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Mobile Devices


MapOut Manual

If you have any questions, you can contact us directly by email: info@mapout.app



1 Introduction

MapOut is an offline map for your iPhone or iPad with many unique features. It is the right choice for any outdoor activity and allows you to plan, record and follow your tracks on any terrain.

Offline map covering the whole world –
for hiking, biking or as city map.

Offline means: Once you have downloaded your map data, all features like searching and exploring the map are fully functional without the need for an internet connection. Often when you are abroad or off-track in nature, there is no reliable cell coverage. So you need an offline map — you need MapOut.

You can download MapOut at: MapOut.app

1.1 Conventions in this manual

This manual for MapOut is structured similar to the app itself and consists of the three main parts: Map, Tour Organizer and Settings. Each sub-section usually starts with the more fundamental topics first and towards the end of each section, the more advanced or expert things are discussed.

You can either read this manual from start to finish or just look-up parts you are interested in. All sections are self-describing but it might help if you read the “Overview” sections first to get a glimpse of the basic features.

Often images are annotated with touch indicators — to make it more clear where to tap and what kind of tap is required for certain actions (e.g. normal tap, long-tap, double-tap, …). The following tap-conventions are used throughout the manual:

Figure 1.1: Tap-conventions used in this manual
Figure 1.1: Tap-conventions used in this manual

Sometimes the taps would cover important aspects of the image, so some parts of the image are placed above the tap illustration or the tap illustration is slightly moved for better understanding.

Functions are often nested inside a menu structure — so a text stating Search means: Tap on the icon on the screen and then on the Search button.

2 Map

The map view is the main screen of MapOut and from there you have access to all features of the app.

2.1 Overview

The map is grouped in three different areas:

Figure 2.1: Main areas: Dashboard, Map, Toolbar
Figure 2.1: Main areas: Dashboard, Map, Toolbar
  1. Dashboard: Gives an instant glance of useful information you need on your trip.
  2. Map: The topographic1 map.
  3. Toolbar: With four main buttons and the map scale indicator (only visible while performing map interactions like moving or scaling the map).
    •  Location: Pinpoints your current location on the map.
    •  Record: Allows you to record your own tours and quickly add new waypoints.
    •  Menu: Here all map related features are included.
    •  Tour Organizer: Manage your recorded, drawn or imported tours here.

2.2 Dashboard

When you first start your app, the dashboard shows the current speed and altitude. You can toggle the speed/pace indicator from km/h or miles/h to min/km or min/mile by tapping on it — especially for slow moving activities like hiking the min/km or min/mile pace indicator is more useful. If you tap on a tour on the map the dashboard will show an elevation/altitude profile. During recording the dashboard shows the elapsed time and distance as well.

Figure 2.2: Toggle between speed and pace by tapping on the speed indicator — Tapping on a tour will display an altitude profile in the dashboard — While recording the dashboard displays additional information — Hide the dashboard by either tapping on the status bar or tap “Show/Hide Dashboard”
Figure 2.2: Toggle between speed and pace by tapping on the speed indicator — Tapping on a tour will display an altitude profile in the dashboard — While recording the dashboard displays additional information — Hide the dashboard by either tapping on the status bar or tap “Show/Hide Dashboard”

To hide and show the dashboard you can either tap on the status bar or select Hide Dashboard respectively Show Dashboard.

When in other parts of the app (e.g. in search, tour drawing mode) the dashboard shows different information relevant for the specific mode.

2.3 Map Interactions

The following basic map interactions are supported:

  • Move: Move the map with one finger in any direction.
  • Zoom in/out:
    • Pinch: With a two fingers pinch you can zoom the map like in any other mapping application.
    • Double Tap: Will zoom in a fixed amount - handy when you want to operate MapOut one-handed.
    • Long Tap: Will zoom out a fixed amount - again this is handy for one-handed operation.
    • Two Finger Tap: Same as “Long Tap”, will zoom out a fixed amount.
    • Double Tap and Hold & Swipe up/down: This is the most complex one-handed gesture to zoom in/out and is also used in Google Maps and in Apple Maps:
      Tap + tap & hold + finger down the screen zoom in.
      Tap + tap & hold + finger up the screen zoom out.
Figure 2.3: Double tap and hold & swipe up/down to quickly zoom in or out on the map
Figure 2.3: Double tap and hold & swipe up/down to quickly zoom in or out on the map

To get a feeling for the terrain you can tap with two fingers on the map (> 2 seconds) and an interactive elevation/altitude profile is shown. You can then slide your fingers over the map to get a quick estimate on the distances or altitude differences. To fine-tune your profile you can also move the black start/end dots with one finger.

Figure 2.4: Tapping with two fingers for > 2 seconds will show an interactive altitude profile — If multiple tours are overlapping, a tour pop-up is shown — Tapping on a tour will display details and an altitude profile — Tap on the download icon to quickly download missing map data
Figure 2.4: Tapping with two fingers for > 2 seconds will show an interactive altitude profile — If multiple tours are overlapping, a tour pop-up is shown — Tapping on a tour will display details and an altitude profile — Tap on the download icon to quickly download missing map data

If you have drawn or imported your own tours, they are shown in a red color on the map. You can tap on one to get information about it. If too many tours are overlaying a pop-up will show-up and you can then select the tour you want.

