Using GPS Log without data

You can use GPS Log without a data connection, including spiking locations when you don’t have a data connection.

As we wrote in 2010, “we understand that international data roaming is expensive (so most people disable it), and many iPhone’s are locked to accept only one companies SIM cards, meaning that most travellers outside their own countries do not have a cellular data connection. Thus, one key feature of GPS Log is that it can function with no cellular data connection. However, it has some limitations, so please read this advise.”

Initial GPS fix

When you first arrive in a new country (or change your location drastically, e.g. by plane/train/bus), GPS Log may take a long time to get the a position fix without data, as it needs to cache some satellite data specific to your new location. There are two ways to get this first position fix:

If you travel to a complely new location (or change your location drastically, e.g. by plane/train/bus), it may take a considerable amount of time (2-10 minutes) to get a location fix without data, but it is possible. The device can get your location using only information from GPS and other location satellites.

For this to work you will need:

  • A clear view of the sky. Sometimes being near a window (e.g. on a plane) is enough, however this will slow down the process further.
  • Leave GPS Log open and in the “Updating from GPS” status. Don’t interrrupt.

Subsequent GPS fix

Generally once you have successfully gotten a GPS fix in a new location, subequent fixes will be a lot faster, however you will likely still need a clear view of the sky. If you’re inside a structure or vehicle, try to be as close to a window as possible. If that fails, go outside and it should generally work.

Manually adding locations

If the GPS location doesn’t work, you can manually add locations. Just spike as normal, but leave the location as unknown. Then open the map viewer and either drop a pin, or search for the location. Long tap the pin and select “Use as Spike’s location” Of course, for this to work you need to know where you are.

Airplane mode

Airplane mode doesn’t prevent the GPS from recieving signals from satellies, so you can still spike in Airplane mode. It helps to have Wifi turned on, as the device can use Wifi signals to help triangulate (even if you’re not connected).

Map tiles

GPS Log does not offer offline mapping. Typically map tiles will be cached for the areas you load while using data, so one trick is to view the location where you are visiting in the app before you go.

Due to the lack of offline maps and other factors, GPS Log isn’t designed to be relied on for navigational situations, please use a dedicated mapping solution.