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 GPS on the Apple iPhone and iPad - smartphoneGPS.com
 iNomad turns iPhone into an off-road GPS - v3.01

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
gpspassion Posted - 13 oct. 2010 : 02:50:32
Updated 20101225 : version 3.01 available with some major news features such as raster map downloading on top of the original Google Maps streaming, sources include MSResearch Topo (ex-Terraserver), OSM Topo, CloudMade Topo, etc...this great app got even better ! More details below.
Updated 20101030 : version 2.1 is available, adds route import feature using a .kml file, details below.
Posted 20101013 : iNomad turns your iPhone into an off-road GPS...or almost, but it's certainly the closest you can get for now :


Sometimes you set out on a walk or hike without a handheld GPS but rarely without a phone and if this phone happens to be an iPhone (iOS4 required), there is software you need : iNomad to create a route on the fly and follow it in real time.

Here is the scenario : you set out on a hike and as you walk you want to figure out how to best continue it, come back the same way or try to go for a loop...what will the distance be, the estimated travel time ? Seems easy enough but this happened to me the other day and I thought I was covered with my many off-road apps so I fired them up one after the other : Motion X ? No, can only navigation to one point; Trails ? No, although it's better since you can create a route but can't follow it in real time; TwoNav ? No, at least not easily; Topo Maps ? No...so we just walked back.

A bit puzzled and annoyed I set out to find a fix for this type of scenario and after some searching I came across this little "gem" : iNomad. For a grand total of $4 it provides a streamlined interface to create a route on the fly using Google Maps backgrounds and then lets you follow it using varous profiles (car, bike, foot) in real time, providing "distance to go" and "estimated travel time" :


Other features include : trip recording, create a route from a recorded trip, replay a track, export a track to .kml (Google Earth), map caching for use out of network coverage, etc...

There are some weaknesses though, software related like the map backgrounds limited to Google Maps and no access to topo maps at this point, so it won't work well in forests, and platform related like the short battery life of an iPhone and lack of a decent antenna for accurate tracking in difficult conditions. External batteries (jackets or USB packs) can alleviate the battery life problem.

Questions, comments?
36   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
gpspassion Posted - 30 mai 2011 : 10:16:28
ok, looking forward to that new version!
k0ry Posted - 29 mai 2011 : 13:19:34
I'm finishing new version. Please wait.
gpspassion Posted - 29 mai 2011 : 08:33:26
A friendly bump to see if there were any new versions in the works? I used it again on my iPhone 3Gs for a bike ride this week and it turned out to be quite useful as usual ;-) Only thing is that it's become a bit slow now with the new features. Maybe I need an iPhone 4!
gpspassion Posted - 05 mars 2011 : 05:25:03
Didn't get anything, I'll send you an email ;-)
k0ry Posted - 05 mars 2011 : 04:08:01
I send you a e-mail thru web form on gpspassion.com with promo, if you don't receive it, please post me at k0ry13 (at) gmail.
gpspassion Posted - 04 mars 2011 : 21:49:16
Ouch, sorry to hear that, good to hear you were able to pick up the pieces though!
k0ry Posted - 04 mars 2011 : 20:48:22
Hello! Sorry for delay. I'm had almost finished version with a lot of improvements (myTopo, iPad version and many many others) but suddenly my HDD have died. With all my sources. I did find earlier version and now I repairing all that things.
Hope to understing.
CU.
gpspassion Posted - 04 mars 2011 : 04:16:06
Not sure what the status of the iPad version is, but it shouldn't bee too much work as it scales perfectly to the iPad resolution when using "Full Force" on a JB iPad ;-)

Went for another hike yesterday with iNomad and my 3GS using a track downloaded from everytrail and offline OSM Topo maps and it crashed a lot, just exiting. Not sure why, memory seemed to be ok. I also noticed a lot of "blinking" between the Google sat map and the OSM topo downloaded layer.

Overall I miss the "responsiveness" of the earlier version of iNomad, it seems that the latest v3 puts a bit too much stress on the iPhone, at least on my 3GS.
gpspassion Posted - 23 janv. 2011 : 21:44:23
Another long walk with iNomad yesterday and it worked well keeping me updated on the remaining distance, unfortunately it was not showing an ETA or speed. Not sure why. Is that maybe a bug similar to the one on the summary page ?

