I've found some info about this on a previous post (Advanced android app for mapping and GPS logging?), but it didn't provide enough info, I'm hoping some other tech experts can help!

I have a tablet (Android) and it has integrated GPS, I would like to run a (preferably free) program into which I can input polygon layers (boundary units) and then track our flight path as we move through those polygon units. We are talking fairly large scale (units are at least 30 km²). There's no wifi, and we require something that keeps up to 100kph. Our current GPSs do this fine, but we can't import polygons into the GPSs. We have used ArcPad in the past, but it is too slow.

To summarize - we want a tablet-based program to which we can import GIS polygon layers and then watch our track on the tablet as we fly transects in the polygon units. We would like to export these track to ArcMap when we're done, so pretty much any format will work. I've looked into a couple options (Ozi, Google Earth), but I'd like to know if anyone has any experience with tracking GPS on a tablet at higher speeds and across large areas.



3 Answers 3


just wanted to update future readers on some progress I made with this. Thanks warrieka for the tip on geopaparazzi - this ended up being the best option so far. I tried QGIS but it kept crashing and seems to have lots of bugs (using the add-on in the link I posted above). I tried gvSIG mini (because it can do offline), but it had zooming in/out issues and also kept crashing. Also tried ArcGIS for tablet, but it couldn't do offline. Geopapparazi, however basic, was functional and it didn't have any lags while flying at 100kph either!

I had to convert shapefiles to gpx in ArcMap (or kml to gpx (I used dnrGarmin for this last conversion, and also used gpsies.com/convert)). I was able to upload 2 .gpx files into geopaparazzi and run it offline - so that was cool. We did have some issues with the helicopter instruments being affected by the tablet (ACK!), but turned off all wifi etc. and it seemed better. We would prefer some more functionality, and I'll be working to solve these issues: 1) a program that can take points easily (seems I can use "notes" in geopaparazzi, but it's a bit cumbersome, 2) a program in which I can change waypoint icons and add labels. I am going to work on trying out OziExplorer next.


I have used geopappazzi for mapping walking trails, it doesn't need a internet connection, you can use offline maps and gpx-files. Usefull to take georeferenced notes and foto's and display them on a map later. But i don't know if a smartphone can handle what you are talking about.

  • Thanks for your comment! Worked out pretty well, but I have a few other things I need to figure out to make it perfect :) I appreciate your help!
    – RLang
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 20:26

You can see this link for mapping apps or this link for apps which help to collect field data.

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