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RockTracXJ
January 22nd, 2015, 14:40
At the beginning of last year I was able to get my hands on an iPad Air cellular, with the cellular being key because it has the GPS chipset built in (unlike the wifi only models) so it can be used with offline maps for navigating in the backcountry. I got some map apps on it, downloaded some maps and offroad I went. The first wheeling trip I took with the iPad was great, I think this was one of the best/most enjoyable ‘mods’ I had made to my Jeep in a long time. Compared to having to monkey around with paper maps and gazetteers, having everything right at my fingertips all the time and knowing EXACTLY where I was all the time was fantastic. I also got a Bluetooth deck and streamed music from the iPad.

Here’s some of what I used/learned this past year:

Ram-Mount for the actual mounting of the iPad. Ram-mounts are great and this one worked quite well. I experimented with some other options, but this turned out the best. The longer double socket arm works well and allows me to rest it on the dash to keep down on vibrations. Their ipad specific cradle worked great even in portrait.
http://i722.photobucket.com/albums/ww221/divinepower2/IMG_2069_zps40775e36.jpg (http://s722.photobucket.com/user/divinepower2/media/IMG_2069_zps40775e36.jpg.html)

http://i722.photobucket.com/albums/ww221/divinepower2/IMG_2067_zps795b406c.jpg (http://s722.photobucket.com/user/divinepower2/media/IMG_2067_zps795b406c.jpg.html)


As for the apps, here’s what I’ve tried and my thoughts on each.
Motion-X GPS – This is my go-to map app. The topo and road maps are free for download through OpenCycle maps and you can record waypoints and tracks. Fairly easy to get the maps downloaded for use (a bit slow though, and fairly easy to use up space if you don’t properly set the zoom level) If you’re connected to data they also have Bing, Apple, and Google maps available. GPX files can be imported fairly easily.

Trimble Outdoors MyTopo Maps – Great Topo maps, they show a lot of trails and give you a better idea of terrain than other maps. It has a cool slider to go between map view and aerial view. Waypoints can be marked, but tracks can’t be recorded. For a $30/year membership, unlimited maps can be downloaded. They’re a bit more work to get on the iPad, but work great once you do. Small gripe – using this app won’t keep the ipad from locking.

Galileo – Basic app is free, pro version is $4 (pro version is needed for much of the good functionality). I don’t have as much time in using this one, but it seems to have some good potential. Free USGS topo maps (‘The National Map’) can be downloaded and used and they look pretty sharp, but don’t show as many trails. Tracks can be recorded. A variety of online maps are available. Getting the free USGS topo maps on the iPad is a bit more work.
More info here: http://www.usgs.gov/core_science_systems/access/summer_2013/article-1.html

PDF Maps – This is another one I haven’t spent as much time using. I originally got this app because you can use it to download and view all of the Forest Service MVUMs for free. It seems to have some good potential, they have a lot of maps (including free) available in their map store. Downloading maps is easy. All of the maps look like paper versions in electronic form. Tracks can be recorded.

On-road apps:
GPS CoPilot – Wanted to use this for on-road driving and navigation. Worked OK. Had some issues with locking up. Wasn’t that impressed.
MotionX GPS Drive – After being unimpressed with GPS CoPilot, I’m looking forward to trying this app in the future for on-road driving and navigation.

DrMoab
January 22nd, 2015, 17:48
Question about motion x

I downloaded it and played around with the topo maps they offer for free. I was unimpressed with the fact that some very main blm roads were missing. Have you paid the in app fee to get other maps and have you tried them? If you have how hard or easy is it to source maps?

Also have you ever tried Gaia? I've heard very good things but it's cost prohibitive at $20

Lowrange2
January 22nd, 2015, 19:30
I've used both Gaia and BackCountry Navigator on a 4G Android tablet with the same setup you're running. I prefer Gaia over BCN but mainly due to user friendliness. The maps are almost identical.

Dr. Ryan, if you give me an idea of where these BLM roads are I could look and see if Gaia shows them.

DrMoab
January 22nd, 2015, 21:00
This area.
Dropped Pin
near Tooele County, UT
http://goo.gl/maps/e3JHp

Tell me if that link works.

Lowrange2
January 23rd, 2015, 08:27
Your pin was dropped just off the screen north of this location I'm showing. The roads are there when you zoom way in but they aren't named like they are on Google maps.

BUT you can download google maps to your device and display them in Gaia.


http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c284/lowrange2/Screenshot_2015-01-23-11-21-55_zpsc11f9b3e.png

RockTracXJ
January 23rd, 2015, 09:37
Yes, the topo maps in MotionX aren't that great, but they do seem to show many of the trails I go down here in Colorado. That's part of the reason I have the Trimble app and why more than one app is needed - no one app seems to put it all together. I'll have to check out Gaia.