I had been able to download OSM topo maps ahead of time and that was very useful, excellent trail coverage and the maps have nice colors too to depict the environment.
Jelf Posted - 06 janv. 2011 : 14:08:55
Hi k0ry,

My name is Joseph and I am the author of Gmap4. This app displays MyTopo maps for the USA and Canada. It also displays all the standard Google Map views. Here is a 'live' map for an area near Duluth, Minnesota (I grew up in this state), USA:

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=46.818633,-92.076624&t=t2&z=14

Notice that Gmap4 has a search feature: Menu==>Search
Gmap4 can also display GPS data from various file formats. (csv support is being added.)

Would Gmap4 help iNomad users?

I am going to add an item to the 'Menu' that will display a "World File" for the map on the screen. That world file can then be used to georeference a screen capture.

Another iphone developer mentioned a fascinating idea of running my app in an iframe that is larger than the screen size. Doing so would allow a large map to be captured. I am going to investigate.

Here is the Gmap4 homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

If you have any suggestions for how our programs can work together, I would love to hear them. You can email me directly through my website.

Regards,
Joseph


k0ry Posted - 06 janv. 2011 : 02:24:57
Of :) Ok, as soon as I have stable version of it. Too many Ideas and requests :)
gpspassion Posted - 04 janv. 2011 : 21:10:58
Off or of ? ;-) Let me know if you need some help testing it.
k0ry Posted - 04 janv. 2011 : 11:49:27
Off course.
gpspassion Posted - 02 janv. 2011 : 02:56:22
Good to hear there are new improvements in store. Any plans for a full screen iPad version? The large screen would really help especially with all the new features ;-)
k0ry Posted - 01 janv. 2011 : 23:56:49
>2) In the Logbook the recorded trips always show Distance 0 m and Average speed 0km/h
Yes, I did find this bug.

4) The ruler activated by two fingers is good. It would be nice is to be able to move each point separately with one finger to fine tune the position. As well would be nice to be able add additional points to measure curved lines.
You can move each point separately. Additional points - interesting Idea, hope to add this feature.

>5) The map downloading is confusing. It would be nice to somehow know what was downloaded and at what level, or at least at the lowest level.
I did find new solution.

>6) Importing custom maps is essential.
iNomad will have custom map importer, but slightly later.

>7) MyTopo download would be very nice.
Ok.[ed]
blueart Posted - 31 déc. 2010 : 18:35:17
I used your software on my IPhone 4, and I really like it. I thought I share my observations:
1) Background tracking works very well, and the battery usage is minimum. After 4 hours of tracking, my battery only dropped to 90%.
2) In the Logbook the recorded trips always show Distance 0 m and Average speed 0km/h
3) I really like the widgets editor. You can arrange widgets according to your likings.
4) The ruler activated by two fingers is good. It would be nice is to be able to move each point separately with one finger to fine tune the position. As well would be nice to be able add additional points to measure curved lines.
5) The map downloading is confusing. It would be nice to somehow know what was downloaded and at what level, or at least at the lowest level. Can you look at this application: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/topographic-maps-canada/id392857820?mt=8. The download functionality is simple but effective. It is easy to see what was downloaded, so there is no surprises when you try to use your map where there is no cell coverage.
6) Importing custom maps is essential. For example http://www.algonquinmap.com/downloads/Algonquin%20Map%202010%20-%20Version%203.0%20-%20Google%20Earth.zip distributed in KMZ format.
7) MyTopo download would be very nice.
gpspassion Posted - 27 déc. 2010 : 17:22:39
Looking forwards to the tweaks! As for tracking, I used http://www.gpspleinair.com/ at one point but I'm not sure the site is still being maintained. Gmap4 looks nice because it will display any .gpx file accessible via a URL.
k0ry Posted - 27 déc. 2010 : 00:42:07
>So is there any way to see what maps are in the cache ?
No, I'm thinking about this.

>About the maps, someone mentioned MyTopo maps here
I'll add them in the future release.

>A live upload of the .gpx so friends can track you would be great.
What service do you use? I'm working now on live tracking with one service. May be you know better one...

>I looked at some of my old logs and I noticed they displayed both the track and the route >I'd followed. This can be handy, but would it be possible to separate them to only have >the track in the export ?
I will add this functionality.

>I'll update the first post and the news item on the portal as well.
Thank you!
gpspassion Posted - 25 déc. 2010 : 09:36:11
Thanks for the info, ah ok double-tapping on the icon does pull up the "choose vehicle" menu. I now see this is in the 3.01 description on iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/en/app/inomad/id351051639?mt=8#

So is there any way to see what maps are in the cache ?

About the maps, someone mentioned MyTopo maps here http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=139075 that are apparently better quality than Terraserver and more current. A live upload of the .gpx so friends can track you would be great.

