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I'm in the process of downloading FindAControl (which seems to be taking FOREVER!).

 

What other benchmark tools are people using on Android devices? I know Mike was working on an app, last year. If it is in the PlayStore, what is the name?

 

-Paul-

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I'm in the process of downloading FindAControl (which seems to be taking FOREVER!).

 

What other benchmark tools are people using on Android devices? I know Mike was working on an app, last year. If it is in the PlayStore, what is the name?

 

-Paul-

 

The official Geocaching App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Groundspeak.geocaching&hl=en

C:Geo: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cgeo.geocaching&hl=en

Edited by fitbobcat

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I'm in the process of downloading FindAControl (which seems to be taking FOREVER!).

 

What other benchmark tools are people using on Android devices? I know Mike was working on an app, last year. If it is in the PlayStore, what is the name?

 

-Paul-

 

I just installed FindaControl on my phone and it took no time at all. As for what I have been using, I just create a waypoint for the benchmark I want to go look for in Neongeo, my main geocaching app, with the benchmark coordinates then target it and look for it like any other geocache.

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Mike's app is called Bench Map - works great!

 

If you are using an ANDROID phone, I am not finding it in the Google Store... If you are using an APPLE then we can not get it as like myself, the OP said they are using an ANDROID phone as well.

 

I looked up the app name "Bench Map" as you said, and I found nothing that was even remotely close.

Edited by Bandit1979

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I don't think Mike's Benchmap app is publically available at the Play Store ....yet. You have to get it from him directly. However, that might be changing soon, when the new version of Benchmap is released. It's a great app, I use it when needed, and will be using it a lot this month when traveling.

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I downloaded it from the app store. Try searching for benchmap, all one word.

 

It works a lot better than Find a Control.

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It is indeed available on the Play Store. I have used it since the first Beta and love it. Mike has done a great job and the program keeps getting better and better (and faster). He even has a backup database for when the NGS database is down.

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yes it is, I have now added it to my app list... I will compare the 2, FindAControl and Benchmap, to see what one I like best...

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yes it is, I have now added it to my app list... I will compare the 2, FindAControl and Benchmap, to see what one I like best...

 

I've Had BenchMap for a few weeks, just d/l FindAControl a few minutes ago, getting ready to delete FindAControl! :)

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I use Mike's BenchMap app, mainly when I'm on an unplanned benchmark safari. (I'm an old school guy who prefers a printout of the datasheet on a clipboard, when possible.) I do have a quibble or two, which may reflect the responsiveness of the NGS servers (or lack thereof), and not the BenchMap code. Also a suggestion.

 

(1) Benchmark 'pins' seem to take a very long time to appear after the base map is displayed. Then, if you zoom in or out, or pan the map, the pins disappear and it again takes an annoying amount of time for the pins to redisplay. Can this delay be shortened?

 

(2) Once the user taps on the pin to bring up the datasheet, it again takes a long time for the datasheet to display.

 

(3) Suggestion: Give users the option to call up the Geocaching.com page for a mark, not just the NGS datasheet. The Geocaching page often has photos not available on the NGS datasheet (though this is changing), and may have more recent information.

 

I am using ver. 0.0.85.

 

That said, I appreciate the work Mike has done to help the benchmarking community.

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Having used both Find-A-Control and Mike's BenchMap, I would recommend BenchMap by far. It's a necessity for the unplanned trip, and very helpful with the NGS datasheet availability as well as the map. Thanks, Mike!

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(1) Benchmark 'pins' seem to take a very long time to appear after the base map is displayed. Then, if you zoom in or out, or pan the map, the pins disappear and it again takes an annoying amount of time for the pins to redisplay. Can this delay be shortened?
Unfortunately, this is all based on the NGS's server response time. Unfortunately, I don't work for them, so I cannot improve the speed. However, .. see below.

 

(2) Once the user taps on the pin to bring up the datasheet, it again takes a long time for the datasheet to display.
Same as above. The current version of benchMap does not cache datasheets.

