Finding the best apps around is never easy, especially given the nature of Android being open source which means anyone can create an app and send it into the wild. So to help ease the burden of finding the best mapping apps around we at cheap tents have come up with our top 4 Android Apps for you to download and play with. Either search them in the market place or scan the barcode.
Let us know what you think of these apps, or suggest some other apps
Before we start, don’t forget Google Maps on the Android is also an amazing app and is really quite powerful.
Google Sky Map
If you’ve ever found yourself staring up at the night sky and pondering the names of the various stars and constellations then Google Sky Map is just what you need.
The application is incredibly simple to use, when you switch on the app it finds your location and the direction the phone is pointing (using GPS or cell location, the digital compass and the accelerometer) and displays a real-time annotated map of the night sky. As you move around the sky map moves with you, providing an augmented reality view of the sky, showing the brightest naked-eye stars, planets, sun and moon, constellation lines, horizon, cardinal points, and Messier Objects
Sky map also provides you with a search tool, simply type in the name of the object you are looking to find. An on-screen pointer then appears and leads you to the object you were looking for. Sky Map does not require a data connection which is definitely an advantage when out and about in remote locations where 3G coverage is limited. Layers? You can toggle viewing modes for day/night as well.
Peak.ar is a fun augmented reality app which annotates the names and relative heights of mountains onto a live camera feed. Again this application doesn’t require internet connectivity except for the first time the app is used when it downloads a database with the peak information. The database has reasonably good coverage of the UK with most major areas being well covered. You can also set your line of sight distance to only display peaks within a certain range as well as being able to get a map view of the locations of surrounding peaks (although this requires data connectivity as it uses google maps) . Overall its a fun, very well made application although its probably not of that much real use to any serious outdoor person.
This is a really fun app that basically geotags video. Kinomap is really simple to use you just press the record button and start filming your, walk, bike ride or anything else you want. Press stop when you are done recording and then click the send button to upload. You then have to select the video and gpx track you want to upload. Here you can add the title and description to be displayed alongside the video on the website as well as setting the mode of transport from which there is a long list to choose from including kayak, skateboard, bob sleigh and model plane alongside more conventional modes of transport. You can also set the video to be private so that it is not publicly displayed. Then all you have to do is upload the video. This is obviously best done over a wifi connection as it will take a very long time using mobile internet. After the upload is complete you will receive an email with a link to you video when it is ready to be viewed on the internet.
The website itself presents you with a view of the video, the GPS track overlaid on google maps and a graph of speed and altitude along with some other statistics. Clicking on a position on the video, map or graph will then update the others to the same point making navigating through the timelines a fun interactive process.
Overall I think this is an absolutely brilliant application the only downfall is that the supplied instructions are rather poor but considering its so easy to use it isn’t really a big issue.
myTracks is a GPS mapping and performance analysis app for android. My Tracks plots runs, cycles, kayak trips and anything else to custom Google Maps or a Google docs spreadsheet. Using the app couldn’t be easier you press a button to start recording your activity and another to stop. The app also displays live statistics of your current speed, total distance and time and elevation along with your current location on a map. When you’ve done recording you can easily upload the route details and statistics to a google document, create a google map for your route and share all the information with friends. My Tracks is a great tool for analysising your preformance especially when training but also can be used to let you easily create records and maps of walks and hikes. The only problem with mytracks is that it will quickly use up you battery.
Don’t forget if you’ve an app suggestion or have a comment about an app mentioned above, leave a comment below.