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Apps /gps - trail maps/ questions

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sep/oct23-invierño-&Cp esp. Mar24
Mix vdlp&levante
I have often wondered just how many apps other pilgrims have loaded on their phones for assisting them while walking any camino in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy etc .
I do think that having an app with gps is good insurance / (on the more less travelled routes especially).

Apart from the gps feature / I always like to use Gronze as my ‘check site’. So much with an easy to comprehend layout.

But Gps apps. ( Wise pilgrim, Via ; Gerald Kelly’s app for the Vdlp / Buen camino
, Mapy cz; Wikiloc ; Maps.me ; .
Of course for the Via Francigena etc in Italy - there would be more I know .


There are so many recommended from time to time. I have some of these loaded and use them but they some need maps downloaded prior to use in some regions . All this data (surely ?? I don’t know 🤷) would be using considerable battery to just have sitting there on my phone. Do others delete them when not required ?
I use an app only intermittently while walking ; which I can have on aeroplane mode and therefore doesn’t require data but if open for too long would use/ be a drain on my battery.

I am particularly interested in how the mapy app mentioned is better than the rest . I am looking to learn more about the Wikiloc app also.

I’ve probably opened a can of worms / but really wondering how many apps are necessary? On the Levante a few months back using Maps me there was an exit from town that must not have been updated / later I checked ‘Buen Camino ‘ app and kicked myself for not checking it at the time. Wise pilgrim has not included that route as yet.
 
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So true about many good apps available. I’ve been a fan of Mapy.cz for a number of years now. In advance, I do download the maps for the regions that I’m visiting. When finished with that region or area, I do delete it knowing that if I were inclined to do so, it would be easy to download it again. I’ve never had a battery issue. However, when I biked the VDLP, I carried a portable charger with me in my front bag so I could attach it to my phone on my handlebars. For me, the gps feature showing my location to the trail has been invaluable. Mapy.cz is really the only mapping app that I keep although I do regularly reference Gronze particularly for the stage profile and their listing of accommodations.
 
they some need maps downloaded prior to use in some regions . All this data (surely ?? I don’t know 🤷) would be using considerable battery to just have sitting there on my phone.
Downloading the maps in advance and keeping them on your phone will have no effect on battery usage. Of course, you will use up data storage space, but if you are like me, you have no shortage of storage, unless you keep many thousands of photos on your phone. Battery and data storage are different issues.

Yes, the apps do use up your battery. That can be a problem, especially if your phone battery is old or otherwise worn out (like all of us). You could test in advance, but carrying a decent portable power bank (enough for 1 or 2 charges should be plenty) will relieve that concern. On heavy usage days (when I am running Wikilocs plus Organic maps, plus checking other things), my phone does get close to the end of its charge, so I sometimes need to plug in the portable power bank toward the end of the day.
 
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Thanks @C clearly

My comment about downloading was referring to the additional steps one has to do with some apps/ eg maps me. Wikiloc I guess. Do you know whether you have to download different map files for different apps ?? Ie is it necessary to download a number of times? Eg maps me requires maps downloaded. Wise pilgrim already had the maps within the app.

My point about the apps using battery was to referring to my phone needing to keep the background app .. would mean some battery use ?

I do carry a portable power pack as sometimes my phone battery does get low, even though my iPhone is pretty new.

Very helpful Info
Thanks
Annie.
 
My comment about downloading was referring to the additional steps one has to do with some apps/ eg maps me. Wikiloc I guess. Do you know whether you have to download different map files for different apps ??
If you don't want your phone to constantly access the Internet to get the maps you download them when you have free wifi available, preferably in advance of needing them. Yes, each of the general navigation apps wants to download their own maps so, e.g., both maps.me and OSMand have their own copy of Galicia. It would be nice to have a version in common. The specialized Camino apps know which regions you will be in so they can have the the background maps preloaded; the general nav apps don't know what areas you are interested in so you have to tell them.

I forget which apps I have that do what but some load background maps by American state and at least one by regions within a state which means less storage is used but is less convenient. Also, I've seen queries on whether I want to download a map when moving from one previously downloaded region into a neighboring one which hasn't been downloaded. I can't remember which app(s) do this.

My point about the apps using battery was to referring to my phone needing to keep the background app .. would mean some battery use ?
The downloaded maps use no battery; similar to having them on a flash drive. Downloading them does, as well as having the app access them. If you don't have downloaded maps you use even more power as the app has to also access map data over the internet.
 
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I use mapy.cz. Generally, just to find the way again if I was far from the Camino, sometimes to compute an estimation of remaining distance.
What use battery is to continuously use a GPS app as a tracker.
What is the best app ? The one that you are used to !
Probably other apps have nice functionalities but I am too lazy to change !
 
