All posts by Zoraya

About Zoraya

Philippines

16Aug/11

GPS App

GPS app is used by GPS devices to identify a GPS user's location. This is done by using coordinates that users input into the device.  

Smartphones that use Android operating system are GPS capable. The real GPS chip in these phones is responsible for getting the exact location from the Global Navigation Satellite System of the United States. Once location is set, GPS navigation becomes possible.  

An Android GPS app ascertains navigation capability. It converts an Android smartphone into a GPS device without affecting its full feature as a mobile phone. A GPS App is an additional feature to enable the phone to function as two devices.  

Android GPS phones today are used as a navigation device for outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, cross-country skiing, whitewater kayaking, equestrian and ATV activities. It is also used on search and rescue operations.  

Android smartphones using a GPS app are capable of waypoint marking, trip sharing and tracking (breadcrumbing) among the many.  

Waypoint marking labels a location for future reference. An example is an ideal spot inside a park with the best view of the sky to get a good GPS signal or a dangerous broken trail to avoid.

Trip sharing is sharing waypoints and tracks that can be used for future hiking or camping trips. Trip sharing is simply done by exporting the file in a GPX (GPS Exchange) file format.  

Tracking (breadcrumbing) means marking and saving a path as you hunt or hike. It is like a journal of your outdoor activities that you can view or again, share.  

Breadcrumbing is a modern word, which came from an old myth that people use breadcrumbs to mark their path as they walk inside the forest and as guide in coming back so that they won't get lost.  

With Backcountry Navigator GPS app, you find your way in the outdoors, guide you back safely, and give you options to find amazing places while you are out there.  

Have fun in discovering how it works.

09Aug/11

Whitewater Android Maps

Whitewater Android maps are now available to help users enjoy whitewater with their Android device as a navigation aid. 

Whitewater kayaking is one of the sports that are favored today because it is not only an outdoor sport, it tests the paddler’s skill, expertise and stamina.

There are professional paddlers who want challenge by braving the rapids and there are those who paddle for leisure and enjoy the nature’s trail with the whole family. 

Navigation in whitewater has been a great concern for paddlers. There are plenty of handbooks and guides for whitewater. However, this does not give the paddlers real time navigation. They need a device that can give them complete information about their exact location on the river.   

When Android mobile platform was launched, Android GPS turned smartphones into a GPS device, usable for whitewater and other activities. BackCountry Navigator, listed as one of the best Android travel apps, offers a whitewater trail map as an add-on purchase. The data comes from US Trailmaps, Inc, known for creation of GPS grade digital maps and trail systems. 

With the current presence of Android mobile devices, whitewater android maps have become a convenient accessory. 

The Whitewater for Android maps will guide you to rivers and runs you wish to explore. It provides information about access points and navigation to put-ins and takeouts. With these maps, you can explore new rivers and recreation areas.   BackCountry Navigator's Whitewater Android trail maps provides information such as:
5,017 rapids runs covering 50 US states
49,222 total miles of rapids
9,397 put in and take out access points  

 Venturing into the world of whitewater kayaking is an inherently dangerous activity. It is just you and a small boat against what the nature has to offer. Make sure that you have received the proper training first and now completely familiar with the boat and the equipment needed to traverse whitewater safely.

Most of all, ensure that your Android GPS device is ready, configured and protected to get the best of your whitewater adventure, whether it is for the challenge or enjoying a rare family time.    

Whitewater Android maps are available as an in-app or add-on purchase with BackCountry Navigator PRO.

27Jul/11

Android Maps

Mobile OS of Smartphones swiftly evolved from Palm to one of the most successful and widely used mobile OS these days, which is Android.  

Android is an operating system capable of storing multiple applications accomplished by third party developers. These applications are intended to improve lives and give comfort to the users. 

BackCountry Navigator is an Android mapping application for Android GPS devices. It is perfect for people who love adventures in the backcountry. The distinct characteristic that separates it from other GPS apps is its capability to store, download and view maps from an Android phone even without network coverage.

