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Old 02-22-2010, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1) Do I need a data plan to access GPS? For instance, can I use the GPS with Google Maps when just connected to WiFi?

2) If I need a data plan to use GPS, is there a way to download a map of a city, then let the GPS essentially be the blue dot over the pre-downloaded map? (Does that question make sense?) So when I'm connected with WiFi in a foreign country, the pre-downloaded map has an updated GPS position of my phone layered over it.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Moved to a more appropriate section.

(1) If you can navigate just by using lat/long data, you can get that read out on the device itself. However, if you need to turn that data into useful information, i.e. on a map, then you need a data plan, and in most cases you need a BB data plan. What good is using WiFi for map access when most of the time you will need it, you will be out of WiFi range?

(2) There are no map apps that I know of that will allow you to download a map to your device. They are generally too large and there isn't enough internal memory. Most of the map apps download sections of the map as you move. Go tot he yellow sticky at the top of the GPS & Maps section and read the review of the various map apps. There are a couple apps you can run from the device, such as Garmin, but they aren't free.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I was asking because I'll be out of the country and won't be getting on a data plan abroad, which is why I wondered if I could do it through WiFi or something like that.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Gotta have a BB data plan
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Actually, there is a way.

Download Trekbuddy.

Then, use the Download TrekBuddy Atlas Creator 1.6.1 - Design atlases with this tool. - Softpedia

Trekbuddy Atlas Generator.

you can copy the map files onto your SD Card, and use them even when you're out of coverage area. I do this all the time, works great.

The map data can take space, but I generally use a max of zoom level 12, and a city level map (enough to navigate) of New Delhi takes up about 50 MB, so it's not that. Of course, if you want to carry around a detailed map of a very large area, things will be different, but I think what you want is the ability to navigate when you don't have data access, and this lets you do that.

If you need more help, let me know
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So, I can access my GPS location with WiFi (or not a data plan), right?

I'll check out that program right now and see how it works...I have a 2 GB card so space isn't much of an issue. Awesome, thanks!

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Old 02-23-2010, 06:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I will repeat what i said above:

To get GPS signals which will give you a lat/long readout, you need to have "Location Services" turned on and be outside with a clear view of the sky. It can take 20 minutes to lock onto a GPS signal, especially the first time.

If you can navigate by that, then you are good to go. To get the map programs, you are going to need a BB data plan for most. Some you can access with a regular data lan. If you have no data plan at all, it might or might not work on WiFi. Depends on what service books you have and what map app you are trying to use. And you will need to have some view of the sky to maintain the GPS signal.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ah, ok thanks!
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm, let's see.

1. Like dubdub says, you need to be outside to use GPS. In my experience, it usually gets a lock in a couple of minutes, though very very occasionally it takes 7-10 minutes.

2. To actually install the Map Programs (Trekbuddy), you need either a data plan, or you can install it from your computer.

3. Trekbuddy is totally independent of the cellular network and the Wifi network. i have used it in areas where there is no service. All it needs is GPS coordinates, which it gets from the GPS receiver on your phone. When there's no cellular service, getting the lat/long takes longer, since there's no assistance from the cell network, but it still works.

4. Once you have created a map with Trekbuddy Atlas creator, and copied it onto your SD card, you don't need any data plan, cellular service or wifi. Trekbuddy takes the GPS coords, and puts a dot on the map that it reads from the SD card.

5. The obvious problem is that you have to load the maps in advance, from a computer that's connected to the net. If you know where you're going, it's not so bad. I have a map of India at zoom level 12 on my berry. It takes 200 MB of space, but it's detailed enough for me to be able to navigate on small country roads. And India is a pretty big country. For France, for example, you could probably go up one more zoom level.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have used Trekbuddy for well over a year, and it is a very, very good navigation tool. You can have very large maps stored on the device--limited by the size of the memory card. You can also have as many maps stored on your device as you like.

It's a bit tricky to learn how to use it, but once you do, you'll live it. It supports routes and tracks as well.

When using on your blackberry, make sure you use a keymap file. Do a search on trekbuddy.net

Also, you can use multiple zoom levels of the same map.

Here is the info on keymap: http://wiki.trekbuddy.net/index.php/Configuration

Last edited by rdef : 02-24-2010 at 11:46 PM.
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