Given that we all might have a bit of enforced indoor time on our hands for the next few weeks I have been exploring how to enhance some of the popular walking/hiking smartphone apps to prepare for hopefully some time on the fells in the future.
Having looked at the various mapping apps available its seems that ViewRanger seems the most user friendly.
Their standard map display - known as Landscape - is derived from OpenStreetMap supplied via the ThunderForest company who render a wide variety of variants of OSM including the very popular OpenCycleMap.
In conversations with ViewRanger Support team I wondered whether it was possible to add a lot more data to the standard map.
It is possible to add a single POI one at a time. Alternatively you can create and then upload a much larger GPX file of simple waypoints assigning each with a specific icon.
By uploading such a GPX file you can then sync this to your Android/Apple device and see a large number of POIs as a layer. For example I uploaded some 1900 odd Stiles and 11,000 odd Gates within Cumbria. Now I can use the Viewranger app with some additional features to aid path finding. In this example the stile has been given a unique name ie STILE001 and the symbol to be displayed is the Viewranger Obstacle icon. These GPX files can contain a vast number of such points. In theory you can also upload your own icons but I cant seem to get this feature to work yet.
The GPX file is a simple text file:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?> <gpx> <wpt lat="54.204938198" lon="-2.903572488">
Its also possible to do the same thing using another popular app -- MAPS.ME -- which lets users upload such files in a KML format. If you create a route in Paul and Beths brilliant walklakes gps mapping site and then convert the downloaded GPX file into a KML file you can then upload all your popular routes into this excellent offline mapping app. This app is free. All map are offline and seems very stable.
Hope this might be of interest to someone..
Stay Safe - Wash your Hands - Protect Cumbria
Regards, Peter B.