Thursday, 5 January 2012

Mobile map pages waiting to be tested

Although my mapping pages have been usable on mobile phones for a while, they've not been very mobile-friendly. I have now written more mobile-friendly versions:
* simple map display pages can be reached from:
* using geolocation (GPS) to display your current position on a map:

Advantage of using a phone for this sort of map display is you can do a lot of other things with a phone which you can't with a dedicated GPS device. Disadvantage is you need access to both internet (which may be a problem in remote areas) and GPS satellite signal; having these on for any length of time soon chews up battery power.

An alternative strategy to preserve battery when your position changes only slowly (for example, when on foot) is to turn on internet access and GPS at or before you start, go to your position on the map, then turn off both internet connection and GPS and only turn them on when you need to refresh your GPS position or you need to pan the maps. Once you have the page in your browser, the map display will stay in the browser cache, so you could also pan the map over your full journey at or before you start, which will cache those map tiles you need later; this strategy won't however work for the routes option, as the route lines are not cached.

Alternatively, you can get the maps while you have internet access, and use screen capture to save a snapshot of the map, which you can then use in the field leaving internet access off. However, these snapshots are not georeferenced, so you can't use GPS with them.

Feedback welcome in comments below. Please state which device and browser you are using.