100% free GPSLogger & Geocaching Software for BlackBerry® Devices
with OS 4.6 or higher (v1.x for OS 4.2.1)


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GPSLogger II - Outdoor Navigation - Introduction [100% free 100% offline]

A straight forward application, to record your movement with your BlackBerry® device over time

+ Simple Geocache Application for BlackBerry® devices

+ Outdoor Navigation

+ Lap Timer

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Introduction

First of all you have to know, that GPSLogger II supports two different ways to guide you to a certain place. In one of the modes you will be guided directly into the direction of a previously recorded location (Location-Mode) in the second one you will be guided along a previously loaded path (Path-Mode). It is very important that you understand the core difference between both cases.

Location-Mode [Geocaching]

The first one is suitable for geocaching or situation like finding your car in a parking lot or similar tasks. The direction view of GPSLogger II will point always into the direction of the location that you want to reach – no matter whether there are barriers between you and your target like buildings, rivers or canyons. So basically you have to find the correct route (streets, paths, hikes) to your destination by yourself – so don’t simply look on your display and walk into the direction the arrow is pointing – this might hurt (or result in a catastrophic failure :D) - Disclaimer: The author of this software cannot be held responsible for any damage, harm, injuries caused by the use of GPSLogger II.

Path-Mode [Outdoor Navigation]

The Second mode should be used, if you want to follow a previously recorded path “waypoint by waypoint”. It’s not important if you have recorded the path by yourself or if you downloaded a path recorded by somebody else [e.g. a cycling or hiking (round)trip that you have downloaded in GPX or KML format from a website like ' GPSies - Tracks for Vagabonds'].

How Path-Mode works?

Having in mind that a path is nothing more than a list of locations which follow each other the concept of outdoor navigation is working in GPSLogger II is quite easy to understand.

Before you start you have to know, in which direction your previously recorded path (or imported GPX file) is pointing to. The locations on the path are ordered from point A to the point B or from B to A (or if they are ordered clockwise or counter clockwise for roundtrips). This is a very important aspect for "your" way and the direction you want to take. In this documentation it is assumed that you have a path that is going from point A to point B and you want to follow it in the same direction (so you are currently at location A and want to arrive at location B).

For the proper functionality of the outdoor navigation in GPSLogger II two settings in the options dialog have been introduced which have a major influence on the behaviour of the navigation software. If you have understood the concept how outdoor navigation is working in GPSLogger II you can adjust these two values 'When Waypoint is reached' & 'Distance to next Waypoint' to your likings. In this documentation it is assumed the following (default) values are present:

  • When Waypoint is reached: 15m/50 ft
  • Distance to next Waypoint: 250m/820 ft

Please note that you do not have to be in logging mode in order to use the outdoor navigation function of GPSLogger II.

  1. Start GPSLogger II and open the Path-Manager (key shortcut: [SHIFT]+[M])
  2. Select the path you would like to follow
  3. Select  Load NaviPath  (key shortcut: [N])
    If you would had been at location B and want to go to location A, then you have to select  Load inverted NaviPath  (key shortcut: [SHIFT]+[N])
  4. GPSlogger will now calculate the nearest Waypoint (on the loaded Path) from your current location – this Waypoint becomes the first location, to which GPSLogger II will be guiding you (pointing towards the direction in the direction view).
    Please note, that the direction view is highly dependent based on your current course. In order that your BlackBerry® device is able to calculate your current course you have to be in movement. In any other case you will notice that the compass needle will be just rotating randomly – in the case that your device have difficulties to calculate the course please switch to the path view because this provides you also a good orientation in which direction you have to go (use also the ZOOM IN function in this case).
    Please note additionally that it could happen, that the next waypoint will not be calculated correctly (reported by a user) in this case please make use of the [SHIFT]+[R] key shortcut in order to rerun the "find closest point on the path to your current location and calculate the next waypoint.
  5. Now you should move towards the direction GPSLogger II is pointing to. Please have in mind (depending on your physical start location) that GPSLogger II cannot take any natural barriers like buildings or rivers into account. It will be assumed you are already quite close to one of the locations that are along the path.
  6. When the distance between your current location and the point to which GPSLogger II is pointing at the moment is less than 15m/50 ft (depending on your 'When Waypoint is reached' setting) the current waypoint is considered as reached and the next waypoint to reach will be automatically calculated and will be set as the new location to reach.
  7. Now you are in a loop of step 6) until you reach the final/last location (waypoint) that is recorded on the path and you should then finally have reached your final destination.
    Depending on your sample interval GPSLogger II will change the color of the path from light grey to dark grey when GPSLogger II believes you are on the path. "Being on the path" means, that you reached consequently the calculated locations. Once GPSLogger II is in this mode only waypoint that are ahead in the navigation path will be considered as possible next waypoints. You can reset this behavior by using the [SHIFT]+[R] short cut key or selecting  Reset Navigation  from the menu.