If you zoom into an unknown map area the map is gray and download buttons are displayed. You can tap on the missing map area to quickly download detailed maps for your region. For more information, please see Download Map Data below.

2.4 Location

When you first open MapOut, an Apple alert is shown to ask you for permission to its location services. Permission is needed to display your current location on the map and if you later record your own tours. We only need access to location services while you are using the app and don’t have access otherwise.

The location on the map is displayed as a blue dot and there might be a circular blue area around it, which indicates the current position accuracy. A small or no blue area indicates a very precise GPS location, while a large one will indicate very rough location accuracy. If your device can determine the magnetic earth field, a heading indicator is shown.

Figure 2.5: Location indicator with heading arrow — Accuracy indicator on location
Figure 2.5: Location indicator with heading arrow — Accuracy indicator on location

The location button is the first button in the toolbar. It has four modes, which you can toggle by tapping on it:

  •  Normal: The button is white and does not have any color otherwise. Your current location is indicated by a blue dot on the map. It does have a heading indicator and points to the direction your iPhone is facing.
  •  Tracking: The button is blue now and the map is moved and zoomed to your current location. The map is automatically re-centered as you move.
  •  /  Tracking and Heading: Similar to Tracking, but the map is now also rotated to display the map ahead of you. There are two heading modes available, both can be adjusted in Settings Map Display Map Orientation. Basically it allows you to rotate the map according to the included compass (so the map is rotated as you rotate your device) or course up (so the map is rotated to your current direction of travel - this is often better suited if you are near metallic objects, like inside a car or on a bike, as those might interfere with the compass hardware).
  •  Off: To save battery you can disable the location service by tapping > 2 seconds on the location button - the GPS hardware is then turned off.

2.5 Record

The second button on the toolbar is the record menu where you can either record your own tour or quickly add waypoints (points on the map you want to remember, e.g. a nice lookout point).

Recording Tours

To record a tour, tap on Record. The dashboard will now change to recording mode and displays additional information about your elapsed time and traveled distance.

Figure 2.6: Tapping on “Record” will start a new recording — Record icon changes and dashboard shows additional Information
Figure 2.6: Tapping on “Record” will start a new recording — Record icon changes and dashboard shows additional Information

Starting a recording requires a precise initial GPS location2 and an alert is shown if the current GPS location is not precise enough. You also see a spinning circle in the distance indicator on the dashboard and a red location dot on the map. MapOut is now waiting to start the location recording until a better GPS reception is found and automatically starts recording then. During recording the GPS reception is always measured, so no imprecise location is added to your tour recording. If the required precision drops below our acceptable value, the location dot changes to red. If the precision is acceptable again it will change to blue. So blue is good, red is bad.

While recording you can always pause or stop your recording by pressing Pause or Stop. If you tap Stop, the tour will be saved in our tour organizer. Additionally, we try to add the passed cities and villages as a breadcrumb to your recorded tour details (e.g. Zurich - Zug - Luzern) to help you more easily find them again.

If you switch to another app during recording, you see a blue status bar on the top of the phone. This indicator is automatically added by Apple to give a hint, that MapOut is still using your location.

Recording Waypoints

Figure 2.7: Tapping on “Waypoint” will add a new waypoint in the center of the screen — Waypoint editing screen where you can move the waypoint around, manually enter coordinates or rename it
Figure 2.7: Tapping on “Waypoint” will add a new waypoint in the center of the screen — Waypoint editing screen where you can move the waypoint around, manually enter coordinates or rename it

To quickly add waypoints, tap Waypoint - this can be done during tour recording or also during normal operation. A waypoint is now placed in the middle of the map and you can either move your waypoint with the finger (you can also zoom in or out on your map to more precisely adjust the waypoint position) or enter the coordinates directly. Currently, you can enter coordinates in three different formats:

  • DMS - 47° 12’ 34.5”: In degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • DM - 47° 12.3456’: In degrees and minutes.
  • D - 47.3456°: In degrees.

To indicate the direction, you can either use +/- signs or N, E, S, W. For example -47° 12’, 47° 12’ S or S 47° 12’, we try to understand almost any format variation. You can also set a name and detail for your waypoint. To quickly delete a text field you can use the small button on the right. Tap on Save to store the waypoint or Cancel on the left to dismiss the waypoint.

The name of the waypoint is directly taken from the underlying map data. E.g. if you place a waypoint at the location of a restaurant, we take the name of the restaurant as the name. Of course you can change the name to anything you like.

2.6 Download Map Data

When you first open MapOut only a world overview map is included. If you zoom in the map becomes gray and download icons appear. You can download detailed maps for your region by tapping on it. Alternatively, you can also go to Download Map Data.

Figure 2.8: Download Map — Selecting a download region
Figure 2.8: Download Map — Selecting a download region

Our detailed maps are tile based and you can select any map regions you like in the map download view. While you select your regions an indicator is shown in the dashboard, how much data is going to be needed to download. To start a download, tap on Download. To delete a previously downloaded region, tap on the already downloaded tiles (indicated by a brightened color) and tap Delete, the selected tiles are then deleted.

