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Memory Map on the iPhone

Pistol1Pistol1 Posts: 10
edited October 2009 in MTB general
iPhones are becoming more and more prevalent these days, and as the adverts are so fond of saying "There's an app for that!". Except that as far as OS mapping goes, there aren't that many options. There's RouteBuddy, which looks pretty decent, and iOSMaps, which requires a data connection so is pretty much useless in most locations where you would actually need an OS map!

Many folks already use Memory Map, and would ideally like to be able to use the maps they already own on their spangly iPhones. however, MM only support Windows-based devices, and seem to have no plans to move into the iPhone market. (And let's face it, if they did, they'd love to be able to charge you again for new "iPhone-compatible" maps.)

However, an enterprising developer has written an app that will display MM maps on the iPhone! It's still in the development stages, but he's hoping to get it approved for the App Store. Here's a screenshot of it in action:


It doesn't do anything terribly fancy - just shows your position and allows you to view the map. If you want to track/follow routes, there are other apps that do that - like Trails or MotonX GPS - but where they fall down is in not having maps stored on the iPhone (unless you cache them before heading out).

I think this app will ultimately only really appeal to existing MM users who are frustrated at not being able to use their maps on the iPhone; if you were looking to get maps from scratch, you'd probably be better off with RouteBuddy. But at filling a particular niche, this looks to be an excellent product!


  • v23v23 Posts: 217
    Now that is cool. I was only the other day googling for memeory maps and iPhone. Brilliant.
  • My only worry is that MM won't be happy if they get wind of it, and could ask Apple not to approve it for the App Store.

    The author doesn't think they'll be able to do that, as the .qct file format was reverse-engineered and not "hacked", and you should be able to do whatever you like with the files - however, this is the company that won't allow old maps to work in new versions of the software...
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Most of the issues are more to do with draconian OS copyright rather than the software manufacturers.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • Just looked at Routebuddy, and they want £17 per 25k map, so it's not a cheaper option by a long shot. I think I'll just have to live with carrying my iPhone and Windows Mobile GPS for Memory Map
  • AlasdairMc wrote:
    Just looked at Routebuddy, and they want £17 per 25k map, so it's not a cheaper option by a long shot. I think I'll just have to live with carrying my iPhone and Windows Mobile GPS for Memory Map


    i find it better to do it that way anyway.

    iphone is kept full of battery in case I need it for calls/googlemaps/data

    i use an old windows mobile (HTC Touch Dual) which has no sim card, but i use exclusively for Memory Map. Much better not having anything else draining the battery (ie you can turn off all the data stuff).
  • Pistol1 wrote:
    an enterprising developer has written an app that will display MM maps on the iPhone!
    Does this App already have a name ? Any information on a date for the submission of this App to the AppStore by its developer ?

    It's really interesting... :D !
  • are there any external links to this app?

    If the app store dont allow it, the developer should release it into the NON-OFFICIAL APP STORE Cydia, so everybody with a jail broken iphone can get hold of the juicy goodness of this app.
  • As I often say to my riding buddies, you cannot beat a proper OS map, brains and a bit of knowledge. And if it's too windy, just get a friend to hold the map with you :)

    Why are we so obsessed with gadgets that have no common advantage?

    As many an eastern meerkat has said, shhimples!

  • mkfmkf Posts: 242
    i phone bad move, nuf said
    quite kk, maps they show you the way.
    learn to read them man
  • firstly i can read maps very well (did D.of.E) without getting lost, and i have an iphone. Used to ride about with a map, but its such a faff getting it out, opening it, looking around to find out exactly where u are after taking the spur of the moment and flying down a path you hadnt seen before and going for 15 mins before you have to stop and check your not going into Azerbaijan. Then you have to carry it as well.

    Now i have an iPhone. Its amazing. Last week doing a route i had done a few times before and there was a path that i hadnt seen. This lead off onto other paths, woods, crossing rivers. Amazing fun not having to worry about anything. With a map you have to check often so that you know where abouts you are. I now wack out my phone, hit the find me button and within 10 seconds it pin points me with that little flashing blue dot.

