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Over the weekend a group of friends and I went out trail riding in a new place and found ourselves getting lost several times. I am curious if there is a GPS that is capable of showing where we parked, then the route we took in. It would be really nice if I could get  overhead satellite image of the area and see the trails themselves. If not Id be satisfied with just showing my location and a point I set(such as our parking spot) 

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Do a search for "GPS" and you'll find a number of topics.

I use an non activated dedicated phone as a GPS and IMO basically no $$$ it works exactly as I need for a GPS yo get unlost.

Most of its covered here and my set-up

 

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Yes, best do a search. 

If you just want something to record your track so you can ride it backwards to your starting point almost any hand held GPS will work. I've used several different generations of Garmin handhelds over the years and they all will display a map and your track.  Most, depending on model, have many more functions that are useful for back country navigation.

A smart phone has the advantage of a larger higher resolution screen that will show more map detail than a hand held GPS, and they will work for navigation when out of cell tower range because of the built in GPS receiver. But like the hand helds there is a variety of screen resolutions, screen brightness, water resistance, and physical hardening. 

Maps and trails are available for a wide variety of areas from several different suppliers and some are unique to specific devices. So before buying a unit you should try to find out what maps/trails are available for your riding areas and what GPS units they support.  I need to use a variety of map and trail sources to cover all of my riding areas, fortunately I've been able to find them for Garmin and smartphone. 

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10 hours ago, apolsinelli said:

Over the weekend a group of friends and I went out trail riding in a new place and found ourselves getting lost several times. I am curious if there is a GPS that is capable of showing where we parked, then the route we took in. It would be really nice if I could get  overhead satellite image of the area and see the trails themselves. If not Id be satisfied with just showing my location and a point I set(such as our parking spot) 

iPhone or android?

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Yep, I use a Garmin but I honestly think all dedicated GPS's are obsolete.  Couple of my buddies use phones.  The main benefit is the wide range easily downloadable maps.

If you plan on mounting it to the handlebars, be prepared for the phone to get smashed.  Otherwise, just keep it in your pack and pull it out when needed.

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In the Garmin world ... "where we parked" is a "waypoint" set at the beginning of the day, and "the route we took in" is called a "track"... a digital breadcrumb trail.

Satellite imagery is their "birds eye" feature.  Seeing a trail isn't very likely unless it's a big/clear/obvious trail.

 

Remember, the best equipment in the world isn't much use if you don't have skills to use those tools correctly.  A GPS is a navigation aid, not a replacement for common sense.

 

76Cx for me, sled and moto.

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Over the weekend a group of friends and I went out trail riding in a new place and found ourselves getting lost several times. I am curious if there is a GPS that is capable of showing where we parked, then the route we took in. It would be really nice if I could get  overhead satellite image of the area and see the trails themselves. If not Id be satisfied with just showing my location and a point I set(such as our parking spot) 

Gaia app $19.99

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Yep, I use a Garmin but I honestly think all dedicated GPS's are obsolete.  Couple of my buddies use phones.  The main benefit is the wide range easily downloadable maps.
If you plan on mounting it to the handlebars, be prepared for the phone to get smashed.  Otherwise, just keep it in your pack and pull it out when needed.

The phone will get smashed, they're not waterproof, and the iphone does not have GPS capability. Its also extremely expensive. All reasons I bought a used Garmin handheld for a little over $100. And guess what? If I do smash it, I've still got my phone to get me out of trouble. My little Garmin may be antiquated, but one thing it is NOT is obsolete!
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10 hours ago, Bron-Yr-Aur said:


The phone will get smashed, they're not waterproof, and the iphone does not have GPS capability. Its also extremely expensive. All reasons I bought a used Garmin handheld for a little over $100. And guess what? If I do smash it, I've still got my phone to get me out of trouble. My little Garmin may be antiquated, but one thing it is NOT is obsolete!

Here's my take on your comments....

Smashing - I've used my home made bar mount (which cost about $20 to buy/make) say 20 times in the last 2 years riding through/over and crashing in a WIDE variety of terrain/trees etc and have never had an issue with the phone braking.

