Field Mapping on an iPad 2 (Part 2)

Imagine you’ve just tracked an awesome trail on your GPS and are dying to share it with your friends. You want them to not only visualize the trail, but to also have the track ready to go in case they want to experience it themselves. In part 2 of our 2 part blog post, we’ll determine whether or not the MotionX GPS HD can address your predicament.

(If you haven’t read part 1, you can do so here.)

The first step is actually downloading the track onto your computer. We use the application DNRGPS here at the GIS center. Once the file is saved as a GPX file, then you’re already half way done!
The next step is getting the track from the computer to an iPad. MotionX offers a few ways to do this, however the fastest and most straight forward way was sending the track as an email an opening it from the iPad Mail app.
Once the app is opened, the track is loaded and ready to be explored! Here’s an example of the track (if it looks familiar, it should – it’s the red trail here on campus):

In the previous blog post, I mentioned how adding waypoints could be time consuming. What I failed to realize then was that the app has a Motion TapTap® tool that makes waypoint creation easier. Simply tapping on the screen twice creates a way point. However, unlike the previous method, you can’t add picture to the waypoint without going through the longer steps.

Additionally, the app does an adequate job accurately following the trail, although the downloaded track (red) did not perfectly match my recorded track (blue):

Last Points:
– About a fifth way into the trail, the app crashed, forcing me to restart the iPad. Fortunately, the track and my place were right where a last left.
– The app also had a Wikipedia integration that you can use as your own personal tour guide. Simply selecting the Wikipedia button displays numerous points of interest:

Overall, the MotionX GPS HD app is a highly versatile and straightforward app for its price ($1.99 at time of purchase) and is certainly worth purchasing if you enjoy going on adventures.

Stay tuned for more field mapping app reviews. As always, if you have any suggestions or have any apps you wish to be reviewed, let us know in the comment section!

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