 

(3) Suggestion: Give users the option to call up the Geocaching.com page for a mark, not just the NGS datasheet. The Geocaching page often has photos not available on the NGS datasheet (though this is changing), and may have more recent information.

 

I am using ver. 0.0.85.

You're on a release that's at least a year old. I think. Maybe 10 months. Or 9. Anyways - there is an option to take you to the GC.com page now - when the datasheet loads, hit Menu -> geocaching.com page. You can also opt to use the BenchMap server for map displayes, which is a ton faster than the NGS site. However, datasheet views are still done off the NGS server, and will delay. (BenchMap server is NOT live, and has data current as of August 10th.)

 

--Mike.

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The current version of benchMap does not cache datasheets.

 

--Mike.

 

Hi Mike.

 

What IS the current version number? I just want to make sure mine is up-to-date.

 

Great program.

 

Thanks

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The current version of benchMap does not cache datasheets.

 

--Mike.

 

Hi Mike.

 

What IS the current version number? I just want to make sure mine is up-to-date.

 

Great program.

 

Thanks

 

Latest is v1.1.1, and should be on the Play Store. :)

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I'll add that I AM working on v2 - which will have some additional features. At the moment, what's planned is -

- Caching datasheets (for offline use, when you're out of cel or wifi range)

- Loading an offline file (exported from GSAK or my NGS»GPX)

- Loading a 'found' file (also exported from GSAK or my utility)

- Additional Maps overlays, including a USGS Topo overlay.

 

Note that while I haven't made up my mind, some of the features my be charged for. I won't get to deciding that until I actually have them implemented.

 

While I haven't been as active here on the forums, I STILL do benchmark hunt. :D

 

Cheers -

Mike.

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I'll add that I AM working on v2 - which will have some additional features.

I'm now at a point where that app is "useable", though buggy and not complete. A couple screenshots -

 

The map page. The markers are buggy at the moment, hence the odd look to them. The pop up window will have an icon of a station or tower, depending on the station's type -

screen1.png

screen2.png

 

And a new page in the app, where you can view, in list format, all the stations displayed on the map, loaded via the offline file (paid feature), or loaded via your Found file (paid feature) -

screen3.png

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I am looking forward to V2 and would be happy to sideload it if you want me to.

 

As for V1.2.5, I find that even though I told it to show non-pubs it still does.

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I am looking forward to V2 and would be happy to sideload it if you want me to.

 

As for V1.2.5, I find that even though I told it to show non-pubs it still does.

Ah, yeah.

NGS's API exposes two different types on "unpublishable" - Destroyed stations (Underground Destroyed, Presumed Destroyed, and Destroyed), and other unpub stations (like temporary stations). v1 can filter out destroyed station, but the code is not there to handle the other "temporary" stations. v2 fixes this. :D

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I'll add that I AM working on v2 - which will have some additional features.

I'm now at a point where that app is "useable", though buggy and not complete. A couple screenshots -

 

The map page. The markers are buggy at the moment, hence the odd look to them. The pop up window will have an icon of a station or tower, depending on the station's type -

screen1.png

screen2.png

 

And a new page in the app, where you can view, in list format, all the stations displayed on the map, loaded via the offline file (paid feature), or loaded via your Found file (paid feature) -

screen3.png

 

I'm apart of a group in Indiana that hides the "Indiana Benchmarking Series"

I just downloaded this app and it's unbelievable. The interface with the website is awesome. Do you have an email list on updates? That list feature looks amazing. Do you have any other plans on quick reference on type ID?( ec. chiseled square, metal rod, aluminum disk ect?)

 

Let me know when the paid app comes out, I'll be more than willing to pay for it. Benchmarkers have been waiting a long time for an app like this.

 

Do you have plans to go to iPhone? I have a droid but I have friends who benchmark that would eat this app up.