BackCountry Navigator is ideal for off-road navigation. Together with a topographic Android map, are often used for activities like:
hiking
hunting 
kayaking
snowmobiling
equestrian
ATV and 
backpacking   

Android maps have plenty of built in map sources, which allows you to create your own maps with Mobile Atlas Creator. Built in sources includes:
OpenStreetMaps and NASA landsat data worldwide
MyTopo.com topo maps of US and Canada
OpenCycleMaps showing terrain worldwide
USGS Color Aerial photography
UK Ordinance Survey Explorer Maps
Topographic Maps of Spain and Italy
Outdoor maps of Germany and Austria
Topo maps of New Zealand  

BackCountry Navigator Android maps are often used in the following: 
Geocaching
Record tracks and GPS waypoints of your trip
Hiking trails and off trail
Finding a perfect camping site or find your way back to the camp
Wild game hunting trips in rugged areas • Recon for the hunt or a live hunting trip
Navigate and mark your favorite bait fishing or fly-fishing spots 
Search and Rescue (SAR)
Kayak and canoe trips on inland lakes, streams or marine coastal waters
Backpacking trips for the wilderness and national forests using Android GPS topo maps for navigation 
Snow adventures including snowmobiling, skiing (alpine or cross-country) and snowshoeing  

BackCountry Navigator ATV and snowmobile trail maps are now available as in app or add-on purchase and can be downloaded from the Android market. Equestrian and whitewater kayaking Android maps will be available soon.  

Android phones are a better substitute for handheld devices like Garmin and Magellan because of BackCountry Navigator’s real time navigation. That’s why BackCountry Navigator Android GPS app is one of the top chosen Android applications in Travel category.   

BackCountry Navigator Android maps gives users a chance to try it for free to ensure that the quality of the maps in their corresponding country meets the user’s expectations. Preload free offline topo maps, aerial photos and road maps on your storage card and explore how it works.  

Find your own way and have fun in the outdoors with Android maps. Be adventurous by venturing into new territories beyond cell service boundaries with your GPS. Be a pro in GPS navigation.  

Have fun and safe GPS adventures in the backcountry.  

24Jul/11

Android GPS Snowmobile Maps

Snowmobile Trail Maps for Android are available as an add-on purchase with BackCountry Navigator PRO. These are created by US Trailmaps, Inc. 

One of the many ways to have fun in the snow-covered backcountry of the US is through snowmobiling. Snowmobiling is an adventure that gives you a chance to enjoy hundreds of thousands of acres of stunning territories, even in areas that are too secluded to be easily accessible.

If you are one of the snowmobilers who are smart enough to use an Android phone as a GPS device, you will appreciate BackCountry Navigator snowmobile maps. It will save you long hours of research to locate your planned rides because these maps include thousands of numbered intersections for reference with added detail such as a trail names. It also has search capability. 

BackCountry Navigator snowmobile map contains over 195,000 miles of trails complete with information for full navigation. 

BackCountry Navigator Android GPS app lets you download and view snowmobile maps in your Android device even in areas without network coverage. Only BackCountry Navigator can function as offline navigator, which means it can still provide GPS service even in areas without network coverage. The trails that you've previously previewed or downloaded will even show on the maps. 

BackCountry Navigator is the best Android GPS app for snowmobiling because it completes the objective of US Trailmaps to provide snowmobilers with real time navigation. 

Android snowmobile maps include:
50,699 trails covering 27 US states and 5 Canadian provinces
195,310 total miles of trails
3,306 named and numbered trail intersections

To view the coverage of the map and find out your favorite trails, preview can be found here: http://www.ustrailmaps.com/products/snowmobile.cfm or view the example here.

BackCountry Navigator sells snowmobile maps for Android.

Snowmobile Maps for Android can be purchased from the Android market from within BackCountry Navigator PRO. You can find it by using the menu item More-> "Purchasing Add-ons".  

08Jul/11

Android GPS ATV Trail Maps

ATV trail maps are now available for Android! Due to an agreement with US Trailmaps, Inc, these are now available as an in app or add-on purchase for BackCountry Navigator PRO.


                             

These are ideal for Android users who love exploring the outdoors using ATV’s or all terrain vehicles. 

