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As some of you know, I've been working with Hema from Australia for over a year to get their Hema Explorer for North America app launched.
You can read about it here...Hema - Hema Explorer North America

or here... Hema Explorer Released for North America | Expedition Portal

or in our Summer issue, here: Spring 2016 | Toyota Fortuner, BJ Baldwin Trophy Truck, Overland Expo WEST - Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine | Land Cruiser, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Tacoma, Toyota Trucks

Well, I've just finished helping get a folder ready in the Cloud, just in time for the Summit.

Most of the trails in the area (and all of the official trails) w/waypoints & descriptions are included:



http://hema.li/fjsummit


Let me know what you think, and if we missed anything important. Hopefully someone finds it useful.
 

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Sounds good. Any tips for new users?
 

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Tagging @gremlin, I know he's been talking to you about this and is looking into some integration with APRS for Summit HQ. This should all be very cool.

I'm excited to see more software in this space, even with the offerings we do have none of them do everything, or everything well. I'm always willing to try out a new mapping app :)
 

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Tagging @gremlin, I know he's been talking to you about this and is looking into some integration with APRS for Summit HQ. This should all be very cool.

I'm excited to see more software in this space, even with the offerings we do have none of them do everything, or everything well. I'm always willing to try out a new mapping app :)
Yep...I have 6 demo tablets prepped for the Colorado FJ's Trail Leaders for the FJ Summit. Hoping to meet up with those folks (not sure if you're part of that) in the next week or two for a brief tutorial.

In addition to the app, I've created geo-enabled PDF versions of all the Trail Leader maps =)

Fun times!!
 

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I would definitely like to learn more about the app.
 

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If I purchase it will, it be available on both my iPhone and iPad? Both are linked to the same Apple store account and usually when I install on one it installs on the other as well but most of those apps are free.

One other question, have you added any of the trails around Moab. Or better yet is there a list of the trails available you can review prior to purchase?


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Yep...I have 6 demo tablets prepped for the Colorado FJ's Trail Leaders for the FJ Summit. Hoping to meet up with those folks (not sure if you're part of that) in the next week or two for a brief tutorial.
Yep, I'll be there!
 

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Yep...I have 6 demo tablets prepped for the Colorado FJ's Trail Leaders for the FJ Summit. Hoping to meet up with those folks (not sure if you're part of that) in the next week or two for a brief tutorial.

In addition to the app, I've created geo-enabled PDF versions of all the Trail Leader maps =)

Fun times!!

@debFJVT

cheers
Baz
:blueblob:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I purchase it will, it be available on both my iPhone and iPad? Both are linked to the same Apple store account and usually when I install on one it installs on the other as well but most of those apps are free.

One other question, have you added any of the trails around Moab. Or better yet is there a list of the trails available you can review prior to purchase?


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Yes, as long as your Apple (or Android) devices use the same account, you only buy once & download to as many devices as you like.

To see which trails we have in the system, check out the Hema Cloud:
http://hema.li/cloud

You can also look at what the North America Map Patrol has done:
http://hema.li/mpusacloud
 

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So...this layer isn't approved for public release yet, but I thought a screenshot would be OK:


You're looking at the Hema Explorer app with a custom Ouray Area Trails / FJ Summit overlay. It shows pointers to all the major trails along with a difficulty rating, as well as the actual tracks, and a few POIs.

Layers like this are in the works, only from Hema =)

Maps are cool :)
 

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So James, can you give an honest review of the app so I can know if I should buy it or skip it? Or anyone else who has used it. Is it worth the 20 bucks?
Honestly, it depends on what you're wanting to use it for. For downloading topographic maps and having them offline, it works as well as Gaia. I don't know if the overlays Shane created will work on Gaia or any other app, or how easy those are for you to create yourself (Shane has mad skills :rocker:).

The main reason I've practically stopped using Gaia is that they're a little too DRM happy on the pictures that I take with my equipment. For the version of Gaia I was using, (a) pictures taken weren't copied to my phone's photo folder and (b) trails uploaded to their website were too difficult to link pictures from.

That ^^^ would be MY use case, and I didn't have a chance to fully use the app in that way. But when I raised those DRM / photo questions during the demo, all the answers they gave were positive.

Obviously, $20 is a steep price to pay for something that may not ultimately work for you. @shane4x4, any chance of a regular/pro version at two different price levels to let people try it out?
 

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My use case would be downloading a trail from their site and going to that trail and having it give me turn by turn directions just by pushing a button. Taking a few pics woulod be nice and then uploading my own version of that same trail and sharing it. That is what I would do. Is it that capable?

Honestly, it depends on what you're wanting to use it for. For downloading topographic maps and having them offline, it works as well as Gaia. I don't know if the overlays Shane created will work on Gaia or any other app, or how easy those are for you to create yourself (Shane has mad skills :rocker:).

The main reason I've practically stopped using Gaia is that they're a little too DRM happy on the pictures that I take with my equipment. For the version of Gaia I was using, (a) pictures taken weren't copied to my phone's photo folder and (b) trails uploaded to their website were too difficult to link pictures from.

That ^^^ would be MY use case, and I didn't have a chance to fully use the app in that way. But when I raised those DRM / photo questions during the demo, all the answers they gave were positive.

Obviously, $20 is a steep price to pay for something that may not ultimately work for you. @shane4x4, any chance of a regular/pro version at two different price levels to let people try it out?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My use case would be downloading a trail from their site and going to that trail and having it give me turn by turn directions just by pushing a button. Taking a few pics would be nice and then uploading my own version of that same trail and sharing it. That is what I would do. Is it that capable?
So, the way GPS trails work is that it's almost impossible to give turn by turn directions for an off-road/on the dirt route. It can be done if the stars align, but not really well.

