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JoeFred 02-10-2013 07:29 PM

Need Help Re. Custom Maps for Android Phones
2/15/13 UPDATE: See annotations in RED below.

I am still interested in supplying some select custom map KML/KMZ files for Garmin and other compatible GPS devices (likely for free). (See Hoosier's related thread "GPS Custom Maps.") But to better see the results of my iterations, I will need to buy me a handheld.

But first, I would like to see what capabilities exist for creating custom topo GPS maps for Android phones to help me up the learning curve. At this stage all I have is Verizon's VZ Navigator app ( which came with the Droid Razr. It appears VZ Navigator is not capable of importing custom maps of any type.

After many goes at it in Google, here is an app I found that looks to have promise:
BackCountry Navigator PRO GPS (
Developer: CritterMap Software (
Description: "Use your phone or tablet as an offroad topo mapping GPS with the bestselling outdoor navigation app for Android! Explore beyond cell coverage for hiking, and trekking. Download topo maps for the US and some other countries in advance, so you won't need cell coverage when navigating.

This (app) uses many publicly available map sources as free downloads. It also has some additional content available as an in app purchase..." (including Accuterra Topo Map Source).
Have downloaded the free BackCountry Navigator Pro Demo version on my Android tablet and phone. (The actual product is $9.95). Looks to be a good app... and now can import KML or GPX files. I haven't mastered that yet, however. User guide is somewhat lacking in this regard. When time permits I will find a forum.

Here's the key point I was looking for:
"You can create your own maps with Mobile Atlas Creator ("
This doesn't appear to be necessary now as the custom KMZ/KML maps will be created using JPEGs and Google Earth.

I was just about to download Mobile Atlas Creator when I thought I should ask the much more tech savvy of you if there is knowledge of either of the applications or others you might suggest.

– JF

JoeFred 02-15-2013 01:52 PM

Making Progress
Getting there... I think. Can still use others' input. Please see previous edited post for an update on progress. Thanks. – JF

JoeFred 02-20-2013 10:30 PM

Uhh. Don't Mind Me...
...I'm just talking to myself. :smile: No, really I have some additional information I could share, but I think it best that I not keep chain-posting here.

I would greatly appreciate any interested in learning and more importantly helping out this geriatric gearhead to chime in.

Thanks, JF

mattblick 03-11-2013 01:58 PM

Custom Maps
Hiya JoeFred,

I've been looking at good software for custom offline maps as well, but I get lost very quickly and figured I'd let my favorite cartographer wade through it.

I found something to use until SmokyStreams has a product: I was able to create several maps of the park from multiple tile sets using the FREE android app OruxMaps. There is a map creator built into the application that still has access to online tile sets that were removed from the Mobile Atlas Creator (MOBAC) that I used to make maps for AlpineQuest. This morning I grabbed offline maps from Google Earth, Google Hybrid, Google Maps, Google Terrain, Microsoft Earth, Microsoft Hybrid. I'll keep trying other map sources until the MicroSD card on the phone is full. :smile:

What looks promising for your use is the free desktop app that you can use to make calibrated maps, the page says you can use this to:

Create a map from scratch with a customized version of TB Atlas Creator (See the download section)
OruxMapsDesktop + image (the map) + coordinates of the four corners
OruxMapsDesktop + a calibrated map for OziExplorer. There are a lot of applications that allow you to create Ozi maps (see Links section)
See this page,
and also the links page for other tools:

JoeFred 03-11-2013 09:22 PM

Good stuff, Matt. I will be checking out "Mobile Atlas Creator" in more detail and having my first go at "OkMap" (one of the OruxMaps links) which looks promising. You were wise to seek out desktop apps for me as a PC/Mac and a large monitor are essential in dealing with remote protected areas such as the Smokies. There is no such thing as too many pixels when it comes to isolating on two or three forested ridges surrounded by dozens of similar looking ones in the satellite images. From this exercise I have gained a whole new appreciation for fingerprint forensics and palm reading.

Keep up the good work, and if you need it, I'll mail you a couple of dollars to put toward your getting a larger memory card. :smile:

JoeFred 05-08-2013 01:02 AM


Originally Posted by mattblick (Post 105292)
What looks promising for your use is the free desktop app that you can use to make calibrated maps, the page says you can use this to:
See this page,
and also the links page for other tools:

Matt, I just now created a test calibrated map of the "Wye" section of the Little River drainage for OziExplorer using OruxMapsDesktop and have downloaded and installed the OziExplorer app on my Android tablet.
– JF

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