Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 4
kc2ixe

Any Android Apps?

Recommended Posts

OK, I bit the bullet, and now have a droid, and I'm trying to get back into benchmark hunting after a couple of years of being my parents/Myself being extremely ill (They died, I almost died)

 

Anyway, I was thinking that the Android would be a great device for benchmark hunting (No, no WAAS, but) - the ability to call up data sheets, enter finds/not founds etc etc right from the device would be quite slick, as would be the "what benchmarks are in this area"

 

So, is there anything out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Anyway, I was thinking that the Android would be a great device for benchmark hunting (No, no WAAS, but) - the ability to call up data sheets, enter finds/not founds etc etc right from the device would be quite slick, as would be the "what benchmarks are in this area"

I'm not aware of any benchmark-specific apps for the Android platform, but I sure like Cachemate on my Palm for benchmark hunting, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Android version of that.

 

The Groundspeak folks are working on an Android app, but that may be too geocaching-specific for your needs. For example, I don't know whether you'd be able to load NGS datasheets into it as you can with Cachemate. Anyone here got the iPhone app and have an opinion about using it for benchmark hunting?

 

73,

Patty N6BIS

Share this post


Link to post

cachemate will do it. download the NGS datasheets, convert with the NGS to GPX utility, and then import into cachemate for Android.

Share this post


Link to post

I was hoping for something that would go to the website LIVE, and grab cache/benchmark locations - aka "I have some time right now, is there anything around me?"

Share this post


Link to post

pfft, us iphone users don't even have something like that and I'm pretty sure with the iphone app team a bit further ahead than the droid group, it may be a while for either phone.

 

What I've had to do was input the benchmarks into the iphone Groundspeak app as extra waypoints to chase em. It works in town fairly well...not so much out in the non-urban areas.

Share this post


Link to post
I was hoping for something that would go to the website LIVE, and grab cache/benchmark locations - aka "I have some time right now, is there anything around me?"

pfft, us iphone users don't even have something like that and I'm pretty sure with the iphone app team a bit further ahead than the droid group, it may be a while for either phone.

You don't?? I thought that was the whole point of Groundspeak having their own iPhone app: they don't allow other people to "scrape" their database, but they can. In fact, their web page about their app says, "Groundspeak's iPhone Application then queries the Geocaching.com database in real-time and provides a list of geocaches near you." Is that not the case?

 

I don't think it works with benchmarks, but it certainly sounds like it does with geocaches, which was the other half of "kc2ixe"'s question.

 

Patty

Share this post


Link to post

oh yeah, every geocache is reachable for me without doing a pocket query. It will always look for the nearest X caches from where I'm at or whereever I want it to search from.

 

However, I can't do anything with benchmarks or trackables (It tells me they are there, but I can't log them in or out)

 

The OP wanted a Benchmark app. They are working on porting the Groundspeak app to Android, but it doesn't do benchmarks without some manual work to get them into the GPS. (to my annoyance.)

Share this post


Link to post
The OP wanted a Benchmark app. They are working on porting the Groundspeak app to Android, but it doesn't do benchmarks without some manual work to get them into the GPS. (to my annoyance.)

Yeah, that's why I recommended Cachemate to him for now. But when he asked about using the iPhone app for geocaches, I wanted to make sure that it at least did that in real time.

 

Patty

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, I'll second Ashallond - the iphone geocaching App works well for geocaches, but not at all for benchmarks (so far).

 

There is a fairly new geocaching feature, called "Saved GPX Files" under Premium Features on your My Profile" page (member only feature, it seems). It allows you to upload a .gpx file to geocaching, and then you can download it to you iphone (like a pocket query).

 

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get it to work for any benchmark .gpx file I have tried. Too bad. Anybody else try it yet and get it to work?

Share this post


Link to post
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get it to work for any benchmark .gpx file I have tried. Too bad. Anybody else try it yet and get it to work?

I didn't know of this feature (since I'm not a Premie) - does it give an error or..?

 

if I can get details, I can see about getting it to work in the latest NGSGPX program I'm (really) working on..

Share this post


Link to post

Hey F-X:

It just hangs, never completes upload to the iPhone, even when up on wireless (as opposed to 3G cell coverage). The phone is flawless otherwise (browsing internet, etc). The iPhone geocaching app is the latest version 3).

 

BUT: after my above post, I decided to try a small .gpx file of 100 caches, right from a PQ, filtered & exported by GSAK. No go. I let it run all night (on AC power, of course), but it still didn't work.

 

So - I guess there is a problem other than the benchmarks. I searched the whole forum for any relevant info - but none found. I guess I'll bug geocaching.

