OutdoorsMagic Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
I have MemoryMap on an iPhone, but solely because I already had the Northern Britain maps on my PC, so that was the cheapest option.
I wouldn't bother using a phone for navigation, but that's partly because I have an iPhone so the battery wouldn't last long, and partly because I can't see any gain compared (for me) to using a paper map. Not least, you need to consider whether a 'phone screen can really give you enough information - you can always unfold a bit more map to get a wider view, but a 'phone screen can only give you a tiny area, particularly if you use 1:25000 maps on it.
> Imo I dont think phones are accurate enough compared to a stand alone gps device.
It depends on the technology used to receive the GPS signals; antenna, RF, signal processing. If these are comparable, then there really shouldn't be much difference in accuracy between a dedicated GPS and a smartphone.
A dedicated GPS receiver is likely to have a better antenna, optimised for GPS signals. It's also likely to use a dedicated GPS receiver RF and processing chipset. A mobile phone may use a dedicated GPS chipset, or it may be able to bend its phone RF and signal processing to do the job, if somewhat sub-optimally. It would be a cost & design trade-off, and, without looking at phone specs, I can't say what approach they take.
A smartphone also has a lot of other things to do, so GPS is likely to be a compromise (and mostly fitted to met US E911 regulations to provide a phone location when making 911 emergency calls).
It all depends on your definition of 'accurate enough'...
"but a 'phone screen can only give you a tiny area, particularly if you use 1:25000 maps on it."
you're here. how much more of the map do you need to see? i have no problems using a satmap with 25k maps. should i really, really, really need to see a "big picture" that i can't work out on the device then i'll pull a printed paper version of some sort out.
the iphone works brilliantly with google maps in london or other urban areas but is rather power hungry.
> That'l be network assisted then, not much chance of that out in the sticks
Depends what you mean by 'network assisted'. If you mean A-GPS, then that has minimal impact on anything other than time-to-first-fix, since it supplies ephemeris & almanac data via the phone data network that would otherwise have to be acquired from the constellation, which takes some time (a cold start). Once you've got this data, A-GPS does nothing, provided you keep updating the ephemeris data (i.e. leave the GPS on, or turn it on for a few minutes every four hours or so).
If you mean that the mapping comes from the network, then yes, that's true, but you can usually make the thing cache mapping data, so you pre-plan your route, caching the mapping, and then the phone doesn't have to go to the network to get it when you're away from network access.
Parka. You have reasons why a phone works for you and I have reasons why I am less sure; the OP may find he agrees with you, or me, or somewhere in between, but I think that it is worth considering if the scrren size will be an issue before spending the money.
I don't generally refer to a map that often when I am out and use the GPS even less, but when I do look at a map, it tends to be to see what the next hour, or so, holds rather than the next 5 minutes; in that case, I do think that a phone, or GPS, screen is a little on the small side. I have, however, in the past been involved in setting up navigation competition courses, at which point, I used a GPS and, if doing it again now, would probably value one with maps.
damien, i'm trying to get over that you need a different mindset to use a small screen effectively and not that anything is better or worse than anything else. but battery power is currently the biggest "against" using a phone.
to use a small screen you must stop thinking "paper map" and what that looks like and how it is used. once you can get your head around that and that what you've got is a view of part of a giant zoomable in and out map and work out how to use it effectively then a small screen isn't the hindrance that many think it is. it's just something else you need to learn to use.
just as navigating with a gps uses a different mindset to that for a paper map because the effective techniques are different.
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