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geo-knot

using the map while navigating

Question

I know I’ve touched on some of this in another post, but wanted to elaborate a little. Navigating to a cache while using the map screen could be improved…

Sometimes navigating with the compass makes sense, and sometimes navigating with the map make sense.  When the map makes sense, it is often hard to see the little red arrow that spins around your location on the map that shows your heading.  I have good eyesight, but sometimes due to map details, that target line, or sun glare, it is hard to see or make out which way it is pointing without spinning your phone around.

I’m also an advocate of having the phone orient the map when navigating to a cache.  When this is done, the red target line clearly points to the cache and the little red arrow is not so important. I know cachly can do this, but unfortunately the implementation is not great.  The problem is that in order for the map to stay oriented, the map has to be centered on you.  That means if you zoom out so that you can see both yourself and the cache, you have 1/4th the detail on the map that you could have if you could manually scroll them map so that it was centered on your target line such that you are at the bottom of the screen, and your target is at the top.

I was recently listening to “Inside Geocaching HQ podcast: episode 16: Geocaching app update”.  In that episode they chronicle the way that they decided their maps need to orient themselves automatically by default. (also called track-up) Basically they went to a bunch of people, with all different exposure levels to caching. (including some with no exposure). They found that when navigating to a cache, having the map oriented was a big win.  You can listen to the podcast for the full details.  The end result is that if you try the geocaching app now, the initial map that shows all the caches around you defaults to North-up, but as soon as you start navigating to a cache, the default is track-up. (admitedly: the geocaching app also stops rotating when you are not centered)

This setup feels ideal to me for some reason.  north-up when choosing a cache to go to, and track up when navigating.  Certainly there are some people who prefer north up all the time, but similarly, there are many (and I would argue more people) who would prefer it track-up.  The other apps I’ve been using over the years all let you keep your map oriented if you like. Geosphere even let you automatically center the map on the target line in a way that kept you and the cache on the screen, and it slowly zoomed in as you got closer to the cache.

I’m really liking cachly, but this is one spot I feel that the other apps I’ve used have a leg up.  How would I improve things?  I have a few ideas.

-when you are navigating to a cache, and set the map to track-up, that it does not stop orienting just because your location in not in the center of the map.

-remember that my “navigate to cache” map was north up last time I used it so that the next time I’m on that screen, it is still track-up

-add a small compass or some other indicator in the upper right of the map that always points to the cache.  This would help especially when you are using the map as north up and whenever using the map to navigate to the cache.

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On 2/5/2019 at 9:02 AM, geo-knot said:

add a small compass or some other indicator in the upper right of the map that always points to the cache.  This would help especially when you are using the map as north up and whenever using the map to navigate to the cache.

This is something that I have wanted for a bit. I’ve grown somewhat accustomed now to switching between map & compass view, but so would love having a translucent version of the compass available in map view (or some other navigational directional & distance indicator) so I could just stay in map view entirely. In fact this was the one & only thing that slowed me down from adopting Cachly as my main caching app for a long period of time, as L4C has a great version of this & it was hard to let go of that function. 

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On 2/5/2019 at 6:02 AM, geo-knot said:

-when you are navigating to a cache, and set the map to track-up, that it does not stop orienting just because your location in not in the center of the map.

-remember that my “navigate to cache” map was north up last time I used it so that the next time I’m on that screen, it is still track-up

-add a small compass or some other indicator in the upper right of the map that always points to the cache.  This would help especially when you are using the map as north up and whenever using the map to navigate to the cache.

Thank you very much for the suggestions. They have been added to my internal feature list for a future version. :)

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