10/06/2011, 06:44 PM
So after trying out the Maptools (pro) with an external bluetooth GPS receiver, here are a few observations: (I realize these comments are more a review of the app program, but thought it might help others who want to have gps function on their tp)
True GPS functionality.
Using the touchpad and the external bluetooth gps receiver allows for real time gps functionality. This is a GPS mapping program, and not a GPS navigation program, so you will not get turn by turn directions, nor any voice directions telling you where to turn, etc. The program tells you where you are, and quite well. When I turned on my tomtom and had it next to the touchpad, I noticed that the touchpad was a few "feet" behind, so when I went through in intersection, it did not "track" perfectly but I think that is a function of the touchpad, and not the app itself. As far as pinpointing my location, it was dead on.
Address search function.
There is an address search function that works on the app. See the picture below. You have to type in the full address and when the options appear, when you select the address you want, (first picture) it will find the location (second picture) and from there you can tap on the screen (third picture) to pull up a menu to mark the location as a target. From there the app draws a straight line (forth picture) from your current location to the saved target. Of course, this is not a navigation arrow, but in reference to the map, it shows you where the destination is.
One of the neat functions of the app is a tracking function that leaves behind a blue shadow of where on the map you have been. I'm sure this can come in handy for someone, but for me, it was neat to have a visual marker of where I was today. (fifth picture)
This is where I had a bit of issues, downloading the map directly on the touchpad. some of you have asked where to get the map. The map are actually "tiles" that are the grids that make up the map. You need tiles for every level you want to be able to zoom in/out on the map. The more levels you want to be able to zoom in/out of, you'll need that many tiles. Driving around town, I only needed levels 13-16, which zooms in close enough to get all the street names, and zooms out enough to get a larger sense of my location.
When I downloaded (or caches) the map directly from the touchpad, I had trouble where the map was incomplete or duplicated tiles, thus rendering the map inaccurate. On Henk's website, he has a program called JTileDownloader that you can use to find any location in the world and download tiles. I downloaded the greater los angeles area (levels 13,14,15,16) and it was slightly over 9000 tiles and took close to 5 hours. But in the morning, when I transferred the tiles onto the touchpad (.maptools folder) the program worked very smoothly.
Using Maptool (pro) offline.
The other neat thing about this app is that you can download maps (cache tiles) and the the program as an offline map program. The problem with the Bing Map is that if you don't have internet connection, it won't work, but with maptool pro, if you know where you're going, you can use the app like a big map program.
Hope this helps everyone who wanted gps on their touchpad.
I'm not a computer engineer, but figuring this out didn't take that much time. I know other's have already been enjoying the app, but I couldn't understand alot of the technical language.
Please thank Henk (metaview) and buy yourself the app.