Edited by Chutch1035

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I'm apart of a group in Indiana that hides the "Indiana Benchmarking Series"

I just downloaded this app and it's unbelievable. The interface with the website is awesome. Do you have an email list on updates? That list feature looks amazing. Do you have any other plans on quick reference on type ID?( ec. chiseled square, metal rod, aluminum disk ect?)

 

Let me know when the paid app comes out, I'll be more than willing to pay for it. Benchmarkers have been waiting a long time for an app like this.

 

Do you have plans to go to iPhone? I have a droid but I have friends who benchmark that would eat this app up.

Hey -

v2.0 is in beta right now, I have a few testers working on it and playing with it. Once it's released, it WILL be free - there will just be some *extra* features that are paid for. (USGS Topo Quad map overlay, loading offline & found files, etc.)

 

For online stations, I can't filter by mark type - the only reason is because the NGS doesn't return that information in the API/script calls. For offline/found files, I can, since that would exist in the datasheet.

 

For the iPhone, I probably *won't*, for two reasons - (1) I don't know a THING about macs or i-devices, much less the programming language. :) And (2), I believe there's another person on here that already has a little app out for benchmarks. :)

 

--Me.

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I'm apart of a group in Indiana that hides the "Indiana Benchmarking Series"

I just downloaded this app and it's unbelievable. The interface with the website is awesome. Do you have an email list on updates? That list feature looks amazing. Do you have any other plans on quick reference on type ID?( ec. chiseled square, metal rod, aluminum disk ect?)

 

Let me know when the paid app comes out, I'll be more than willing to pay for it. Benchmarkers have been waiting a long time for an app like this.

 

Do you have plans to go to iPhone? I have a droid but I have friends who benchmark that would eat this app up.

Hey -

v2.0 is in beta right now, I have a few testers working on it and playing with it. Once it's released, it WILL be free - there will just be some *extra* features that are paid for. (USGS Topo Quad map overlay, loading offline & found files, etc.)

 

For online stations, I can't filter by mark type - the only reason is because the NGS doesn't return that information in the API/script calls. For offline/found files, I can, since that would exist in the datasheet.

 

For the iPhone, I probably *won't*, for two reasons - (1) I don't know a THING about macs or i-devices, much less the programming language. :) And (2), I believe there's another person on here that already has a little app out for benchmarks. :)

 

--Me.

Sweet. Thanks for the quick response. I've been playing with your app and Google Earth overlay all day. Very very nice. Can't wait for 2.0. With this app the numbers in the Indiana Benchmarking Series will shoot up a lot.

 

Thanks again!

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As with Chutch, I am part of the Indiana group as well (though I just find them for future caches). I just wrote a review of the app on Google Play. I've been using this program for a year now, and I really do like it. I saw you were working on some type of "found it/not found" designation. This for me is a must. Being able to weed out the ones I know are found or missing would really help. I quickly plunked down $10 for cachesense because it was far and away my favorite caching program. I'd gladly do the same here.

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As with Chutch, I am part of the Indiana group as well (though I just find them for future caches). I just wrote a review of the app on Google Play. I've been using this program for a year now, and I really do like it. I saw you were working on some type of "found it/not found" designation. This for me is a must. Being able to weed out the ones I know are found or missing would really help. I quickly plunked down $10 for cachesense because it was far and away my favorite caching program. I'd gladly do the same here.

Hey -

Yup, in the new version (currently in beta), it'll show the 'last known status' of the station on the maps. (Specified by color of the marker..) :)

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That's great to hear. Will that be based off the NGS sheet or the Geocaching page? Also, do you have an ETA of the release?

Edited by joshuar9476

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That's great to hear. Will that be based off the NGS sheet or the Geocaching page? Also, do you have an ETA of the release?

NGS site - since GC's database is over ten years old now, I didn't see a need to tie into it. (You can be taken TO the GC page when viewing a marker, though..)

