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Every weekend I go out and ride my bike through the exact same boring old route. Now I've decided I want to start exploring new parts of the city, but I need my phone to help me that.

Today, using google maps, I decided on a new route I want to follow next weekend (and I'll probably have a new one each week). The problem is that I've never been to these streets, so I need my phone to guide me through it.

Specifically, I need something very similar to android's GPS navigation. I'll define where I want to go, place the phone in my pockets (with earphones), and just listen to the turn-by-turn "driving" instructions and follow them.

The reason I don't just use android navigation is that the route isn't a simple Go from A to B, it's more like Go from A to B, then to C, ..., then back to A. That means I would have to re-type these destinations one by one in the phone, which is far from ideal.

Ideally, I need a system that allows me to do something like:

  1. plan a complex route on the computer,
  2. send it to my phone,
  3. have it guide me with turn-by-turn voice instructions.

Is there an app for that? Or is there a way to do that with standard GPS navigation?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The solution I use for similar situation is Trekbuddy. I am sure you will discard the idea of using this app if you didn't understand it well. Hence, read through its description in its Play site and their forums. It requires little homework before any such serious use. But once you know your way (pun intended ;) ) through the application, it will be a breeze.

With this app, you can plan your route on computer export it as GPX and together with few MP3 files you can create a turn-by-turn pre-planned navigation. Be aware that if you miss your turn this will not reroute you back. You have to see the map that and continue either on the new route or try to join the pre planned route.

To know about its other uses, take a look at my answer for the question "How to import GPS coordinates track for using offline"

You may also try OSMAND. You can create a pre planned route and export as GPX file. OSMAnd can be configured to use this pre defined route. I could not get my head through the options and configurations to make this work. But from reading its help, I understand that this can do the above and even reroute in case if you miss your turn.

Personally, I like Trekbuddy for its simplicity and its many features as I described in my answer to the other question.

If you happen to succeed with OSMAnd, please share your procedure with us.


Update: After reading through the forum pages of Trekbuddy, I finally figured out how to use a pre planned turn by turn navigation feature and I tried today to ensure it is working.

The steps involved are (from scratch):

  1. Install Trekbuddy either from PlayStore or from their download link.
  2. Run the app with GPS switched on. Press Menu and press Start and wait for GPS fix. If GPS fix is a success you will see the cross hair at your location in the World map.
  3. To display a map, you have to download raster map tiles from the service provider. These tiles are to be placed in a particular format and an application called Mobac comes for rescue. This app creates such map tiles, indexes and even compress. Various map sources like OpenStreetMap, OpenCycleMap, Google Maps*, Google Terrain*, Google Earth Satellite*, Yahoo Maps etc can be used. Explaining how to create a map will be bit out of scope here, and I will leave it to a rare tutorial available here in German.
  4. Assuming you had successfully created a TARred atlas (collection of map tiles as said above), you have to place the .TAR file and its subfolder inside \mnt\sdcard\Trekbuddy\maps folder. To load the map, press Menu button and touch Maps option and select the *.Tar file. Depending on how you had layered the atlas, layers might appear in the next screen and if so, select a layer. Trekbuddy might prompt you to mark this as default atlas. If acceptable click Yes and you will save all this step doing again.
  5. One map is loaded, you can ensure it by tapping any where in the screen, which will show the cross hair on your location in the map as identified by the GPS.
  6. In your computer plan a route and mark turning points as waypoints. As an example, in this following image enter image description here six waypoints are marked as WPT1..WPT6.
  7. In computer, using a text editor, create a GPX file with following template. enter image description here
  8. Place the GPX file created as above in \mnt\sdcard\Trekbuddy\wpts folder.
  9. Place sound files in AMR format (MP3 not tested) in \mnt\sdcard\Trekbuddy\sounds folder. The file name of these files should be as mentioned in the GPX file.
  10. And finally, in Trekbuddy app, press Menu, Navigation, Waypoints and choose the above GPX file. Then choose the final waypoint, in this case WPT6 and press menu again and choose NavigateTo.

When you start moving approach WPT1, the sound assigned to WPT1 will be played. The setting Settings->Navigation->Wpt Proximity determines the proximity radius. The value is in meters and when the current GPS position is within this imaginary circle, the sound will be played.

