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Who wants to help design an all-new trip planner from the ground up?
SpadesFlush
@GoneNomad: I remember getting that black inverse "tap to.." message once. I think it is a newby thing.

Also, what you say about automatically refreshing expiring downloaded maps is probably correct. I saw today a map I downloaded in September that I have not used since with an expiry of 20+ days from now. That must have been renewed. However, I don't really want it currently so I deleted it rather than having it consume precious memory on my phone. It would be all too easy to build up an inventory on these map files that I no longer need. A reminder that they are there might be useful.

Another thing I noticed (quite obvious, duh) is that the file size corresponds to the area saved. So, when one downloads a map, it might be a good idea to zoom down to only the area needed to minimize file size, if that matters to the user.

Quote:
I've had people tell me that many times, there phone-based nav worked fine right up until they needed it, when they got out in the boonies, where there was no data connection, and the turn-by-turn stopped just when they actually needed them, prior to which, they already knew - or could easily determine - the correct route.
I thought that was just the usual Sod's Law. It happened to me on Saturday.

@Ken: Yes, you did mention the Palm legacy. I just use folders. Also, I convert a lot of stuff to PDFs including itineraries, wikipedia write-ups, reservation confirmations, etc.. That way I can download them onto wifey's I-Pad, a folder at a time, for her reference.
GoneNomad
How to Cache MapQuest Maps and Directions for Offline Use

I was wondering about this.
I had assumed Mapquest had implemented this feature across all platforms by now, but maybe not:

"...you donít have to do anything in order to cache MapQuest maps offline, you donít even have to tap a button, because all of this works automatically. Map Quest has not announced yet when they will release the caching offline maps feature on other mobile platforms...
...MapQuestís caching maps offline feature is available for iPhone devices only, which means that itís still not supported for apps on other mobile operating systems such as Android, Windows, BlackBerry, etc."
September 21, 2015


FWIW, the MapQuest app (Android) does not allow creation of multi-step routes, but MapQuest.com can "share" a multi-step route URL via email or text message, and all the stops are there when opened in the MapQuest app.


...
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Well, there's a total file size limit too (not sure what it is), which means that in more urban areas than the trip you planned, the map area size will be more limited.

... For example, a traveler might download the maps for the cities they are traveling to, then plan trips between them, only to find the guidance stops when they leave those metro areas. ...

IMO, it exists only because google is staffed by too many city slickers who really can't imagine that being without unlimited 4GLTE is anything but extremely rare, ...
@GoneNomad,

I pretty much just ignored saving any metropolitan areas in detail for the testing. I operate on the assumption that if I'm in or close to a large metropolitan area where I need navigation or POI search capability I'll have either cellular data or public wifi (Starbucks, Burger King, whatever) available. Probably both.

So in real life if I was going to depend on the Android Google Maps app for navigation on a long trip I would download huge areas with little detail on the basis that those stretches without cellular data would be few.

However, in real life I would use things in the following order:

1. One of my Garmin dedicated navigation devices (Nuvi 40, 765T, 2595, Montana 600, eTrex Venture HCx). The way I travel, I don't even put in a long, detailed route. I just put in the night's stopping point along with any points needed to force it onto the roads I want to take. In general, the only thing I really use the navigation device for is to get an idea how far/how long until we reach the day's destination, or some intermediate point that I might care about, and to guide us through any large metropolitan areas that we can't avoid.

2. Android ALK CoPilot on my smartphone, used pretty much in the same fashion as the personal navigation device in point 1 for longer stretches.

3. The Android Google Maps app. As you've already pointed out a few times, it's generally the best for finding addresses and POIs. I would not generally use it for long stretches because of my data limit (either downloading the necessary map data in advance for offline use or just letting it grab the map data on the fly online as needed). My data limit is not tiny but why waste it downloading map data that I've already got in both my personal nav device and in the CoPilot app?

