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Smartphone GPS

Old 29th Jun 2011, 14:10
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: UK
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Smartphone GPS

Hello,

Can anyone advise if there is a cheap GPS app for smartphones that is any good ?

I understand they are not recognised as a navigation aid, I'm just looking for a basic map function.

Cheers.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 14:24
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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There are a number of programs! I use memorymap on my HTC HD2 with the caa charts and it works absolutely fine I have also loaded the same system on several cheap Chinese gps systems with varing degrees of success. The best version of Mmap is 4 but 5 works ok anything later is problematic!! They changed the map extension format.
SkyDemon works too but I have not tried it personally.
John.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 14:33
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Join Date: May 2010
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I use Memory Map with a 1/2mil CAA chart and it works fine for me as a VFR nav aid on an Iphone. Its best to use a smartphone with a built in GPS rather than a phone that has a pretend GPS and really finds its position by triangulation from mobile phone masts.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 14:34
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by soarfeet View Post
I'm just looking for a basic map function.
Motion-X for the Iphone is good!!

###Ultra Long Hauler###
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 14:40
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What type of phone, ie iPhone, Android, Windows or other?
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 15:19
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I understand they are not recognised as a navigation aid,
That's a pilot forum / GASIL / GASCO fallacy. You can navigate any way you like.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 17:35
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Originally Posted by soarfeet View Post
Hello,

Can anyone advise if there is a cheap GPS app for smartphones that is any good ?

I understand they are not recognised as a navigation aid, I'm just looking for a basic map function.

Cheers.
Installing Memory Map software together with the appropriate CAA charts onto a GPS-enabled smartphone will give you an in-cockpit moving map display. If your smartphone doesn't have a built in GPS receiver, just use a cheap standalone GPS & connect them via bluetooth.

AFAIK Memory Map don't officially support Android phones (an Android version is supposedly in development). Technically-savvy folks hacking together their own solutions might want to consider the 3rd party MMTRACKER application (just google it), which runs under Android & can read .qct format charts.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 17:44
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It's a Samsung Galaxy Ace, Android. I've not had a smart phone before and thought this would be a good app to have. I have a TomTom for my car but apparently you can't download the CAA charts into it.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 17:47
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The problem is that the UK CAA VFR charts have not appeared in QCT format for a couple of years.

There is an all-UK 1:500k QCT map going around on P2P, apparently done by scanning, but it is 2010.

The only 2011 ones I have seen around are in Oziexplorer format only. They are not great quality scans but look OK and the accuracy is pretty good (1/4 mile or so). There is a beta version of Ozi for Android, AFAIK.
I have a TomTom for my car but apparently you can't download the CAA charts into it.
TT is completely inapplicable to aviation. One navigates completely differently when flying.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 18:06
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Originally Posted by IO540 View Post
The problem is that the UK CAA VFR charts have not appeared in QCT format for a couple of years.

There is an all-UK 1:500k QCT map going around on P2P, apparently done by scanning, but it is 2010.
True, but it will show your position accurately even if the chart is out of date and if all you have is an android smartphone, it will still give you useful information. You will of course be carrying an up-to-date paper copy of the appropriate chart and that will be your point of reference for airspace boundaries, etc.

I'd worry about positional errors if using a scanned chart, though.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 19:28
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Scanned charts have to be calibrated; this is so for any moving map scenario where a map is being imported.

Oziexplorer provides functions for doing that. You click on up to 9 points and enter the lat/long for each one.

In some cases, the calibration comes with the (electronically supplied) map. For example the US ONC charts can be purchased in such a ready to use form. Mobile Atlas Creator (v 1.8 or earlier) can similarly generate calibrated (georeferenced) maps from google maps.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 19:46
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Soarfeet,

The Ordnance Survey provide much of the data depicted on the CAA charts & the OS are zealous guardians of their copyright.

Memory Map have been the only digital providers of CAA charts, first on Windows and now iPhone/Pad; the Android version is expected in "the summer". High quality, zoomable raster charts at 20 a chart, also comes with desktop software.

(If you can find someone who can give you pre-2010 versions of MM CAA charts, you can use them with MM Tracker.)

There are any number of free mapping software available for Android, but you would have to scan & calibrate a paper chart to use them. You could always buy a MM chart for your desktop & screen capture & then calibrate the jpeg. If you're interested, I'll provide some links. These software can also use Mobile Atlas Creator (non-aviation) maps.

Airspace Avoid is an interesting, if pricier, alternative. Unfortunately, they don't offer the UK charts as a background, probably because they have been unable to get OS permission.

There is a freeware, crowd sourced vector mapping aviation nav. software available for Android. I find I need to RTFM a lot to use it, & I prefer to check the airspace file along my route carefully before I rely on it. XCSoar is designed to be used for gliding but you can get rid of the gliding stuff & use it as a simple moving map with a plotted route & airspace warnings.
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 20:32
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Aircub

There is AirCub on Android. Its free.

Its basic vector mapping but it gives you the airspace your in and warnings if you breach airspace. The maps are upto date too. Uncluttered and clear. Pinch zoom is neat.

You just install it off the Android market and it works. It auto down loads the UK maps. Search for aircub on the android market. There is no fiddling about. I have found it very useful.

On the paragliding forums it saying it works well on cheap 70 phones as well as more powerful tablets

Its not fancy but it does a great job of avoiding air space infringements.

AirCub - (I don't think you can down load it from the website)
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Old 30th Jun 2011, 06:10
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Thanks for your imputs. The Aircub one sounds just the ticket.
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Old 5th Jul 2011, 13:42
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Aircub's developer here. Soarfeet let me know what you think of it? Thanks

Last edited by devnavogic; 5th Jul 2011 at 13:56.
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