    Amazing. If the software is there, why not use it?
  • KonaKurt wrote:
    Why are we so obsessed with gadgets that have no common advantage?

    with all due respect, that statement is appears to have originated from someone who has never tried to climb from Stob Dearg on Buachaille Etive Mor along the full length of the ridge and back again in blizzard conditions, trying to pinpoint in zero visibility one of the very few ledges you have to climb down to begin your descent that won't end up with you lying dead 30 minutes later.

    Or perhaps, after spending 2 hours climbing/hiking a mountain for the first time, only to find the weather close in and it become completely impossible to take a bearing and look at your map to find a route which you KNOW is accurate and will lead to safety.

    GPS linked to 1:25,000 OS maps is not a gadget with no common advantage. That is just nonsense.

    I climb, hike, ski, snowboard and cycle mountains all over the world. In most circumstances where there is significant risk, a guide is essential (and trust me, most guides carry both GPS and maps).

    However, for the most part, if you have a low risk trip then it is entirely possible to navigate yourself. I always use a combination of both maps and GPS. Maps are relatively useless for pinpoint accuracy in inclement weather and GPS can fail. A combination of both reduces risk. This is simple common sense. This gives GPS a common advantage to anyone navigating anywhere.

    Should sailors ditch GPS and stick to sailing by the stars? For all intents and purposes that's all an OS map is - a plan of immoveable distinguishing features that can be used as reference for navigation.

    GPS is a wonderful tool for planning trips, reducing the risk of getting lost (or missing that turn off for a new trail you wanted to explore), and enjoying your chosen sport and scenery rather than pulling out a map and compass every 10 minutes to take a bearing.

    I have a great feature on my GPS which allows me to set alarms at certain flagged points on a preplanned trail so it beeps when I reach my turnoff or a dangerous area (very handy for both climbing and biking). It will also set off an alarm when I deviate a certain degree off course - this is especially helpful when you are trying to get off a mountain very quickly in bad weather and don't have time to constantly check your position.

    I don't rely completely on either GPS or maps, but in combination they have greatly improved my confidence, enjoyment of my sports and reduced the risk of injury or death.

    Seriously, stand at the top of a big mountain in -20degrees, with 90mph gusts, visibility at 5 metres, with freezing cold hands and 2 hours of daylight left. Then tell me that GPS has no common purpose! :lol:

    /rant :wink:
  • what he said above
  • Yoohoo, I sort of see where you are coming from with your opinion about 'blizzard conditions' and 'pinpointing' your location in zero visability, but even then I think such circumstances are pretty exceptional and for the vast majority of circumstances, and using just a cheap map is more than sufficient.

    Edmund Hillary only used maps with no need for electronic gadgets, whe he climbed Mount Everest, and his enviroment was pretty demanding. I am not saying that using electronic gadgets is necessarily a bad thing, far from it. Just that in 95% of conditions, they are completely unnecessary, especially for any form of cycling. Cyclists of all types have been using bar mounted weather proof maps for years, although I accept they are a bit inpractical sometimes with off road riding! I admit they are not very 'trendy'.

    But I still ride all over the country in various conditions, riding on and off road in all kind of conditions, following all kind of trails.... using just a OS map folded to the right section, in my back jersey pocket, and I'ts been more than sufficient to me. I think map reading should never require a power supply! Takes all the fun ou tof the adventure!

    I guess it is just personal preferance which you choose to rely on. I admit it's better to use a gadget than get lost some place with nothing at all.


    Ps: Yoohoo said "Seriously, stand at the top of a big mountain in -20degrees, with 90mph gusts, visibility at 5 metres, with freezing cold hands and 2 hours of daylight left. Then tell me that GPS has no common purpose!"

    Warm up to 0 degrees but with just twilight and it reminds me of 11 years ago when I was momentarilty lost riding out of the Brecon Beacons, but saved by my backlit weatherproof OS and my trusty nose :) Using GPS would have taken all of the fun out of it :)
  • don't get me wrong KK, traditional maps are still (and always will be) the most reliable form of land navigation. I would feel naked carrying only a GPS - too many times has it frozen or the battery has gone dead or water has somehow sent it crazy!

