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  • Writer's pictureRick

iPackTravel: Map My Travel Trails

Hiking Trail

iPackTravel has a new travel module for mapping of hiking trails, called "Map My Trail". Extending that capability, the module can also track the routes taken when in certain modes of transport (excluding underground trains). This module uses GPS locationing to get location updates from GPS-enabled mobile device to plot travel trails on map.

You can trace your travel routes wherever you go and share them online. A great tool for travel bloggers, add credibility to your blog by showing that you have actually been there.

iPackTravel App Now Supports Hiking

Yes, with the original "Packing List" module, the recently added "Location Finder" module and now "Map My Trail", iPackTravel is not just a travel-companion app for travelling use, but a hiking-companion app too. Well, hiking in overseas destinations is also part of travelling when visiting nature parks.

Fully Configurable Settings

The "Map My Trail" module is fully customisable. When the activity type for a new trail is selected as "Walk" or "In Transport", iPackTravel will set a default accuracy level and update interval for the selected activity. iPackTravel suggested these values to balance accuracy with performance, battery consumption and appropriateness, but you can change them.

Higher accuracy may result in higher power consumption. The accuracy setting can be adjusted to achieve optimal tracking for the full trail without having the battery going flat mid-way. So, avoid going for the highest accuracy if it is not necessary. High accuracy is also not required when in a transport.

Read about GPS accuracy and use them correctly:

Trails will appear jittery if the update interval is too short. This is a result of having too many location data in too short a time frame. Longer update interval will reduce the number of data required and generate smoother trail plot on the map. Lesser processing work with long intervals will also reduce power usage of the mobile device.

Works in Background Mode

Once the "Start Tracking" button is pressed, tracking will commence and a trail will appear on the map. However, constantly checking the map and using GPS locationing at the same time will drain the battery rapidly. So, close the app (without killing it) or put the mobile device in sleep mode to allow tracking to be done in background mode. This will also help to reduce power consumption and ensure the battery will last for the whole trail.

At the end of the walk / drive, launch the app and press "Stop Tracking". A "Pause" function is also provided to stop location tracking temporarily. Use it when having a long break and resume again later.

iPackTravel - My Trail View

Share Your Trail

After the walk / drive, the trail can be shared to social media, messaging app, or save as image, etc, that are supported by the iOS operating system. Post your achievements online and challenge your friends to do the same. Be healthy together.

iPackTravel - Share Trail View

Trail History

All trails will be saved in Trail History and can be revisited at later dates. A saved trail can also be retrieved and shown on the map (in blue) before starting a new trail (in orange). This allows retracing of a path that was travelled before.

iPackTravel Current & History Trails View

Enhanced Mode

There are additional functionality in "Map My Trail" when Enhanced Mode is enabled. These functions are:

1. Incorporation of Health Data

When the activity type is specified as "Walk", an option to extract relevant health data from Health app will be provided. The data to extract will be step counts, flights climbed and walking / running distance within the duration of the trail. In other words, health data that are not part of the trail will not be included in the figures shown. (Screenshot of Health app below shows higher readings as it include additional data prior to the start of the walk.)

iPackTravel Hiking Trail with Health Data

The health data will be acquired from Health app at the end of the walk in order to keep power usage to minimum. This is also because the app should be operating in background mode, thus, it is not necessary to extract the data during that time.

2. Auto-Save & Recovery of Trail

When working in background mode, iPackTravel app can be terminated by the iOS operating system when there is resource contentions, when other apps are running at the same time, as well as when the battery of the device is totally depleted. To prevent losing the trail when that happens, iPackTravel provides an auto-save & recovery feature in Enhanced Mode to save the trail on file during tracking.

The auto-save function will kick in only after each set of 25 location data has been acquired instead of performing a save every time a new location data is obtained. This will keep power usage to minimum.

When trail tracking is manually stopped, the app will check the integrity of the trail data and performs auto-recovery from the auto-save file if necessary.

Our new slogan should now be:

"iPackTravel — One App for all Travel & Hiking Needs"

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