Is that a cool area out there? I need to get back out to Utah!

Here are a couple of screen shots from the trimble app of that area:
http://i722.photobucket.com/albums/ww221/divinepower2/IMG_0080_zpsf78d52ca.png (http://s722.photobucket.com/user/divinepower2/media/IMG_0080_zpsf78d52ca.png.html)

http://i722.photobucket.com/albums/ww221/divinepower2/IMG_0079_zps44ba5983.png (http://s722.photobucket.com/user/divinepower2/media/IMG_0079_zps44ba5983.png.html)

RedHeep
January 23rd, 2015, 13:23
I use Giai and download the maps for use offline. I have an iPad mini with a bad elf gps receiver. I can datalog at 1 and 10 hz.

I use the Garmin app on road. It's $40, but it updates maps for free and looks just like my old nuvi.

I have a lifeproof case and mount with a rollcage mounted ram mount and a suction cup for the truck/car.

GSequoia
January 29th, 2015, 14:47
Gaia GPS hands down. It's a more expensive app but it's awesome.

Smash Hole
January 31st, 2015, 17:20
I use Giai and download the maps for use offline. I have an iPad mini with a bad elf gps receiver. I can datalog at 1 and 10 hz.

I use the Garmin app on road. It's $40, but it updates maps for free and looks just like my old nuvi.

I have a lifeproof case and mount with a rollcage mounted ram mount and a suction cup for the truck/car.


Is the suction cup strong enough for wannabe jeepspeed or should I come up with a way to bolt it to my trans tunnel?

Just picked up a Nexus 7 to plot. Got a case on the way. Need to figure out a mount.

GSequoia
January 31st, 2015, 17:34
I wouldn't rely on a suction cup for a windshield with a tablet. I would like to go with a smaller tablet for navigation and have thought about a hard mount RAM mount.

RedHeep
January 31st, 2015, 17:58
I have one of these mounted to the cross tube for the cage:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0030HO6SM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And I got one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0049U40DK/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I use the suction cup in the truck and I just swap the arm over to the jeep.

You just need a tablet mount like this or similar, depending on what case you put it in:

http://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-HOL-TAB18U

Smash Hole
January 31st, 2015, 19:24
I'll just try to hard mount it to the tunnel since I don't have a dash bar

RedHeep
February 1st, 2015, 05:27
Lots of 1" ball mounts to pick from.

Lurch
February 2nd, 2015, 06:21
Is the suction cup strong enough for wannabe jeepspeed or should I come up with a way to bolt it to my trans tunnel?

Just picked up a Nexus 7 to plot. Got a case on the way. Need to figure out a mount.

I use the RAM suction cup mount with my 7, its taken some hard hits and not come loose but I would definitely hard mount it if you're using it for racing.

What case are you using for your Nexus?

GSequoia
February 2nd, 2015, 08:33
I use the RAM suction cup mount with my 7, its taken some hard hits and not come loose but I would definitely hard mount it if you're using it for racing.

What case are you using for your Nexus?


Does it work upside down?

:shhh:
Too soon?

Lurch
February 2nd, 2015, 08:51
Does it work upside down?

:shhh:
Too soon?

The suction failed when the windshield blew out and turned it into a projectile. I was able to salvage the mount though. :dunce:

DrMoab
February 4th, 2015, 22:34
Will Gaia let you route point to point via roads and trails or strait line only. I tried it and was less than impressed after using Garmins 24K Topo stuff.

GSequoia
February 5th, 2015, 16:11
Will Gaia let you route point to point via roads and trails or strait line only. I tried it and was less than impressed after using Garmins 24K Topo stuff.

Gaia doesn't have road data so it would be a manual route created waypoint-to-waypoint.

That said you can select a waypoint and hit Driving Directions. That will set it as a destination and use Apple Maps to take you there using the roads it has.

Remind at the VLLS class and I can show you the app.

DrMoab
February 5th, 2015, 16:12
I have the app. I wasn't impressed. But I haven't been impressed with any mapping apps.

GSequoia
February 5th, 2015, 16:15
I have the app. I wasn't impressed. But I haven't been impressed with any mapping apps.

Have you ever considered that you may be grumpy and impossible to please?

DrMoab
February 5th, 2015, 16:20
No. It's not that. I just want something very simple. I want to be able to sit on my computer, in front of a large screen and plot out a route by dropping waypoints then hooking them together. Then I want it to plan that route via the roads between the waypoints. Then I want to transfer that to my phone with its nice big screen and big processing power. I can do it on my ten year old Garmin. Why isn't there a modern app that allows me to do the same thing?