I use CoPilot and Google Maps apps as a bit of a backup to the personal navigation device. That is, if I can't find an address or POI on the personal navigation device I'll check it in Maps or CoPilot. (I check the navigation device first, simply because I'm most likely already using it and it saves digging my phone out if I don't need to.) I can usually find almost anything in one of the three. Whichever device/app I find it in, I'll typically use the same for navigating to it, as a matter of convenience (usually just requires poking a "GO" button or some equally simple action).

Quote:
I don't have as much of a problem with the auto-expiry, as long as users are prompted to update/replace them when they expire. That probably doesn't happen though, at least in some circumstances.
They aren't prompted. A couple of days ago I had downloaded a sizeable area in western Canada for the route testing we were doing (one of the three areas I mentioned previously). When I went to test something with the same route yesterday evening it gave me the error that not all of the route could be found in the saved data. When I went to the Manage Offline Areas to see what was wrong, that area was gone.

No warning, nothing. Just gone. While I was there, it updated the other two areas. My question is, Why weren't they gone also? The one that was gone was the last one I downloaded, not the first.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
@Ken in Regina...
So in real life if I was going to depend on the Android Google Maps app for navigation on a long trip I would download huge areas with little detail ...ken...
Ken... I've been testing GoogleMapsNav app offline map downloading...

Actually, the android GoogleMaps/Nav app downloads the same map data detail regardless of how the selection area is zoomed, as long as the perimeter covers the same geographic area. That part is just a visual effect.
Also it looks like it's unaware of data already downloaded in a previous 'offline map' of the same area.

Google's scheme is fine - maybe even beneficial for a user in a metro area that (for example) spans multiple states (as in the northeastern US)... these users have no need to download entire states, they may just need a greater metro area. Google caters to people in the areas with the highest populations. But even so their scheme could have been implemented better (and probably will be, eventually)

------

I've also been testing Here maps, which like CoPilot and Win10 maps stores map data by state or region. It can "save" routes and places directly (meaning they show up in lists in the account). But the routes only show up in browsers, not in the mobile app.

wego.here.com can also "share" via email or text, but apparently only places...
I find no way in at wego.here.com to share even a route to one destination.

I'm guessing they probably intended to implement this, but ran out of money before the company was sold.
Since automakers bought them, I thing their focus may now be on the kind of "paid app" where you have to buy a BMW to get it. That would explain the real reason why they stopped making the high-quality voices available (see comments in this post) and tried to stop users from sharing them too, much to the chagrin of many users (I got the Hi-Fi US voices before here took them down, though, and they work great).

-------

CoPilot is looking better all the time, especially since the Windows 7/8/10 laptop version is now only twenty bucks. It used to be $100.

It might be the way to go, if used only for navigation.

Since CoPilot saves routes but doesn't provide a way to sync across devices as is so commonly implemented (usually poorly) on mobile apps, having CoPilot on Windows makes having to manually put .trp files in a folder easier than on a mobile device.

Actually, actually, on a mobile device is used mainly for navigation, the browser's default download location (where Furkot puts them) could be the appropriate CoPilot folder. Then there's no need to deal with kludgy Android file managers to move the .trp file to that location.

I guess CoPilot only updates the trip list from the files there when when it starts up, right?

It could be that another front end trip planner like Furkot, along with the ability to save .trp files directly into the appropriate CoPilot folder, will work best for long distance trips.

Then use the google.com.maps and/or the GoogleMaps/Nav app for nearby POI discovery and short side trips.

...
Ken in Regina
@SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
Another thing I noticed (quite obvious, duh) is that the file size corresponds to the area saved. So, when one downloads a map, it might be a good idea to zoom down to only the area needed to minimize file size, if that matters to the user.
That might not have exactly the effect you think. I have a small area around the city of Regina, SK, downloaded. It's a relatively small place, pop. 235,000 or so. The size of the downloaded map file is 38K. I also have a maximum size area that starts slightly east of Regina and ends just west of Medicine Hat, AB. It's geographically huge by comparison. But it's only 78K.

I'm guessing from those file sizes that, because the smaller area is effectively zoomed, it contains more detail. I have not tested with any searches to confirm this and I'm not sure I have enough interest. But the ratio of the area covered to the map size does not seem to be direct. Not even close.

