Reccomend a cheap / free system to allow 'er indoors to see where I am?

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by Mike Barnard, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Mike Barnard

    Mike Barnard Guest

    Hi all.

    With the warmer weather I've dug out my old bike and serviced it. I'm
    trying to get myself fitter so in the last couple of weeks I've been
    out every other day doing a few miles. Yesterday I did a good 17 mile
    round trip. Good for me that is, I'm 54, 18 stone and before the last
    few weeks haven't ridden for a year at least! I know most of you are
    Tour de France wannabes. :) I have been accepted for the L2B and paid
    my dosh. It's my fitness target, along with weight loss.

    While I'm out, I'd like to be able to let 'er indoors know where I am
    at any time. Also when I do the L2B let any sponsors know. I have an
    iPhone 4 and wondered if there is an app that might show up my
    location on something like Google maps?

    A hand held GPS that records for later download isn't what I want. Is
    anyone aware of such an app or am I reaching for the non existant?
    Maybe I need to brush up on my Objective C and write it. Hmmm, any
    programmers here?

    Mike Barnard, Apr 16, 2011
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  2. Google latitude allows exactly that.

    Chris Gerhard, Apr 16, 2011
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  3. Mike Barnard

    Simon Mason Guest

    I have never owned a mobile phone and revel in the fact that I cannot
    be reached when out on the bike :)
    Simon Mason, Apr 16, 2011
  4. Mike Barnard

    Mike Barnard Guest

    Never? Wow, impressed! But I'd like to be able to call for a lift if I
    ever break down... :) Make that when.
    Mike Barnard, Apr 16, 2011
  5. Mike Barnard

    Mike Barnard Guest

    Great Chris, thanks. I'll look it up in a minute.
    Mike Barnard, Apr 16, 2011
  6. Mike Barnard

    Simon Brooke Guest

    Yes, good point, of course it does - and is much more convenient than
    my other suggestion!

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    Simon Brooke, Apr 16, 2011
  7. Mike Barnard

    Simon Brooke Guest

    iMapMyRide will now do it in real time, I believe. Certainly the
    Android version will automatically post either to Twitter or to
    Facebook at intervals you choose - either every so many kilometres or
    every so many minutes. I assume the iPhone version is the same.

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    Simon Brooke, Apr 16, 2011
  8. Mike Barnard

    wafflycat Guest

    I simply did a swift copy of the route I was doing from a copy of the
    relevant OS map. I'd mark my route out on it for MrWC. I'd carry my phobile
    moan with me, and if I needed help, I could call him. Also worked as back-up
    in case I was in an area of no mobile signal and was, for some reason, in
    need of help. By him knowing the route and roughly how long that was likely
    to be taking me, if I was running very late without contacting him, he knew
    where I may be. Just covering the bases, which kept him happy and I spent
    many a happy mile cycling
    wafflycat, Apr 16, 2011
  9. Not at all. A nice 17 mile round trip is a good trip. It is long
    enough that it is worthwhile and long enough for a pub or tea'n'cake
    stop at half-way.
    Was the route flattish or did it have hills? You should plan to do
    a few hills for practice before L2B but don't get disheartened if
    you have to walk up the steep hills - either in practice or in the
    L2B (you won't be the only walking up Ditchling Beacon).
    Don't have a phone fancy enough to do that kind of thing but it does
    sound as though it is possible. Basically a timed event to get the
    GPS position every 10 minutes and send out an update to the map to
    show your current position.
    Andy Leighton, Apr 16, 2011
  10. Mike Barnard

    Mike Bristow Guest

    has a collection of such apps.

    I abandoned such apps - my iPhone 3G's GPS wasn't good enough to
    give sensible results in London's 'canyons'. If you're riding in
    areas with good GPS signals and/or the iPhone 4 is better that the
    3G you might like to give 'em a try.
    Mike Bristow, Apr 16, 2011
  11. Mike Barnard

    Mike Causer Guest

    Loads of them, as others have said.

    Just one comment from me, check your battery usage when the iPone is
    using GPS. My Android phone lasts about 4 hours from fully charged
    if GPS tracking is on. It's super-accurate though, it does a better
    job than a friend's expensive kit in his aeroplane ;-)

    Aren't Apple /very/ fussy about languages you can use to write apps for
    the iPhone? Android is much more relaxed about it, and the SDK has
    been on a magazine cover recently, which I must get round to installing.

