Hiker Apps

Handy app for recording tracks in areas with internet coverage.

Funded by the US National Science Foundation, implemented at the University of Minnesota, the "Flyover Country" mobile app is a very useful, unique and free app for Android and iOS, which enriches the exploration experience using offline maps whether you're flying, travelling by car, or trekking through nature's wonders. It is voted one of the best science apps available today by Popular Mechanic.

PeakFinder is an app designed to help users identify mountains and peaks in their surroundings. The app uses augmented reality technology, the GPS receiver and built-in sensors of your mobile device to overlay information about the names and elevations of mountain peaks onto the camera view.

This little cool app is designed for classical orienteering and provides various features to help users find the direction and distance to their desired destinations. It is a versatile tool for orienteering enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers who need a digital solution for navigation. It combines traditional map and compass techniques with modern technology to assist users in finding their way to a specific location.

This is the first app I use when I need a quick insight of the direction and aerial distance to a geographical mark. It's also great for figuring out what village, river, lake or mountain you're looking at in the distance, and how far it actually is. I find this to be a very satisfying and nice tool. But there's a caveat - it only works if you have an internet connection as it relies on online Google maps. It would be fantastic if it could work with offline Google maps, but currently it does not.

Glympse is an application that specializes in real time location sharing. A free version is available with features that are sufficient for hikers.

Glympse is a fast, free, and simple way to temporarily share your real-time location with anyone. The tracking is based on GPS, is temporary and secure – and Glympse recipients don’t need to download an app to see the shared location - they will instead receive a link which they can open in any web browser, on their computer or mobile. The web page in the browser will display a map with approximately the last kilometer of the shared trail.

AGPS-TrackerOm is an interesting and quite a robust Android application. It's main function is to follow preloaded tracks and record your tracks, and tries to do so reliably - ensuring that the GPS data is recorded at all times, even when the phone goes into stand-by mode. This means you won't get surprise straight lines in your GPX tracks. It can also provide enhanced accuracy of your current elevation, by using altitudes from NASA-generated Digital Elevation Models (DEMs).

AGPS-TrackerOm (previously called A-GPS Tracker++), differs from the lighter version, A-GPS Tracker in the following:

  • AGPS-TrackerOm uses offline maps maintained by OpenStreetMap, which you need to preload. The "lighter" A-GPS Tracker uses Google maps which are not available offline.
  • You can download Digital Elevation Models (DEM) which allow the app to display altitude contour lines and provide DEM altitude along with GPS altitude, the former being more accurate