Still March, GPS

I want to be able to track our progress using the GPS, with the hope that I can upload a Google map to this site.

I wanted to use the Iphone I have had for the last couple of years, but it won’t multitask.  That means, that I cannot leave the GPS tracking running while using another app, (application) such as TomTom for general navigation.  I didn't want to have to carry two devices, but it seems that I will have to.

As I have discussed in our book in detail, I cannot use Google maps for navigation in Europe due to the download charges.

At the end of my phone contract I upgraded to an Iphone 4.  I hated to do this as for all other purposes the original phone was OK.  Anyway, the multi-tasking problem was solved, or so I thought.  I had hoped that I could run a GPS tracking app all day, and use the phone for anything else I might want to do.

The next problem was choosing an appropriate GPS tracking app.  There are lots available, but there are various issues with some.  One problem was that some of these store every set of coordinates as a placemark, making the map very busy.

I eventually settled on Tracker4D.  I can either use placemarks automatically or not as I choose.  I can also name the file, rather than have the app make up a default and difficult name.  Tracker 4D is $2.49 from the Itunes store.  However, it will not work in the background. I can run the Ipod function at the same time, but if the phone rings, then it dumps all of its data.  It has to run in the foreground, so I can do nothing to interrupt it without losing all data.

Conclusion: I cannot use the phone for tracking the way I want to.

I will have to pick up a dedicated GPS logging thingo.

So, I will use the phone for GPS navigation using the TomTom app, and other smart phone-type functions, but not for track logging.

I purchased a nice handlebar-mounted waterproof case for my Iphone 3, but it doesn’t fit the new shape of the Iphone 4.  So it is back to the web for a new case.  This sort of thing irritates me, but I now have a version that works for this phone.  I spent a considerable amount of time searching for this, as I wanted a waterproof device.  My experience is that when you really, really need to use a GPS for navigation, it is raining.  There does not seem to be a better alternative to this:  It is a bit clunky, but solid and well-designed.