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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
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  #1  
Old 21 Apr 2013
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tablet vs GPS

Rather than buying a replacement GPS I'm thinking about using a Tablet, Has anyone tried this? what tablet and what mapping did you use?
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  #2  
Old 22 Apr 2013
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Would depend on what mapping was available.

I came across a guy recently in Tasmania Australia that was using an iPad mini in a waterproof case and handle bar mount, that was running some very good mapping for the area. (Mud maps app)

Was a great setup.
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  #3  
Old 22 Apr 2013
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Ipad(mini) can do the job, provided you're satisfied with stock maps. You could try MapswithMe, offline OSM maps. It'll tell you where you are, but no tracks, waypoints or custom maps....
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  #4  
Old 22 Apr 2013
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We did a transafrica, using the ipad for navigation. Worked well! You can find more about in my blog.

The time of normal GPS - tend to the end...
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  #5  
Old 22 Apr 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moggy 1968 View Post
Rather than buying a replacement GPS I'm thinking about using a Tablet, Has anyone tried this? what tablet and what mapping did you use?
Would I be right in thinking that the mapping apps that work on Android smartphones will also work when mounted on android tablets?
Ditto for mapping apps between iphones and iPads?

This thread has given me this understanding, or is this a too-simplistic-misunderstanding??
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...armin-et-63191
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  #6  
Old 22 Apr 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Would I be right in thinking that the mapping apps that work on Android smartphones will also work when mounted on android tablets?
Ditto for mapping apps between iphones and iPads?

This thread has given me this understanding, or is this a too-simplistic-misunderstanding??
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...armin-et-63191
That thread tends to overflow - with both information and emotion...
But in answer to you question - you posess sound reasoning
Most/many navigation apps for phones will work just fine on tablets, some might have resolution upscaling problems, but will be workable. Since there's so many free apps available you'll always find one that works for you.
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  #7  
Old 25 Apr 2013
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You have to compare how you want to navigate. It dosnt matter if you use Android/iOS Devices (Smartphone / Tablets)

You can buy Apps who are for road navigation (Point to Point (in 100meters turn left please)). Navigon, TomTom and so on will do that, like a Garmin Nuvi Device. These Apps do working offline (no 3G Dataconnection required)

You can buy Apps for Offroad Navigation, to store Maps/Topo/Satelite Images into the cache or download them by region. Usually they dont have a Point-to Point navigation, but you can see where you are. Some work offline, some not.

Also there are Apps for Trackrecording, following tracks you have downloaded and so on. You can run several apps simultane - but you can view only one at a time.

There is nothing what a Smartdevice cant do, what a dedicated GPS can do, when you ask me.

Surfy
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  #8  
Old 7 May 2013
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I use a Tablet for navigation, Windows OS connected to a blue tooth Garmin GPS, I also bought a cheapo USB number keyboard, so I can scroll in and out on the maps without taking my eyes off the road.



Installed Mapping Software.

Garmin

Mapsource
nRoute
City Navigator Europe NT

other

Oalf
OSM
Memory Map

nRoute is so versatile, I cannot think of anything better.

The screen is not the brightest on this model, so I have just bought a recon Dell Windows 10" Tablet which I will play with next week.
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  #9  
Old 11 Jun 2013
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yep, that's the kind of thing.

thanks for all the replies, some useful info in there
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  #10  
Old 8 Aug 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reallybigtruck View Post
That thread tends to overflow - with both information and emotion...
But in answer to you question - you posess sound reasoning
Most/many navigation apps for phones will work just fine on tablets, some might have resolution upscaling problems, but will be workable. Since there's so many free apps available you'll always find one that works for you.
Thanks for the confirmation; as a result I have just started to experiment with maps on a Nexus 7 tablet - navfree is the first experimental software, downloaded from the Google playstore, and it's free!
Also, navfree appears to be totally based on OSM.
Google play seems to have a wide range of free mapping software + some that require payment.

It's early days for me but the UK map works just fine on my two week old tablet.
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Last edited by Walkabout; 2 Sep 2013 at 10:49. Reason: what I thought was called mapfree = navfree in fact
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  #11  
Old 9 Aug 2013
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Also check OsmAnd, seems to be one of the default app choices for OSM maps and is open source.

The free version allows you to download up to 10 regions, and it's quite user friendly.

