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Old 8 May 2011
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using a smart phone gps for nav

just wondering if anyone has used a gps enabled smart phone for navigation in remote areas? i am planning to head along west africa and am looking to get a smart phone for nav.
is this fesable?
any recommendations on phones? i was thinking the motorola defy due to its rugged construction being water,dust proof and shock resistant.
anyone got feedback?
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Old 8 May 2011
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Sorry if my reply isn't quite the answer you wanted - it's more of another series of questions, but this is where I am at the moment with smart phone nav. My iPhone4 does a good job of satnaving me around the UK - as good as my pda running TomTom satnav software. How well it would work in West Africa I've no idea as I've not been there since I got it but I'm sure others will know and hopefully will pitch in shortly. I would guess / hope that there are apps available that would take the gps info and plot it onto maps giving a moving "you are here" arrow. The question then would be, which maps and how do you get them on the iPhone. The ability to use Google Earth images and zoom in to street level would be great but I've no idea whether that's possible

My pda tech comes from 2006-7 - just before smart phones and sat imaging. On the road it runs TomTom until I get to the edge of Europe and then I switch to Ozi Explorer with calibrated maps such as the IGN series which'll take me through most of W.A. but most of those maps are 50+ yrs old and not particularly accurate. I'd love to be able to make use of the huge amount of location info that's come on the market in the last five years but through some simple robust interface that isn't going to rack up huge download bills. The iPhone itself has a much better screen than the pda - better resolution and easier to see when it's mounted on the bike, so I'd like to switch to that but until I can get the software / maps side of things sorted at least as well as the pda I'll be sticking with that for the time being
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Old 8 May 2011
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I used an android phone on our last trip. It covered sat-nav, email, Blogs, internet, currency conversion and um calling home...

I started out using OsmAnd and a few other programs with cached google maps but the zoom wasn't really enough for cities and didn't show one way streets etc. Then while on the road I discovered Navit -

Navit on Android - Navit's Wiki

Could be a bit footery to setup if you want to change defaults (like logging etc) but otherwise was excellent for us. Best thing to do would be look at Open Street Maps (which it uses) for the areas you'd be going to -


The defy looks great - I have a much older phone. The only thing to watch for is daylight visibility of the screen (on any phone). Think I'll make a shade for mine next time.

Belfast to Kathmandu on a Diesel motorbike 2010/11 www.suckindiesel.com
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Old 9 May 2011
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You bet. Iphone with an app called Motionx GPS. Allows you to download free maps (in whatever resolution/detail you choose) as you go along.
Using it now for Central and South America and very handy.

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Old 10 May 2011
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Android Archos 5 and HTC desire

We used the Archos 5 on our trip from europe to asia and it was great. We used various mapping software such as sygic mobile maps and various free maps as well as google maps. It worked really well but best to set it all up and get it working well at home coz it is a bit tough to sort it out on the road.
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Old 10 May 2011
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I have an HP iPAQ with GPS antenna running Windows Mobile and I have installed TomTom.

The problem is the maps. We couldn't use it in remote places or Asia as at the time there were no maps available.

But the phone itself was very useful, serving as trip log, journal, WiFi for email and also GS-911 diagnostic via Bluetooth.

It lasted well and I'm still using it although the battery died and I had to get it replaced and I don't think I used it more than a couple of times for GPS as the application was too power thirsty for the battery...

You have to ask yourself, if it fails, will you lose all your data. If so then it's not good, we ran the risk and it bit us twice but it certainly saved on a lot of space as for us it replaced the need for a phone, gps and computer.
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
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Old 14 May 2011
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thanks for everyones comments

i think i will get the moto defy and give it a try need a new phone anyway?

will let you all know how i get on.
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Old 15 May 2011
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I think you want a good OFFLINE gps system.

I have dabbled with TREKBUDDY when I went groping around Sri Lanka (Motorbike first and a second trip with a 4x4), Indonesia (foot) and bits of Malaysia (foot)

It uses jpeg tiles derived off online mapping systems like googlemap, Microsoft maps etc. The maps are downloaded offline by way of progs like Mobile Atlas Creator (MOBAC), then were loaded into my Blackberry 9000.

The positive of this, I assumed was that if I wandered into an area devoid of telecoms coverage, I can depend on the stored data to move around....works.

Isnt OziExplore one of these?

Warmest Regards to all those who live the dream

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