  • I believe it has been discontinued since Mobac version 1.9 onward due to legal pressure. Old versions are not officially available but are still at large.
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Looks nice. Could you let me know what software you use for exporting the GPX? And would the creating of mp3 files have to be done manually on my part? –  Malabarba Jan 24 '13 at 12:46
    
I use Google maps to plan my route. I drag the route around the road through which I would like to go. I then use Google maps to GPX using Elsewhere. It works great with IE and I am not sure about others. Regarding MP3 we need very few files like "Turn Left" etc. The way TrekBuddy works is that when you reach a waypoint, it plays a MP3 file with the name of the waypoint. For the first few attempts this sounds pain, but soon you will discover or manage with fewer MP3 files. –  Narayanan Jan 24 '13 at 12:55
    
..and I missed to mention that when using ElseWhere, you will see Route, Track, Points and Full kind of options. I choose Full. Then I copy the content from the window and paste in a text file, renaming it as a GPX. –  Narayanan Jan 24 '13 at 12:59
    
Locus's community forum has a question that should be of interest to you. You could also see that author (@Marc) of the post has answered exactly what you want, but with Internet connectivity on. –  Narayanan Jan 25 '13 at 7:10
    
Ok, I'm accepting this answer for OsmAnd. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the voice part of TreckBuddy to work, and Locus only does voice navigation in the pro version. Still, even with OsmAnd the experience hasn't been perfect. I found that (for some very wide streets) it would sometimes not realise that I had already passed the checkpoint, and it would then just keep telling me to go back. –  Malabarba Jan 27 '13 at 18:29

You could also give Locus Map Free a try. This app can import GPX fine as well, and you can use the track as "route" to be navigated on. From the app's description:

Voice navigation & guiding

  • full support for Online voice navigation
  • voice & notification guiding on single waypoint (by compass or on the map) and along path

Locus Maps Navigation Locus Maps Offline

Side-effect of Locus: You can also import complete KMZ files (zipped KML), including images and descriptions. I use that for creating my own travel guide when going on vacation, with my personal POIs and stuff researched on the web.

Another plus: It can work completely offline. Map material can be downloaded right from within the app using different sources. As for navigation, you need to calculate the route in advance (but importing tracks does the same ;). From there on, no network connection is required anymore. Tested this multiple times, works great.

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I tired Locus Map Free and observed that I could not follow the track without Internet connection. Just trying to keep you informed and at the same time giving myself a chance to correct if I am wrong. –  Narayanan Jan 25 '13 at 7:06
    
I tried that a while ago, and it worked. But I didn't use "voice navigation" back then: so you might be correct if you address that, as I didn't test this part. Guess I will need to repeat my test -- sorry for that... –  Izzy Jan 25 '13 at 7:27
    
Maybe I got this wrong, but I think you need the paid version to have voice navigation. –  Malabarba Jan 25 '13 at 13:37

Cuesheet paired with http://ridewithgps.com works well. On the website, you can easily plan/modify a travelling route that will then be imported in CueSheet.

The route can be very complicated with many twists and turns. English turn by turn instructions are created at the same time. Also, you can insert your own instructions in the list if you want. After saving the route on the website, you run the cuesheet on your phone/tablet. After you sign into your ridewithgps account using the app, you will see a list of routes you have planned on the website. Pick one and it will download to your android device with its turn by turn instructions. In the app you are also given the option to download the map so there is no need of internet connection to use the guiding.

It is not perfect since it can give many false off course warnings, but it is by far the best combination of flexible route planning and voice guiding I have found. It costs 4 USD for the version with voice guiding.

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I have found a very promising app to solve this problem. OsmAnd. I have been looking for a wa to import a gpx of a trail system to know where I am while dirtbiking. So far I have been able to import a gpx showing a pre-recorded map of the trail. I was also able to download the entire state road/trail map easily from the app for offline use. OsmAnd has many other features I haven't explored yet.

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And that works without looking at the screen, only going by audio – as the OP asked for? As you don't say so in your answer explicitly, it might be you overlooked that part of the question – so I just want to verify :) –  Izzy Jun 27 at 15:20

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