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Mobile mapping long-timers join the Apple party

Seems like there's not a day goes by without someone launching an iPhone-based navigation app for your bike. Some are johnny-come-latelys but Memory Map have been doing the mobile mapping thing for as long as anyone, so it's no surprise that they've embraced the shiniest of all the phones.

"The iPhone App is the latest development from Memory-Map, whose multi-award winning software has always been available for PC, Pocket PC and Windows Smartphone", they tell us. We've used the desktop and mobile software here at road.cc for years and aside from some issues with the licensing system – the software requires you to manage licenses for various functions on all your gadgets, which can be a bit tedious if you switch phones or computers a lot – we've always found it to be straightforward and usable. The mobile apps sync easily with the desktop program and the new iPhone app has been developed using the same technology but adding all the usual iPhone gizmos, including pinch to zoom and screen rotation.

The big draw of apps such as Memory Map is that they store the maps locally. You don't need a phone signal to use the mapping, unlike cheaper options that use Ordnance Survey's OpenSpace API and download the maps on the fly. If you're out in the wilds and you need to find your way home you don't want to be relying on the good-natured folks at the phone company having put up a mast just for such occasions. You also get a GPS-based trip computer, and the app will record your progress so you can track and keep your rides on file back at home, if that's your thing.

The downside of local mapping is that it isn't free. The app costs £19.99 and comes with 400 square kilometres of both 1:50k and 1:25k maps, as well as a smattering of European coverage and one US state. If you're already using Memory Maps v5 and you've shelled out for maps then fear not - you can transfer them to the iPhone. If not you can buy them by region or from the Digital Map Shop, where you buy credits and download the bits you want, either from your desktop or direct from your phone.

For more information on Memory Map, visit their website at www.memory-map.co.uk

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

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bazzargh [152 posts] 6 years ago
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There's other iphone map apps that work offline, and are much cheaper than that. I use offmaps (http://www.offmaps.com/), which only cost £1.79 and lets me grab openstreetmap maps to any level of detail, for anywhere, for nothing (as long as I've got enough space on the device). I use it to grab coarse maps of wider areas and detailed maps of where I'll actually be on holiday - avoiding roaming charges.

It isn't perfect. The download UI is clunky, asking you to select an area to download (why not just the current map view?) and recent releases have started to push their for-money extra feature, 'guides' (a gazetteer, etc), pushing the 'just the map' button off the bottom of the downloads screen. Still, its cheap and does the job.