ATV maps covers:
22,514 trails covering 48 US states
25,417 total miles of Summer use trails
1,548 points of interest 

You don't have to guess at whether this will contain your favorite trails. Preview it here:
http://atvgpstrailmaps.com/maps.html?type=atv&base=ocm&lat=34.667206991117&

ATV maps will guide you to get to your destination without getting lost along the way. It is complete with essential informations such as:
trail names
parking and camping areas
local clubs 
trailheads  

ATV trail maps will help you safely explore new trails and areas. It provides information from and to your destination via interconnected routes.   These maps are one of the innovations by U.S. Trailmaps, Inc. for Android. The vision of US Trailmaps is to deliver convenience and safety forpeople who love outdoor adventures by helping them research,locate and plan their ATV rides. US Trailmaps believes in quality and credibility and they found these qualities in BackCountry Navigator.   

One of the features that US Trailmaps envisioned for their service is real time navigation. BackCountry Navigator complements this. BackCountry Navigator can download and view mapsin areas without network coverage or function as offline navigator. The trails will show on the maps you've already previewed or downloaded.

ATV Trail Maps for Android contains more than 25,000 miles of ATV routes and trails. The trail maps include hundreds of points of interest relevant to ATV trail riding. Details such as the trail name or number are displayed when you select the item on the map. ATV Trail Maps for Android can be purchased from the Android market from within BackCountry Navigator PRO. You can find them by using the menu item "Purchasing Add-ons".   

ATV Trails for Android

 

06Jun/11

Android Maps and Aerial Photography

Android mobile devices need an Android map to be able to navigate with the help of GPS. Maps are downloaded and stored in a GPS device. These maps can be viewed online or offline depending on your choice of a GPS app. Backcountry Navigator Android GPS app is capable of these.


Topographic Maps
Topographic mapping is created by US Geological Survey in the United States. Every inch of the US is covered by 54,000 map sheets or quadrangles. The primary scale they use for topo mapping is 1:24,000 which means that one inch on the map equals 24,000 inches on the ground or 2,000 feet. These map sheets demonstrates an area of that is 7.5 minutes of longitude wide by 7.5 minutes of latitude high and measures just about 29 inches high and 22 inches wide.


A topographic map shows the shapes and terrain of the land and uses signs to symbolize the topography of the area.

A handy alternative for a map sheet is an Android gps map. It function like map sheets in an Android GPS device. With the use of Backcountry Navigator GPS app, it can also be used for planning, preparation and navigation.

There are seven colors on a topo map representing the type of terrain features. An exception is the Northern areas of Canada, which are mapped in monochrome (or black and white).
•    Black defines features such as buildings, train lines, power transmission poles, toponymy, exact elevations, border and neighboring information.
•    Red represents concrete roads, highway numbers, crossing points and major transportation routes. A red hue signifies an ongoing urban development.
•    Orange means undeveloped roads, unidentified roads and streets.
•    Brown indicates outlines of elevations, eskers and contour lines.
•    Blue represents water features, names of bodies of water and watercourses. Universal Transverse Mercator matrix is also shown in blue.
•    Green colors in topo maps means wooded areas and plantations.
•    Grey is used for uncategorized signs, glossary of terms and abbreviations found at the back of the map.
•    Purple indicates updates added to the original map detail.
 
One of the most important information to look for on a topographic map is the latest date of revision printed on the left side of the scale. Even though mountains take hundreds of years to change, small-scale features change quickly. A watercourse may change because of flooding and landslides and alter the topography considerably. Some trails may have been added or some may have become unusable. These small changes are still very important to ensure accuracy and safety.

Aerial Photography
Since aviation began more than a century ago, aerial photographs served as the source of information about the Earth's surface. The success of cartography came from precise aerial photos.
An aerial photograph gives a specific view of the ground that no other map can. During emergencies when information cannot be accessed through maps, aerial photography is the best alternative. An aerial image gives a permanent and exact record of a monitored area on a daily basis.

Aerial photographs cannot be compared to a topographic map as both have different characteristics. Ground features in aerial photos are hard to interpret without symbols and the scales are only approximate. The lack of contrasting colors and hue makes it difficult to use in the dark. However, nothing can surpass the benefits of an aerial map in times of disasters where information is most important for safety and prevention.

Android maps, aerial photograph and Backcountry Navigator in your Android GPS device can give you information about your exact location and Earth’s geographical status anytime.

 

01Jun/11

Android Maps Used by GPS

Android maps are categorized into street maps, topo or topographic maps and aerial photography. The bases for choosing an Android GPS app are map types, map access, and styles of navigation.


