Ordnance Survey maps on Android phones – Singletrack Forum

Os for android phones

Bit of a shameless plug, I know, but I don't know how else to post about it here! OS Map is a tool to turn your Android phone into a handy Ordnance Survey map, with your position pin-pointed on it.

* Nearly all OS Map scales available (including 250,000 and 50,000).

* Touch-scrolling – simply use your finger to drag the map around.

* Fast resume from standby and fast position updates.

* No subscription fees – uses the free OpenSpace API.

* Custom waypoint support.

* Get your location as a grid reference.

* Includes a moving, overlaid magnetic compass!

* Detailed location information.

OS Map is available to buy for £4.99 through the Android Market. I'm the developer and a keen mountain biker, and I've found it pretty useful even if I say so myself! More information available at http://www.pocketgamer.org/os-map/

[STW forum bosses – if you don't like my shameless advertising on your forum, please feel free to delete it! I won't mind. ;-)]

It looks like it uses the OSs online mapping API, so does that mean it doesn't store map tiles?

Just thinking that as an app its great if your within signal range, but a bit "not very great" if you happen not to have signal

Out of interest, are you paying OS for this? If so, I'd be really interested in knowing how much you're paying.

If you're not, I'd worry a bit that you're blatantly breaking their terms and conditions (the bit that says 'For example, you may not charge the end-user for the use of your application.') and that if they pull your API key, everyone using your application will be buggered?

It does look pretty neat though.

Looks Great, if Joe marshalls point is addressed I'll be buying that. Good work!

Joe – the commercial aspect is something that's being discussed with Ordnance Survey at the moment. Chap called David Ball is supposed to deal with it but trying to reach him by phone is a complete nightmare.

It's a bit complicated because they only mention web applications in their terms and conditions, and the web component of my app is free. The Android part is essentially a web browser which passes the grid reference to a web page that asks for it.

The web application I wrote is publicly available and could easily be adapted to work on iPhones, or any system capable of loading a webpage and passing the location in through Javascript.

However, it's set up in such a way that an end user could register for their own API key (for example, if they wanted to modify the web application), at which point they'd be using the app for private use anyway.

Without wanting to sound too negative shouldn't the legal aspect of whether this product breaks OS's terms and conditions be cleared up before you tout for business?

There already is an app for the iPhone that does the same thing, using the same source. It's also fundamentally useless, as it takes forever to download the map, as 3G coverage in the countryside is almost nonexistent, and there are plenty of places I ride, like the Marlborough Downs, where there's no signal at all. There is an app that puts up an OS grid with your position marked, which can overlay on top of Google Maps, if there's a signal. The only practical solution for GPS with OS mapping is an app that allows maps to be native to the phone, like ViewRanger, Memory Map, Tracklogs, etc. Someone like ViewRanger, who sell maps online, would be ideal, as they could sell an app with say the whole UK at1:250000 for a fiver, then you could buy individual map areas via in-app purchasing for the same price as a paper map.

sootyandjim – probably! To be honest, I reasoned that it didn't break their terms and conditions (and I wasn't going to pay thousands to a lawyer to look at it given it's likely to make less than £100 on the Android Market), and Ordnance Survey have already said that at the worst, they'll let me keep the API key provided I make the application free.

So we wait and see what they say. I wouldn't do anything to disadvantage anyone that's already bought it, even if it meant giving them all a refund.

Flaperon – OS map is great, I had it on my HTC Hero. However my phone has been replaced as it developed a fault, now I can't find OS map in market search on the new phone to install it. Any suggestions, can I install from another source. Curiously it doesn't come up with a result for maverick either

Now i’m a complete technophobe but i’m looking at buying a new android phone & the one app i really want is a reliable, usable-in-the-real-world GPS system based on OS maps.

Is this app such a thing?

Only if you can guarantee that you have good phone coverage wherever you go.

Basically this app downloads maps from a web page on the go. To do so even when the phone signal is not good requires offline mapping.

I use OruxMaps for this. But the process of making an offline map is a bit involved for a newbie (I want to make a guide for this )

i use trekbuddy on my Blackberry, the maps are stored locally which gets round the need for a continous connection. I believe Trekbuddy is a Java app so should be fine on other phones.

Have a look at AlpineQuest as well.