Figure 2.9: Tapping on an empty map area — Opens “Map Download” screen
Figure 2.9: Tapping on an empty map area — Opens “Map Download” screen

Selecting a large area (e.g. whole of Europe) could be tedious, so you can also zoom out and you will see the selectable tiles become larger. This way you can download large areas quickly.

During download the “ Download Map Data” button changes to a download indicator. If you tap on it, it allows you to pause, delete or resume the download.

We update our map data on a weekly basis and to update the maps on your device you can re-select the required map regions as described above. If you quickly want to update all map data on the device, there is an update mechanism in Settings Map Data Update All Map Data. To quickly reclaim storage space, you will also find a button there to delete all map data: Settings Map Data Delete All Map Data.

Figure 2.10: To update all previously downloaded map data, tap “Update All Map Data”
Figure 2.10: To update all previously downloaded map data, tap “Update All Map Data”

MapOut allows you to search for places, streets, … on all your downloaded map data. Go to Search and type in your search terms, then hit Search on the right or on the keyboard.

Figure 2.11: Search — Type in you search term an hit “Search” — Search results are shown in the list and highlighted on the map
Figure 2.11: Search — Type in you search term an hit “Search” — Search results are shown in the list and highlighted on the map

The search results are highlighted on the map and also shown in a list. The list also indicates the type of result (e.g. city, peak name) and where it is located. You can tap on the list results and see the result on the map or select a search result on the map and see the corresponding result on the list. Tap Done in the top-right corner to exit search mode or alter your search term and search again.

2.8 3D View

Select Show Tilt Perspective to get a new fresh look of your map. Now you can tilt your device in any direction to get a 3D feeling of the terrain. Please note: It will not work upside-down (e.g. it will not work when you lay on your bed and hold your phone upside down).

Figure 2.12: 3D View — Explore the map by tilting your device
Figure 2.12: 3D View — Explore the map by tilting your device

2.9 Drawing Tours

Besides recording tours you can manually plan and draw your own tour by tapping on Draw New Tour. When you select an existing tour (e.g. an imported or recorded tour) the menu entry is called Redraw Selected Tour.

Overview

The drawing editor shows a dashboard on the top. Initially, it displays a short help. During drawing, it shows additional tour information like an altitude profile or coordinates for waypoints.

Figure 2.13: Drawing Tours — The main drawing interface
Figure 2.13: Drawing Tours — The main drawing interface

On the bottom you have another toolbar with four buttons:

  •  Undo: Reverts a change.
  •  Redo: Redoes a change.
  •  Menu: A menu button with additional actions.
  • Done: Exits the drawing mode and asks for confirmation to save your tour (and if you edited an existing tour: Asks if you want to save it to the existing or into a new tour).

As indicated in the short help on the dashboard, you can add new waypoints or tours:

  • Double Tap: This will begin a new tour and places the start marker on the map.
  • Long Tap: This will add a new waypoint on your map.

Please note: When editing or touching up an existing tour, we remove all timestamp information from that tour. If you have recorded your own tour and rely on the time stamps (e.g. for phototagging purposes), save the tour as a new tour and do not overwrite the existing tour.

Adding & Editing Tours

Double tap on the map to set your start point. An marker is placed on the map. Either tap on a follow-up location on the map to add a stretch or move the handle to manually draw lines. You now see a marker as well. To continue drawing: Drag the handle over the streets or tap on a new location to add a new stretch. After you have both and markers on the map, you can also make adjustments on the marker by dragging it on the map. MapOut tries to automatically snap your tour on the road network whenever possible. If no roads are on the map and snapping is not possible, a dashed line is shown.

Additionally MapOut limits the distance for automatic routing to around 5 km / 3 miles — if you tap larger distances a dashed line is shown as well.

Figure 2.14: Start a new tour by double-tapping, an A-marker appears — Tap on a new location, the shortest path is calculated and a B-marker is placed — Alternatively, drag the B-marker over streets — The finished tour
Figure 2.14: Start a new tour by double-tapping, an A-marker appears — Tap on a new location, the shortest path is calculated and a B-marker is placed — Alternatively, drag the B-marker over streets — The finished tour

To redraw parts of your tour, grab a location on the tour and drag it over the streets you want. Please make sure to close the loop back to the tour - only then your changes are accepted.

Figure 2.15: Redrawing a tour — Tap on a point of the tour and drag it along a street. Make sure you reconnect/close the loop to the tour — Redrawn tour
Figure 2.15: Redrawing a tour — Tap on a point of the tour and drag it along a street. Make sure you reconnect/close the loop to the tour — Redrawn tour

To add another (non-connecting) segment to the tour, double tap on another location on the map and a new segment can be drawn. You can switch between all your segments by tapping on it. The currently selected segment displays the , markers and distance labels.

Figure 2.16: Adding an additional tour segment — Double-tap on a new location to start the new segment — tap on a new location to calculate the shortest path or drag along the streets — A new our segment is added to your tour
Figure 2.16: Adding an additional tour segment — Double-tap on a new location to start the new segment — tap on a new location to calculate the shortest path or drag along the streets — A new our segment is added to your tour

There is a short help if you tap the small button on the dashboard or select Help.

