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ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging


Postby Giant Stoneater » Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:05 pm

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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Glengavel » Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:12 pm

I've been considering switching from OS Maps to ViewRanger. What's the issue here?
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby iain_atkinson_1986 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:21 pm

That's annoying. Switched to VR last year after OS Maps was ruined by a bunch of terrible "improvements". Had a look at OA - the maps actually look better although I hope you can lock the map to 1: 50. I find everything else a bit redundant.
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby KatTai » Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:27 pm

There will no longer be updates to the VR platform.


:( I downloaded OutdoorActive when a thing came up on my Viewranger but I'm still using Viewranger because I don't like OutdoorActive as much you get very little with the 'free' version. Sounds like they are trying to force everyone to use OutdoorActive one way or another! Any other free map aps people recommend?
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Marty_JG » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:13 pm

I've said it before, I'll say it again: ORUXMAPS

It's only on Android and it's a one-off cost of £4

But other than that it's superb. I found out about it via TalkyToaster as it's the only app he supports and by crikey it's good. With a TT map on (and yes, a couple more ££ for his map - totally worth it) it's good to go. Takes a while to figure out every menu option as there are so many, but when you get used to it you'll discover just how ridiculously powerful and flexible it is.

Oh, and despite using it for a few years now, it turns out there is a way of making TalkyToaster maps have an OS look-&-feel. Doesn't change the data but it's so much more aesthetically pleasing.

https://www.openandromaps.org/en/oam-forums/topic/voluntary-uk/page/7

I'd love WH and Orux to combine in a single button but it's not difficult :

    - open browser on mobile phone
    - WH site
    - download GPX to your download folder
    - open Oruxmaps
    - tracks -> tracktools -> load track

Badda bing badda boom!
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Sand01 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:13 pm

Have just done the merge and followed all the instructions etc etc. I have the annual subs. for VR and thought it great. Loved being able to upload routes from WH website. Felt a lot happier when out walking on my own that I had the back up of the VR app to just double check my route (still liked my paper maps as well) Enjoyed the 3D flyovers etc etc. But this merge is rubbish. I have tried and tried to upload the gpx files via the app. on my phone. No luck.The instructions do not match up with what is on the screen. I can see upload instructions on a PC but that is not what I want to do. The 3D flyovers appear to be only available long term if I upgrade and pay £53.99 p/a And I will not be doing that.

The Outdoor Active app is great I am sure if you want to go cross country skiing in Europe and stay in a mountain hut - but I don't. I just want to walk in Scotland and be 100% sure I know I am on the right route when the mist comes down.

Reading the small print, I can carry on using my VR app until my membership runs and then that will be it. Time to look for a better alternative I guess. Cannot see me using the OutdoorActive app unless it is vastly improved. Is it just me??
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Robertgee » Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:31 am

I use maverick from code sector, an app for android, download from play store. There's a free version and a pro version, cost me £4.40 in 2014. I don't think the free versions much good now, was pretty good back in 2014, I used it for many years with no problems. Pro version still works well for me today. Lots of sensors to tell you bearing, grid reference, speed, altitude, average speed, sunset, etc. You can record tracks in gpx format, even when following an existing track, which can be imported from wh. There's various maps available, at no extra cost. Just download as you need them, and there's a downloader tool if you wish to select large areas at different zoom levels. It then works offline so no need for phone signal when out walking. I downloaded the full UK 1:50k OS maps & just get the 1:25k as I need them. Other useful maps are OSM, bing, bing satellite, etc. Only thing is to get access to OS maps, you need to get bing map key (free) from Microsoft. Link to help with this https://blog.codesector.com/2012/02/26/maverick-pro-2-0/ Link to Microsoft for map key https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/maps/create-a-bing-maps-key
A little bit fiddly to get this set up, but once done you get access to free OS maps.
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby walkingpoles » Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:51 pm

My free viewranger app (without any subscriptions, sign ups etc) on my mobile works as before. Will it stop working when updating the app or after a certain date?

Never used it without a OS paper map in Scotland. But in many places in the world it turned out to be the best map that I could access (even with money). African street names for the win. I certainly need a replacement if it goes.
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Paul Webster » Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:17 pm

We're as upset about this as anyone, but remember you should be able to use Walkhighlands gpx files with just about any app, as long as they don't republish them.