I looked at some of my old logs and I noticed they displayed both the track and the route I'd followed. This can be handy, but would it be possible to separate them to only have the track in the export ?

I'll update the first post and the news item on the portal as well.
k0ry Posted - 25 déc. 2010 : 09:00:38
>Must admit I had some trouble mastering the new features, particularly the map downloading, we need a manual ;-)
I tried to simplify as much as possible. :)

> figured out that if you don't want to select a specific area to download it will download the whole visible map area (or is it a larger area?) with the second button "circled icon", a good idea I think.
Yes you are right. It is download whole visible area button.

>Not too sure what the "levels 1 to 5x" stand for? Is it the depth (detail) or area ? Can't decide for sure after some testing.
Levels is a depth. If you choose 1 then you get what you see. If 2 then you get what you get + all from the next zoom level (closer) and so on.

>In some cases there seems to be no data available, "relief" for example, but you can only tell by sliding the transparency cursor and seeing that nothing changes. I would suggest zooming to the level where raster maps are available when they are selected in the list.
Yes, I found this oversight. In future releases I will try to do something with this.

>- I don't see where you select the "vehicle" anymore ?
Double tap on vehicle.

>- Option to disable Google Maps to only use the cache ? Useful if you're trying to save on GPRS traffic...and for testing ;-)
The only option - disable gprs/wifi data.

PS. Update please your first post (especially "the map backgrounds limited to Google Maps and no access to topo maps at this point" ).
PSS. I have tested iNomad 3 on iPhone 4, -20C, bluetooth music. For 5 hours of tracking iPhone loose only 20% of its charge.
gpspassion Posted - 24 déc. 2010 : 11:50:37
Yes, updated before catching a plane the other day and gave it a quick try. Must admit I had some trouble mastering the new features, particularly the map downloading, we need a manual ;-)

I figured out that if you don't want to select a specific area to download it will download the whole visible map area (or is it a larger area?) with the second button "circled icon", a good idea I think.

Not too sure what the "levels 1 to 5x" stand for? Is it the depth (detail) or area ? Can't decide for sure after some testing.

Is there a way to see from the iPhone what maps are in the cache ? In some cases there seems to be no data available, "relief" for example, but you can only tell by sliding the transparency cursor and seeing that nothing changes. I would suggest zooming to the level where raster maps are available when they are selected in the list.

A few other things :
- I wouldn't zoom to the world level when creating a route, rather to the GPS position.
- I don't see where you select the "vehicle" anymore ?
- Typo in the logbook : it says Avgerage speed.
- Option to disable Google Maps to only use the cache ? Useful if you're trying to save on GPRS traffic...and for testing ;-)
- Option to disable GPS...to save on battery life.

Thanks again for a great app!
k0ry Posted - 22 déc. 2010 : 23:28:59
gpspassion, did you successfully update the iNomad? What do you think about all new features?
gpspassion Posted - 20 déc. 2010 : 10:03:31
Wow, that looks great, on my way to iTunes to update!
k0ry Posted - 20 déc. 2010 : 07:12:16
GOoood news. iNomad has been approved. Twice. First, 3.0 have some glitches. And, thanks Apple's guys, in 2 days approve 3.01.
Whats' new?
Here's the short list:
- Maps available (with alpha adjustment):
Google Topo;
Google Satellite;
Google Hybrid;
MSResearch Aerial (US);
MSResearch Topo (US);
MSResearch Urban (US);
OpenStreetMap Topo (Mapnik);
OpenStreetMap Topo (Osmarender);
OpenStreetMap Cycle Map;
CloudMade Topo;
CloudMade Fine line;
CloudMade NoNames;
Maps-for-free Relief;
Mapsurfer Terrain.

Ability to continue finished trips.
Changing route and transport without breaking the current voyage.
North Up Button (Specially for gpspassion :) )
Whole world button.
Removed first "Information" screen.
Double tap on transport to change it.
And many others.

Please, give me feedback and I'll fix errors (if any) and add new features.

PS. 3.01 - must have update if you get 3.0.

PSS. You can even share you downloaded maps with other iNomad users via iTunes share.
gpspassion Posted - 26 nov. 2010 : 09:29:23
That's excellent news!

A few suggestions :

1. Show the GPS position when you start creating a route, you can center the position, but it doens't appear on the map. I think it was there in previous versions.

2. I've been having a hard time getting the back map up to a "North Up" display after an accidental rotation with the "two-finger" gesture to zoom in. Actually I'm not sure how useful it is to have that "rotation" gesture ? In previous versions it seemed switching from Follow/Free/Look modes controlled map orientation, but not anymore.