There are a few actions in the Menu:

  •  Delete Tour / Tour Segment: Will delete the selected tour or tour segment.
  •  Snap to Road Network: This will try to snap the tour to the underlying road network. This is especially useful if you imported a tour from the internet or recorded a tour by yourself. Often those tours are a bit “rough” and are not aligned to the roads because of limited accuracy of the GPS receiver (GPS has a best case accuracy of approx. 10 m / 30 ft).
  •  Reverse Tour / Tour Segment: Reverse the direction of the tour or tour segment, so and are swapped.
  •  Rename Tour: Allows you to specify a name and detail information about your tour.

Adding & Editing Waypoints

A long tap on the map will add a new waypoint. You can freely move your waypoint on the map to precisely place it. If you need more accuracy you can also directly enter your latitude/longitude information by tapping on Edit Waypoint and overwrite the coordinates.

Figure 2.17: Adding a new waypoint by tapping > 2 sec — Move the waypoint by dragging it over the map — Modifying the name or detail of the waypoint — Entering the exact coordinates or title and detail information
Figure 2.17: Adding a new waypoint by tapping > 2 sec — Move the waypoint by dragging it over the map — Modifying the name or detail of the waypoint — Entering the exact coordinates or title and detail information

To add another waypoint, long tap on another location on the map. You can switch between all your waypoints by tapping on it. The currently selected waypoint is highlighted with a black overlay behind its name.

There are a few actions in the Menu:

  •  Delete Waypoint: Will delete the selected waypoint.
  •  Edit Waypoint: Allows you to manually enter its coordinate, name and detail information.

2.10 Displaying Tours

Usually, all available tours are displayed as red lines on the map. If you have many tours in the same region, it can become confusing where each tour starts or ends. Or you want to look on a clean map and do not want to display any tours for the moment.

Figure 2.18: Hide tours — Temporarily hide other tours to stay focused
Figure 2.18: Hide tours — Temporarily hide other tours to stay focused

For this, we have several tour display toggles in the Menu:

  • Hide All Tours: Tapping on this menu item will temporarily hide all tours and you see a clean map. To display all tours again, tap Show All Tours.
  • Hide All Other Tours: If you select a tour on the map and then go to the , you can temporarily hide all other tours on the map. Now only the selected tour is shown (e.g. useful if you want to hike the selected tour. You don’t need to see all other tours in this area). To display all tours again, tap Show All Tours.
  • Zoom to Selected Tour: If you select a tour on the map, this will zoom to the full extend of the tour to get a better look at it.

You can also manually hide special tours in the tour organizer by changing its visibility (e.g. if you want to “archive” certain tours and do not longer want to display them) - see Tour Organizer Visibility

2.11 Displaying Overlays

MapOut provides a few map overlays you can enable in Settings Map Display you can then quickly show/hide your overlays in Show/Hide Map Overlays.

Figure 2.19: Display of hiking routes or other overlays
Figure 2.19: Display of hiking routes or other overlays

The name of the title in the menu depends on the number of selected overlays. E.g. if you only selected the Hiking Routes overlay, the menu item is called: Show/Hide Hiking Routes. If you selected multiple overlays the menu item is called: Show/Hide Map Overlays.

While displaying overlays on your map, you can tap on any of them to display additional information (e.g. name) on the dashboard along with their altitude profile.

Also see Settings / Map Overlays.

Tourism

Displays a tourism overlay, which more prominently displays hotels, restaurants, and points of interests.

Transport Network

Displays train, tram, and bus networks and stops on a bluish color.

Bicycle Network

Displays bicycle routes and trails on the map in greenish color.

MTB Routes

Displays mountain bike routes on the map in greenish color. When available also the track scale is indicated e.g. “MTB 2”. The scale is taken from OpenStreetMap.

Scale Description
0 Easy. No special skills are needed to ride this.
1 Some obstacles on the road (e.g. roots or small stones). Soil can be loose in some places. Riding requires care and attention, but no special skills.
2 More obstacles like larger rocks. The soil is often loose. Can contain steps. Requires some advanced riding skills.
3 Large obstacles like boulders or large roots. Road can be very slippery. Constant concentration and very good skills needed.
4 Very steep and difficult. Frequent loose debris. Some trials techniques will be necessary.
5 Very steep and difficult with big boulder fields and debris. Very few can actually ride at this level.
6 Dangerous to impossible to ride. Only for the very best.

Hiking Routes

Displays hiking routes on the map in purple color. When available also the track SAC scale (Swiss Alpine Club track classification) is shown, e.g. “T2”. The scale is taken from OpenStreetMap.

Scale Description
T1 Hiking - area flat or slightly sloped, no fall hazard.
T2 Mountain hiking - terrain partially steep, fall hazard possible.
T3 Demanding mountain hiking - partly exposed sites with fall hazard, scree, pathless jagged rocks.
T4 Alpine hiking - terrain quite exposed, precarious grassy acclivities, jagged rocks, facile snow-free glaciers.
T5 Demanding alpine hiking - exposed, demanding terrain, jagged rocks, few dangerous glaciers.
T6 Difficult alpine hiking - often very exposed, precarious jagged rocks, glaciers with danger to slip and fall.

Winter Sport

Displays ski pistes, nordic and sled tracks. Ski pistes are color coded according to their difficulty (green, blue, red, black) and a direction arrow indicates the downhill orientation. Nordic tracks are displayed in a dark purple color, while sled tracks have a yellowish color.

