Kurt turned me onto this iPhone mapping app called GPS Kit. It has user generated trail data for spots I ride on Vancouver Island which is why I like it. I’ve checked out other GPS apps folks have recommended, but content for my neck of the woods was lacking. The app costs $9.99 and downloading trail map data was free. Using this app at Partridge Hills we not only managed to avoid being lost in the woods for the very first time, but we actually were able to scout out some new trails [intentionally] and now that we know where they are on the map we’ll be able to go back and ride them again at will.
When almost all your trail riding is deep in the dark forest with no geographical landmarks to reference off of this sort of navigational aid is greatly appreciated :)
One issue with the trails shown is that you don’t know what they are like or if they are double-track, singletrack or a creek bed somebody hiked. OTOH I don’t mind exploring as long as I have some idea of where I am.
This is the GPS Kit marketing spew:
GPS Kit is a full-featured GPS system for the iPhone that combines all the functionality of expensive handheld units with the power of wireless technology. Using advanced technology optimized for the iPhone, GPS Kit offers a superbly easy-to-use system that puts data from a wide range of sensors at your fingertips.
Designed for outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, camping, skiing, cycling, geocaching, mountain biking, motorcycling, off-roading, fishing, and other romping in or out of the backcountry–anywhere in the world.
“This absolutely crushes every other GPS app on the market.” -Trevor H., PE, LEG.
“I use the iphone to record motorbike enduro tracks I ride at night. This app is the reason I bought the iPhone and it is awesome!” -Robert D, Australia
Highest Quality Mapping
→ Fastest maps in the App Store
→ Smooth, elegant interaction
→ Offline Mode enables use out of cell range & without data connection
→ Unlimited map types available using customization
Real-Time Friend Tracking with “Radar”✝
→ Only GPS tracking app that allows you to view friends’ position, heading, and speed on map in real-time
→ Instant chat on any of 1 million channels
→ Unlimited range–works across the entire world!
→ Personalized colors
→ Meet up at the game, on the hunt, or while traveling
→ Track your loved one’s adventures LIVE
Easy Data Handling
→ Mail links for Google Earth & map viewing–including mobile browsers!
→ View full-color thumbnails of previous outings and data sets
→ Group tracks and waypoints together to keep track of outings
→ Most options for export and import of tracks and waypoints
→ Open KML, KMZ, & GPX from Mail & Safari
→ Attach KML & GPX files to email
→ Export GPX & KML through iTunes for USB transfer
→ Share your adventures on Facebook and Twitter
→ Add photos and notes to waypoints that display on map
→ Drag map to reposition while coordinates update
→ UTM, USNG, MGRS
→ Long-press to quickly drop a waypoint
→ Navigate to waypoints using the magnetic compass (3GS, 4, iPad) or GPS compass (3G)
→ See distance to waypoint update in real-time on the map
Weather Stations – only in GPS Kit!
→ Create “weather stations” to get point forecasts
→ Get data specific to your favorite fishing hole, ski tour, etc.
→ Data provided by the National Weather Service
→ Unlimited number of stations
Intelligent Data Collection
→ Uses maximum GPS accuracy
→ Real satellite positioning even without cell signal (only on 3G, 3GS, 4, iPad 3G)
→ Auto-segmentation of tracks avoids classic accidental huge lines and messed up tracks
Fully Customizable Dashboard
→ Gorgeous high contrast display for outdoor viewing
→ Huge variety of customizable parameters and units
→ Time, Trip Time, Track Time
→ Elevation Change
→ Custom Formatted Position (Lat/Long, UTM, MGRS, USNG)
→ Accuracy, Speed, Odometer, Avg Speed, Max Speed, Pace, Avg. Pace
→ Moving Time, Stopped Time, Direction
→ NEW: 3-Axis Inclinometer and Glide Ratio
→ Equally customizable dashboard cell on map
Loaded with Related Utilities
→ LED Flashlight (iPhone 4 only)
→ Double-tap home button for background mode (iOS4+)
→ Proximity sensor for quick in-and-out-of-your-pocket battery saving
→ Elevation and speed graphs with landscape mode
→ On-map tracking controls and timer
→ On-map ruler with multi-touch area measurements
→ Full retina interface (iPhone 4 only)
I’ve only started using it so I’ll hold off on a review until the summer. So far it’s promising in terms of getting us out and riding areas that have always been a bit confusing. It’s not a perfect solution as my iPhone is expensive and doesn’t love being wet or getting dropped. It’s also an older 3GS model with less than stellar battery life and I don’t own a bike mount so I have to pull it out constantly to verify where I am. The iPhone screen also won’t work with my gloved fingers so that’s another hassle every time I want to see where we are.
I’m hopeful that I can use this app to learn my way around our local riding areas to the point where I don’t need to use it so often as a reference.