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cell phones and topos

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cell phones and topos

Postby dave54 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:10 am

I was exploring some of the apps available for my new droid phone when I saw several .pdf reader apps. Realizing that many topo maps are available on line in pdf format, I downloaded a free pdf app. Went to the Lassen NF website on my phone browser, and downloaded a couple local maps. When I tapped on the map files two options showed up -- the Beamreader I downloaded, and an already installed reader I did not know about called Quickoffice. Both worked sorta. There is limited zoom in and the maps are not georeferenced to interface with the internal GPS function. Still, they show far more detail than the googlemaps that are available on the phone (and numerous errors in googlemaps), and you can view them even though a cell signal is not available. These maps run 400-500 kb apiece, so you will have to watch the space on your card. The maps have an ugly file name when downloaded so go into file manager and rename. And of course, people that own a droid already know of the short battery life.

I am the last person to suggest paper maps are obsolete and to go all digital, and I am aware of the controversy over cell phones in the backcountry, but this may be an additional back up system or a convenient way to show a friend a possible new trail.

Or a new gee whiz hi tech thing that looks flashy but is rather limited practical use. I'll let the user decide which. :lol:
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Re: cell phones and topos

Postby ERIC » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:06 pm

dave54 wrote:I was exploring some of the apps available for my new droid phone when I saw several .pdf reader apps. Realizing that many topo maps are available on line in pdf format, I downloaded a free pdf app. Went to the Lassen NF website on my phone browser, and downloaded a couple local maps. When I tapped on the map files two options showed up -- the Beamreader I downloaded, and an already installed reader I did not know about called Quickoffice. Both worked sorta. There is limited zoom in and the maps are not georeferenced to interface with the internal GPS function. Still, they show far more detail than the googlemaps that are available on the phone (and numerous errors in googlemaps), and you can view them even though a cell signal is not available. These maps run 400-500 kb apiece, so you will have to watch the space on your card. The maps have an ugly file name when downloaded so go into file manager and rename. And of course, people that own a droid already know of the short battery life.

I am the last person to suggest paper maps are obsolete and to go all digital, and I am aware of the controversy over cell phones in the backcountry, but this may be an additional back up system or a convenient way to show a friend a possible new trail.

Or a new gee whiz hi tech thing that looks flashy but is rather limited practical use. I'll let the user decide which. :lol:


I too have a Droid. I've been working on the developer of MapDroyd to allow for user-created georeferenced layers, but no luck yet. If you find something new that's good, I'm all ears. I feel your pain. :( Happy with the phone, though.
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