Quote:
@Ken: Yes, you did mention the Palm legacy. I just use folders. Also, I convert a lot of stuff to PDFs including itineraries, wikipedia write-ups, reservation confirmations, etc.. That way I can download them onto wifey's I-Pad, a folder at a time, for her reference.
That's the [mental] model I was trying to encourage you to use with OneNote. It's pretty much the same one I use. So a tab becomes a folder and a notebook page becomes a subfolder. The only difference between this and the Windows file system is that you can only put the various sorts of files into the notebook pages (sub-folders) and not in the tabs (folders). Otherwise it works virtually identically for that sort of use.

One major advantage to OneNote is that if you want text, either typed by you or copy/pasted, you can paste it straight onto the notebook page instead of having to open text editor (Notepad, Word, whatever). The notebook pages even have all the formatting you might want. Because of this, annotating web links or images that you might have copied onto a notebook page is dead simple.

Since there is an excellent OneNote client for iOS, you don't have to do the PDF conversion for your wife. Anything you put into a notebook page on your PC or Android device will automatically be there and displayed properly on your wife's iPad the next time she opens OneNote.

I'm honestly not trying to shove OneNote down your throat, although I'm sure it must sound like it. It's just that is sounds like it should do exactly what you want and save you some steps in the process. That's because I'm already doing pretty much exactly what you describe in pretty much exactly the way you describe.

That's why I suggested making a brand new notebook, naming some of the tabs the same name as three or four of your existing folders and then try just copy/pasting the stuff from those folders onto notebook pages. If you just have all the stuff dumped into the single named folder, just create a single notebook page in the tab and start dumping stuff onto it. If that makes too much of a mess, think about how you might like to break it up into multipe pages (subfolders).

If you already have a subfolder structure to semi-organize stuff in the folder, just create a notebook page for each subfolder and start dumping stuff onto them from the relevant subfolders.

Did you try that approach? What was the result that seems to have frustrated you?

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
@Ken in Regina...
I'm guessing from those file sizes that, because the smaller area is effectively zoomed, it contains more detail....ken...
I don't think so. Seems to be just a visual effect. I'm pretty sure that the number or addresses and road info in an area is the primary determinate of file size. I'd be surprised if google includes more or less of those depending on the differing visual presentations of the same geographic area.

Two 'offline map' areas with the same geographic perimeter have about the same file size, regardless of the zoom level in the GoogleMapsNav app when the area is downloaded.

It's tedious to try to get them the same, and not possible to get two identical geographical perimetes at two different zoom levels when the only control is by finger-drag, but I tried it as best I could.

..
Ken in Regina
@GoneNomad,

Thanks for the update. I didn't have sufficient interest to try but the information is interesting in any case. I'm in the middle of setting up a new WiFi router and just got things working enough to get back onto the internet. Now if I could just figure out how to get back to the advanced settings.....

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
@GoneNomad ...[offline map selection zoom] Seems to be just a visual effect....Two 'offline map' areas with the same geographic perimeter have about the same file size, regardless of the zoom level in the GoogleMapsNav app when the area is downloaded...
UPDATE: here's I now know for sure:

1. Two 'offline maps' with the same geographic perimeter that were selected at different zoom levels APPEAR to have about the same file size, as far as what the GoogleMapsNav app shows in the list of 'offline map' areas

Downloaded while zoomed all the way out:


Deleted the above map and the downloaded almost exactly the same area while zoomed all the way in:



2. This time I watched the second download, and while it appears to have about the same file size, it downloaded WAY too fast to have actually downloaded.

So either it's copied from the (already downloaded) first 'offline map' with the same geographic perimeter, or (more likely) it's just a representation of the data size, meaning that the offline map data is not actually duplicated at all.
Attached Images
download-zoomed-out-view.jpg   download-zoomed-view.jpg  
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
@Ken in Regina...They aren't prompted. A couple of days ago I had downloaded a sizeable area in western Canada for the route testing we were doing (one of the three areas I mentioned previously). When I went to test something with the same route yesterday evening it gave me the error that not all of the route could be found in the saved data. When I went to the Manage Offline Areas to see what was wrong, that area was gone.

