Just switching data off more than doubles runtime. (thats a feeling, not measured)
    getting into airplane mode (everything off except GPS for navigating) any phone should last days ...
    Last edited by yellow; 10-13-2017 at 09:58 AM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    Maybe all my devices have bad batteries, then?

    I don't subscribe to cellular service—I don't have data—so that is out.

    My devices are always in "Airplane Mode."

    The only device that really lasts any considerable length of time is the Galaxy Tab Active tablet, which is large, but, lasts a pretty long time.

    The iPhone SE also lasts a pretty good amount of time, but, nowhere near "days" with GPS active.

    *scratches head*

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* xdayv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    Interesting. Would you care to elaborate more on why you don't subscribe to cellular service? Just a friendly question and curious.

    There are a lot of pedometer free apps that can be used to track your hikes, but so far if you need to plot them on a map, you need to have cellular data.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    I don't subscribe to cellular service because:

    1) I don't like holding an RF transmitter beside my head over cumulative decades, and once a person acquires cellular service, it is highly unlikely they will ever be able to discontinue it.

    2) I like not being bothered and not being constantly accessible.

    3) I like the freedom not being reached brings to my sense of mental calm.

    4) No monthly bill.

    5) WiFi at nearly all public places where I might need to meet someone.

    a) There is a consortium of cable companies in my region which offer "free" (included in broadband service subscription fee) WiFi, such that in 85% of shopping centers, parking lots, public libraries, etc...if I really need access to the Internet, I can get it readily enough.

    b) Wal-Mart, Home Depot, shopping malls, grocery stores, etc...many of these offer free WiFi as well. Mentally, conceptually, psychologically, I treat Internet access as a type of stationary utility, and if I truly want/need it, I can simply "check in" someplace that offers it.


    * * *

    It is not correct that you need cellular data to plot them on a map, as several applications will do just that, such as the pay program LG-Log, which offers a "Map cache for offline usage, support for custom offline maps" functionality.

    I decided to go with the Garmin 601 (not now, when future firmware updates work out "Early Adopter" kinks and I can pick up a used unit at a more affordable price) because it:

    1) Is small
    2) Takes non-proprietary batteries
    3) Much more durable than a phone/tablet
    4) Will do just what I need/want, record tracks
    5) Will function with the European Union's "Galileo" satellite cluster when it comes online

    * * *

    I know I am in the minority that doesn't subscribe to cellular service, but I find it essential to my piece of mind, which, having had the privilege of choosing among many, I decided was the most peaceful among them. ;-)

    This post proudly typed on an IBM Model F keyboard
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 10-14-2017 at 08:47 AM.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* xdayv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    Thanks for your answer. Those are valid points to begin with.

    Yes offline maps and plotting I'm definite there are lots of apps with these.

    Good luck!

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    Thank you! :-)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Free Fully Offline Distance Calculation/Mapping Tool

    still wondering that "thing" with the low runtime


    just an example:
    I have 2 Droid Mini phones (because out of the smaller phones these are the ones that offer most of what I want in a phone).
    #1 is my prime phone, used for everything ... phoning, browsing, data on, GPS always on, ... when me & friends do much whatsapp
    --> then reload every 1.5 days.

    #2 is solely "for fun" (Lineage Rom installing/testing, bike orienting with Orux maps, nearly all car drives with i-Go Navigation). ride: about 5-7 hours per ride. Car drive: say ... 1-2 hours / day. ... I am not sure how long it takes till reloading is needed, but
    --> time between reloading is days.

    You only have W-lan and GPS (device only) active, but still a short runtime?



    PS: from the apps I know, GPS device only is what is minimum needed to plot tracks ... and usually that is the best setting
    Last edited by yellow; 10-24-2017 at 09:39 AM.

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