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Tom Harrison iPhone App RFI

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Tom Harrison iPhone App RFI
July 18, 2013 05:54PM
Okay, I searched on "tom harrison app" over all dates and found bupkiss, so if this has already been discussed, please forgive me in advance, point me to the right place and I'll happily read up...

Don't ask me why I haven't done this before, because I don't know. Tom Harrison paper maps have been our go-to paper maps on our Sierra adventures. The USGS 7.5' maps on our electronic toys have been very handy, but they don't show trail distances - at least not on Topo Maps nor on the USGS Topo maps we download and use in Gaia or Trimble. Today, since my brain was bleeding from researching for work, I had my break researching outdoor apps - specifically bird/tree apps (I have the books, I don't carry them nor read the anymore and wish I'd had them while on the trail. Silly me, that's what the phone is good for!) and Maps. Specifically thought: why isn't there a decent Harrison map app? (Reviews on the first edition were so bad, I didn't bother buying.)

Today, I see there are four of my print faves labeled "2012"*. Released about 32-34 weeks ago for $2.99 each. I decided it was worth less than a Starbucks' latte to try the Mt. Whitney High Country app, since that's where I'm going to be in a couple of weekends.

The one thing I have been wanting to do is figure out trail distances quickly. I read the instructions and gave it a go, and on the first try, boom: 6.3 miles. And as far as I can add in my head looking at the map, that's right. (It figured little bits at 0.1, and that seems about right). That's better than a basic point-to-point distance "as crow flies" as my other apps do. Of course, there will be a XC section after the 6.3 miles on trail, but jeez, that helps a TON.

Sure would be nice if it did that elevation add thing someone was asking for before, but that is second priority to me.. and maybe there is a way for those guys to code that in someday. But for now, happy.

Has anyone tried these new-to-me 2012 iPhone map apps? In any way? Planning or outside tracking, etc? Stability? Data sharing? I'm interested in anything you have to say.

Thanks in advance!

* Map apps are:
  • Tom Harrison: Yosemite High Country
  • Tom Harrison: Mammoth High Country
  • Tom Harrison: Mono Divide High Country
  • Tom Harrison: Mt. Whitney High Country

Update: The one map was good enough that I bought the Yosemite HC app which will ultimately get the most use, I'm sure... And the Mono Divide app... Figure I'll test more before getting Mammoth...not as big for us. Also emailed the company with questions and suggestions, and got an immediate, thoughtful reply. Which prompted more questions to which I added the obviously forgotten one: when will the Kings Canyon HC app come out?

Will let you know when I hear.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2013 07:23PM by JustKeepWalking.
Re: Tom Harrison iPhone App RFI
July 18, 2013 08:30PM
Great info. I wonder if they are I-pad compatible. Some of my I-Phone apps show up tiny on the I-Pad
Re: Tom Harrison iPhone App RFI
July 18, 2013 08:41PM
It's an iPhone app, not a universal app, so it'll be tiny, or you can blow it up 2x, not the best use of iPad screen real estate.

But it's serviceable. The app has an interesting zoom point where it gives overview info and when you zoom in more, you get what you see on the printed map. Been comparing bits with our map, just to be sure...build up some trust...
Re: Tom Harrison iPhone App RFI
July 18, 2013 09:00PM
Update: Ran the High Sierra Trail numbers on app and manually from our admittedly old paper map. 5.1 miles longer on paper map! Some segments were 1 mile different between the two. All discrepancies were before the junction with the PCT/JMT. Numbers matched exactly after that. Totals were 54.4 vs 59.5 (to top of Whitney). We seem to prefer west to east, lighter when packing up to Whitney, scenery improves as you go.. Though Kaweah in middle are amazing...

I need to find a newer print version to see.. Never thought of those numbers changing...no date on printed map. ISBN number comes up with different dates, but I think 2005 sounds closest.
avatar Re: Tom Harrison iPhone App RFI
July 18, 2013 11:21PM
Just a note about "Tom Harrison Maps apps".

Tom Harrison's company does not create the actual apps. Instead his company licenses his maps to iOS and Android developers. In regards to iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) there are two separate developers that use Tom Harrison Maps for their apps. One is Earthrover Software (who created the older apps) and the other is International Mapping that created the newer 2012 apps.



Re: Tom Harrison iPhone App RFI
July 19, 2013 08:28AM
Doh, never even occurred to me to mention that detail, I was already emailing with the Director of Sales & Marketing for International Mapping... never crossed my mind that the "Tom Harrison" company would try to start a software company.. His website speaks volumes as to how much effort goes into web technologies. Good thing his maps speak for themselves.

Anyway, when I asked International Mapping about Kings Canyon, I was told that they are trying to finish developing apps for the "top 10" national parks. I can understand that Kings doesn't get enough traffic to warrant "top 10" status (if you are talking popularity/visitation/people willing to spend money to buy apps), but IMO it's easily top 10 scenery. But I digress... again. They need more development funds to add more features to the underlying engine. I've given them my current wish list. I wish them the best. I've bought their apps to support them the best I can. They are doing better than Earthrover whose last update was in 2010! Not good.

$3/map app seems like a small price to pay for the utility and enjoyment factor. I'm hoping International Mapping can survive and provide even better features in the future. If I have time, I might ask about Harrison's licensing arrangements. I should think it's more exclusive, but maybe not. But for now, the International Mapping solution seems like a very good reboot of these classic trail maps.
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