 

No estimated release at the moment, though if I were to guess, I'd say sometime this winter. (I know, bad timing, but..) :)

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That's great to hear. Will that be based off the NGS sheet or the Geocaching page? Also, do you have an ETA of the release?

NGS site - since GC's database is over ten years old now, I didn't see a need to tie into it. (You can be taken TO the GC page when viewing a marker, though..)

 

No estimated release at the moment, though if I were to guess, I'd say sometime this winter. (I know, bad timing, but..) :)

 

I will look forward to it and let me know if i can help in any way. i actually found most of my county marks this past winter so that's not a big deal to me.

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I just downloaded this app. So far it looks great. I plan to use it a bit in an upcomming trip to your country (I am from Canada).

 

2 quick points:

To avoid roaming charges I really need a offline mode.

It appears that the map source used or the implamentation in the app is "off" by a bit. Maybe it is just where I am looking (in Manhattan). I am looking at M339 (KU1445). While google maps appears to be off by about 30 feet, the map in the app is on the wrong side of the street...

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I just downloaded this app. So far it looks great. I plan to use it a bit in an upcomming trip to your country (I am from Canada).

 

2 quick points:

To avoid roaming charges I really need a offline mode.

It appears that the map source used or the implamentation in the app is "off" by a bit. Maybe it is just where I am looking (in Manhattan). I am looking at M339 (KU1445). While google maps appears to be off by about 30 feet, the map in the app is on the wrong side of the street...

 

Note that KU1445 has SCALED coordinates - meaning that they were plotted on a map (although the vertical elevation will be very accurate). Other marks, like triangulation stations, will have ADJUSTED coordinates, meaning that they will be much more accurate (usually better that our consumer-grade GPSr will give). More detailed explanation will be given on Geocaching.com's benchmark FAQ page..

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I just downloaded this app. So far it looks great. I plan to use it a bit in an upcomming trip to your country (I am from Canada).

 

2 quick points:

To avoid roaming charges I really need a offline mode.

It appears that the map source used or the implamentation in the app is "off" by a bit. Maybe it is just where I am looking (in Manhattan). I am looking at M339 (KU1445). While google maps appears to be off by about 30 feet, the map in the app is on the wrong side of the street...

What Enmark said.

 

Scaled stations can have coordinates that are off from the actual mark location, depending on how accurate and precise the scaling was done. :) The app only uses coordinates from NGS, so if they're location is off by 100 feet, so will the mark on the map be off. This is where reading the datasheet and description help. :)

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I just downloaded this app. So far it looks great. I plan to use it a bit in an upcomming trip to your country (I am from Canada).

 

2 quick points:

To avoid roaming charges I really need a offline mode.

It appears that the map source used or the implamentation in the app is "off" by a bit. Maybe it is just where I am looking (in Manhattan). I am looking at M339 (KU1445). While google maps appears to be off by about 30 feet, the map in the app is on the wrong side of the street...

What Enmark said.

 

Scaled stations can have coordinates that are off from the actual mark location, depending on how accurate and precise the scaling was done. :) The app only uses coordinates from NGS, so if they're location is off by 100 feet, so will the mark on the map be off. This is where reading the datasheet and description help. :)

 

I recall reading in this board that scaled marks could be off as much as 600 feet based on calculations someone much smarter than I am did. I don't remember ever seeing one that far off, but 100 feet or so isn't rare.

 

Like Foxtrot said, the datasheet is the gold standard and what you should use after his EXCELLENT app gets you close.

 

And don't forget to use the USGS TopoQuad feature of the app--quite often you will see an X where the benchmark is located. Although it is hard to see on the map of Manhattan, KU1445 is marked exactly where it is with a nearly invisible X at the edge of the building and BM 238 to the right of it.

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I just downloaded this app. So far it looks great. I plan to use it a bit in an upcomming trip to your country (I am from Canada).

 

2 quick points:

To avoid roaming charges I really need a offline mode.