An Android phone can be used as a GPS device that is capable of providing navigation, mapping and tracking information anywhere on earth, as long as it can access data from the satellites.

There are three types of maps used by Android GPS:

Street Maps
A street map is a map of a town or city, showing the positions and names of all the streets and roads for navigation.

Most GPS receivers that are sold are packaged with a pre-programmed road maps and basic traffic information such as street names, speed limits allowed on a certain street or road, traffic condition and even parking lot locations.

The compiled information contained in a street map will guide the user about his travel route, his current location and distance to his destination.

Topo or Topographic Maps
Topographic maps or topo maps for short is a detailed and accurate graphic representation of cultural and physical features of the earth. Cartographers plot topo maps on large sheets of paper using a ratio scale wherein a single measurement of the map represents a bigger area of the earth.

However, since the evolution of GPS, Android maps can now be downloaded and stored in an Android phone and with Backcountry Navigator GPS app, can be viewed online or offline.

Topo maps are ideal for hiking and backpacking because it shows images and shapes of landscapes and terrains, including elevations of mountain peaks.

A topo map is a broader and extended sketch of a street map. It can identify several cultural and natural ground features like water, vegetation and toponymy that street maps can’t.

Aerial Photography
An aerial photograph is any photo captured above the ground. Aerial photographs are very useful. Aside from being originally used in military operations, it is considered as an important map substitute in the Global Positioning System technology. It provides people on earth an incomparable instrument to see images of the different parts of the world and know what is actually happening with its environment.

Aerial photographs can be readily obtained and can be available as soon as it is taken unlike maps that take time to prepare. It can easily provide information about a monitored area like those hit by calamities and catastrophes. It aids in the evaluation of dangerous situations and helps in decision-making. Aerial photography can be relied on because it provides an on time view of the ground and exact changes from the time a map was made.

Android maps and aerial photography are best used with Backcountry Navigator GPS app. The accurate information that it can provide gives direction in times when safety is needed.

 

07May/11

Trailcamming with an Android GPS

Capturing the movements of wild animals in its rare, natural and fluid state is a challenging task. It is an achievement, too.

A trail camera is essential for hunters in tracking big animals like elks and deers. It is intended to capture images of these animals without disturbing their habitat. Areas usually frequented by these animals is determined and then a trail camera is placed on their track.


The camera should be well hidden and scent free. Animals may not always detect a trail cam but they can identify a different scent that will disturb them, causing these animals to pass the other way.

For many who love the outdoors, the possibilities of capturing a story in motion are infinite. Trail cameras are not only for elks and for deers; it is for anything about nature that brings joy.

Follow your wish for a liberating and wonderful experience of the outback. Capture it with a trail cam and use BackCountry Navigator to guide your adventure.

27Apr/11

Hiking the Continental Divide Trail

A line that separates the accumulated water flowing from mountain peaks to a continent is called a continental divide. In mountainous countries, a divide may stretch along mountain ridges and peaks. It is sometimes called a dividing range.

The Great Divide or Continental Divide found in the North and South American continent separates the watersheds of the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean.

Along the continental divide lies the Continental Divide Trail, also famously known as the "King of Trails". It is a 3,100-mile (5,000 kilometers) challenging thru-hike for hiking fanatics. The trail:

•    traverses the highest point of the Rocky Mountains starting from Canada to Mexico all the way through the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico
•    passes through 8 Bureau of Land Management Resource areas, 1 National Monument, 20 Wilderness, 3 National Parks and 25 National Forests
•    highest point is 14,270 feet at Grays Peak, Colorado with a lowest point of 3,900 feet at Columbus, New Mexico
•    intersects with Hudson Bay, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, also called the Triple Divide Peak of Montana
•    average elevation is more than 11,000 feet
•    the Continental Divide Trail takes nearly 6 months or half of a year to complete at a pace of 17 miles per day
•    passes through ancient and historic sites like centuries old Indian grinding holes and petroglyphs in New Mexico

The CDT is one of the famous three long distance thru-hikes in the United States. It also has the most remote wilderness and the most spectacular mountain scenery. Commonly called one of the “Triple Crown Trails”, the other two are the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Continental Divide Trail is a work-in-progress because many areas are still undefined. It will all depend on the hiker to find the correct route by choosing his navigation tools smartly.