2.12 Adding & Correcting Map Data

MapOut uses map data from OpenStreetMap.org. OpenStreetMap is similar to Wikipedia — but for map data: Anybody is invited to map an area, add streets and buildings or correct mistakes. If you want to improve the map or found some mistakes, you can directly edit the map on OpenStreetMap.org with your computer. The easiest way to start editing is selecting Edit on the top-left corner — right next to the OpenStreetMap logo. There are several editors available, but we like the iD in-browser editor best — it offers many features and is easier to use than the others.

If you click on Edit with iD and do not have an OpenStreetMap account, you are asked to register one first. After the registration process, you are good to go. Correcting mistakes are the easiest type of changes: You can correct spelling errors on streets or correct street layouts. Adding points of interests (e.g. restaurants, viewpoints) is also a relatively easy task and the iD editor helps you to add the relevant information required for each type (e.g. a restaurant usually has a name, a cuisine-type, …).

We fetch the newest data on a weekly basis — so any addition you do on OpenStreetMap.org will be added into MapOut within a couple of days.

3 Tour Organizer

The tour organizer is the place where all your tours3 are stored and organized. On the iPhone, the tour organizer is shown in a separate screen, while on an iPad it is displayed side-by-side on the right part of the screen.

Figure 3.1: Accessing the tour organizer
Figure 3.1: Accessing the tour organizer

3.1 Overview

The organizer is grouped in three different areas:

Figure 3.2: The three parts of the tour organizer: Navigation bar, information view, tour list
Figure 3.2: The three parts of the tour organizer: Navigation bar, information view, tour list
  1. Navigation Bar: It has a “” on the left to go back to the map (on the iPad there is a “” instead to quickly close it). On the right, there is an action button which can change its function depending on the current context (it can be a menu button , an edit button or a login button). In the middle, there is a scrolling indicator, if the information view has additional screens.
  2. Information View: Here the details for the selected tour are shown or a help text how to get tours. Initially, it shows an overview map, but it can be scrolled horizontally to reveal an altitude profile for the tour and metadata about it (name, description, …).
  3. Tour List: On the left there is always a thumbnail of the tour, followed by a title, description and the creation date of the tour.

3.2 Information View

Whenever you tap on a tour in the list below, an overview map is shown here. You can swipe this view to get an altitude view or tour metadata.

When you select a tour, an overview map is displayed and some statistical information is shown:

  • Distance: The overall length of the tour.
  • Ascent: The uphill difference in altitude.
  • Descent: The downhill difference in altitude.
  • Waypoints: The number of waypoints (“pts” meaning points) the tour consists of. A very detailed tour usually contains a lot of points, so all bends are nicely displayed. Some tours (often imported ones) are sometimes rough and only consist of few waypoints and you can improve it by using the Snap to Road Network as described in section Adding & Editing Tours.

On the bottom left there is a zoom button to display this tour on the main map view. If you don’t have downloaded the map area for this tour yet, a download button is displayed on the bottom right.

By default, tour overviews are displayed in red on a black & white map. You can change it to a colored map in Settings Tour Organizer Tour Preview.

When no tour is selected a quick help is shown on how you can import tours or how you can login/register a MapOut.me account.

3.3 Tour List

When you have imported, drawn or recorded some tours, they are listed here. You can see a thumbnail, title, creation date and some details for your tour. Whenever a tour contains multiple parts (tracks, waypoints) an is displayed on the right side. Tap on it and you can see all the tracks and waypoints this tour consists of.

Figure 3.3: Tour list with selected “City Walk” — Tap on the info button to reveal details about the tour — Detailed tracks and waypoints of the tour — Long tapping on a track (or tour, waypoint) displays a pop-up with available actions
Figure 3.3: Tour list with selected “City Walk” — Tap on the info button to reveal details about the tour — Detailed tracks and waypoints of the tour — Long tapping on a track (or tour, waypoint) displays a pop-up with available actions

To perform an action on a tour (e.g. share, edit or delete) tap > 2 seconds on it or select the Menu icon on the top-right of the screen. Both methods will then display a pop-up menu with all available actions.

You can set the ordering of the tours in Settings Tour Organizer Tour Sorting Method.

You can also organize the list hierarchically by adding folders or even subfolders. Folders are always shown on the bottom of the list. Creating folders is done inside the Move action — see Move below.

3.4 Importing Tours

Beside directly drawing or recording your own tours, you can find tours on the internet — usually GPX files. There are two ways to get them into MapOut. Either you register a free MapOut.me account and use its import service — or you can directly open GPX files with MapOut.

MapOut.me Account

The easiest way to import tours is by registering a MapOut.me account. What you get is your own “username@mapout.me” email address. You can then send emails with attachments4 to this address and all included tours are automatically imported to your tour list.

When you first open your empty tour list, a help screen is displayed and you see a Login button on the top-right of the screen. You can now either register or login to your account. The username you choose becomes your account name, (e.g. using a username of happy you get happy@mapout.me as your MapOut.me account email address).

We don’t share your email address with anybody outside of our company and will not spam you. The email address is only used if you forgot your account password and request a password reset or other account related matters.

There is no requirement to apply for an account — all other functions of MapOut work equally well with or without an account.

