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Screenshot poi

Don't have a gps but would like to upload our trail maps to your phone so you can navigate the hike? It's easy to do and we'll show you how in this tutorial.

Screenshot osmandA. Installing the app


You don't want to have to use your data for this while hiking as it gets expensive. So we are going to install an offline mobile maps and navigation app on the phone first. This means no roaming charges when you are abroad -you can turn data off, but location on.

First you need to install the OsmAnd app on your phone from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store depending on your device. The latest releases as of Spring 2016 were: Android v2.2 and iOS v1.2.2. You can read more about the features of this app at www.osmand.net. The free OsmAnd version is limited to 7 map downloads. So far I've only installed two: Ontario and Spain (Barcelona) where I plan to do some walking tours this Spring.
By the way, Osmand stands for OpenStreetMap Automated Navigation Directions.

B. Downloading the trail map track log


Go to the hike for the desired track log. In the icon row, click on the last icon called Track Log. Download the zipped file. Use winzip, 7zip or equivalent to unzip the file. Look for the file with the extension .gpx. This is the track log you want in gpx format.

C. Uploading the file to your phone.

Once you have the .gpx track, you need to get the file into your phone. There are various ways to do this.

1. ANDROID

(a)Windows transfer

  • Make sure your device’s screen is unlocked.
  • Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
  • On your device, pull down your notification drawer by swiping down from the top of the screen. Touch the USB for charging notification and then select Transfer files (MTP).
  • Use the File Transfer window that pops up on your computer (or the icon at the bottom of the screen) to drag and drop files, just like other external devices.
  • Eject your device from Windows, then unplug the USB cable.
 

(b) Mac Transfer

To transfer files, Android File Transfer must be installed on your computer. Android File Transfer is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 or later and Android 3.0 or later.

  • Download and install Android File Transfer on your computer.
  • Open Android File Transfer. (The next time you connect your device, it should open automatically.)
  • Make sure your device’s screen is unlocked.
  • Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
  • On your device, pull down your notification drawer by swiping down from the top of the screen. Touch the USB for charging notification and then Transfer files (MTP).
  • Use the Android File Transfer window that pops up on your computer to drag and drop files.
  • Disconnect the USB cable when you’re finished.

2. APPLE

  • Select the app in the list in the file-sharing section in iTunes.
  • Drag and drop files from a folder or window onto the Documents list to copy them to the app on your device.
  • Or click Add, find the file or files you want to copy from your computer, and then click Choose. iTunes will copy these files to the app on your device. Choose only files that will work with the app. Check the app's user guide to learn which kinds of files will work.

D. Now how do I get the gpx file into OsmAnd?

Android

  • You can download and open it via File Browser or Dropbox and select OsmAnd as a target application
  • You can put it in OsmAnd home folder: osmand/tracks/(optional_sub-folder)/your_file.gpx

iOS

  • To open a GPX file in OsmAnd, just download it and select OsmAnd as an app to open it. That's it: you'll view the file normally in the application.

The "Import to OsmAnd" window will popup asking "Save data as GPX file or import waypoints to Favorites?" If you want both carry out this step twice, once selecting "SAVE" and the other time selecting IMPORT." When you do this, in "My Places" menu item, you will see the waypoints listed under "MY FAVORITES" and the Track saved in "MY TRACKS.


The gpx track log will appear on your map in Osmand. The blue line in the image above represents part of the track for a walk in downtown Toronto to Kensington Market and back.

See also our tutorial on How to make a track map for travelling.

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