iPad 2 with GPS questions:

AFBronco235

Crew Chief
My wife's old iPad has been sitting on a shelf for a few years now (literally) and we decided to go ahead and see what we can do with it. I had to do a factory reset but got it running again. We decided to try getting it setup as a GPS unit for my Bronco
My question is, what map apps would allow me to download maps for offline use and what is the best way to add memory for larger map sizes?

I know I can't just crack open the case and add memory, but I was thinking more along the lines of an external hard-drive.

The features we'd like to have are offline maps, obviously, but we'd also like road navigation, trail tracking, and waypoint setting.

I'm currently experimenting with Compass 55. The only issues I have with it is I can't figure out how to download topographical, USGS and Forest Service maps, which are my preferred trail maps, and it seems to lack navigation capabilities for road travel.

I've previously used Maps Pro on my old Surface (original) tablet and on my surface book.

Thanks in advance.
 

highwest

Active member
How big is your iPad’s storage?

We have run an old 32GB iPad Mini with Avenza for 3-4 years now and it’s only about 70% full. I usually duplicate on my phone for backups or to leave the iPad in the truck and take my phone for a hike.

Avenza is free and is what the FS uses. All the USGS (topo, satellite, and combined) maps are free. There are some paid maps, but I find most of the good public access maps are free. Everything is downloaded for offline use.
 

AFBronco235

Crew Chief
How big is your iPad’s storage?

We have run an old 32GB iPad Mini with Avenza for 3-4 years now and it’s only about 70% full. I usually duplicate on my phone for backups or to leave the iPad in the truck and take my phone for a hike.

Avenza is free and is what the FS uses. All the USGS (topo, satellite, and combined) maps are free. There are some paid maps, but I find most of the good public access maps are free. Everything is downloaded for offline use.
Our ipad is only 16GB. I was hoping someone could point me towards an app that would let me plug it into an external drive and access maps that way if possible.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term Wo...
by Rolf Potts
From $14.52
Jupiters Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph
by Ted Simon
From $21.83
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Guide
by Chris Scott
From $28.81
Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on North ...
by Michael McCoy, venture Cycling Association
From $9.99
4WD Driving Skills: A Manual for On- and Off-Road Travel
by Vic Widman
From $17.27

BagiMT

New member
Our ipad is only 16GB. I was hoping someone could point me towards an app that would let me plug it into an external drive and access maps that way if possible.
I don't think there is any way to connect an external drive to an iPad 2. 16GB should be enough if you only use it for navigation and don't need music or videos on it.

As for software, I would suggest you take a look at OSMAnd https://osmand.net/. It uses vector maps which keeps file sizes relatively small (most states are a couple of 100 MB) and you can download one state at a time. It does turn-by-turn navigation with voice (think Garmin GPS) and does so even on forest roads and off-road trails. We have used it a lot in the Southwest and it does really well in most places. It also does really well with waypoint management (on mine I added the iOverlander waypoints for the whole US) and can use and record GPX tracks. Map rendering is beautiful, especially if you get the Hillshade and Countour Line plugins. There are different profiles too so that you can have a map with less details for on-road driving (including night mode with dark colors) and more details for off-road driving or hiking. The problem with USGS and FS maps is that they are usually raster maps and thus huge. And they don't scale well or allow for routing. While it is sometimes nice to have them, vector maps are much more flexible and the ones based on OpenStreetMap get better all the time. Sure, you can still find roads that are not on the map, but that also happens with other mapping solutions (e.g. Garmin) and on forest service land probably also with outdated USGS maps. The app does take a bit of time to get used to, just because there are a lot of features, but once you have it setup for your needs it is really easy to use.
 
Last edited:

highwest

Active member
Avenza turns the FS and USGS maps into PDF, so that helps a bit. It does not do routing though, only GPS tracking and measurements.

For viewing photos from my camera on my iPad, I have the xDisk app and SD cards with an iDevice adapter, but I have not really invested much time into figuring it’s full capabilities. Maybe worth a look.
 
Top