Getting the maps in is a faff, but it’s possible.

Viewranger is the dogs danglies, and only costs £25 for all the national parks at 1:25k

Just use oruxmaps, you can create your own offline maps and its free.

Rmaps is also good but its only online mapping

Second shout for Alpine Quest. If you spend a wee bit of time on the PC you can have both 1:25 and 1:50 maps offline for all of GB for free.

Works very well on my HTC Desire.

I had a play with OS Maps when I first got my Desire and found it a faff to use. AQ is much better IMO. You can pay for the full app if you want tracking and routes. The free one just gives you the maps and GPS location, but does fine for “where am I” moments.

I use RunGPS for tracking/bike computer duties. It has a beta PC program for creating offline maps too but can’t get it to work with OS Maps yet.

Viewranger is good too, but is expensive for the maps which you get free with AQ. That said downloading the maps is very easy.

MM Tracker seems really good if you already have maps for Memory Map

stuart i have the maps – what do i do with em?


Does it do anything that MyTrails doesn’t?

Just had a wee butchers at alpine quest

Looks really good

RR, how did you do it then?

plus1 for MM Tracker.

AFAIK I just copied the qct files from memory map to the dir pointed to on the phone and everything worked?

Beware free version has limited functionality. Full version is quite cheap though, esp. if you want to get utility out of collecting mmap discs over the years.

ok, how do I build maps for orux?

Mm tracker is great I’ve full uk on my phone now

Another vote for Alpine Quest. Making the maps is a bit of a faff, but it’s all free and stored on the SD card. An evening on the pc and a big SD card would get the whole UK at 1:50k and 1:25k on the phone, and available regardless of connection.

This is the guide I used to build maps for oruxmaps, works a treat!

Ace, I’ll give it a go, Thanks

Also mappping fans, maps.bing.com will provide you pinchy-zoomy, clicky-draggy OS mapping up to 1:25k free in your browser.

hmmm im confused. ive got RMaps on my desire, and thought thatd do me for peaks etc. id have a map with me anyway, but good for those ‘lost’ moments where you just want to see where you are. i was thinking i could download the map with wifi, and then bring it up later. is this not the case?

if not, then do any of the above do that? MM Tracker or Alpine Quest? dont mind spending a bit of time on pc or phone the night before, but i dont want it to be downloading fresh data all the time on a ride.

i know RMaps was free, but are the others, or do you need to buy OS maps first or owt?

Rmaps is online only, so if you dont have signal, you dont have maps

Ok, so I’ve created some maps and successfully loaded them onto my phone.

A) How do I select a bigger zone?

B) maps seem to zoom digitaly despite saving loads of layers, is there any way to zoom from the biggest scale to the smallest scale without loading different layers manually?

AlpineQuest is good, but TrekBuddy is effectively the same program and is completely free for the free version. Slightly nicer to use aswell, although it doesn’t have the ability to download maps on the go. AlpineQuest has the ability to download maps from a database on the go which can be useful if you have forgotten to put a map on your phone. Both programs are best used if the maps are downloaded via a PC using the Mobile Atlas Creator program (AlpineQuest uses a dedicated version of this program). As has been said it is a little bit of a faff and takes a few minutes to get used to for the first maps. The Mobile Atlas Program allows you to download maps at any scale. Not just OS Maps but other maps covering most of the world. All maps are free to download= good!

AlpineQuest comes in two version, free and full. When I used to use it you couldn’t track routes, and there was a limit of 3 maps stored on your SD card. This was the main reason I looked elsewhere. TrekBuddy is completely free and allows you to store routes in .gpx format for viewing later with no restrictions on the number of maps you can store. With a little bit of extra work you can add something called a CMS which is basically a graphical output of your route as you move:

If anybody is struggling finding the information to install a CMS let me know and I can try and help out (it’s a little fiddly but worth it!). There is also the only version of an off-road verbal directions I have found so far. It is very limited in that it will only give a direction based on following a previous route- if you go off route it doesn’t have the ability to re-route you, but shows what the program is capable of.

Have tried Maverick but didn’t like it, only looked at the other Android GPS programs out there.

These Android phones are great!

The full version of Alpinequest lets you store as many maps as you like, and tracks your routes too. Only the free one has the limitations you’ve stated.

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