You can also send ZIP files (compressed files) to your mapout.me address. If you structure your files in a ZIP with folders and subfolders, they get imported in the same hierarchical structure. This can come handy if you want to import a lot of tours.

If you want to import a tour into a special folder in MapOut, you can start the email subject with a dash “/” followed by your folder (and subfolder) names. E.g. if you mail a tour to your mapout.me address and set the subject line to “/Holiday Tours/Day 1” they get directly imported into the folder “Holiday Tours” and its subfolder “Day 1”. If the folders do not exist yet, they will be automatically created while importing.

Direct Import

There is also the possibility to directly import tours by using the standard Apple mechanism to open files with apps. At the moment only GPX files are supported for direct import. Usually, you select “Open in …” in your iOS app and select “Copy to MapOut”. The tour will then be imported.

  • Example with Apple Mail: If you received your tour as an attachment in your Mail app, download the attachment by tapping on it. Then tap > 2 seconds on it and a share sheet is displayed. Now find “MapOut” in the list and tap on “Copy to MapOut”.
Figure 3.4: Importing from Email
Figure 3.4: Importing from Email
  • Example with Apple Safari: If you have downloaded a GPX file you can either select Open in “MapOut” or tap on More… if another app is proposed there. The More… sheet will again display all apps capable of opening GPX files - scroll until you find “MapOut” and select “Copy to MapOut”.
Figure 3.5: Importing from Safari
Figure 3.5: Importing from Safari

3.5 Share

Tours and waypoints can be shared with others. Tap on a tour for > 2 seconds (or tap on the Menu button on the top-right corner of the screen) and a pop-up will show up. Selecting “Share” will display the standard Apple share dialogue. Depending on the capabilities of your sharing destination we export your tour either as an image (e.g. if you export it to your photo album), as GPX file or both.

Figure 3.6: Sharing a tour
Figure 3.6: Sharing a tour

There are several methods available and depending on what apps you have installed on your device others might become available. Here is a list of standard share destinations:

  • AirDrop: This comes handy if you quickly want to transfer a tour to another device (e.g. from your iPad to your iPhone or Mac). This usually also works, when you are completely offline.
  • Mail: This adds an overview image of your tour as well as a GPX file to an email. The standard mail message composer is shown where you can add a recipient, alter the subject and add some text. You can also delete the overview image if you prefer to send the GPX tour file only.
  • Facebook/Twitter: You can directly post your tour on your preferred social media network. Because most don’t support GPX file attachments in your post (only text and images are usually allowed) we will upload your tour to one of our servers and add the link to a “mini-page”5 to your post. This “mini-page” has a tour overview image, and allows your recipients to directly download the GPX file from there. You can also embed this “mini-page” on your own website if you like.
  • Copy: You can quickly copy your tour to your clipboard. Similarly to Facebook/Twitter, we will upload your tour to one of our servers and add the link to this “mini-page” into your clipboard. You can now add this link to any app (mail, word processing app, …) and your recipients can then directly download your tour from this link.
  • Save Image: Will save a tour overview image to your photo album. The resolution of this image is sufficiently large (2048 x 2048 pixels) to include it in your own publications or website if you like.
  • Open in …: This will show a list of apps you have installed on your device and are capable of opening GPX files. Tap on an application to open/import the file. This comes handy if you want to export your tour into another app.

3.6 Edit

Allows you to change the tour or waypoint metadata. You tap on the text you want to change and it will show you a text editor.

Figure 3.7: Editing a tour
Figure 3.7: Editing a tour

The following metadata can be edited:

  • Name: The name (title) of the tour. You see the name on the map if you tap on a tour and also on the tour list.
  • Detail: The details of the tour can be any text. When you record a tour, we pre-fill it with the cities/villages you passed along.
  • Author: You can add an author to the tour. For recorded or drawn tours this defaults to the author field set in Settings General Author.
  • Copyright: If you like to add your copyright information. If you imported your tour from an internet site, that site might have special copyright requirements (e.g. if you are allowed to share this tour).
  • Keywords: You can add your own keywords to your tour.
  • Source: You can edit this field, but usually it is pre-filled by MapOut to indicate where this tour comes from. E.g. if you record a tour it is set to “Recorded Date” or if you have drawn it, it is set to “Drawn Date”. And if you imported this tour, it usually is set to the original filename or website URL (e.g. large_tour.gpx).

3.7 Draw

Allows you to redraw parts of the tour. This will open the drawing editor. See section Drawing Tours for details.

3.8 Move

You can hierarchically structure your tours into a folder structure. To move a tour, tour segment or waypoint, tap on it for > 2 seconds (or tap on the Menu button on the top-right corner of the screen) and a pop-up will show up. Select Move and a moving dialogue is shown where you can either choose a destination - or add a new folder (on the very bottom of the list).

Figure 3.8: Moving a tour, to another tour (merging) or in a new folder
Figure 3.8: Moving a tour, to another tour (merging) or in a new folder

If you don’t have an existing folder yet, create one by tapping Add a new folder on the bottom of the list. You will be asked to give it a name and optionally a detail text.

