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Posts posted by user13371

  1. You've put your finger on it as pertains to speed. The only way I noticed it is when looking at some sample tracks I recorded during my morning commute. On a section of rail line that runs between two nearby roads, the recorded position followed the nearest road until the rail line diverged a bit. Then it would jumped to the other road for a while.


    It IS a minor thing, but to me it seems a mistake unless the app is giving turn by turn directions - otherwise the map should show the raw GPS position. Snap to road may also affect battery and data usage, since the app has to access Apple's map server data to know where the road is.

  2. I recently found out that Apple's mapping app defaults to "snap to road" and that many other iOS apps do also. There are ways in the API to tell the location manager not to snap to road - but if an app developer doesn't take those into account and/or offer the user options, you just get that default behavior.


    Motion-X GPS offers something like 16 different user-selectable activity modes, some will snap to road and some won't.


    Has anyone else he used OTHER apps that record tracks and know which ones do and don't snap to road?

  3. If you can GET cellular coverage (or find WiFi hotspots), your iPhone 4 is still your best bet for on-the-go geocaching.


    For mapping/routing without cellular coverage, I'd recommend an app like TomTom to Navigon. Once these are loaded, you can get the entire road network loaded and have turn-by-turn navigation without any network connection. You can also get USGS topographical maps loaded offline, there are several programs available for this.. Phil Endecott's "Topo Maps" has been around the longest and works very well, but there are a lot of inexpensive options in that area.


    As for T-Mobile's coverage being poor in that area, there's a little known trick you can do with an unlocked iPhone to use it inexpensively on AT&T's network. By loading the correct kind of mobile configuration profile, you can trick AT&T's cellular network into treating it like an iPad for data use only. Then you can buy data bundles as you need them; $15/mo for 500MB or $30 for 3GB. More about this kind of configuration can be found at Unlockit.co.nz.


    Of course, I don't know if AT&T's coverage is any better than T-Mobile, I just wanted to let you know there are other options.

  4. There are no dedicated GPS units made with a wireless connection to let you load Geocaches without connecting to a computer.


    Most of Garmins's handheld units and software are Mac compatible though, so apart from that "works like an iPhone" you can pretty much pick a price point and feature set and find something that will suit your needs.

  5. Another bit of trivia I didn't know about until the other day - by default, Apple's location services assumes you're driving. So if you're close to a motorway and above a certain speed, it does a snap-to-road. There are things a programmer can do to turn that off in an app, but if they don't do so and/or the option available to the user, tracks recorded off the beaten path may be wrong.


    This was news to me. I only noticed it the other day when I was showing my iPad to someone on the train to work; Apple's Map insisted we were on the freeway :) Then I looked at a couple of other apps I had and found they did similar things, and a little googling indicated it's a known feature.


    Now looking at various hiking/biking apps that give a user option for setting location services Activity flag correctly.

  6. it's kind of disappointing that there aren't some better apps out there that would a basic handheld a run for the money.

    Some folks would say there are, but it depends on what you need/want. I wouldn't put a smartphone on my handlebars though some folks do.


    I'm guessing you mean some functionality rather than physical limitations on battery or ruggedness. What do you find lacking there?

  7. To add to comments about Motion-X, there is not a user setting for tracking interval per se. There are two option I think are probably for track smoothing -- "Accelerometer assisted GPS" and "Accuracy filter" -- that can be set on/off in General Settings. Under Track settings there are 16 "Activity Modes" - walking, driving, sky-diving, etc - along with an automatic setting. My guess is those all adjust various details including interval and how aggressively it tries to smooth the track.

  8. I haven't tried Motion-X for this o n the iPad. A couple years ago I used it on my iPhone for a similar ride and the track was really jaggy - and they update it so often I don't know what features they've added for track intervals. I can download it this week and give it another tryout.


    Thanks for the screenshots, I never get to see what Glympse looks like while I'm using it. Those bad track points are interesting - I'm not 100% sure, but I think both of those locations are where the Springwater trail goes under another road.


    Edit - nope, I'm wrong. Both at standard grade crossings. Hmm...

  9. Coggins, that looks like Saturday's track, not Sunday's. Except for a couple of artifacts from some bad track points, it looks about as I remember it. I did some meandering. That turn around near Foster Rd was to avoid construction. And later in the ride I decided to visit a friend who was building a greenhouse in his yard.


    To answer your specific questions: No, Glympse doesn't give me a way to retrieve the entire GPX, at least I don't think it does. Though it's meant to broadcast one's position, it only shows the most recent part of the track for privacy reasons. If I wanted to record and review a track, I'd probably use Motion-X GPS -- or just carry my eTrex20.


    I'm using an STM Jacket. The iPad itself is in an Apple Smart Cover. Between those I think there's enough to handle a pretty hard knock and a bit of rain. Not getting run over by a car or caught in a torrential downpour. But in those situations I have other things to worry about.


    I really don't plan on taking this into the rough, this weekend's rides were just for me to decide if this was going to be comfortable enough on my commute. The battery tests were incidental - more realistic than window-sill testing.

  10. Traffic lights are my friends :)


    Stopped now, sitting in the gazebo south of Walker Stadium in Lent's park. Battery estimate is 86% remaining. Which tells me that the GPS and cellular connection themselves don't use much juice at all. Screen off, no other apps running beside Glympse, the thing might reasonably be expected to run all day. If I had it out of my pack constantly texting, viewing maps, watching videos, etc... that would cut into battery life a lot.


    Going the OTHER way, if I took this on a longer hike or bike ride, I'd probably leave it powered off or at least in airplane mode almost all of the time, and only power it up when I really did need it. A full day of urban geocaching would probably be do-able that way - the in town I'd also carry a charger and recharge any time or ace that I stopped for a bite to eat.


    Another comment on battery - in the time I've been drafting this note, the battery estimate has dropped from 86% to 84% - it's the screen that sucks the juice, not the GPS.

  11. Paused at Waterfront Park downtown. See about a zillion bikes and a comparable number of joggers and strollers on the way down. Will probably take surface streets back. Oddly, battery reading is now HIGHER than when I left the house -- 92% Haha, that can't be right!


    Glympse status shows some people have clicked the link. Anyone noticed dropped or erratic tracking?

  12. Nice day and I'm going for a bike ride, probably leaving the house in a little while. I have an iPad and I've been wondering how I'm gonna carry the thing to work when I commute by bike. I'll put it in my shoulder bag today and see if that's comfortable enough -- or if I'll have to eventually rig some kind of carrier on the bike.


    What does this have to do with "GPS and Technology"? Good way to test battery life and impact of GPS use. I'll launch Glympse shortly after I'm underway, and post a tracking link here along with my battery percentage at the start. Will leave Glympse (and therefore the GPS) running the whole time, and see what the battery level is a few hours later.


    If anyone cares to look at the track once in a while, let me know if the tracking looks accurate -- or way off. I plan to stick to the I205 and Springwater bike paths in southeast Portland.

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