No warning, nothing. Just gone. While I was there, it updated the other two areas. My question is, Why weren't they gone also? The one that was gone was the last one I downloaded, not the first.
...ken...
If you happened to clear googlemaps app's data cache, that may have deleted them.

FYI: "...Offline areas that you downloaded on your phone or tablet need to be updated at least every 30 days. When your offline areas expire in 15 days or less, Google Maps will try to update the area automatically when you're connected to Wi-Fi."

ref.
https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6291838?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

"Update offline areas"


Hmmmm.... looks like it can be done on googlemaps:
POI Loader
POI Loader Lite
NOt sure if it's the
googlemaps app or just on google.com/maps?

GoneNomad
Key points about GoogleMaps app 'offline areas'

So far I haven't found any limit on the number of 'offline areas' or the total file size.
While testing this I downloaded more than 30 different offline areas over the past day (retaining as many as 14 at any one time), so if there's any daily limit, it must be more than 30.



Previously I stated that the having a fixed (aspect ratio) rectangle shape for 'offline area' selection
was a drawback because not all geographic areas you might want to store locally would fit in that shape.

But some android devices that allow multiple windows and allows those windows to be resized (LG tablet do both). Resizing the window that GoogleMaps is in also reshapes the 'offline area' bounding box too:




Lastly, it's easy to download the 'offline area' of the currently selected point of interest, directly from its detail panel:


Considering that one of googlemap's strongest capabilities is local search, this is a very handy feature!
Attached Images
tall-offline-map-area.jpg   wide-offline-map-area-r1.png   poi-save-offlinemap-area-r1.jpg   lot-offline-areas.jpg  
SpadesFlush
@ken
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
@SpadesFlush

That might not have exactly the effect you think. I have a small area around the city of Regina, SK, downloaded. It's a relatively small place, pop. 235,000 or so. The size of the downloaded map file is 38K. I also have a maximum size area that starts slightly east of Regina and ends just west of Medicine Hat, AB. It's geographically huge by comparison. But it's only 78K.

I'm guessing from those file sizes that, because the smaller area is effectively zoomed, it contains more detail. I have not tested with any searches to confirm this and I'm not sure I have enough interest. But the ratio of the area covered to the map size does not seem to be direct. Not even close.

...
...ken...
I think the file "size" criterion has to do with the content in the area as Google sees it for navigational purposes rather than population (to which GM is completely indifferent) or geographic area. I have been to Regina twice and drove from Medicine Hat to Regina one of those times, so I can easily visual what you are describing. In the latter case, a big area but not much navigational detail. I zoomed down on a GM to just most of Manhattan and saved that. It was just over 100 Mb. Obviously, it is a small geographic area (probably about the same as your Regina zoom) but with a lot of navigational noise.

There is a difference between healthy encouragement and "shoving" down one's throat and I definitely feel that in this case it is the former rather than the latter and I appreciate that. I see the tabs and I get what you are saying about them. I think the best is for me to try this out in a real-world situation. So, the next time I am trying to put a trip together I will try it with OneNote.

I had not tried your "dumping" technique but perhaps I will. What frustrated me was creating new "cards" from nothing and cutting and pasting maps.

My PDF software automatically translates PDF images to text in an invisible layer in the document file which can be copied and pasted.

I hear what you say about the OneNote iOS client but I am reluctant to introduce that particular user to a new app in the spirit of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Certainly not while I am less-than fluent in the use of the app.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush...Another thing I noticed (quite obvious, duh) is that the file size corresponds to the area saved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush...I think the file "size" criterion has to do with the content in the area as Google sees it for navigational purposes rather than population (to which GM is completely indifferent) or geographic area...
Correct.

Also, the zoom level when the area is selected doesn't matter either.