Where I am now, the offline OSM vector map is a lot more accurate than Google maps, the only better map I have found is a country specific collaborative Garmin-compatible map.


I reckon the tablet could work fine in a 4-wheeler, I still prefer a GPS like the Garmin Montana (or the new Android one that uses the Montana hardware) for durability and ability to be used on the bike, hiking, and boating.

Another question: why a tablet? There are relatively cheap and powerful Android phones available with screens from 4.3" to 6.5" which are possibly more robust and flexible. There are probably more mounting options for the more standard sizes.
It could also provide a backup to your dedicated phone, assuming you take one. Most of the better Android chinaphones allow for 2 or more sim cards to be installed, quite useful if you are traveling in are where coverage varies by network, or where you may want one card with a data plan, and another with a call/SMS option.
You can also get apps that will allow the phone to serve as the GPS to a Bluetooth laptop or tablet.

Having said that, some of the phones I've tried have poor GPS reception, taking a long time to get a satellite lock, and also battling in mountains, forests and built up urban areas.

In that case I often use a bluetooth GPS tracker dongle/mouse instead of the onboard GPS. It seems as powerful as the dedicated GPS systems, and gets 25 to 40 hours on a charge.
It also works with my Android tablets (2.3 and 4.0) and my Windows laptop.

Another advantage with the bluetooth tracker is that it is small and easier to mount where it can pick up a good signal, letting you position the phone / tablet for optimal viewing and safety. It also helps keep the phone / tablet out of the sun, high temperature is a killer for many devices and batteries.

The tracker I am using is an older Qstarz BT1000Q , and I use Bluetooth GPS Tracker from Argotronic (IIRC) to connect it to my Android phone and tablet. That app seems the most reliable of the 3 or 4 I have tried.

Sent from my A898 Duo using Tapatalk 2
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  #12  
Old 11 Aug 2013
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I've got an HTC phone at the moment, and I have to say, the mapping is utter rubbish and it takes far too long to sort itself out, it's a last resort. Also the screen is too small for me. Because of cataract surgery leaving my eyes no ability to accommodate for different distances the map has to be far enough away that I can see it with my distance glasses, over 60cm away, so a phone screen is just too small. A 7 inch screen is really the minimum but with a bit of experimentation I am thinking something larger may be nice to get more area on a page. The apple IPAD mini seems ideal but not keen on going down the apple route due to the lack of third party apps, although some might see that as a bonus!
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  #13  
Old 11 Aug 2013
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One possibility: multifocals.

I've had cataract surgery on one eye, and the other is pretty bad from a detached retina, so that's what works for me.

Sent from my A898 Duo using Tapatalk 4
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  #14  
Old 14 Aug 2013
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Has anyone seen or used this device?

http://www.meetearl.com/

It seems to incorporate most everything an overlander would want in a navigation device including GPS, radio, walkie-talkie and weather forecasts.
Plus it seems to run on an androide operating system.
Seems to good to be true.
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  #15  
Old 14 Aug 2013
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I think we had to discuss here - how and where to travel.

When you plan to travel more abroad at sample on the silk road or crossing africa - a normal road based map would be not that helpful.

Pretty easy is a Ipad based (offline) solution:

Ipad for Road Navigation

Ipad for Offroad Navigation (Bing Satellite & Hybrid Map)




There is GPS-Device arround who can top such a setup.

Also when you had a much stronger solution with a windows based tablet - it is not easy to optain satellite Images for offline usage at sample.

With a Windows Device you have more tools for navigation, but you had to spend more time to "learn" how to do it. With the Ipad it is pretty easy.

You can also use your Ipad as USB Stick and swap Files between your devices: use your Ipad as Storage

This works with any iPad with 3G and also with any iPhone. If you travel with an iPad (normal/mini) - you can use your iphone as failover device.

We had used this setup for our transafrica - and it had worked well! We had downloaded for the whole route the bing satellite hybrid imagery from Zoomlevel 3-14. Hybrid means that it is the satellite view with also the roads layer.

Some get the cheaper non 3G iPads and use external GPS devices.. You can do that but it is not necessary. We had used the 3G Version.

Actually you can Download Google, Bing Navtec (Nokia Ovi) and many more sources...




Here you find too a short walkthrough at HuBB: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...atellite-72663

Surfy
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Last edited by Surfy; 16 Oct 2013 at 18:52.
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