You can move a tour, track or a waypoint into another folder or another tour:

  • Moving to a folder: This allows you to organize your tours, e.g. to hold together different tours for the same region. You can also extract tour segments or waypoints and move them out of a tour.
  • Moving to another tour: You may have several waypoints and want to put them all together in your own tour, or you may want to combine several tracks into one tour. Then simply move them to a tour instead of a folder.

3.9 Delete

To delete a tour, tour segment or waypoint, tap on it for > 2 seconds (or tap on the Menu button on the top-right corner of the screen) and a pop-up will show up. Select Delete to permanently delete it.

Figure 3.9: Deleting a tour
Figure 3.9: Deleting a tour

Alternatively, you can also swipe the tour to the left to delete it. In Apple terms, this is called “swipe-to-delete”.

3.10 Reverse

Sometimes you want to walk/bike a tour in the other direction and would also like to see the altitude profile reversed.

Figure 3.10: Reversing a tour
Figure 3.10: Reversing a tour

To reverse a tour or tour segment, tap on it for > 2 seconds (or tap on the Menu button on the top-right corner of the screen) and a pop-up will show up. Select Reverse to change the direction of the tour.

3.11 Visibility

If you have a lot of tours stored on your device the main map can become crowded - especially if many of your tours cover the same region. You can hide some of your tours and even whole folders. Hidden tours and folder are marked with a crossed eye icon .

Figure 3.11: Change the visibility of a tour
Figure 3.11: Change the visibility of a tour

If you hide a folder, all containing tours get hidden as well. If you later unhide a specific tour in that hidden folder, the containing folder is displayed with a dashed-crossed eye icon , meaning: This content of this folder is only partially hidden.

3.12 Show on Map

To quickly display the whole tour, tour segment or waypoint on the main map, tap Show on Map and your map gets centered directly on this tour.

3.13 Load Map

If you don’t have downloaded map data for the region covered by this tour yet, this will directly select all needed map regions for a quick download.

4 Settings

There is a general settings screen available where you can set all configurable elements. It is available on the map view when tapping Settings.

Figure 4.1: Accessing the main app settings
Figure 4.1: Accessing the main app settings

4.1 My Account

You can register a new MapOut.me account or log in to an existing one. An account is not mandatory and is just a convenience to more easily import tours (e.g. GPX tracks) into MapOut. When you register you get your own “username”@mapout.me email address and you can send tracks by email to your MapOut application. See Importing Tours / MapOut.me Account above.

Register

Register a new MapOut account:

  • Username: This will be your MapOut.me account name. E.g. if you choose happy your resulting email address will be happy@mapout.me. Because the resulting email address has to be a valid one, certain letters are not allowed, so only letters (no blank space), numbers, dot, _ and - are allowed as username.
  • Password: This will be your password if you later want to re-login (e.g. at a different device).
  • Email: This is your private email address and will only be used for password-reset procedures or account related matters. We will not share your email address or otherwise misuse it.

Login

Login to your existing MapOut account:

  • Username: This will be your MapOut.me account name. Please note: This is not your email address. So if you have previously registered happy@mapout.me, your username is just happy.
  • Password: Enter you MapOut.me password. If you forgot your password tap on the lower-left part of the screen Forgot password? An email will be sent to your private email address, which you have supplied at the register stage.

Logout

When you are logged in, the My Account page changes, and instead of Register and Login, you see Logout and Change Password. Logout just logs you out of your current MapOut.me account.

Change Password

Allows you to change your existing MapOut.me password. You have to supply your current password and you can then choose another one.

4.2 Map Display

This section allows you to change the appearance of the map and configure which map overlays should be enabled.

Text Size

Draws all labels on the map (street names, city names, …) with larger or smaller text size. Normal is the default value.

Street Width

Draws all streets on the map with wider or narrower lines. The default is Normal and compared to other maps we tend to display streets narrower.

Level of Detail

Allows you to display more or less map features on the map. The default value is High and shows hiking tracks even on low map magnifications. When you have a slower device or are in an area with a lot of streets you can set it to Low. The default is High.

Terrain

Darker provides more contrast and is the default value. Lighter is a more traditional shading common on paper maps. The default is Darker.

Contour Lines

Additionally, to the terrain shading, you can enable/disable contour lines to better judge the altitude or steepness of the terrain. The prominent lines are also labeled. The default is Contour Lines On.

Main Roads

Main roads and highways can be displayed in Color or Black & White. The default is Color.

Map Orientation

This setting allows you to choose the desired map orientation when you set the location button to “heading and tracking” / . Also see Location above.

Two modes are available:

  • Compass: Uses the magnetic compass to align the map. If you rotate the device, the map will rotate with it.
  • Course Up: Aligns the map to the direction of movement (like in a car navigation device). This mode is useful if you experience magnetic disturbance.

The default value is Compass.

Allow Landscape Mode

Allows to rotate your device while in map view, and a full-screen map is displayed, without any distracting toolbar. To display the toolbar again, rotate your device again in portrait orientation. This can be useful if you want to enjoy the map on the whole screen or while in 3D-View. But it can be disturbing if you frequently take out your device from your pocket and often rotate it by mistake — so we made a setting for it.

The default is Allow Landscape Mode: Off.

Map Overlays

Are grouped in two sections. The first section is a toggle to enable/disable the display of map overlays at a whole (this is the same as if you toggle the map overlay entry in the Show Map Overlays menu). The second section allows you to enable/disable all available overlays. You first have to enable Map Overlays to make the second section active. You can either enable a single overlay (e.g. Hiking Routes) or a combination of any of the available overlays.