 

Is is possible it only works for bare waypoints, with no cache or benchmark description data included? That would be soooo.... silly?

Klemmer

Share this post


Link to post

Hey F-X:

It just hangs, never completes upload to the iPhone, even when up on wireless (as opposed to 3G cell coverage). The phone is flawless otherwise (browsing internet, etc). The iPhone geocaching app is the latest version 3).

 

BUT: after my above post, I decided to try a small .gpx file of 100 caches, right from a PQ, filtered & exported by GSAK. No go. I let it run all night (on AC power, of course), but it still didn't work.

 

So - I guess there is a problem other than the benchmarks. I searched the whole forum for any relevant info - but none found. I guess I'll bug geocaching.

 

Is is possible it only works for bare waypoints, with no cache or benchmark description data included? That would be soooo.... silly?

Klemmer

Hey Klemmer -

When exporting the file from GSAK, try turning off the GSAK tags/fields. (I don't remember the name of the option off-hand.) See if that works. If not, then yeah, it'd be really silly for a geocaching app not to support Groundspeak tags. :P

Share this post


Link to post

So what are people looking for in a Benchmarking Android App? Maybe we can get a list of wants together, in case someone wants to try and develop something. Something realtime? Like my location is here, what benchmarks are close to me? An app that calls up data sheets? An app that can store data and benchmark locations for display later, perhaps without internet connectivity? I think that any app that allows you to log data with Groundspeak would have to be written by Groundspeak.

 

I wouldn't mind giving a try at developing an Android app, but I really doubt I have the spare time to learn it well enough. It's a big plus that it can be developed in Java, which I already know some of. I also have my mirror copy of the NGS Benchmark database that I use for scaredycatfilms. I have a friend that is interested in developing in Android, and already wrote at least 1 test app, but he also likes to charge a small fee for things, and I like to offer them for free. I was thinking that if we could come up with some simple requirements I might be able to pitch it to him as a cooperative type learning project.

 

And if we can come up with some requirements, maybe someone else would write it, or Groundspeak could build it into an app they are writting.

Share this post


Link to post

monkeykat ...

My first thought when I read it was a realtime app that

  • uses google maps and google maps API
  • Centers the map at the current location
  • queries the NGS Rectangular Search using the bounds currently displayed on the map
  • displays an icon for the stations that are returned by the query
  • maybe keep a list of the stations returned
  • select a station (tap the icon or select from a list?) and query the NGS for the datasheet
  • display the data sheet (landscape) in full
  • or parse/process the datasheet to reduce the info - I really like the NGSREAD kml ballons
  • display distance and heading? - if you have the map would you need it.

  • so three screens: map, station info, heading/distance, maybe a station list (?)
  • navigation between screens

Sounds prettymuch like the scardycat page with the realtime aspect added in.

I haven't found any specs for the NGS query posts. I've been meaning to request info but haven't gotten around to it. I suppose you could just use your server huh?

 

I've used an IPhone (my daughter's) and the ScardyCat page to hunt in Long Beach, Ca. It was a blast, no prep time - just walk around and follow the map. ...bikes would have been nice and more info in the balloon.

 

The Cachemate screens look pretty nice. And Cachemate sounds like it's almost there - except for the realtime datasheet retrieval.

Share this post


Link to post

I just got my Android-powered phone (T-mo My Touch) last week. I immediately installed CacheMate without a seconds hesitation. Within CacheMate, you can create separate databases for whatever needs you may desire, and the databases have a pre-configured category for Benchmarks.

While using the Android version is quite a different experience from the Palm version, there are many advantages, as well as some potential disadvantages. At this early stage I think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The fact that the 'phone' has a built-in 12-channel GPS is a major bonus, and with it you can use the unit to navigate via on-line maps to the target location. Naturally this would not work in a rural area without cell service, so it isn't a universal solution. OTOH, the GPS does not depend on cell service to function.

To be continued...

Share this post


Link to post
The fact that the 'phone' has a built-in 12-channel GPS is a major bonus, and with it you can use the unit to navigate via on-line maps to the target location. Naturally this would not work in a rural area without cell service, so it isn't a universal solution. OTOH, the GPS does not depend on cell service to function.

I'm a bit confused here. :D If it has a real GPS chipset (which it obviously does from your reference to 12-channel GPS) then why won't it work in a rural area? As you say, it doesn't depend on cell-phone service. Is it because you need cell-phone service to see the maps? Is there no way to navigate to a certain position without maps? (Such as with some kind of GOTO function.)