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Waterproof - I have to somewhat agree with your comment BUT this also applies to durability of the phone. This is a Samsung Rugby with out a after market case which IMO is an extremely durable phone and waterproof enough to ride in the rain in the PWN. Would it handle getting totally submerged in water for an extended period of time - NO but honestly I'm not too worried about it this cus when I really need to depend on using a GPS to ensure I can get unlost and back to my camp/van, I carry an exact back up of this running GPS in a heavy duty zip lock bag in my pack. I also will carry maps (in a bag) a compass and take a good look at where the sun is in relationship to where I started. I've been REALLY LOST and almost running out of gas once and I fully admit in was something I do not ever want to go through again, hence why I started using a GPS, maps etc in the first place.

Costs - My boss came me 4 deactivate Rugby's for free when we upgraded our work cell plan but really you can pick an old deactivated cell phone for next to nothing so my total cost for all the phones/mount etc was $20.

Is a dedicated Garmin obsolete - IMO most likely not and I do use a Garmin TOPO V4 off line base map on my phones cus when I use my set up firstly its is on a de-activated phone but I'm never in cell service anyway and the Garmin TOPO maps are EXCELLENT. Now with that said and again IMO to get full colour and a large screen on a Garmin going to be one of their most $$$ options (last time I looked it was the Montana for like $600) and IMO my $20 set up does EXACTLY what I need in a GPS.

 

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The phone will get smashed, they're not waterproof, and the iphone does not have GPS capability. Its also extremely expensive. All reasons I bought a used Garmin handheld for a little over $100. And guess what? If I do smash it, I've still got my phone to get me out of trouble. My little Garmin may be antiquated, but one thing it is NOT is obsolete!

 

I run a Garmin too, but iPhones have gps. You just need a map program like Gaia. I won't run a phone on my bars because of the cost, but in the pack they are great for riding. Hiking I will still run the garmin for the many reasons listed, but the phone is much easier to orient on a bike since you go so much faster and need to change zoom levels (something my garmin does not do in a seamless manner) to find routes

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Yea, my Garmin was way more expensive than a phone GPS system but I still love it.  Does everything I want it to do and then some.

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 I run a Garmin too, but iPhones have gps.

 

Are you sure about that? I've had iPhones since 2009(stopped at the 5 though) and never heard of that. Their maps use triangulation from cell towers. No communication from satellites. So if you don't have service, you don't have Maps.

 

 

 

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Are you sure about that? I've had iPhones since 2009(stopped at the 5 though) and never heard of that. Their maps use triangulation from cell towers. No communication from satellites. So if you don't have service, you don't have Maps.    

 

 

 The maps are from the cloud, yes. That's why you need an app such as avensa or Gaia so that the phone's gps can do more than just tell you your latitude/longitude location if out of cell range. The iPhone supplements the satellite network with cell towers, where possible,sort of an enhanced gps, if you will, but the gps is still there and works without them.

 

 

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AGPS (Assisted GPS) comes from the cell network.  Rough for location outdoors, but can work better in certain scenarios (indoors/urban environments, where GPS is suppressed/unavailable).  E911 requirement, any phone from the last 15 years has this capability but it may not be exposed to the user.

GNSS (GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), GALILEO (EU), BeiDou (China)) are the "precision" GPS you're thinking of.  Most modern phones have one or more of these receivers in them. 

DGPS (Differential GPS) like WAAS (US) or EGNOS (EU) can come from either a land- or space-based source and applies corrections to GPS signals for atmospheric changes.  Standalone receivers usually have this feature, I don't think there's very many phones that can do that.  This is only a correction for another location service - it cannot provide location services on its own.  In my opinion it doesn't improve precision enough to warrant the additional battery drain, so I usually shut it off on my handhelds.

 

If your phone doesn't have network and you turn GPS on, it can take ~15mins to get a good lock.  Turn location services on and let the phone get a fix when you're in-network (Cellular or WiFi) so it can download almanac/ephermis through the high-speed network instead of through the slow GPS service.