It appears that the map source used or the implamentation in the app is "off" by a bit. Maybe it is just where I am looking (in Manhattan). I am looking at M339 (KU1445). While google maps appears to be off by about 30 feet, the map in the app is on the wrong side of the street...

What Enmark said.

 

Scaled stations can have coordinates that are off from the actual mark location, depending on how accurate and precise the scaling was done. :) The app only uses coordinates from NGS, so if they're location is off by 100 feet, so will the mark on the map be off. This is where reading the datasheet and description help. :)

 

I recall reading in this board that scaled marks could be off as much as 600 feet based on calculations someone much smarter than I am did. I don't remember ever seeing one that far off, but 100 feet or so isn't rare.

 

Like Foxtrot said, the datasheet is the gold standard and what you should use after his EXCELLENT app gets you close.

 

And don't forget to use the USGS TopoQuad feature of the app--quite often you will see an X where the benchmark is located. Although it is hard to see on the map of Manhattan, KU1445 is marked exactly where it is with a nearly invisible X at the edge of the building and BM 238 to the right of it.

How do I use the USGS TopoQuad feature? I don't see how to activate it.

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How do I use the USGS TopoQuad feature? I don't see how to activate it.

You, uh, can't. Not yet. That's a feature added to the v2 beta, which he's testing at the moment. :D

 

The new version is planned to offer a couple paid features (basic usage of the app, like v1, is free). The paid features will be the USGS Map Overlay (net connection required), and offline files (for viewing sheets/maps without a network connection).

 

v2 development is on a temporary hold at the moment, as I need to add some web services to my website to handle the purchase information. I'm aiming for a release in January.

Edited by foxtrot_xray

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How do I use the USGS TopoQuad feature? I don't see how to activate it.

You, uh, can't. Not yet. That's a feature added to the v2 beta, which he's testing at the moment. :D

 

The new version is planned to offer a couple paid features (basic usage of the app, like v1, is free). The paid features will be the USGS Map Overlay (net connection required), and offline files (for viewing sheets/maps without a network connection).

 

v2 development is on a temporary hold at the moment, as I need to add some web services to my website to handle the purchase information. I'm aiming for a release in January.

 

Oops, my bad. When I said "look at the USGS map" I meant "too bad there is no USGS map feature! I hope he adds one by January".

 

Aren't you selling it through the Play Store?

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Oops, my bad. When I said "look at the USGS map" I meant "too bad there is no USGS map feature! I hope he adds one by January".

 

Aren't you selling it through the Play Store?

Heh! It's okay. :)

 

Yeah, the new version will be an update for everybody, to take advantage of new features (new map display, configurable marker colors, etc). The 'pay' features will be an "In App Billing" - you won't have access to them until you pay the price (which at the moment is undecided) - no ads, no advertising, no google analytics. If you select something that's a premium feature, you'll be notified it's a paid feature, and ask if you want to continue. If you DO continue, it'll be the standard Play Store checkout. If you don't want to continue, you'll return to the app, setting or option unchanged.

 

Future paid features, I'm also undecided on. Likely, they will automatically be included if you've purchased. I'm thinking of some features may be an additional purchase (like logging a recovery to NGS directly..) but that's a long ways off right now. :)

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I am using BenchMap v1.25 . How do I update to V2?

 

Thank you

 

*Jeremy*

By being a part of the beta - it's not yet released. :)

 

But no worries, it should be out in a couple months. I'm finishing up some stuff on the server side before I can send out one more beta for testers and then putting it up on Google Play.

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Aren't you selling it through the Play Store?

I may have misunderstood your question - if this was in relation to why I had to update some things on my local server -

 

Yeah, the In-App_Billing (the 'purchase' of advanced features) is handled by Play. However, they very strongly recommend that a key/value pair is stored on local servers to verify responses back from the Play server. (In the rare case that you get a new device, or do a factory reset, or install a new ROM..)

 

So I had to add some code/database on my site to handle the data to verify against Play's servers.

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This is the answer I was looking for.

 

If you need any beta testers feel free to let me know.

