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RouteBuddy - UK National Park Maps for iPhone now available



Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 3 Sep 2009

pocketgpsworld.comFollowing on from the launch of 1:50k mapping RouteBuddy and Ordnance Survey have now announced the availability of UK National Park maps at 1:25,000 scale.

The maps cover all fifteen national parks and work in conjunction with RouteBuddy's free iPhone app RouteBuddy Atlas or RouteBuddy's desktop application.

Retailing from 19.99 these maps offer a significant saving on similar national park maps available on other platforms. For more information visit RouteBuddy's Map Store here.

 

RouteBuddy Atlas is a great app and works well on the iPhone platform with full use of the GPS on iPhone 3G and 3GS models. Apps are installed to the iPhone using a novel system which turns the iPhone into a server.

 

Switch it on in Atlas settings and you are given a URL . Map files purchased and downloaded from RouteBuddy's map store can be easily copied to the iPhone via this feature using Explorer or Finder (this solution is 100% OS indpendent) and then activated by entering the unique Licence Key provided at purchase.

 

Some sample images of the Snowdonia National Park Ordnance Survey map are provided below:

 

Atlas Menu National Park Boundary Tile Map Tile with Menu Map tile without menu

Click sample images above for full size versions

Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright. Media AM101/09

Comments
Posted by NickG on Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:59 pm Reply with quote

Looked interesting at first, but RouteBuddy seems to have pretty awful reviews in the AppStore, averaging just 2 out of 5 for the latest version. I think I'll give it a miss..


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by Darren on Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:21 pm Reply with quote

NickG Wrote:
Looked interesting at first, but RouteBuddy seems to have pretty awful reviews in the AppStore, averaging just 2 out of 5 for the latest version. I think I'll give it a miss..

I think you need to take the Appstore reviews with a large pinch of salt. I've got it and it works very well. So much so that I even bought my own map!

You can download the free app and evaluate it with the trial map supplied. Then you would be in a better position to comment?

Many of the Appstore review comments are farcical and show a clear lack of understanding. Comparing the price with paper maps for example!


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by NickG on Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:40 pm Reply with quote

OK I'll give it a try... I hadn't realised it was free.


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by NickG on Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:47 pm Reply with quote

I'm still a bit confused though. You seem to need to pay for maps, which are free in other applications like OffMaps and OSMaps? I'm not trying it if I have to pay for maps.

It also seems ridiculously basic... reviews seem to claim that although it's called RouteBuddy, is has no routing, or even basic waypoints, and no visible tracks (they don't appear on the map but are only logged to a file). So it seems it's just a map with a dot on it? If that's the case, I'll stick with the apps where you can do this all for free and also get far more functionality.

I can't see a great deal of point in installing a map application that doesn't support waypoints. Even a 15 year old Garmin has this.


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by Darren on Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:51 pm Reply with quote

NickG Wrote:
I'm still a bit confused though. You seem to need to pay for maps, which are free in other applications like OffMaps and OSMaps? I'm not trying it if I have to pay for maps.

OSMaps doesn't offer off-line maps and I have no idea what licence they have. These are on-board maps. OS charge a hefty fee and you ought to compare with map pack prices from Satmap and Garmin as a fair comparison. You can use and access OpenStreetMap maps on this free of charge to evaluate it.
Quote:
It also seems ridiculously basic... reviews seem to claim that although it's called RouteBuddy, is has no routing, or even basic waypoints, and no visible tracks (they don't appear on the map but are only logged to a file). So it seems it's just a map with a dot on it? If that's the case, I'll stick with the apps where you can do this all for free and also get far more functionality.

Such as? I'm not aware of any app that offers off-board OS mapping for free.
Quote:
I can't see a great deal of point in installing a map application that doesn't support waypoints. Even a 15 year old Garmin has this.

Why not give it a go before drawing a conclusion? Sorry but it seems rather short sighted to make so many assumptions and decide to berate an app you haven't tried!

I'm not suggesting that this is a replacement for a dedicated GPS but it is an alternative. I do find it odd though that you are happy to decide its rubbish without ever having tried it. It's also a first release, perhaps some suggestions to RouteBuddy may get these features added in an update?