RedHeep
February 5th, 2015, 16:50
Garmin does it like you said. You just need to eat the cost of an off-road garmin. An app designed to sell at a low price point won't have the functionality you want.

DrMoab
February 7th, 2015, 06:30
I'd pay a fair amount for an app that does the same thing.

RedHeep
February 7th, 2015, 07:33
Your market is too small.

Smash Hole
February 9th, 2015, 11:30
I use the RAM suction cup mount with my 7, its taken some hard hits and not come loose but I would definitely hard mount it if you're using it for racing.

What case are you using for your Nexus?

Some gumdrop bump case I found on eBay. Seems solid. Has some sweet Baja claw tread pattern!

http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/02/09/80e6ca9822b82ce00f418c1b0a59a10a.jpg

http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/02/09/46ab632cb1ea05d1c9ca65128af27250.jpg

GSequoia
February 9th, 2015, 11:36
No. It's not that. I just want something very simple. I want to be able to sit on my computer, in front of a large screen and plot out a route by dropping waypoints then hooking them together. Then I want it to plan that route via the roads between the waypoints. Then I want to transfer that to my phone with its nice big screen and big processing power. I can do it on my ten year old Garmin. Why isn't there a modern app that allows me to do the same thing?

Gaia is getting closer but I don't know if they'll ever include the roaded section. Their website side is slowly evolving but not at the point where I can drop my Delorme Topo software just yet (I typically plot there then import the GPX file to the Gaia Cloud website). I don't really have much desire for the roaded part of your statement but I would really like to do my entire planning on their website from my computer. 2x 1920x1080 is a lot better than doing it from my iPhone or iPad.

DrMoab
February 10th, 2015, 08:27
If you ever plan a trip like the one we took in May of 2013 where we covered well over 600 miles of dirt and fuel consumption was a major part of the over all plan, you learn the value of exact mileage real quick. A 1200 mile trip will look more like a 900 mile trip if you are using point to point navigation. When you are traveling 200 mi over dirt between fuel stops it could mean the difference between getting there and an expensive rescue.

GSequoia
February 10th, 2015, 08:30
If you ever plan a trip like the one we took in May of 2013 where we covered well over 600 miles of dirt and fuel consumption was a major part of the over all plan, you learn the value of exact mileage real quick. A 1200 mile trip will look more like a 900 mile trip if you are using point to point navigation. When you are traveling 200 mi over dirt between fuel stops it could mean the difference between getting there and an expensive rescue.

Fuel planning happens in the DeLorme stage of my planning, I can route with that. If I'm doing a trip beyond one tank in an area I'm not familiar with I'll drop fueling waypoints.

I used to use a full size laptop with DeLorme doing routing as you describe. It was handy but I didn't really use it enough to counter the extreme size.

DrMoab
February 10th, 2015, 08:33
Another huge advantage to having your route highlighted is if you are in an area with a million roads going everywhere, being able to see the road you need to be on highlighted is really nice. Especially on a smaller screen. Being able to quickly glance instead of intently stare makes a difference.

RockTracXJ
February 10th, 2015, 11:03
Doc, I don't think you mentioned what you use.

DrMoab
February 12th, 2015, 09:41
Doc, I don't think you mentioned what you use.

Right now I'm using a Garmin 60CSX for my main hard core navigation.

If I'm just screwing around I use Motion-X on my iphone and Gaia and backcountry navigator on an Android 7" tablet.

Id like to replace my Garmin altogether but they have to come out with some better software for the mobile stuff first. IMO everything I have tried isn't up to a decent standard yet.

RockTracXJ
April 8th, 2015, 14:35
After hearing the good things about Gaia here I decided to buy it and have a look. So far I like what I see. They have a large number of maps available and it is pretty easy to download them for off-line use. I've easily imported a number of tracks from last year's adventures and I like how they do their tracks - individual tracks can be turned on or off and it's easy to get to them on the map.

I've not used it out on the trail yet, but it looks like this will be my go to map app going forward.

XJEEPER
April 13th, 2015, 18:51
Lots of chatter on this topic with some great feedback here: http://www.rme4x4.com/showthread.php?61299-Best-GPS-for-overland-use/page9

Demonoid369
February 28th, 2016, 04:02
bump from the dead, its 2016 and wondering if any of the apple apps have gotten better like the gaia or if something better has come along?

Demonoid369
March 5th, 2016, 14:39
Nothing guys?

RockTracXJ
March 14th, 2016, 08:31
Gaia is still where it's at off pavement.