Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

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gmckinlay
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Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby gmckinlay » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:17 pm

I will be making a 9 day remote ocean voyage in Palau starting May 2 and need to record position by time, so I can subsequently geolocate 15 minute pelagic counts that I will conduct as often as possible en route.

I will use a GPS unit if I can borrow one, but may jot be able to.
So can anyone advise an easy and reliable way to do this using the iphone?

Needs to work when fully offline (no cell or wifi coverage), for full duration of trip. I should be able to plug it in to a power socket, so that battery will not run out.
Ideally track record with positions recorded every minute, that I can download to the laptop later.

Unfortunately, my intuition with phone apps is such that I usually end up down the wrong rabbithole, so looking for a well laid out app with basic GPS functions, without loads of other functionality to confuse me.

Appreciate any suggestions. Hoping to test over the next few days.

Glenn McKinlay
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:41 pm

I use GPSLogger on Android. Not sure if it is available for iPhone but if it is it will do just what you need. If you use it with 1 sec logging interval and GPS on all the time (rather than off between fixes, which is more relevant with line intervals) it does use lots of battery power. This shouldn't be an issue with how you plan to use it, but I suggest you thoroughly test it first.
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Re: Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby Davidthomas » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:13 pm

It will work on eBird if you allow it to have location services on when you’re using the app and just create offline checklists. However it will be very battery usage heavy. It will create a track but not the gps points you’re after though I don’t think. But it’s a good potential option anyway.
gmckinlay
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Re: Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby gmckinlay » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:21 pm

Thanks both. Not there yet though.
Neil: I downloaded a "GPS logger" app for Iphone, but it looks to be different to what you are using on Andriod.
David: To remain plugged in to power the phone cannot be where I will be viewing from, so I don't think using ebird offline as I go will work. It will be notebook and paper, with data capture later, so needs time stamped GPS points.

Has anybody done this with an app for Iphone?
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:04 pm

Yea, if I look a bit harder I remember it is "GPSLogger for Android". Probably a good clue it won't work for you, sorry.
https://gpslogger.app
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Re: Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:32 pm

Seems iOS is much more difficult to do this sort of thing on.
https://github.com/mendhak/gpslogger/issues/538


..but I had a look around and found motionx might be a candidate.
http://gps.motionx.com
I had a quick skim if the manual and it seems to use standard GPX tracklogs which it can easily import but I don't see anything about exporting them so you can use them externally. Might be worth testing.
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Brent Stephenson
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Re: Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby Brent Stephenson » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:24 pm

Hi Glenn,

Try Outdooractive. I use it regularly when I do landings and hikes in remote places. It records a trickling that can be exported as a GPX, and when you take a photo from within the app it positions that using the GPS. Would be useful to take a photo at the start and finish of the transect as it would show sea state, etc.

Or eBird would be as good for recording the trackline.

But note ANY app that uses the GPS (inc Outdooractive) - which is what you are asking the iPhone to do - will use more battery life. I suggest buy yourself a cheap pocket recharge battery and have your phone plugged into it on deck.

Hope that helps,
Brent
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BruceW
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Re: Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby BruceW » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:21 am

If you are going to do 15 minute surveys, then you can create an "off-line" checklist on eBird with the iPhone in "Normal Mode". As soon as the eBird list has been created with the GPS coordinates, switch the iPhone to "Aeroplane Mode", and continue entering the bird sightings. For the next survey just put the phone back to "Normal Mode" until the GPS updates and a new checklist is created. This will preserve the battery life and the phone should be able to operate for 4 to 6 hours depending on the age of the phone.
gmckinlay
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Re: Offline GPS and time tracking on Iphone?

Postby gmckinlay » Sat May 18, 2019 12:11 pm

A quick note to say thank you to those who assisted.

In the end I was able to run two systems. A PGS unit that I was able to borrow from the museum, and an Apple app “MyTracks”, to continually record tracks and times. A US$4 extra charge enabled me to export each track. A free google adding “GPX viewer allowed each track to be shown on google earth. The phone battery needed on recharge each day – done over lunchbreak. A power bank would have sufficed for a full 12 hour day without recharge.

A good thing about that approach was that my observations were never compromised by having to look at the cellphone – something I would have had to do regularly had I tried ebirds offline mode. I do not have to add all the coordinates to each observation session manually back at home - rainy day work.

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