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by NickG on Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:28 pm Reply with quote

OK you win - I'll try it! Smile

"I do find it odd though that you are happy to decide its rubbish without ever having tried it."

There's nothing odd about that at all; The entire point of the reviews is that you can decide if something is rubbish without having to buy, try or install it! That's *exactly* why they're there - to prevent people wasting time and/or money evaluating dozens of products, when several hundred other people have already just done it.

Imagine if you had to install every app on the AppStore to find out which ones were worth using. Using reviews to decide what to pollute your computer or iPhone with is vital. Apple have done work recently to ensure reviews are current and show comments only relating to the current version of any app. I think it's fair of me (and probably quite common) to dismiss an app that gets very poor reviews. Don't forget this is not ONE particular biassed review I'm reading - it's the *average* score of over 140 users who collectively, have given it that low score.

You mention Satmap - that's exactly what I was looking for, but no app seems to provide what I reguard as the minimum feature set:
1. Offline maps
2. Waypoints and waypoint navigation

Lots of apps provide ONE of those features, but very bizarrely, no app seems to provide both.

The satmap is also something I was about to buy, but was again put off by poor reviews on web. Unfortunately there's no way to try one of those and they're very expensive to buy.

In other news.. iOSMaps's API key seems to have been blocked today! I can no longer get it to work, but it was working fine yesterday.


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by mikealder on Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:28 pm Reply with quote

If you want the device to be usable in a National Park then you will need maps stored on the device, quite a few National Parks have large areas that are devoid of phone coverage which means no maps unless you carry them on the device.

Route Buddy is very good even if its a little basic, but compare the prices with any of the other applications that can use OS maps stored on the device and you will see why its plain and simply good value for money - Mike


 
Posted by NickG on Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:30 pm Reply with quote

mikealder Wrote:
compare the prices with any of the other applications that can use OS maps stored on the device and you will see why its plain and simply good value for money - Mike


OK, I will try it I promise Smile


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by mikealder on Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:33 pm Reply with quote

I have to say when I want to go out walking I would never consider taking anything other than my active10 from SatMap its a true quality device that is geared for the outdoors and is far more rugged than the iPhone - I would only really use the Route Buddy for OS maps if the active10 packed up while out.

I think you need to be a little more careful which reviews you pay attention to rather than base a purchase decision on what you read that is often written by someone who is flying a desk rather than a true walker who knows what to expect from such hardware - Mike


 
Posted by Darren on Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:35 pm Reply with quote

NickG Wrote:
OK you win - I'll try it! Smile

Smile
Quote:
There's nothing odd about that at all; The entire point of the reviews is that you can decide if something is rubbish without having to buy, try or install it! That's *exactly* why they're there - to prevent people wasting time and/or money evaluating dozens of products, when several hundred other people have already just done it.

Whilst that may be true of 59p games, clearly the average user does not understand the app as many of the comments are laughable. The same is already proving true of the GPS Nav apps. The Appstore review process needs to be re-designed to prevent reviews from people who have no clue how the App works spoiling the ratings with comments that are incorrect.

In this situation though it is FREE so it's not onerous to load and test. if you don;t like it, delete from iTunes and that's it. No 'pollution' of you computer will result.

We have said we like it given what it is and purports to be at present, a map 'viewer'. I'd hope our opinion bore slightly more weight than an Appstore comment?

However RouteBuddy are working in adding features to it and waypoints, trails etc will I'm sure come to the app in due course.
Quote:
In other news.. iOSMaps's API key seems to have been blocked today! I can no longer get it to work, but it was working fine yesterday.

Hmm, maybe the licence didn't cover this use, I must say we were all surprised given the OS's sometime onerous terms that a free app offering online access such as this could have been given the green light by them.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by NickG on Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:15 pm Reply with quote

Would you choose a Satmap over say, a Garmin 60csx? I'm getting so many conflicting reports that's hard to know what to go for. All I know is that the iPhone's poor GPS and lack of "Garmin" type apps means means a proper GPS is still required for hobbies like hiking and geocaching.


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
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