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  1. #1
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    I'm not sure when this started, but when I was out for a long bike ride in unknown (to me) territory, I found I had a horrible time reading Google Maps. Somehow the contrast is so poor that it's almost impossible to see roads. Fiddling around with White Point and Contrast doesn't seem to help. Turning the screen brightness way up helps a bit, but also drains the battery mighty fast.

    For reasons I don't understand, the Terrain map is easier to read than the Default map. I finally ended up adding the blue "Labels" (waypoints) so that I knew where to turn.

    iOS_terrain.jpg . iOS_street.jpg

    Terrain on the left. Default (street map) on the right. You can see that there are many more roads visible on the Terrain map, but, for me, they are still hard to see when outside on a sunny day.

    Gmap_Chrome.jpg
    The terrain map in Chrome on an iMac isn't much better. Only major roads shown.

    Unfortunately, the other iOS maps I've tried just don't have the road coverage offered by Google. Apple Maps is hopeless. HERE WeGo is pretty good if you zoom way in, but zoomed out the roads just kind of blend in with the background.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    badshoehabit's Avatar
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    There are several options which add to the basic terrain view, including an overlay for cyclists which may serve you better - it shows cycle tracks etc in black (well it does in the UK...).

    Use the drop down menu to find them (first screenshot).

    IMG_3868.jpg

    Cycle ways overlaid.

    IMG_3867.jpg
    Sue

    If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.

  3. #3
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    chscag's Avatar
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    I agree that Apple Maps just aren't up to par although they have improved in the last several versions. I rely on Google Maps quite a bit and have never had a problem with them, however, I admit that I also keep a paper map of the Dallas - Fort Worth area in my car just in case.

  4. #4
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badshoehabit View Post
    There are several options which add to the basic terrain view, including an overlay for cyclists which may serve you better - it shows cycle tracks etc in black (well it does in the UK...).
    Google doesn't show cycling tracks for Thailand nor does it do cycling routes. When I'm planning a ride I look at both automobile and walking route suggestions and try to work out what would be best for a bicycle. I also make heavy use of Street View in advance to see if I can tell what sort of road I'll be riding on. Sometimes that works out; sometimes not.

    Quote Originally Posted by chscag
    I rely on Google Maps quite a bit and have never had a problem with them
    Although Google has extensive Street View coverage of Thailand, its routing can still be really awful. Last weekend my wife and I had to drive through Bangkok. We intended to stay on the elevated highway to avoid surface streets which can be a nightmare. We came to a fork. Google said stay left. We did. It dumped us on to Rama IV; one of the city's busiest streets. Took us half an hour of Bangkok Traffic Horror to get back on a highway.

    A while back we were in Hua Hin trying to find the home of one of my wife's legal clients. Google had us on an unpaved, potholed filled road that ran by informal rubbish tips and dairy farms. When Google announced that we had reached our destination, we had. Sort of. We were on the wrong side of a three meter concrete wall surrounding the gated community where the client lived. Took several phone calls and lots of backtracking to find the actual entrance.

  5. #5
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Try googling 'gps hike and bike maps' and maybe some of the OpenStreetMap data maps would suit your needs better.

    gps hike and bike maps - Google Search


    - Patrick
    ======

  6. #6
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Patrick, you’re 100% right. I have Gaia GPS on my phone. It has many maps available including OpenCycleMap and a detailed metric topo map; both of which are easier to read outdoors than Google. I just need to take the time to move existing waypoints from Google.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mac-Forums

  7. #7
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    So Patrick inspired me to look around for better maps and maps with sufficient contrast to be viewable on an iPhone outdoors on a sunny day. The image is a screenshot of Gaia GPS displaying a map called "Outdoors" by Maps for your apps - Thunderforest.




    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums

  8. #8
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    pm-r's Avatar
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    So Patrick inspired me to look around for better maps and maps with sufficient contrast to be viewable on an iPhone outdoors on a sunny day.

    I'm glad my inspiration seems to have helped Mike, and quite drasticly so it seems from your posted image.

    I started to dabble about with various maps and stuff to help my wife with her walk and biking excursions for her to use with her iPhone 6S. Us

    I did end up with the application called Hike And Bike from the developers at Navionics but it seems to have been dropped from the App Store for some reason.

    Attempting to use Apples Maps.app was an embarrassing nightmare and not much more than a very bad joke, and Google Maps and many others are just too hard to try and view or with any sort of accuracy as you were also discovering.

    Your discovery looks very promising and I'll have to take a look at it, but it has to be super simple to use and work otherwise my wife will not use it.


    - Patrick
    ======

  9. #9
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    chscag's Avatar
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    Nice suggestion Patrick. Glad that it helped Mike.

    Attempting to use Apples Maps.app was an embarrassing nightmare and not much more than a very bad joke,
    Apple Maps have improved but still leave a lot to be desired. A while back I had to attend the funeral of a good friend in Dallas and tried to use Apple Maps to find the funeral home. It was a complete disaster. Lucky for me I made several "wrong" turns and somehow wound up at the correct funeral home just in time.

    Not good to miss a funeral Patrick, especially if it's your own!

  10. #10
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    Your discovery looks very promising and I'll have to take a look at it, but it has to be super simple to use and work otherwise my wife will not use it.
    My experience is that none of these navigation apps is really "super simple to use". Gaia GPS requires a subscription for many of the advanced features and you have to spend time looking for and adding specific maps to the app.

    A somewhat simpler navigation app that doesn't need a subscription but that is not free (US$1.99) is MotionX GPS. The Thunderforest Topo map comes with the app by default (it's called MotionX Terrain in the app).I've used it for many years to keep track of dive sites and for ocean navigation.

    The reason I've stuck with Google Maps for so long is that it is so good at destination discovery, route suggestion and saving waypoints across platforms. Plus, Street View is an invaluable tool for checking routes out in advance.

  11. #11
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Apple Maps have improved but still leave a lot to be desired.
    Apple Maps is a cruel joke in Thailand. The image is from an iPhone and covers approximately the same area as the other screenshots I've posted in this thread. Apple Maps shows very few roads and many have no labels at all. Apple's satellite view is quite out-of-date with infrequent updates. Google Maps now seems to update their satellite view every month or so.

    AppleMaps.jpg
    Apple Maps just north of Cha Am in Thailand.

  12. #12
    Google Maps Hard to Read on iPhone
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Apple Maps have improved but still leave a lot to be desired. A while back I had to attend the funeral of a good friend in Dallas and tried to use Apple Maps to find the funeral home. It was a complete disaster. Lucky for me I made several "wrong" turns and somehow wound up at the correct funeral home just in time.
    That's a big understatement Charlie, and I've often wondered why they don't just partner up with Google and save a lot on resourses and stop trying to reinvent the wheel!!!

    Sure glad you finally found the correct "Home" on time.

    Not good to miss a funeral Patrick, especially if it's your own!
    Actually I was just planning on looking over it while I lounged in a comfortable padded lounge chair.


    - Patrick
    ======

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