I would caution against using apps that have a very low fixed cost and then let you download all OS maps for unlimited use offline. These are the types of apps that might only cost you a few quid, but most are pocketing that without paying their mapping licence fees, and then letting you illegally download OS maps from sites like Walkhighlands - basically passing on all their licence costs to someone else and saddling them with the bills. They then avoid easy prosecution by saying that it's their users who are doing this as if it is not really the intention behind the app :(

If looking for a cheaper option and no subs, the talky toaster solution is the honest one.
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Alex W » Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:41 pm

For the layman, I use Viewranger with a subscription to OS for all the UK maps. I don't upload routes, I just use it as a map on a handheld device with GPS to show current position. Am I going to see any difference?
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby KatTai » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:57 pm

Alex W wrote:For the layman, I use Viewranger with a subscription to OS for all the UK maps. I don't upload routes, I just use it as a map on a handheld device with GPS to show current position. Am I going to see any difference?



Yes, your Viewranger subscription will not be renewed this year and there will be no further updates to the Viewranger app.
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Robertgee » Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:44 am

Paul Webster wrote:I would caution against using apps that have a very low fixed cost and then let you download all OS maps for unlimited use offline. These are the types of apps that might only cost you a few quid, but most are pocketing that without paying their mapping licence fees, and then letting you illegally download OS maps from sites like Walkhighlands - basically passing on all their licence costs to someone else and saddling them with the bills. They then avoid easy prosecution by saying that it's their users who are doing this as if it is not really the intention behind the app :(

If looking for a cheaper option and no subs, the talky toaster solution is the honest one.


As far as I was aware, the maverick app I suggested, downloads it's maps from Microsoft. You have to sign up with bing maps for a map key to allow you to do so. This allows users access to their OS maps for non profit personal use in apps. They have maximum daily download limits, so can only download so much each day. I thought this was all completely above board. If you think it isn't then please remove my post on this matter, or let me know & I'll remove it myself.
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Paul Webster » Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:12 am

At risk of going off-topic to reply (sorry - let's get back on topic after this!):
Most importantly, Bing Maps licence doesn't allow their maps to be stored and used offline.
Links e.g. https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/f7cd7920-2582-47be-9244-8151f72b9be5/bing-map-licence-for-offline-use?forum=bingmapsservices (note very clear answer marked by Ricky Brundritt who is Bing Maps head honcho) or https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6326120/bing-map-offline-development-is-this-possible

The important bit of the terms you agreed to when you signed up for a Bing licence is that
"[you may not] Copy, store, archive, or create a database of Content".

Offline use relies on storing maps. Otherwise, why do you think other apps don't just do this? Getting each user to take on their own licence makes it difficult to deal for Bing to deal with as I'd mentioned above.

OS (and presumably other mapping providers) have different licences for offline use, which are much more expensive (as online fees are payable over and over each and every time you look at the map, hence must be cheaper). That's the same as our licence.

Beyond that, definitions from Bing Maps licence terms for use in non-profit app:

Education or non-profit organization use. If you are using the Services with an Application that displays results for Education or Non-Profit use, then your Application must be one of the following: (i) publicly available without restriction (for example, login or password must not be required); (ii) available only to current students of your educational organization via your private network in order to provide education-related services; or (iii) available internally for free instructional use or available internally for non-commercial research use. Commercially-funded research projects and commercial company use for educational purposes are excluded from Education and Non-Profit use. "Non-profit" means a tax exempt organization. "Education" means use by public or private K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, or other collegiate level institutions, such as vocational schools, trade schools or career colleges, including their respective faculty, staff, and students.
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Spade » Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:14 am

O/S Map and compass, never needs downloading, no batteries required and always works. The WH maps with the route description and details always a super accompniament to proper planning.
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Re: ViewRanger/OutdoorActive Merging

Postby Marty_JG » Sun Jan 31, 2021 4:40 pm

GPS is handy for the worst of weather: maps in gales, landmarks in white-outs, etc.

It's a shame GPS units are not seen as reliable for hillwalking. You try finding a modern yacht, from modest inland cruiser to ocean busters, that does not rely on GPS and digital navigation. Try finding a modern skipper with paper charts, unless they're decorative in a frame on the wall.
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