Offline maps using Ipad 2 - confused

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by bel79, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. bel79
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    bel79 iPF Noob

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    Hello - I hope you can help. I'm about to buy my first Ipad 2 and am planning to get a WiFi only version. However, I'm not sure how good it's going to be for offline maps as I know it doesn't have GPS capability. I'm doing a US road trip soon (Nashville to New Orleans to Memphis) and ideally would want some maps to help me when driving. They don't need to be turn-by-turn navigation (for which GPS is needed), but just a general A to B to C map (of the kind you might map out on mapquest/google maps and print out with directions). Are there any good Ipad map apps for this? (Note: ideally I don't want to prepare screen shots before and then look at them as photos. So it would be good to be able to download maps for all 4 states I'll be passing through on the trip, TN, AL, LA, MS, and then enter our chosen direction on the road - if that's possible!)
    Or should I just pay extra and buy the 3G version and then purchase something like MotionX GPS Drive? (I'm not likely to ever use the 3G version for anything else other than the GPS though).
    Thank you! :)
  2. Pocobear
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    Pocobear iPad Junkie

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    Get the 3G version if you are going to be using it for travel. You don't have to have a data plan, if you purchase an app like NAVIGON or TomTom that download maps onto your iPad, so you won't have data charges while you are traveling. GPS is handy for all apps that use location info, to find business, restaurants, gas stations, etc., while traveling. And, as there's a lot of construction of new roads and overpasses going on this time of year, it will be a god send, when you have to take a detour. They can even alert you to traffic jams ahead in many cities.
  3. bel79
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    bel79 iPF Noob

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    Thanks so much for this! Very useful. But how much can you actually use maps without 3G/GPS? Are there any good apps at all for this?
  4. K1W1
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    K1W1 iPad Fan

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    I think they will give you a reasonable general idea of where you are but of course that will only be any good if you have phone reception. The non GPS mapping works by referencing phone signal towers.
    For the price of what you pay for the TomTom App you could buy a brand new real TomTom GPS with a map loaded and have 100% accuracy.
  5. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    You don't need GPS to use the maps; it's just that the iPad won't be able to tell you where you are - so you'll be using the maps like a paper map and scrolling through them manually.

    Tim
  6. bel79
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    bel79 iPF Noob

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    thanks! although i meant more how useful are the maps if you're actually offline and have no GPS!
  7. bel79
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    bel79 iPF Noob

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    Thanks Tim. I think this answers it. I did understand that without GPS the iPad won't be able to tell me where I am, but I wasn't sure if you could use (pre-loaded) maps at all without GPS. It looks like you can. Although I'm not sure what 'manually' means - do you mean scrolling or are there search functions of any kind? sorry if they're daft questions, i'm a complete novice so no idea how any apps work!
  8. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    It depends which mapping app you go for. Some allow you to search for a location by latitude and longitude, some by zip or postal code, others by town name. If you look at the various apps that have been mentioned in the App Store, you'll get some idea of the facilities that each app offers.

    Tim
  9. bel79
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    bel79 iPF Noob

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    Wondeful - thanks to everyone for your replies, I really appreciate it.
    It's more money but perhaps I sholud just fork out for the 3G one - you never know when I might need it and I might regret not getting it! :)
  10. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    I know your original request was specifically for the US but, when you're back in the UK, I'd recommend 'UK Maps'. The app is reasonably priced but the best part is that you can then download any number of Ordnance Survey maps - at 1:25000 and/or 1:10000 absolutely free. The maps can be downloaded off-line and they're then stored on the iPad - they're the real, original and entirely legal OS maps in all their glory.

    Tim
  11. bel79
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    bel79 iPF Noob

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    Brilliant, thanks again! And I know I keep harping on about this, but could you use the UK Maps app with both WiFi only and 3G iPad? (I'm still making sense of it all in my head!)
  12. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    It will work fine with both - with the WiFi model you will get an approximate position when the iPad can 'see' a WiFi hotspot that's been entered into the Apple database of WiFi hotspot locations. So, usually, hotspots that are in the shopping mall - Starbucks, McDonalds etc - are in the database and, when the iPad can 'see' them, it uses the location for mapping purposes. Some Members have asked how they can get their home WiFi into the Apple database and the answer is simple, get someone with a GPS iPhone or iPad to come and visit. The iPhone and iPad will automatically record the location of the hotspot and send it to Apple. You'll have seen some recent publicity about the contraversy surrounding Apple's use of this tracking technology but, if you read the small print of the contract you signed when you opened your iTunes account - right near the end where no-one ever reads - you gave Apple permission to do this......:(

    Tim
  13. Confucious
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    Confucious iPF Novice

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    For the USA CoPilot live premium HD USA is only £8.99 at the moment.

    Bargain!

    [Edit] I had better register my interest here, in case anyone accuses me of bias - I do actually beta test for ALK so, although I am not employed by them I do have an interest. But the reason I beta test for ALK rather than TomTom is because I believe their products are better - I first bought CoPilot for WinMo in 2004 and have been using it ever since. [/Edit]
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  14. bel79
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    bel79 iPF Noob

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    Very useful to know! And (last question I promise!), does your WiFi have to be on for you to use the app? Or can it be funcational whatever the situation? (If you have WiFi only iPad that is).
  15. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    The map apps that download the maps 'up front', don't need WiFi to be on to be used - though, clearly, you would get no indication whatsoever of your location. The iPad's native Maps app, as you're aware, downloads maps 'on the fly', so it generally needs Internet connectivity - you can scroll around in the area/map tile that's been downloaded, of course, but if you move off that map tile you need Internet connectivity to be able to download the next tile. The iPad's Maps app does have the capability of downloading multiple tiles in advance.

    But the apps that we've been talking about do download either all - or some - of the tiles in advance and so don't need Internet connectivity - i.e. WiFi - to be able to be used though - to repeat the point - you'd get no positional information whatsoever if WiFi was turned off.

    Tim

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