Also see Displaying Overlays above.

4.3 Map Data

Download using

Map data can be large - depending on the area you download. It might be best to download all required data already at home. You can switch between Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi & Cellular.

With Wi-Fi & Cellular map data may be downloaded using your cellular network. Depending on your phone contract this can be costly, especially if you enable data roaming abroad.

Even when you enabled Wi-Fi & Cellular we will display a warning when you are about to download a large amount of data - but nevertheless, it is your responsibility.

The default is Wi-Fi & Cellular.

Update & Delete All Map Data

To quickly bring all map data to the newest available version, you can tap on Update All Map Data. We usually update worldwide map data on a weekly basis.

To quickly reclaim storage space, you can delete all on-device map data by tapping on Delete All Map Data.

Please refer to Download Map Data on how to download your required map data.

4.4 Tour Organizer

Tour Preview

Normally tour previews in the tour organizer are shown in Black & White and the tour in red. This gives the best contrast. If you like to display the previews in the same color as on the map, switch to Color.

The default is Black & White.

Tour Sorting Method

Specifies the sorting method for the tour list. Three options are available:

  • By Import Date: Orders the tours on the dates you imported them. So if you import a tour that was originally recorded back in 2007 - it will still appear on top of the list for easy finding.
  • By Creation Date: Orders the tours on the date of creation. So if you import the very same tour from 2007, it might appear down below in the list.
  • By Name: Sorts the list alphabetically on the tour title.

The default is By Import Date.

Export Format

Specifies the format for sharing/exporting tours. Two options are available:

  • GPX: Shares the tour as GPX (GPS Exchange Format) file. This is the most common file format for tours and is usually the preferred format. Almost any tour website allows you to import or export GPX tours.
  • KML: Shares the tour as KML (Keyhole Markup Language) file. This format is often used in Google services (e.g. Google Earth or Google Maps). If you want to send tours to your friends they can easily display them in Google Earth.

The default is GPX.

4.5 General

Author

The name you enter here will be used as the “author” field in recorded or drawn tours. So if you export those tours the author field will be assigned to this value.

Default is your device name (e.g. Michael’s iPhone).

Optimize Recordings

Filters redundant GPS track points. To record raw GPS data, turn the setting off. Please be aware that the GPS hardware in your device usually reports one GPS location every second. So in raw mode, this can accumulate a lot of recorded track points.

The default is Optimize Recordings: On.

Display Power Savings

Dims the screen and puts the device to sleep during inactivity. You can turn this off if you e.g. use MapOut in your car and have it plugged-in to power.

The default is Display Power Savings: On.

Altitude Mode

On the map dashboard, the altitude is displayed. This setting allows you to control how the altitude should be calculated from. There are three settings:

  • Map Data: Displays the altitude information contained in the map data, based on a 90 m / 300 ft grid. Mountain peaks and narrow depressions can sometimes be inaccurate. Altitude profiles for tours are also calculated using this method - so choose this if you want to have the best consistency between the altitude shown on the dashboard and the altitude profiles shown for tours.
  • GPS: Displays the altitude readings from the GPS-receiver. GPS altitude readings are frequently undependable. But if you are above the ground (paragliding, airplane) this is the best method.
  • Automatic: Chooses the best mode, depending on GPS signal accuracy and signal strength.

The default is Map Data.

Units

Allows you to choose the units for displaying distances and altitudes: Kilometer / Meter or Miles / Feet.

The default is set according to your device language and locale.

Coordinate Format

Allows you to choose the format for displaying waypoint coordinates:

  • DMS - 47° 12’ 34.5”: In degrees, minutes and seconds.
  • DM - 47° 12.3456’: In degrees and minutes.
  • D - 47.3456°: In degrees.

4.6 Others

There are some less important settings and information in the Feedback and Info sections.

You can send us an email with feedback right inside the app. This will add your current map location to your email if you want to report map related issues (you can delete this if you don’t want us to see this information). As we are only two developers, sometimes it might take a while to respond to all of our emails, but we try our best!

As any app developer, we also like App Store reviews, as this helps us increase our reach and keeps us motivated to work on MapOut.

In the event that MapOut crashes, the app can send additional anonymous information to help us improve our software. You can toggle this setting to off if you don’t want to send any information in Privacy Send Crash Reports. Generally, we always like feedback if you experience something strange. Some issues are location dependent and sometimes only happen if you zoom to a certain region and are otherwise hard to spot for us.

In the About us section we have a short description about Stefan Frey and Michael Kussmaul, the two MapOut developers.

And finally, in our License section we list all used 3rd party software libraries and data we use in our app.


  1. Terrain map with shaded relief. So steepness information can easily be recognized.

  2. To start recording the GPS accuracy has to be better than 50 m / 160 ft.

  3. Sometimes also known as tracks or GPX-tracks.

  4. Technically we use gpsbabel from https://www.gpsbabel.org on our servers, so any format supported by it can be imported. E.g. GPX, KML, KMZ, …

  5. See http://tour.mapout.me/3FUkjR+lRE+TGPLyufeOBw as an example of such a “mini-page”.




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