It's best to think of the Hema app as the entire ecosystem, with 30 years of off-road exploring behind it. The app works well and we'll be including special layers like the FJ Summit layer in the future, those layers won't work with any other platform.

After Rob's time at the FJ Summit, I can tell you we have some very exciting things coming to the app & ecosystem, but they will take some time.

For now I think the biggest takeaway is knowing that Hema is the only company that is building a dedicated system for 4x4/overland enthusiasts. That system is in it's 1.0 stage, and will be improving and expanding over time. So far we've mapped over 2,500 miles on the Continental Divide Route, with plans for over 8,000 miles of mapping before the end of the year.

Hema is in it to win it =)
 

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Since it's in the 1.0 stage... are future updates free once the initial product is purchased?
 

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Shane:

Thanks for that explanation. Maybe I am more unclear than I think I am. However, if I am reading the Hema page correctly, it says this:

"Generate a route line to an address or waypoint using Quick Routing (coming soon for Android), manually create point-to-point routes, or mark important locations using waypoints to plan your journey in full."

So that sounds like "coming soon" I could sit at home and say I want to take a trip to Ouray. Once there I want to run Imogene and take Ophir back. I can punch that in and it will give me turn by turn directions both on and off road. Is that correct? If not, can you tell me what that means which I got from the Hema site under Plan at Hema - Hema Explorer North America

So to me, it sounds like it will do this. If not, please tell me exactly what that plan is and means. Also, I am an Android user so can you tell me what is the meaning of coming soon? Does it mean this month? Before 2016 is out? First quarter of 2017?

I hope I have clearly defined what I am looking for. If Hema can do that, I will buy it as soon as it has those capabilities. I do not mind the 20 bucks, I think the price is good, I just don't want to waste 20 bucks and be totally frustrated by buying into a system that fails me. I bought Gaia and was VERY frustrated by it. They did refund the money so I lost nothing, but the frustration of the application is simply too much for me. Finally, you keep saying this is a 1.0 product and I know everyone starts there. When will 2.0 be out and is that when all these features will be added? Just want to know if this is worth waiting for or should I look elsewhere? Thanks for your time.

So, the way GPS trails work is that it's almost impossible to give turn by turn directions for an off-road/on the dirt route. It can be done if the stars align, but not really well.

It's best to think of the Hema app as the entire ecosystem, with 30 years of off-road exploring behind it. The app works well and we'll be including special layers like the FJ Summit layer in the future, those layers won't work with any other platform.

After Rob's time at the FJ Summit, I can tell you we have some very exciting things coming to the app & ecosystem, but they will take some time.

For now I think the biggest takeaway is knowing that Hema is the only company that is building a dedicated system for 4x4/overland enthusiasts. That system is in it's 1.0 stage, and will be improving and expanding over time. So far we've mapped over 2,500 miles on the Continental Divide Route, with plans for over 8,000 miles of mapping before the end of the year.

Hema is in it to win it =)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Shane:

Thanks for that explanation. Maybe I am more unclear than I think I am. However, if I am reading the Hema page correctly, it says this:

"Generate a route line to an address or waypoint using Quick Routing (coming soon for Android), manually create point-to-point routes, or mark important locations using waypoints to plan your journey in full."

So that sounds like "coming soon" I could sit at home and say I want to take a trip to Ouray. Once there I want to run Imogene and take Ophir back. I can punch that in and it will give me turn by turn directions both on and off road. Is that correct? If not, can you tell me what that means which I got from the Hema site under Plan at Hema - Hema Explorer North America

So to me, it sounds like it will do this. If not, please tell me exactly what that plan is and means. Also, I am an Android user so can you tell me what is the meaning of coming soon? Does it mean this month? Before 2016 is out? First quarter of 2017?

I hope I have clearly defined what I am looking for. If Hema can do that, I will buy it as soon as it has those capabilities. I do not mind the 20 bucks, I think the price is good, I just don't want to waste 20 bucks and be totally frustrated by buying into a system that fails me. I bought Gaia and was VERY frustrated by it. They did refund the money so I lost nothing, but the frustration of the application is simply too much for me. Finally, you keep saying this is a 1.0 product and I know everyone starts there. When will 2.0 be out and is that when all these features will be added? Just want to know if this is worth waiting for or should I look elsewhere? Thanks for your time.
I believe that a fully-featured route generation is part of the long term plans, and it may be able to generate routes over dirt passes as long as they're county roads. For now, at least in the iOS version, you can choose a waypoint (either existing or one you create), and the app will create a quick route to take you as close as possible to that using existing roads. A quick route is a line on the map that you can follow, and it will (theoretically) show you how long until the next turn. So it's kind of like turn-by-turn, but not in the Google Maps sense. Right now there's a bug with the routing feature: if your GPS isn't 100% accurate and you 'miss' a waypoint along a route by a few feet, the routing system thinks you never made that waypoint and will ask you to turn around to go get it. That's an enhancement they're already working on.

For timelines, I have no idea. I know there's a release coming later this summer/early fall, but I don't know what will or won't work for that one. I think everyone should jump on the bandwagon ASAP, as this WILL be the platform of record going forward, so even if 1 or 2 key features you need aren't there yet, you still get the entire cloud, ability to plan/explore/document/share your adventures, and you get to help us all make the entire system better :)
 
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