 

Patty

Edited by Wintertime

Share this post


Link to post
The fact that the 'phone' has a built-in 12-channel GPS is a major bonus, and with it you can use the unit to navigate via on-line maps to the target location. Naturally this would not work in a rural area without cell service, so it isn't a universal solution. OTOH, the GPS does not depend on cell service to function.

I'm a bit confused here. :) If it has a real GPS chipset (which it obviously does from your reference to 12-channel GPS) then why won't it work in a rural area? As you say, it doesn't depend on cell-phone service. Is it because you need cell-phone service to see the maps? Is there no way to navigate to a certain position without maps? (Such as with some kind of GOTO function.)

 

Patty

 

Indeed, I was trying to say that the maps probably won't work without a cell connection.

Certainly the point-to-point navigation will work almost anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Cachemate provides a preloaded database of marks.

That was unclear. I should have said "Cachemate enables you to have a preloaded database of marks." I didn't mean to imply that Cachemate comes with a survey mark database.

 

Patty

Share this post


Link to post

If you didn't have service just use the distance and bearing info to do it the old fashioned way with paper maps.

 

But for a realtime experiance - like using Scaredy Cat Films Benchmark Viewer - without having a preloaded database of marks you would need service.

 

One of the first sites I bookmarked on the new phone! :D

Share this post


Link to post

If you didn't have service just use the distance and bearing info to do it the old fashioned way with paper maps.

 

But for a realtime experiance - like using Scaredy Cat Films Benchmark Viewer - without having a preloaded database of marks you would need service.

One of the first sites I bookmarked on the new phone! :D

You should prod Monkeycat and get him to make a mobile device friendly page that will center the map on it's current position. B)

Share this post


Link to post

If you didn't have service just use the distance and bearing info to do it the old fashioned way with paper maps.

 

But for a realtime experiance - like using Scaredy Cat Films Benchmark Viewer - without having a preloaded database of marks you would need service.

One of the first sites I bookmarked on the new phone! :D

You should prod Monkeycat and get him to make a mobile device friendly page that will center the map on it's current position. B)

 

I'm experimenting with a mobile page. If you want to be cutting edge scaredycat, try: http://benchmarks.scaredycatfilms.com/mobile/index.html

 

It tries to determine your current position (doesn't like internet explorer, plus it has to ask permission), it also tries to expand to fill the full screen (doesn't seem to like to do this very often). I put in a button called "center state" that you can click, and it will access the database for whatever state is in the center of your current map. Thanks for the links billwallace. Can't guarantee its up time, because it is still being worked on.

Share this post


Link to post

Monkeykat - You ROCK!

Just wanted to say Thank You for creating the Scaredy Cat Films Benchmark Viewer.

I use it all the time.

 

Here's hoping your new mobile page is just as successful!

~ Mitch ~

Share this post


Link to post

If you didn't have service just use the distance and bearing info to do it the old fashioned way with paper maps.

 

But for a realtime experiance - like using Scaredy Cat Films Benchmark Viewer - without having a preloaded database of marks you would need service.

One of the first sites I bookmarked on the new phone! B)

You should prod Monkeycat and get him to make a mobile device friendly page that will center the map on it's current position. :o

 

I'm experimenting with a mobile page. If you want to be cutting edge scaredycat, try: http://benchmarks.scaredycatfilms.com/mobile/index.html

 

It tries to determine your current position (doesn't like internet explorer, plus it has to ask permission), it also tries to expand to fill the full screen (doesn't seem to like to do this very often). I put in a button called "center state" that you can click, and it will access the database for whatever state is in the center of your current map. Thanks for the links billwallace. Can't guarantee its up time, because it is still being worked on.

 

I'll check this out ASAP!

It would be AWESOME if I could get realtime downloads of marks while on vacation!

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, its a work in progress. I'll try and make an "announcement" if I get something I really think works. Right now, I am trying it as a web site, but I hope maybe to get an Android app running at some point.

 

There are some decent controls I think I can put in to make the web site work better, like resize to be size of the screen of the device, and there appear to be some "what is my location" functions. But they seem to have to ask for permission for use. Kind of like when you go to a web site and see a bar at the top that says "do you want to run activeX" or "a popup was just blocked". This one says do you want to share location information.

 

I think if it was an installed app it wouldn't need to ask for permission. Unfortunately I do not have a web enabled phone, so testing may be difficult. Site seems to work OK in the iphone simulator I found. B)

 

iphone tester

Share this post


Link to post

If we could get this app to run on the android which is a 3rd party search engine that would be great.

 

On a PC you launch Google Earth first, then this page & do your search. It works great for my recovery work of NGS benches for work.

 

http://www.metzgerwillard.us/Setup.aspx

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 4

×
×
  • Create New...