. Also, I've seen queries on whether I want to download a map when moving from one previously downloaded region into a neighboring one which hasn't been downloaded. I can't remember which app(s) do this.
Thankyou Rick,
Good info here - tho I am aware to download map regions I expect to walk through before I leave home. I had been using maps.me and getting queries to download many maps I was sure I had previously downloaded .. the app seems to have changed slightly…. It’s now telling me I only get x number of free downloads unless I upgrade to the paid version. Ok to do that but first am finding out whether a similar app is better. I have liked maps.me tho.

I do only access the app when necessary for location or to check distance to next stop etc. I don’t leave it open all the time.

The specialized Camino apps know which regions you will be in so they can have the the background maps preloaded;
Yes… I also use ‘Wise pilgrim ‘ and this app has maps preloaded. However, there are a few ‘caminos less travelled’ that are yet to be included on this app.

Thankyou for responding Rick.

Edit: I meant to add: from your response re battery drain not really effecting apps once loaded … (ie maps etc downloaded at home or using wifi etc ) ; that I could keep a few apps on my iPhone at any one time ..
 
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I found Mapy.cz particularly helpful when walking through cities or large towns. Those are where I usually miss a shell or yellow arrow. Buen Camino
Jerry - have you used any other apps? You seem to find Mapy.cz helpful in ways of finding yourself on the map similar to
how I use maps.me

Thankyou for that.
 
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What is the best app ? The one that you are used to !
Probably other apps have nice functionalities but I am too lazy to change !
Thanks Pafayac
Yes - best app is probably the one you’re use to.. this holds true for apps as well as ‘ walking shoe’ questions I am thinking 🤔.
My question was really because I was trying to find out whether some of the newer apps were more updated etc. I guess many of them work in ‘airplane’ mode like maps.me - (gps) I like that feature - never needing internet to access it.
I guess most people use the ‘one’ and keep recommending ‘their app’. It would be great to hear whether anyone has used more than one and can compare the differences.

🙏
 
I use Outdoor Active. It's free, it has excellent maps, it has all the Camino trails and many more, and it works offline, no need to download, it does that in the background. It never fails, and it's pinpoint accurate. 5 meters off the Camino and one glance will tell you. It's mapping of roads is superior to Google Maps, it's orientation indicator is far clearer. It shows precise contour lines. It has a profile guide which allows you to pinpoint your current position. I think it's the best, but I never met anyone else who uses it.
 
OzAnnie my iPhone is just loaded with LOTS of apps but I only open them occasionally. I just loaded Mapy.cx last year before walking the Chemin Arles from Pau/Aragones in October with my French son in law. He is a geographer and mostly led the way. My daughter and I walked the Camino Mozárabe from Málaga this March where I found Mapy.cz useful in Málaga and Córdoba. Again, my daughter is a geographical engineer and always knows where to go. Away from those cities both Caminos are very well marked along the way. So was the Mozárabe from Almería which my wife, son in law and I walked last year. I carry pages of a paper guide book which I review the night or morning before walking. I have spent most of my life hiking in Alaska with NO trails so my sense of direction is pretty good. It’s the cities that baffle me. Buen Camino
 
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I use Outdoor Active. It's free, it has excellent maps, it has all the Camino trails and many more, and it works offline, no need to download, it does that in the background. It never fails, and it's pinpoint accurate. 5 meters off the Camino and one glance will tell you. It's mapping of roads is superior to Google Maps, it's orientation indicator is far clearer. It shows precise contour lines. It has a profile guide which allows you to pinpoint your current position. I think it's the best, but I never met anyone else who uses it.
Wow - sounds to have it all.
I must have a 👀 look !!
🙏
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
Just downloaded Outdooractive! Didn’t notice any weight increase on my phone. Been Camino
How did you find the installation Jerry ?


I use Outdoor Active. It's free, it has excellent maps, it has all the Camino trails
Gerard
I did get messages to upgrade for a fee. Does the ‘free’ version cover camino routes. ? Btw. Where do I find the list of camino routes on the app ?

I saw some helpful info on the app about saving battery. I was aware of those tips but they may be helpful for others reading this.
 

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Haven’t finished navigating the app. Downloaded in seconds but when I got to subscribe for $29.99 I deferred until manana and clearer thinking. Buen Camino OzAnnie
 
I have liked maps.me .
I used to use maps.me and liked it. However, a few years ago they changed their approach and business model, leading to some changes that I did not like. It got more complicated and commercial. Then, apparently some maps.me developers left the company and started up Organic Maps, to be more similar to the original maps.me.

If you really want simplicity and familiarity, maybe you should look at Organic Maps. I like it because I can download many tracks from Wikiloc or elsewhere, and have them all appear at once. Then I can easily add waypoints with notes, anywhere on the map. I use that as my inventory of all tracks.
 
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