Sunday 1 July 2012

Memory Map on the iphone

Ladysolly was getting fed up with using the Mio for geocaching; it kept crashing, she said, and often just didn't work. So I was looking at for possible replacements.

After looking around for a while, I decided that Memory Map (which we use on the Mio, on my Loox, and on my big screen PC when I plan where we're going) looked like a possibility on the Iphone. Last time I looked it was expensive for an app, I seem to remember £40 or £50? But now it's £4.99.

But! Looking at the reviews, including the ones on the Memory Map web site, and the reviews on iTunes, opinion seems to be divided. Some people give it five stars, and speak very highly of it; others give it one star and call it a rip-off.

Something's wrong.

Memory Map are a well-established company, and although I usually find their prices somewhat high, in my experience, their products work very well. And £4.99 certainly isn't a high price.

Reading the reviews in more detail, it looks to me like the users that gave it a poor review, were complaining mostly that they couldn't get the maps they'd already bought onto the iPhone, and it was asking them to pay again. The users giving a good review, didn't mention this.

So, my thinking was, some people were doing something wrong, and weren't getting their maps transferred.

Ladysolly didn't like all those one-star reviews, and wanted to try another product, but I said, let's risk £4.99, because I think that since Memory Map say that you can transfer version 5 maps (which is what I have), then it must be possible; they wouldn't be saying this if it weren't true.

So, she forked out the £4.99, then passed the iPhone over to me to do the mapping.

I read the memory Map web site, where it gives (I thought) very clear instructions. And, although I'd never used iTunes, I found it a piece of cacke.

1. Connect the iPhone to your computer via the USB cable.
2. Run iTunes. Wait till it's done any syncing it wants to do.
3. Go to your device on the left of the screen, then click on Apps at the top, and choose Memory Map on the left panel below. On the right panel, there will be a list of files; at this point, it's probably empty.
4. Go to where you have the maps on your PC, and drag-and-drop the maps that you want, onto that right panel. I chose OS 1:50k Southern England, Central England and Wales; I bought these on CD Rom a few years ago. I also put the 1:250 road map on.

The copying took a while, because those maps totalled over a gigabyte. But when it had finished, I started Memory Map on the iPhone, and it showed me mapping.

But no cache locations.

So. How do you get those on the iPhone?

Back to the Memory Map site. They say that you do that by emailing the GPX file "in the usual way". Huh? I have the GPX file here, and it's several megabytes. You want me to mail that up to the internet and then back down to the iPhone? That's daft. I want to copy it from my PC to my iPhone, why do I need to go all round the houses?

5. Get a GPX file (GSAK will make one for you, or you can use on you get via a PQ from Groundspeak) and drag-and-drop it onto the same place that you put the maps. Email not required.

Then I started up Memory Map again on the iPhone, and viola - maps and caches.

But the red blob that shows you where you are right now, was greyed out.


Take the iPhone outside so it could have a look look at the satellite, and - red blob!

So it is indeed really easy to get maps, and caches, onto the iPhone. And we've used it, and it works.

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