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Thread: Never owned a cell phone. Totally lost. Possible to have maps with no service?

  1. Junior Droid
    ktroy's Avatar
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    #1

    Never owned a cell phone. Totally lost. Possible to have maps with no service?

    This question may be a bit vague, but I am wondering what I need in order to get portable google earth or similar without cell service.
    I heard there are apps such as back country navigator and navfree that give you maps for free, but I don't know the first thing required to get these.

    Essentially, what I want is any kind of Satellite imagery that does not require cell service. A gps to give my approximate location would be very helpful too. I don't need turn by turn directions. I would like to be able to download all the imagery I need before going on a trip and having the maps when I need them. ( If possible )
    I enjoy google earth because it allows the use of tilt with satellite imagery so you can see mountains and terrain with the imagery overlaid... but that's not essential.
    The kicker is I never owned or operated a cell phone in my life. What android do I need to buy to get maps with a gps? Would the Motorola droid X work? I am totally lost on the requirements or hardware needed.

    I want to use it for hiking. for instance, in the middle of nowhere being able to use the device to see what's over the hill on the other side... house? barn? field? woods?... via the satellite imagery. Or if I see a road, where does it lead, the direction I am heading?
    I would have no use for the android other than this, so 100% of the space could be used for imagery data. Is what I want possible without cell service?


    Thanks for your help.
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  3. Senior Droid
    iamjoe's Avatar
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    #2
    You need to pay for gps/data service. Your phone may be capable of providing a gps-based service, but it's not free. If you are not receiving a cellular signal from a provider, then you don't get to use the gps feature of your phone.


    There are free apps out there, but you can't use them unless you have cell service. I use google maps. It's great and it's google (big bucks, no whammies)
  4. RS Lead
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    #3
    Basically as far as you're going to get with Google Maps without a service is the pretty much the same experience you get from your PC. Get directions through Wifi on your home and then you can bring those instructions with you on your non-activated cell. You won't have GPS, but I've used my retired OG Droid a few times like that and it's come in handy. Beats printing out directions everytime or even draining battery from my current phone.
  5. Junior Droid
    ktroy's Avatar
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    Everything I read is so contradicting.

    This is from the backcountry navigator site:
    BackCountry Navigator is an Android GPS app that runs on both Android smartphones and tablets.

    With BackCountry Navigator, your Android phone becomes a complete outdoor topo mapping GPS device. It works without network coverage or data connection. A user only need to pre-download their topo map and it can be viewed offline in the forest and wilderness areas where there is no network connection. BackCountry Navigator Android GPS app can completely replace a handheld GPS device, which makes it convenient and flexible for the users.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...untrynavigator

    Not sure what to believe but thanks for the help so far! Any information is beneficial on my quest to finding a portable GPS map system.
  6. Droid Newbie
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    #5
    Sounds like backcountry is exactly what you're looking for.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  7. Junior Droid
    ktroy's Avatar
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    I'm reading now that if I buy a phone that has been reset to factory defaults, None of this is possible because you cannot even get into the phone without a verizon number.
    Is there a way around this?

    Thanks
  8. Droid Newbie
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    #7

    Offline Maps

    You can download maps of certain areas for "offline mode" in Google maps but hitting the menu/multi-function/ button. You can do this with up to 10 areas and there is a maximum size. You can do it over WiFi too. I have an old Droid that I kept after upgrading and I can still use it as a GPS.
  9. Droid
    Quick's Avatar
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    #8
    Technically there is no reason for it not to work. The phones themselves do true GPS. It's not "pseudo" GPS from cell tower triangulation any more.

    I have a decommissioned/deactivated D2 that no longer has cell service/phone number.
    I use it mainly for a fancy alarm clock and backup phone in case of a disaster with my D4; but it still connects and does data just fine over my WiFi lan at home.
    GPS also appears to work fine. Here is what I did to sort of check that:
    [GPS off WiFi on] Run Maps. Right after Maps loads I get a popup saying to improve location accuracy to turn on GPS and wireless (cell). exit Maps.
    [Turn GPS on] Run Maps. No popup. exit Maps.
    [Turn GPS off] Run Maps. I get the popup again.

    So you should be able to load apps and updates directly from your PC, or connect to the internet for data (Google Play and whatever) through WiFi.
    and GPS should work just fine.

    Am I missing something?
  10. Junior Droid
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    THANKS! This sounds perfect! I just want to download some local maps and use it for hiking with the gps. I don't mind paying for some handy apps here and there.

    Off I go to buy a used Droid X on ebay.

    Quick, a question for you. If you are on wifi and open maps with gps on, does it show you a rough estimate of your location?
    Also, would the GPS work in maps outside a wifi hot spot? (like, if you downloaded the maps to your phone)

    Thanks
  11. Droid Newbie
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ktroy View Post
    THANKS! This sounds perfect! I just want to download some local maps and use it for hiking with the gps. I don't mind paying for some handy apps here and there.

    Off I go to buy a used Droid X on ebay.

    Quick, a question for you. If you are on wifi and open maps with gps on, does it show you a rough estimate of your location?
    Also, would the GPS work in maps outside a wifi hot spot? (like, if you downloaded the maps to your phone)

    Thanks
    Once you download the area map for offline mode all you need is GPS reception to use the app. Once you go outside of that area it will still work, you just won't be able to find new places outside of the offline map area
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