3. Possibility to keep the logging even if you change routes/trips. I've "lost" my log several times after I had to adjust my route/trip.

3. OSM topo/bike map streaming would be great too especially where there is no MSR/Terraserver coverage ;-)
k0ry Posted - 26 nov. 2010 : 06:08:44
I mastered with MSR topo (and aerial) maps.

Some tuning and debugging and iNomad goes to AppStore. Other kind of maps will be added in future releases.

So, please, give me your suggestions and bugs (if any) in v 2.1.

PS. iNomad will load both tracks and routes from GPX.
What else?
k0ry Posted - 24 nov. 2010 : 11:40:31
Hi there. I'm in research of streaming maps. Ideas are welcome.

Tip. If you want maximize life of your battery during the long trips, press home button.
gpspassion Posted - 11 nov. 2010 : 19:00:49
ok that sounds good, streaming is nice as it requires no work (exporting, calibrating, etc...) especially since iNomad has this feature to save maps. I think iNomad would get a great boos in the US if you managed to add the Terraserver Topo maps ;-) Would be happy to beta test.

For raster maps imports, using the OziExplorer .map format would give immediate access to tons of maps and many tools (GoogleMV, SnaptoMap, etc...) already export to .map.

Just importing a trip from EveryTrail and about to go on a hike with iNomad...and a battery pack for my iPhone 3GS!
k0ry Posted - 11 nov. 2010 : 14:48:56
quote:
Originally posted by gpspassion
What do you think of adding Terraserver topomaps (raster appearance) streaming or even OSM (vector appearance), their topo coverage is getting better by the day ?


Don't know about streaming, but may be downloading and inserting rasters. I'm thinking about this for a while.
gpspassion Posted - 10 nov. 2010 : 10:42:43
Hey, welcome to the forums, thanks to twitter ;-)

Good to hear about GPX, I couldn't get it to work with the GPX from everytrail.com, might be the usual track/route difference that's "plagued" off-route GPS for years (iNomad is maybe expecting a route and everytrail.com has a track), .kml doesn't have that problem. Not a big problem to convert.

What do you think of adding Terraserver topomaps (raster appearance) streaming or even OSM (vector appearance), their topo coverage is getting better by the day ?
k0ry Posted - 10 nov. 2010 : 10:33:05
>Version 2.1 is out with a handy feature to import .kml files, very handy to follow an
>everytrail trip. Just download the .gpx version and convert it to .kml with itnconvert
> (downloading the .kmz and unzipping the .kml didn't work).

You can import GPX directly, without converting. iNomad can import placemarks and routes from GPX. Also you can export GPX with e-mail or iTunes.
gpspassion Posted - 10 nov. 2010 : 03:48:21
iNomad served well again this week-end to get a sense of the difference in distance between two trails...I was on "barren" ground though so the satellite maps were fine.

Topo maps might be possible in the US without too much work since you can stream Topo maps from Terraserver, now known as http://msrmaps.com/default.aspx apparently - the PC App Viking allows that as well as access to OSM maps. Topo maps are not very recent (I've seen as far as 1976 - Yosemite for instance) and don't look very nice, but they would still be helpful.
gpspassion Posted - 31 oct. 2010 : 02:13:01
Version 2.1 is out with a handy feature to import .kml files, very handy to follow an everytrail trip. Just download the .gpx version and convert it to .kml with itnconvert (downloading the .kmz and unzipping the .kml didn't work).

Now we need a feature to import custom maps to be able to use topo maps!
gatorguy Posted - 14 oct. 2010 : 02:11:23
I'm using a beta version of Gaia for Android that offers a number of on-demand maps. Two of them are topographic: MyTopo and Cloudmade Topo. But really not any of the very nice planning and data features mentioned by GPSPassion. iNomad looks like a great find, particularly if topo mapping can be added eventually.
gpspassion Posted - 13 oct. 2010 : 21:27:04
Sure and yes that's something they'd need to work on, I remember seeing a Windows Mobile application that streamed free US topo maps so it's certainly possible, maybe it requires a server infrastructure though, something that's not needed to stream worldwide Google Maps.
danham Posted - 13 oct. 2010 : 14:16:42
I was all excited until I read "...and no access to topo maps at this point, so it won't work well in forests..." I'm still searching for something that runs on my i4 to work in the woods, where my nuvi 760 is also not the GPS of choice [g].

At any rate, thanks for doing the research.

-dan

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