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  1. #1
    Soundwave
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    Google Maps and offline GPS Navigation on Asus Transformer

    Google Maps, GPS Offline Navigation and the Asus Eeepad Transformer

    I am a new Transformer owner and I have seen very little posted about the use of the above programs. Maybe everybody knows all about this but I have not seen anything written. I am really completely impressed with how well it works even offline with no data service! You can drive around on a full color GPS guided photographic satellite map, with pinch zoom capability and gas stations and restaurants noted while on a rolling map with next turn distance countdown updating continuously. Cool! I am no expert - maybe I’ll make a few observations here in the hopes that it will stimulate some discussion, refinement and corrections .

    1. "live" pre- cacheing of satellite image maps.

    The way this works is by using a sort of “live pre-cacheing” to the save map tiles for use without internet connection. Starting, say, at home while on line, I will voice search a destination into google navigation and let it figure the route. I then go look at the sat map of each turn on the route roster of direction and take enough time to watch each page load the satellite map. I then sort of trace along the route with my finger and watch as each step goes from fuzzy to sharp. This image data is then held in cache memory. For the short drive to work this morning this “live pre-cacheing” step took all of 30 seconds. I don’t know how much data can be help in the cache. On google earth it is 2Gb saveable which is a huge amount. And this live pre-cacheing might be a really tedious step for a long trip. I don’t know yet if this cache is saved through a tablet restart. So I set out for work and drove out of my wireless and the transformer picked up the GPS signal outside and the Google Navigation program spun the map around to my heading and with an overhead tilt perspective camera angle and nice 'smart zoom' at impending turns it started to follow along. It made several quick live “reroutes “ when I went off the predetermined route, though the program did fail to reroute one time in a complex reroute situation. If you go too far off route you get into very poor map quality since these areas were not pre-cached. All this with no internet connection! To me it’s fascinating -only problem is not wrecking the car!

    2. "saved" pre- cacheing of selected standard map areas

    Next thing is the formal "saved pre- cacheing". Apparently since July Google maps has allowed the saving and naming of a 10 mile square centered around a selected point, and will allow one to save ten of these for later access without online internet access. These are saved as standard maps, not satellite images, but retain a high level of resolution and place names and –tada!- all of the outlines of the 3D buildings data. Honestly while not as glamorous as the sat maps, in my opinion this is a more useful data set for getting around. These maps are very supple to tablet finger commands and you can spin, slide, do a two finger shift of perspective angle, and pinch zoom down and walk down a street between 3D buildings etc. Mind boggling! I have not tried much navigation yet with these saved pre-cached maps but it will undoubtedly work. Don’t try turning the satellite layer on as it freezes the use of the saved pre-cached maps. Also I discovered completely by accident that if you tap on the upper left little map icon it will properly re-center your GPS location on the map.




    So I would really like to learn more from others about using these applications! Bon voyage!
    Last edited by 6677; 09-15-2011 at 01:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Jazz
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    I wondered about the off line map use with Google maps. The latest download allows cacheing but I do not know the details as yet.
    I did download a free maping program that allows off line navigation and so far it appears to work well....

    https://market.android.com/details?i...from_developer

  3. #3
    TRANSFORMER FORUMS LEGEND
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    The navigation caching is nice, but keep in mind it does have limitations.

    If you deviate too far off your route, it will not be cached.

    You cannot get directions unless online, even if you pre-cached the map area. It will show you where you are, but it will not give driving directions.

    I have a MiFi aircard that I use while driving to get online to do it the proper way. The biggest advanntage is that the time is updated with traffic info and the status dot will change color (Green, Yellow, Red) based on the upcoming traffic conditions. A quick tap of the screen (to take it out of tracking your position) reveals the real-time traffic info to see if maybe you can avoid a major traffic jam by taking a side road.


    Asus Transformer 16 GB & Dock - Munching on Jelly Beans
    crApple iP*one 5 - Stock

    Just once I want someone to call me Sir without adding you're making a scene.
    - Homer Jay Simpson

  4. #4
    Soundwave
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    Frederuco,
    I've been doing my best to keep up with these gps threads, what after all this is the best solution still using the TF? If it is going to cost over say 35 bucks might as well get a good refurb GPS at CompUSA and not waste my time even though I love this thing and run the battery down each day lol.

  5. #5
    TRANSFORMER FORUMS LEGEND
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    I use the standard Navigation app. I just tried the Sygic app (had to grab from the developer website, sygic.com) and you get a 7 day trial. You have to download the states/countries you want. If you are missing one (say Virginia) you cannot get directions from NC to NY.

    It seems pretty nice, but it goes for about 20-25 USD. I get about 6 hours out of my TF using GPS on max brightness which is better than a standard GPS, and the larger screen is nice.

    I have a MiFi to keep it online so the traffic info on the Navigation app is nice to have.

    It is up to what you are looking for. The other item to note, the TF does not get very loud to hear for directions in the car compared to a stand alone GPS. I have my TF paired up to a BlueAnt speaker phone to make it loud enough to hear.


    Asus Transformer 16 GB & Dock - Munching on Jelly Beans
    crApple iP*one 5 - Stock

    Just once I want someone to call me Sir without adding you're making a scene.
    - Homer Jay Simpson

  6. #6
    Transformer Forums Legend
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    I also used the stock GPS app with my Verizon 4G hot spot to take a total 900 mile, (round), trip this last weekend. Worked out just fine. Fortunately I could hook the hot spot up to a charger in my van as the TF way outlasted the hot spot battery.

  7. #7
    Jazz
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6677 View Post
    I am a new Transformer owner and I have seen very little posted about the use of the above programs.
    These matters were discussed fairly extensively on these forums a couple of months ago, but that's way back now. The main problem was the limitations of "caching".

    Not having a live internet connection when driving, it almost defeats the purpose of navigation to have to "pre-navigate" the previous night and then set out on your journey, and still not be sure that everything will have been cached, or will display well.

    Nonetheless your observations are interesting and it's bound to help me sometime in the future. (I also enjoyed watching the blue arrow wing its way along photographic quality roads on my way back from church once, but that, let's face it, is just 4 km from home. Actually I had my son watch it for me.)

    Personally I consider the TF a little too large to mount up above the dashboard. Could be distracting and dangerous.

    Currently I settle for my Nokia 5230 (3.5" screen), with its preloaded maps, if I ever do need any navigation.

    Interestingly, I came across something that I think I might really want, when I visited the Asus service centre. It's not officially available here, and it's currently on an earlier version of Android, so one might wish to wait for an updated model.

    It's called the garmin-asus A10, and you can either google it or try this link:

    A10 - Overview ~ Garmin-Asus


    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Jazz
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    Don't hold your breath -

    "Asustek Computer and Garmin will not be renewing their dual-branding partnership to sell location-based service (LBS) smartphones when their contract terminates in January 2011, according to reports."

  9. #9
    Starscream
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    I tried out Sygic this last weekend - it is a lot like our TomTom that got stolen. It doesn't have traffic updates (without internet connection), but I think I might go ahead and purchase it if there are no better (or cheaper) options the next time we take a long trip. I actually kind of like how it only downloads the states you need, that way you don't have to use up as much space if you don't ever travel out West, for instance (or only infrequently). It also features POI information, which is a huge benefit (say, if you want to find an Olive Garden or Chick-fil-a or something .

 

 

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