    I love the feeling of having a proper map and decent compass in my bag, it's a security blanket.

    I think the issue for most people though, and I completely understand this, is that in order to actually enjoy map reading, you've got to be quite good at it! Most people aren't. I'm sure you've seen people standing at the peak of mountains with a map and compass, wondering what on earth they are supposed to do with it, not really appreciating that being one degree out over a mile can leave you in a different county from the one you are supposed to be in! :lol:

    GPS has made navigation much quicker and more simple, so more people can explore areas with confidence that would have otherwise remained out of bounds to them. And for the most part, GPS is very very accurate and reliable.

    I just came back from an 8 day climbing trip in Scotland last week and my GPS didn't falter once. To be fair, it wasn't really used other than to double check we were still heading where we were supposed to be, but it was so easy just to pull it out and see you location on a proper 1:25,000 OS map within seconds, accurate to a few feet.

    I do agree that it is more satisfying navigating by map alone, and especially if yor skills get you out of trouble. However, I like reducing the risk of human error as much as possible, I've had too many incidents that remind me that my navigation skills aren't amazing!

    Sense of direction is also a big thing. Some people have it and others don't. Personally, I don't and that has always made bad weather walking/climbing/cycling risky for me, my nose isn't as good as others. I like a bit of certainty before I climb down the first part of a blind ridge!

    As for GPS being completely unnecessary for cycling, i think in the extreme that's don't NEED it. But, it makes finding new trails and having an adventure much more accessible for the masses and easier for those with less than reliable map reading skills.

    I've got another great feature on my GPS where I can drop "markers". So if i'm stood at the top of an amazing freeride run i've just found I can drop a marker and it saves the location to a few feet. Then when I want to find it again I can do so quickly and accurately. I've tried that with maps (mostly with climbing), but you always end up spending 30 mins looking around a 100m area thinking "i know it's around here somewhere!"

    maps will always be the most reliable tool for the job, but i think it's impossible to argue that in most circumstances GPS is more accurate and easier to use for most people.
  • I agree yoohoo, I think it comes down to individual geographic skills. I agree that it is better to be safe than sorry, sorry meaning (for example) getting lost in the middle of nowhere when you thought you were heading out of a small forest to the nearest town, but instead going deeper into a marshy area of forest!

    When a great days ride turns into a sudden nightmare because you directed yourself in the wrong direction, maybe even a dangerous direction, it's no joke. You make some good points about GPS.

    Two quick thoughts: you mention reducing human error with GPS, which I agree with. But is there any probability of introducing instrumental error to map reading, by using an interface or gadget? All devices are read with an element of instrumental error.

    Also, the probability of any one of the satellites orbiting the earth, which provide GPS services, being hit (off course) or even damaged, within a human lifetime, is actually quite high. In space there is alot of debris and rock floating about. What will we all do, when this knocks out GPS systems?

    Have fun riding, and enjoy the sense of adventure!

    KK. :)
  • So

    Can we get a version of this for Jailbroken Iphones??

    This is EXACTLY what i want to have access to and already have the MM maps I need

  • Dont think I'd risk a £200 Ipod the way I cycle. I normally take an old Nokia 3310 that was if I come off and it breaks it dosent really matter.
  • I have memory map! I have used with a bluetooth gps and my dell PDA however I found a simple method of use.

    print out a map and fold it up in and pop in in my my hip pocket, the battery wont fail and if it gets damaged it has only cost me an A4 sheet of paper, not a PDA and a GPS (or an iphone) which to be honest are a bit fragile for this MTB lark.
    My Kayaking Blog
  • thelawnetthelawnet Posts: 719
    iphones are incredibly unsuitable for mountainbiking, the glass screens are ridiculously fragile. You're much better off with something more sturdy (i.e. a windows mobile device).
  • I've been using sportstracker on my nokia N95 for a long time but would prefer to have access to the maps I've already paid for in combo with the GPS

    I can and do read maps, and always take a map for any new route, but the ability to have GPS and Map in the same device would be very useful

    And yes the screens on iPhones are vulnerable

    The phone (nokia or iphone) is always in a protective sleeve in my camelback
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