Professional hikers planning for a thru-hike should prepare themselves physically to endure the tough six months, 17 miles trek a day.

Water is a precious commodity while hiking the Continental Divide Trail. Other parts of the trail run in boundless dry lands and mountains without means to fresh water. A hiker needs at least 2 to 3 liters of water a day to replenish fluid loss brought about by the strenuous, long hike.

Next to water, extra battery for Android phone and solar charger is necessary.

Cell phone signal in the Continental Divide Trail is nearly impossible because either the trails are too remote or the signals are blocked by the mountains.

Nevertheless, Android GPS phones can still function as GPS even in areas without network coverage as long as maps are stored in the phone before the start of the trail. Some apps for Android GPS phones like BackCountry Navigator can download stored maps from the phone memory and view custom waypoints even without a cell phone signal.

GPS is more accurate and convenient than a compass and map packs. Viewing a topo map offline using an Android GPS phone is possible. Topographic maps from U.S.G.S. are recommended as ideal because it shows the terrain detail.

Upload a U.S.G.S. topo map in your phone before you hike and use BackCountry Navigator app to view it while on trail. Location is very important when hiking the CDT. BackCountry Navigator Android hiking app will not fail you in one of the most fulfilling hikes of your life.
 

19Apr/11

BackCountry Navigator on the Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is 2,650 miles of America's most precious treasure located in the Western United States.

The origin of PCT started in the late 1930's when trail pioneers Clinton Clarke and Warren Rogers, after exploring the route, persuaded the US federal government to obtain a border-to-border passageway. It was called Pacific Crest Trail because it covers the high mountain peaks of California, Oregon and Washington.


The scenic trail extends to three states ranging from Mexico to Canada. It uncovers the magnificent views of the desert, the vast glaciers of Sierra Nevada, the breathtaking views of volcanic peaks and the mountains of ice in the Cascade Range. From the diversity of snow-covered mountains, grassy fields to woodlands, the Pacific Crest Trail represents the Western United States' natural treasure – a wealth of nature to behold and protect.

Countless hikers and horse riders prepare each year to embark in hiking and experience nature at its best at Pacific Crest Trail. Some travels a few miles only to see its beauty. However, most thru-hikers aim to complete the 2,650 trail miles. It takes thru-hikers 5 to 6 months to traverse the trail, which means they need to hike a minimum of 20 miles every day.

For hiking fanatics who are planning to cross the PCT, these facts are important before you start to trek:

•       PCT crosses the three deepest lakes in the US: Lake Tahoe at 1,645 feet, Crater Lake at 1,932 feet and Lake Chelan at 1,149 feet.
•       Pacific Crest Trail has five different climate zones, each having exclusive earth's features, plant life and animal life. These territories are Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Central California and Southern California.
•       The Pacific Crest Trail includes 7 national parks, 24 national forests, 33 federally mandated wilderness and 3 national monuments
•        It consists of almost 60 major mountain passes
•       Slides down into 19 major canyons
•       Treks on more than 1,000 mountain lakes
•       PCT traverses the San Andreas Fault three times, a rough distance of 810 miles through California. The world-famous trademark of the San Andreas Fault is the various rocks on both sides formed 28 million years ago.

The Pacific Crest Trail is reasonably well marked for most of its area. However, it is still common for hikers to lose the trail because either it is covered by snow or they encounter an unmarked trail intersection. In these cases, GPS in Android phones is the most useful device to help hikers determine their exact location and direct them to the right trail.

Thru-hikers have calculated that there is 70% network coverage on the Pacific Crest Trail. Lack of GPS signal is not an obstacle.

The GPS capability of Android phones helps hikers to plot a course along the PCT. Because Android GPS phones can store and download waypoints even without network coverage, many hikers equip themselves with BackCountry Navigator app on their Android phones for their planned hikes. The GPS app makes their adventure much easier and safer.

With Android GPS, finding a trail even if it's buried under the snow is simpler compared to the detailed process of a map and compass. Aside from convenience in knowing the exact location, Android GPS also provides the hiker a way to communicate with family and friends through trip sharing.

GPS technology helps people find each other, support each other and share their adventures as it happens.