 

Thanks

 

Jeremy

 

I am using BenchMap v1.25 . How do I update to V2?

 

Thank you

 

*Jeremy*

By being a part of the beta - it's not yet released. :)

 

But no worries, it should be out in a couple months. I'm finishing up some stuff on the server side before I can send out one more beta for testers and then putting it up on Google Play.

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I do quite a bit of benchmarking in Indiana. As I said in my play store review, the only feature I'm missing is a way to manually or automatically denote or color benchmarks that have been found as well as an option to remove or again color those I know are missing/destroyed. This is a feature I'd be willing to pay as much as $5 for in a paid version. If you need any additional input please feel free to reach out to me.

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Just an update for those not in the beta test group -

 

Due to family issues, I haven't been able to get much work done on the App. (Heck, I haven't been able to do ANY benchmark hunting since earlier this past winter!) However, it's just about finished, and will be posted soon. (Hoping to get last beta out this month, and then final on the store soon after, assuming no issues.)

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Just an update for those not in the beta test group -

 

Due to family issues, I haven't been able to get much work done on the App. (Heck, I haven't been able to do ANY benchmark hunting since earlier this past winter!) However, it's just about finished, and will be posted soon. (Hoping to get last beta out this month, and then final on the store soon after, assuming no issues.)

 

I am sorry about the family issues, but the news regarding a release is fantastic news. This is the app I have been waiting on an update for. I can't wait to try it out.

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I was able to escape the family yesterday, and went out on an 'unexpected' benchmarking trip. (Despite the heat and humidity.. Or because OF it, I got some really easy ones.)

 

Used the app, and am happy with how it worked. Will be sending it to Beta folks later today, and should then be able to post it up on the play store soon. :)

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What a horrid day to go hunting here in the northeast! More power to ya!

 

I have used the current beta a number of times and really like it. My only wish would be a quick way to change from map to satellite view.

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The version I have (v1.2.7) has an on screen button you can tap to toggle between satellite and map. If it is not visible you can tap the screen to make it appear along with the button to center the screen on your location.

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What a horrid day to go hunting here in the northeast! More power to ya!

 

I have used the current beta a number of times and really like it. My only wish would be a quick way to change from map to satellite view.

Huh. I didn't know anyone used that button on v1.x. I'll re-add it to v2.0. The beta email won't have it available, as I just finished packing up the APK to send out in the email.

The version I have (v1.2.7) has an on screen button you can tap to toggle between satellite and map. If it is not visible you can tap the screen to make it appear along with the button to center the screen on your location.

I removed the button in v2.0, currently you have to go into settings and change the map display there. (I removed the button in v2 because I wasn't aware that people used it, and I like having more map visible. :) )

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I removed the button in v2.0, currently you have to go into settings and change the map display there. (I removed the button in v2 because I wasn't aware that people used it, and I like having more map visible. :) )

 

In the version I have those buttons are only visible for a few seconds then it fades out. But if you tap the screen they come back so it is not cluttering up the screen normally. I like it.

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In the version I have those buttons are only visible for a few seconds then it fades out. But if you tap the screen they come back so it is not cluttering up the screen normally. I like it.

Yeah, unfortunately the new Maps API doesn't support the floating/hiding buttons, so now they're *always* visible. (So, I removed the satellite button, and left the 'center on location' button.)

 

The other down-side to the new API is that it won't *stay* auto-centered on your location. On v1.x app, you notice that when you hit the 'center' button, and then move, once your location is off the map the map re-centers. On the new API, the map will not move again until you hit the button.

 

The plus to the new Maps API? I have have WMS tile overlays. The first v2 version will have USGS Topographic map overlays (part of the paid features). In the future, I may add others. (OSMap? etc.) To me, having Topo overlays out-weighs the auto-center and button fading. :)

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I agree about the topo maps--having them in the beta is a terrific plus. I regularly switch between maps, topo and satellite when I am having trouble locating a mark.

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