    Mike Causer, Apr 16, 2011
  12. My Windows PDA, which recently died and which I'm thinking of replacing
    with a smartphone (probably Android), got similar battery life with
    GPS tracking turned on when running Memory-Map.
    Memory-Map have announced an Android version is on the way, but for
    all day walking use a dedicated GPS might be the way to go.

    On a bike, there are various options for running a USB charger off
    a hub dynamo, none of them "cheap / free":
    (Does contain a battery as well, so still of some use if you want to run
    your GPS for hours in the dark while dynamo is powering lights.)

    There are a variety of iPhone cases with extra batteries neatly built
    in, but I haven't seen anything similar for Android phones, probably
    because there are so many more different models. Similarly waterproof
    cases designed for mounting on bike handlebars - but I haven't seen one
    which is both waterproof and has an extra battery.
    (Not counting generic waterproof cases for phone/MP3 player/whatever
    that wouldn't be so neatly handlebar mountable.)

    I gather at least as a first approximation you get a choice of Objective-C,
    Objective-C++, or writing a browser based app in JavaScript.
    (And that using them to write a compiler or interpreter that will allow
    users of your app to write new apps themselves without being registered
    developers is absolutely forbidden, but that an earlier ban on interpreters
    in general has been relaxed to some extent.)

    You might be interested in this article on "iPhone Applications in Python"

    But, apart from the "Apple's frameworks are all written in Objective-C,
    and their APIs are documented in it" bit, there's this:
    "Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or
    JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code
    written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against
    the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs
    through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are

    Now, that doesn't (AIUI) apply to all versions of the SDK, and the answers
    to "is it technically possible to use language X to write an app for my
    own use on my own jailbroken iPhone" and "is it possible to use language X
    and get Apple to accept the result in their app store" might be different.

    But, as you say, Android is undoubtedly more open.
    Alan Braggins, Apr 17, 2011
  13. Mike Barnard

    Simon Brooke Guest

    On Sun, 17 Apr 2011 13:42:58 +0100
    Agreed. I carry a spare battery for my (Google Nexus) phone (but of
    course you can't do this with an iPhone).
    MyTracks, from Google, is free, and does a great deal of what you need.
    Don't spend money on anything else until you've tried it.
    You don't need it - swapping the battery is easy on all or most of them.
    All this is true.

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    Simon Brooke, Apr 17, 2011
  14. Mike Barnard

    Mark Guest

    AFAIK, unless your phone is jailbroken, all applications /have/ to be
    submitted to the app store and approved. Apple can and have pulled
    3rd party development kits. You need a Mac to develop and have to use
    iTunes. You probably have to sing the Apple song as well!
    (\__/) M.
    (='.'=) Due to the amount of spam posted via googlegroups and
    (")_(") their inaction to the problem. I am blocking some articles
    posted from there. If you wish your postings to be seen by
    everyone you will need use a different method of posting.
    Mark, Apr 18, 2011
  15. Mark twisted the electrons to say:
    One *minor* nit ... IIRC if you're the author of the programme then you
    can install it "for testing purposes" on a small number of devices before
    it is approved by Apple.
    Alistair Gunn, Apr 18, 2011
  16. I want something that will use OS maps while offline. I'm fairly sure
    the OS licencing terms means still anything that does that has to charge
    for the maps.
    I'd rather not pay for maps I've already bought once in a different format
    so I can use different hardware, but comparing reviews of the Satmap 10
    with the Adventurer 3500, or some of the Garmins, it might be worth it.
    (On the other hand I don't _need_ a GPS at all, it's just very convenient

    Given the choice between swapping an internal battery and probably
    restarting the mapping application, possibly in pouring rain, and having
    an external battery pack that will fit inside a waterproof case that will
    run the app all day without interruption, I'd like to at least have the
    option of the external battery. This is even more true if I'm in a kayak
    or a dinghy.
    Alan Braggins, Apr 18, 2011
  17. Mike Barnard

    ign Guest

    I think Endomondo has an app for the iphone, there are free and paid for
    versions, this will do what you require ...
    cheers, Ivan
    ign, May 4, 2011
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