How to GPS Like A Rockstar For Free
Now that you have begun the awesome adventure that is gold prospecting, and hopefully you have found where to find gold in your area. You have to now get into the area so you can get the gold…here’s a quick how-to GPS in and out for free:
Having six kids in today’s economy we are always on the lookout for ways to save money ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE we can. If you already have a smartphone and have a need for GPS (Global Positioning System) for your sports, hobbies, or work there are some great options available by folks who enjoy helping others out. We needed an option due to our love for gold prospecting in remote forests and metal detecting for treasure. Pretty sure, when we find any gold or treasure, we want to know exactly where we were so we can find the area again.
Since most of us carry our phones everywhere, with available free applications, there is absolutely no need to spend any additional money buying a stand-alone GPS unit (Garmin, Magellan, etc.) which start around $100 for a very basic model. Even more surprising, the quality provided by the free programs are comparable to most $400 GPS units. This is how to quickly and easily set-up top-end GPS for free.
Quick GPS Tip: A great free service we use for GPS integration (creating, sharing, downloading, and converting tracks as needed) is GPSies.com. While based out of Europe, their service has over 1,000,000 tracks uploaded by users worldwide.
First a couple of standard warnings for when you go off-the-beaten path:
- Be safe.
- Plan your route.
- Let someone know your plans.
- Be prepared to spend a night or two should something go wrong.
- Always carry a paper topographic map of the area just in case you run out of power or aliens attack.
If you find any “free” program helpful and it adds value to your life, always pitch the developer folks some coin. While their products may be free, they still commit significant time and skill to benefit the rest of us cheap dudes.
Big Tip Out where the deer and antelope play, put your phone in battery saving mode whenever possible!! Downloading your travel area’s topo map BEFORE heading out will be a big help.
General Steps to “GPS for Free with your Smartphone”
For those who want to dive-in and follow their own path to free GPS, here are the steps to follow:
- Go to your smart-phone’s application marketplace. Click for Android or iPhone.
- Specify “free” applications and search for: “gps viewer”
- Review your chosen gps viewer application information to see which “track manager” it integrates seamlessly with. Download that too.
- To quickly upload any GPS track and waypoint data you already have, you may need to search for a “file manager.” This will allow you to quickly and easily move your existing files to the “gps viewer’s” specific data folder.
- Merely follow the set-up instructions in each application.
- After a little practice with the new software, you are ready to go.
The GPS viewer application will read the satellites signal and provide enough accuracy for most general applications. These programs typically provide an excellent user interface like this.
Finally, since most of the programs integrate seamlessly with an online account at either GPSies.com or EveryTrail.com, you can automatically upload your journeys for others to view, download, and use. They are also a great way to back-up your data. Be sure to let me know in the comments how your free GPS for smartphones process worked for you.
Happy Trails!! Some specific recommendations are coming if you want to bookmark us and check back in.
Another Article You Might Find Interesting:
- Understanding GPS Navigation Systems (newtechworld.net)
- This is What Three Years of GPS Data Looks Like (gizmodo.com)