@SpadesFlush: your mention of the way you use google calendar, etc. piqued my interest in this, when I ran across this in a google help file:

Find events, reservations, and flight info

You can see information about your upcoming events, like flights, restaurant reservations, or car rentals in Google Maps.
This information might appear:
  • In your search results
  • In the suggestions below the search box
  • With details about a place
  • On your map
  • On "Your places"
How Maps knows your events

Information about your events comes from these places in your Google Account:
  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
Only you can see information about your events, and only when you're signed in to Google and have Web & App Activity turned on. Learn more about creating a Google Account or Gmail address.


This is more fully explained here: you can see your Google Calendar events in Google Maps:

"As long as you’re signed into both Google Calendar and Google Maps, the next time you open Google Maps you’ll see your Google Calendar events right there on the map."


SpadesFlush
@ ken re OneNote:

Heretofore, I have not disclosed one element of my file management, but I suppose I should.

I use Nuance's PaperPort Professional (see http://www.nuance.com/for-individuals/by-product/paperport/index.htm) to visualize folder contents. It shows PDF files as a medium-sized thumbnail of the last-opened page of that particular file, usually the first, or top, page. It will also do this for certain other types of files such as *.doc, *.docx, *.xls, *.xlsx, and others. I can either click on it to get a viewer-only view of the file contents or, with a right-click, open it up in the application that is the default for files with that particular extension. I can create shortcuts with hyperlinks in the usual fashion and open them from this desktop.

I can manually re-arrange thumbnails or sort them by various criteria: file name, size, date, etc.

While I can only see one folder at a time (subject to the below), the available folders are shown in a sidebar on the left and can be easily accessed.

The "desktop" can be split so that you see two different un-linked windows, each of which performs as if single. You can easily drag files from one window to the other open window thereby easily managing folder contents and immediately seeing what you got.

You can do things such as copying, printing, stacking, or un-stacking PDF files right from this desktop.

I have been using this product for more than 15 years as it has evolved and, I must concede, I am hooked on it. That is my legacy product. But I do not want to push it; it ain't free.

When I look at a OneNote tab, I immediately miss being able to get a better sense of what the file contents look like, as I can with PaperPort.
SpadesFlush
@GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
...
How Maps knows your events

Information about your events comes from these places in your Google Account:
  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
Only you can see information about your events, and only when you're signed in to Google and have Web & App Activity turned on. Learn more about creating a Google Account or Gmail address.


This is more fully explained here: you can see your Google Calendar events in Google Maps:

"As long as you’re signed into both Google Calendar and Google Maps, the next time you open Google Maps you’ll see your Google Calendar events right there on the map."


Well spotted!

I did not know that!!!

Interestingly, this is only showing on my phone, not on my browsered GM on my PC.

This saves opening Calendar on the road; just go right to "My Places" and then "Upcoming."
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush...Interestingly, this is only showing on my phone, not on my browsered GM on my PC.
Correct, "Your places">"Upcoming" is a relatively new feature of the GoogleMaps app on android & iOS

The browser version (google.com/maps) does have the other Your places" (...>"Labeled" ...>"Saved" ...>"Visited") which show up on the google.com/map, so maybe "Upcoming" will eventually show up there too, unless there's some technical limitation that prevents that.

What I WISH they would do with this is:

1. allow other places besides "Home" & "Work" in the ...>"Labeled" section (limiting it to just those two is a waste).

2. allow importation of POI sets into ...>"Labeled" section, hopefully doing it the way CoPilot & Garmin do it, by importing .csv files

3. allow custom icons for any single place or group of places in "Your places"

4. provide a way to manage the places in each of these sections. As it is now, each section is just a flat list that can't even be sorted or searched


--------------------

This is becoming a very useful exercise for me. I'm seeing more ways that existing tools can be used to provide the trip planning.

Furkot.com or another simple trip planner could be estimate a reasonable driving schedule (i.e.: date & time of day at each stop), each of which could then be pasted into calendar.google.com, which will cause those stops to show up in the calendar app and maps app.

I don't care too much how the trip data gets into the nav app, as long as it's very easy. But after a trip is planned on using an internet connection, and synced to the mobile device, the stops (at least, if not the via points) must be available offline and the navigation must be startable while offline.

...
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