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Thread: Does Google Navigation GPS Requires 3G to work?

  1. kcZ
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    #21
    Actually, that is what I did to begin with using Chrome to Phone. But, IIRC, I could not access those maps in the middle of nowhere CO. After two days of experimenting that way, I jotted down destinations along the route.

    For instance, this was one of my loops. I stayed a couple nights in Estes Park.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...493cf23b21&z=9

    I recall having troubles accessing the map from Idylwilde, CO. We missed a turn and ended up going thru Fort Collins which worked out well enough.
    Last edited by kcZ; 07-26-2010 at 02:07 PM.
  2. Droid
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    #22

    Using Navigation when outside of cellular coverage area

    Quote Originally Posted by endoftheline View Post
    I've used the Google Navigation for many trips around the Washington DC Area and never had any problems, but it was always within range of 3G coverage.

    The Main Questions are:
    Will the Google Navigation GPS continue to work fine when passing though area's with no 3G or even no cell phone coverage at all?

    Like can it work just based on the GPS Satellite signal like a regular GPS?

    It seems if it can only operate when in range of 3G or cell signal or both, that it will not work as a GPS for a long distance trip where I will travel though area's that I know do not have 3G coverage and likely not cell phone coverage either.

    I just was up on the northern California Coast, in an area where there is no cellular coverage. The Navigator app on my Droid 2 just came up with a blank map when I turned it on. My Garmin GPS worked fine.

    Someone explained to me that the GPS function on the phone helps to locate you, but the underlying maps are provided over the cellular network, so without the network you won't have maps. Does this sound like a correct explanation of how the system works?
  3. Droid Ninja
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    #23
    Smokey,

    I admire you for asking in an old (appropriate) thread.

    Yes, you are correct. Unless you have a third party application, or store your maps on the sd card there will be no maps available for the phone. The GPS component will stand alone to provide a latitude and longitude (which you will need a third paty app like GPS status to see/use easily) but the phone needs 3g or wifi to download maps on the fly.

    Craig
  4. Master Droid
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Bear in NM View Post
    Smokey,

    I admire you for asking in an old (appropriate) thread.

    Yes, you are correct. Unless you have a third party application, or store your maps on the sd card there will be no maps available for the phone. The GPS component will stand alone to provide a latitude and longitude (which you will need a third paty app like GPS status to see/use easily) but the phone needs 3g or wifi to download maps on the fly.

    Craig
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't this change with the last Google Maps update? Something about caching the maps, so if you lose data, while driving it will still navigate?
    Tom
  5. Droid Ninja
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by tommyz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bear in NM View Post
    Smokey,

    I admire you for asking in an old (appropriate) thread.

    Yes, you are correct. Unless you have a third party application, or store your maps on the sd card there will be no maps available for the phone. The GPS component will stand alone to provide a latitude and longitude (which you will need a third paty app like GPS status to see/use easily) but the phone needs 3g or wifi to download maps on the fly.

    Craig
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't this change with the last Google Maps update? Something about caching the maps, so if you lose data, while driving it will still navigate?
    You are correct, but it still needs a data connection at the beginning of the trip to do the download.
  6. Super Moderator
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    #26
    Question;

    If it caches the maps (taking up a ton of space, but that's beside the point), what happens if you drive off-course? How big a cache does it download? Or does it do the whole country in one fell swoop?
  7. Master Droid
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by furbearingmammal View Post
    Question;

    If it caches the maps (taking up a ton of space, but that's beside the point), what happens if you drive off-course? How big a cache does it download? Or does it do the whole country in one fell swoop?
    It puts the cache on the SD card.

    I'm not sure how far out it goes, but from reading what Google posted, they say to can go off course and it has enough data to get you back on course.

    I don't have any way of trying it, since coverage is too good in my area.
    Tom
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    #28
    Turn off Mobile Data in the Wireless & Networks settings.
  9. Master Droid
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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by furbearingmammal View Post
    Turn off Mobile Data in the Wireless & Networks settings.
    I will have to give that a try.
    Tom
  10. Droid Ninja
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    #30
    I should have been more clear when I stated unless you store your maps on the SD card. As Harrell clarified, you need a data connection for the maps, be it during the trip or before.

    The map cache (from the maps ap) is stored on the sd card in

    /sdcard/Android/data/com.google.android.apps.maps/cache

    YOu can see your cache using an explorer type program or you can see the size of the cache in the maps apk submenu. By and large the size is relatively small for the road maps or terrain or satellite imagery, as compared to the old style of .jpg or .tif type map tiling storage. And a fairly large area is indeed downloaded to cache. But I have seen an anomly in my limited testing.

    If you open the maps program and have data enabled (3g/wifi) the map set will be downloaded and stored on the sd card. If you turn off your data connection and pop back into maps, you can scroll around in the map set that was downloaded. But, if you zoom down very far, I have seen areas on my phone with degraded resolution. In the old way of using tif and jifs and jpegs to store maps on other devices (and even the droid with certain programs) the resolution or zoom level was accomplished by downloading a map set to correspond with the level of zoom you have chosen. The google maps program cache file images are encoded into the program format so I have not been able to see the structure to understand if the old way of sets per zoom level structure exists, but you do need to play with the maps of the area that you will be needing to ensure that you get the correct level of resolution for the zoom level you will be wanting.

    I do not use Navigation, just the main mapping program and other stand alone packages, but back to the first point you will need your data connection to get things loaded, and you will need to download and test to make sure you get a clean and visible map set at you expected zoom/resolution level.

    Craig
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