 

I know way more about GPS than I really want to. :banghead:

 

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AGPS (Assisted GPS) comes from the cell network.  Rough for location outdoors, but can work better in certain scenarios (indoors/urban environments, where GPS is suppressed/unavailable).  E911 requirement, any phone from the last 15 years has this capability but it may not be exposed to the user.
GNSS (GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), GALILEO (EU), BeiDou (China)) are the "precision" GPS you're thinking of.  Most modern phones have one or more of these receivers in them. 
DGPS (Differential GPS) like WAAS (US) or EGNOS (EU) can come from either a land- or space-based source and applies corrections to GPS signals for atmospheric changes.  Standalone receivers usually have this feature, I don't think there's very many phones that can do that.  This is only a correction for another location service - it cannot provide location services on its own.  In my opinion it doesn't improve precision enough to warrant the additional battery drain, so I usually shut it off on my handhelds.
 
If your phone doesn't have network and you turn GPS on, it can take ~15mins to get a good lock.  Turn location services on and let the phone get a fix when you're in-network (Cellular or WiFi) so it can download almanac/ephermis through the high-speed network instead of through the slow GPS service.
 
I know way more about GPS than I really want to. :banghead:
 

Sheesh dude! My eyes started glazing over at about the 1/2 way point. Not because its not interesting, but because you lost me lol.

So my iPhones had them, but I couldn't access, right? I've heard that about many features on our phones. I've heard of people in Central America I believe that can receive radio signals thru their iphones.

Not trying to be dim here, but were you saying that through certain apps it does use the GPS functionality?

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IMO all modern phones have GPS that does not require cell/wifi. With my Rugby's I can turn it on/off but my S7 its always enabled.

Then with the same set-ups on both phones I get GPS within a minute or so of starting my GPS app.

Then with Oruxmaps and the off-line full colour Garmin Topo in my pic (which is zoomed out to 3KM) I get all the detail I would ever need out of a GPS/Topo map.

Then I really never using my GPS to follow triasl etc when I ride. I started it to get my start way point, ride until I get lost, then use it occasionally to see how many KMs I've gone so I don't run out of gas then which way back to my start way point.

 

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3 hours ago, Bron-Yr-Aur said:

Sheesh dude! My eyes started glazing over at about the 1/2 way point. Not because its not interesting, but because you lost me lol.

So my iPhones had them, but I couldn't access, right? I've heard that about many features on our phones. I've heard of people in Central America I believe that can receive radio signals thru their iphones.

Not trying to be dim here, but were you saying that through certain apps it does use the GPS functionality?

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Smartphones will generally let apps access location services (check the permissions for the app).  Things like apple- or google- maps, gasbuddy, messengers, etc have access to that sensor. 

It's usually not "always-on", since it is a battery drain, and precise location isn't needed all the time.  An app or service can call that sensor, and the phone will turn things on and acquire its location (indicated by a circle/crosshairs or paper-airplane icon in the status bar). 

 

Older "dumb-phones" (like grandma's Jitterbug) or "feature-phones" (think moto-razr) can still get an AGPS location... might have to sneak into a manufacturing or hardware test mode (hold a few keys at startup, or a special phone number you dial kind of thing) to access that.  When you call 911, that service is activated and the device's location is sent to the PSAP's CAD system.  Usually a circle/crosshairs-type icon on the screen somewhere when that's on. 

 

"Receive radio signals thru their iphones" is kind of a fundamental feature of a cellular phone. 😏  If you're talking FM radio, yes, a lot of phones have that feature, some expose it to the user, most don't.  My old Droid X2 had an "FM Radio" app. 

 

Each of these has a GPS in it, carry them when I ride...
Phone's I can get through an app (GPSTest, Maps). 
Radio can give me lat/long though the GPS menu, but obviously doesn't do mapping or anything fancy with that data (just sends location OTA to console). 
GPS, obviously, does GPSey things pretty well. 
PLB has a GPS receiver in it, but without a screen there's no way for me to access that info locally.  When activated, the receiver turns on and obtains a fix, sends that location over the air to rescue command, who dispatches rescue to that beacon's location.
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