iPhone options - advice, please.

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01/12/2009 at 12:41
I'm a cycle tourist and camper. I have taken to using the last Imperial edition of the Bart's 2 mile to the inch maps because they fold better than the metric edition, which was only a photo enlargement anyway, and are a more useful scale for cycling than 1:50,000. They were last updated about 1973 and for the roads I use, lesser A roads, B roads and smaller, they are proving adequate. I would like to have 1:50,000 available for when I have to use a bridleway (Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel last weekend where a party without maps spent 90 minutes wandering in the wet, dark woods looking for the hostel), and for referencing historical information such as castle mottes and other earthworks.
I have had a 3G iPhone for 18 months and have made very little use of the gps facility because I've been waiting for the SatMap Mac users upgrade. Following the last bit of news I am not sure that I will bother if I can get what I need on the iPhone.
I'm about to upgrade to the iPhone 3GS, and now that there are battery bosters and bike charging systems available, what apps would people recommend for my needs?
Thanks for any help.
01/12/2009 at 12:52
It depends on whether you demand OS mapping or not, I think. If you do, there are two basic options as I understand it. RouteBuddy Atlas where you buy maps and download to your phone, not massively sophisticated, but works even where there is no mobile data reception because the mapping is on the iPhone. It won't even, as far as I can tell, generate an OS grid reference. There is an app called GridPoint GB though, which will just do that...

Alternatively, you can use iOSMaps which uses OS Open Space to provide OS mapping for free, however you need a data connection to use it, as the mapping is on the web.

For pure road use, there's a satnav app called CoPilot live which costs around £25 and works very well ime, though obviously it's not OS mapping and things like YHAs won't be shown.

Rumour is that ViewRanger is going to be ported to the iPhone, but that could take a while...

OutdoorsMagic Editor | jon@outdoorsmagic.com 

Edited: 01/12/2009 at 12:59
01/12/2009 at 13:00
Good point, thanks.
I think I need the OS mapping because I do want the historical information that only the OS provides, but I don't need to use the OS for routefinding.
A lot of the historical information is on the Bart's but at that 2" scale in can be difficult to determine exactly where it is and access to it. A quick electronic read out once I am in the locality would be good.
01/12/2009 at 13:02
Do you have a link to the bike-charging systems btw, I assume they're dynamo based?

OutdoorsMagic Editor | jon@outdoorsmagic.com 

01/12/2009 at 13:21


There is also a build it yourself battery boosteravailable from adafruits in the States, details here: http://www.ladyada.net/make/mintyboost/
I've built this and it works but drains two AA batteries without fully charging the iPhone. There is an addition now available to use a Li Poly battery and a solar panel, details here: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-solar-iPodiPhone-charger-aka-Might/
I'm investigating that next.

01/12/2009 at 13:46

For the mintyboost thing. you can buy one already built called a powerchimp.

what would you use to keep the iphone weatherproofed and protected on the bike?

Edited: 01/12/2009 at 13:47
01/12/2009 at 14:03
Also, Freeloader Pico which uses either solar power - slow - or via a USB port, three hours. Works with the iPhone as a recharger, about 20 minutes or so I think.

OutdoorsMagic Editor | jon@outdoorsmagic.com 

01/12/2009 at 14:23
The Minty boost acknowledges the limitations of charging an iPhone with batteries and I enjojoyed building it. The comercial items gloss over it. Solar power recharging speed is influenced by the area of the panel. If it fits in your pocket it will be slow. The link I provided allows a bigger panel.

The Dahon cover is alleged to be waterproof. Aquapac do two suitable covers neither allow full use of the iPhone, but I have corresponded with them and they say they will address it.

Cheers folks but my thread us wandering.
Can I get back towards the original question, please? That's where I really need answers.
01/12/2009 at 22:36
HI Nobby,

Currently on my 3gs i have the following:-

QCT Viewer:- See my review last week, nice but you obviously need to have memory map maps, basic allows you to view the map but no search facility etc, v1.2 will be out shortly with some good improvements. No OS Grid as yet. Really ownly of use if you already own memory map.

RouteBuddy Atlas:- cheapest mapping out their, but does not give you the ability to navigate only mark positions and track. Map scrolling is good and smooth, had some issues with uploading the maps to teh iphone, but at £99 of UK 1-50000 very good price. Lots more developments on way, excellent support.

GPS2OS - gives OS Grid Refrence, my phone is jailbroken which is simple and not illegal, and i run this at the same time as either QCT Viewer or Atlas. Multiflo available via cydia when jailbroken will allow this, i can see where i am on eh map and this give me the OS refrence.

CopPilot UK, allows you to navigate to an OS grid refrence NOT!!! it has this function but it does not work, fingers crossed soon. UK Roads only No OS info as you require.

MotionX GPS, excellent navigational aid, you can us it in map mode and just navigation. My favourite feature even though it does not allow OS grid system is that if you want ti walk on a bearing of say 200 deg for 1 mile you can put this in and it will project a waypoint, you then follow it to that point, so like walking on a bearing but it doesn't matter if you drift as the original point is creatd a s waypoint and it will selft correct, very handy in a whiteout!. Good tracking and import export of waypoints.

Tomtom - shocking, jumps about all over the placem copilot is much better as a sat nav.

01/12/2009 at 22:38
Oops, simple answer is as yet their is no decent OS solution for Iphone, Memory map are not interested, all hope lie with Viewranger which will touch wood be new year!
01/12/2009 at 22:49
Ah, thank you Stuart

That was interesting.
I don't need OS grid references when out cycle touring. More like ability to see bridlepaths at a decent scale (and the historical annotations already mentioned)
I'm really afetr a supplement to the Bart's 2" that shows the OS 1;50,000 information

02/12/2009 at 07:32
02/12/2009 at 08:42
Thanks for the link MSP

I know my mate has memory map discs and was using them on one of them little Eesus? handheld devices.
I'll look into that and Mac compatibility

16/01/2010 at 22:07

OS mapping is now available for the iPhone from RoadTour's OutDoors. 

It isn't awash with features, but it does routes.  And it is very slick.

I've just got the whole of the UK at 1:100,000 and all national parks at 1:50,000 for £12.99.

17/01/2010 at 17:48
That sounds good I'll take a look.
1:100,000 woud be useful, i'm still using the old Bart's maps anyway.
17/01/2010 at 21:38
Hi Stu
Should that 1:100,000 read 1:250,000?
17/01/2010 at 21:59
Spot on - I was testing to see if you'd hunt down the app.
17/01/2010 at 22:07
Ah, thank you. I take it I passed?
The amount of coverage for £25 doesn't seem that bad.
24/01/2010 at 21:07
Can recommend MotionX, it's also pretty cheap and they're constantly updating it
10/03/2010 at 19:18


I use memory map on my 3Gs, and so use 1:25.000 OS maps. I find this works very well, and would be good for cycling, as you only download the exact part of the map you need.

So, if you were to follow a road from North to South for example, you would only download the sections of map sheet containing the road, and would not need the whole map sheet. This way, you will be able to download a length of route possibly five times the length of on OS sheet for cost of one sheet.

Another poster mentioned IOS maps. I found this to be a fairly useless app, as each map sheet can only be accessed 40.000 times per day. This is fine in the morning, but does mean that you will get no mapping later in the day, which is a bit pointless, even if it is free!

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