One headache I have after every orienteering event is that QuickRoute (the popular route drawing software by Mats Troeng) doesn’t have a mobile version. Which means that I have to wait until back home to draw my route. Which means I’m not gonna do it (read: procrastination).
An orienteer from China, Xian Chengbin, has written an app to help you share your route on your Android mobile phone! Now you can draw your route, complete your evaluation and share it online just minutes after finishing (or after getting back your map, whichever comes latter). For the meantime, however, it comes with only a Simplified Chinese version and only via private APK download (i.e. you won’t find it on Google Play). Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647618042241873?view=permalink&id=684041575266186 (A handy reminder for APK downloads: you need to set your phone to allow APK installations first—see this external guide)
To guide you through the sometimes confusing sea of Chinese characters (for many Westerners, I suppose), here’s a tutorial to guide you through the app:
1. The menu
Click (+) to start a new course.
2. Basic course info
Choose date and time of event.
Date, name, place, result, class, comments. Then click on the pen.
Choose how you will import the map.
3. Draw route
Zoom to start, then click on the pen.
Start drawing your route on screen. When you reach the next control, click on the circle at the top.
You have reached your first control. Click A to add comments.
Comments and splits.
Continue above steps until you reach the finish. (There is no separate finish symbol in this app. If your course has 15 controls, your finish will be Control 16—don’t cringe!)
Done with the route!
Click on the map to enter the page below. You can share your map as an image.
NOTE: The cloud option does NOT seem to work at this moment. (Appears to be server connection problem)
Back to the menu: there’s your new course!
The author of the app is from China, so the contact links are all Weixin and QQ which you might not use. Still, there’s the Facebook Group from the download link at the top! (Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647618042241873 with export examples)
Now my comments…
It’s a very handy app which might prove to be a real game changer—provided that some of the following improvements are done:
- There needs to be an English version
- Add GPX-import capability from GPS watch, like what QuickRoute has
- Fix the cloud; if there is integration with map server packages like DOMA, that’s a plus
The best things about this app—
- All done on mobile, of course!
- Can add comments to each leg, exported with the map
- Easy export of images that are upload-ready to Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Give it a try—decide if this is better than your usual QuickRoute!