How GPSLogger II will calculate the next waypoint?

Once you have reached (or are close to) the location to which GPSLogger II has guided you, the next waypoint will be calculated automatically.Therefore GPSLogger II will "look ahead" in the loaded navigation path and calculates to each waypoint the distance from your current location – once the distance of a waypoint is greater than 250m/820 ft (depending on your 'Distance to next Waypoint' setting) it is qualified to be the next waypoint to which GPSLogger II will guide you. Each location on your navigation path could become potentially a waypoint during the outdoor navigation.

Technically GPSLogger II will not keep you on the navigation path exactly waypoint by waypoint of the loaded navigation path – it is more that the application will find the next point (on the path) in the specified distance from your current location and take this point as the "next" waypoint.

What happens, if you do not reach a waypoint?

If you have a too small 'When Waypoint is reached' setting, or you have to go an alternative route (e.g. because of an obstacle) it could happen, that you do not reach the waypoint to which GPSLogger II is trying to guide you too.

In this case GPSLogger II is able to detect, that you are actually moving away from the target (instead of approaching it) and the nearest waypoint on the path will be calculated again automatically which could take few moments. Once the calculation is finished you will be directed to the new location. If this auto correction fails then there are additional menu items that could be used to get back on your way. [see: key shortcuts]

Outdoor navigation Problems

When you are using outdoor navigation there is a big difference compared to street navigation or also called Turn by Turn navigation. In street navigation you can rely on edge calculations and relations. Outdoors you do not have any kind of edge model that could be used. This difference causes an issue you might encounter when you like to start a round trip.

The image to the left is showing a typical round trip start situation. The start and the end of the round trip have the same waypoint. The green line in this diagram is the starting path while the red one is the end of the round tip.

At the start of the navigation (or if the application failed to detect the arrival at a waypoint) GPSLogger II is calculating the distance of the current location to all points of the path. GPSlogger then assumes that the point with the closest distance to your current location is the best that can be chosen to start/continue with the navigation. Most of the time this works quite rock solid – but in the illustrated situation once you start at location X3 you will realize, that this approach could lead to the wrong conclusion.

When you start your round trip near X3, then GPSLogger II will calculate the closest point to your current location – and the result of this calculation will be either X41 or X42 (both of them are of course on the way back home) and not X4 which is the point you want to arrive at.

Furthermore you have to know that once GPSLogger II believes you are on the path it will be just looking ahead on the path to calculate the next waypoint. So once GPSLogger II has taken X42 as your current location on the path it will continue guiding you to X43, X44 and X45. This is for sure not what you want! The good news is that GPSLogger II will try to auto correct this error. Once the distance of the location is increasing (a couple of times) instead of (expected) decreasing GPSLogger II itself will assume it is somehow off the current path and start to look again for the location that is closest to your current location – in the example you are hopefully much closer to X4 and GPSLogger II should find it finally.

So when you are on a round trip that has a common start and end point, then expect some problems concerning the direction on which you will be guided. Once you will leave the common part GPSLogger II will auto correct its next target location and you should be finally on the right way.

Additional Menu Options / Key shortcuts while navigating outdoors

  •  Reset Navigation  [SHIFT]+[R]
    When you press space GPSLogger II falls back to it's start procedure of the outdoor navigation - The nearest location in the path will be calculated and the nearest by location will be your next target. You will notice, that the color of the path path is changing again to light grey and GPSLogger II will consider all locations in the path again as possible next waypoints.
  •  Next Waypoint (+)  [SPACE]

Special function in logging mode: 'Bring me Back (route)'

This function will take the recorded path, invert it and load it automatically as navigation path. Now instantly the pointer (in direction mode) guides you to the last waypoint instantly (in the specified distance). Once you have reached that point the application will calculate automatically the waypoint before that - that continues until you reach the origin (start point).

So this is a macro function for the manual steps: Stop logging (& save path), open Path-Manager, select path & finally 'Load inverted NaviPath'.

Benefits of logging while navigating

Even if you do not have to run the logger while you are following another path it can have some benefits. When you are using the outdoor navigation function of GPSLogger II you will have in the Timing-View and in the direction view additional information about the distance along the path between your current position and the final end point and depending on your current speed the estimated time of arrival (ETA).

Calculating the ETA based on the current speed only can be quite inaccurate. When you are actually logging GPSLogger II can use your average speed to calculate the ETA - in most of the cases this will be way more accurate. But there is more - when the ETA will be calculated based on the average speed then you will see an additional up/down arrow behind the ETA. This arrow depends on your current speed compared to the average speed - when you are actually faster then the current average speed, then the calculated ETA will be finally smaller and vice versa.

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