Wednesday, September 1, 2010

MotionX-GPS | A First Look

I've written in the past week or so about Cyclemeter, an iphone application I've been using to record recent rides. I've been very happy with it.

I've just downloaded another app, MotionX-GPS, for $2.99. This application is more of a true GPS program, with the ability to store maps and set waypoints. A few of the features, according to the maker's website:
  • Live Speed and Altitude graphs.
  • Ascent / Descent and gradient information.
  • Share tracks up to 5MB.
  • Map Storage Interface: Downloading and storing maps is faster and easier than ever.
  • MotionX Terrain and Road maps can be stored for worldwide use and no data fees.
  • Support for GPX file import enables wirelessly importing of GPS tracks and waypoints from any source, anywhere.

I'm planning to ride Blackbeard's Permanent this weekend and will put the program through its paces then. But in about an hour of learning the application, I was able to draw the route in Google maps, export that to a GPX file, and import it into my iphone. Now I have a turn by turn route stored in my iphone.

I've posted a screenshot on the right. Whether I can read the screen on the fly is another question.

One very nice feature is the ability to download maps of the area where you'll be riding. Even if I don't have a GPS signal or other phone service, presumably I"ll be able to look at the maps should I miss a turn or need to make a detour.

The program has a photo button that I assume geo tags photos along the route. It also has a built-in iPod interface so you can control your music selection with the application running in the foreground. You can also share routes with other users, and you can upload status updates to social media sites.

At first glance, this appears to be an extremely powerful and sophisticated application for following established routes, recording new ones or simply finding your way when you're lost in the countryside.

If others have used, I'd be interested in hearing their experiences.

As for that iPod song: Bigger Wheel. Mr. Bruton steps up around the 4 minute mark.... Another great video by him: Waitin' for a Long Time.

No comments: