Saturday, January 15, 2011

FlytoMaps GPS All in One

Application: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
Function: Marine, Lakes, Parks
Cost: $9.99
Rating: **
I took a look at FlytoMaps because it had quite a few good reviews on iTunes. Remember one thing, don't always believe the iTune reviews.  The new version 2.5 will cost you $10 bucks but it allows you to download any of their charts for US and European national parks, NOAA nautical ENC charts, travel maps and some state lake maps.  These downloaded charts can be used for offline viewing. When connected to the Internet or through cell service you can access additonal Google maps, satellite maps and a hybrid overlays.

I was more interested in the nautical charting capabilities of the app so I downloaded the Florida charts.  I zoomed into an area that I was familiar with and noted more detail as I zoomed in.  The charts seem to be the NOAA ENCs that can be downloaded for free from the NOAA map site. So there is nothing special about the maps. There were no added feature or points of interest on these charts.  If you are familar with the NOAA ENCs they do provide accurate data for navigation buoys and depth soundings. Better navigation charts can be found on apps like  Navionics, iSailor or iNavX. Spend your money on these apps if you serious about marine navigation.

The app does allow the user to make waypoints by tapping the screen. The point can be added as a favorite or set as the destination.  It allows the user to name the waypoint and add a comments about the point.  A photo can also be geotagged and added to the point for reference. The app has a tracking feature which can be turned on and off.  Tracks can also be shown on the map or hidden with a setting. The tracks can also be named and saved for later use.

It does integrate GPS through the devices locational services and allows real time tracking. The main display also has a speedometer that enlarges when tapped.  The screen also displays the current destination and bearing to the current waypoint.  I found these two features very useable and functional.
The main display have four sofkeys on the bottom for GPS position, a search feature, waypoint function and tracking feature. There is also a banner for selecting map overlays and an Info button for downloading maps and Settings.

One strong feature of FlytoMaps is the Park Mapping. The do a great job in providing a wealth of information on the points of interests in national parts.  The topographical maps contain information on trails for hiking, biking, walking, stairways, horse trails. Points of interest include campgrounds, restaurants, ranger stations, picnic areas, boat ramps, parking areas. It would be handy to have this information when visiting your favorite park. There were no parks from my state listed, but it claims is has maps for 100 national parks.

FlytoMaps does some thing right but it leaves a lot to be desired when compared to the other marine charting apps.  It is a decent all around app for boating, hiking, and visiting parks but falls a little short on features for a major boating app.

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen the new release of Navimatics Charts & Tides? If not, write to me: jeff (at) and I'll get you a review copy.