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French mapping App

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 Herdwickmatt 26 Jul 2022

I'm off for 3 weeks in the Alps, can anyone recommend a (preferably free!) mapping app?

It'll mainly be used for running, and making sure my 3 young children don't wander into a crevasse! 

 a crap climber 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

IGNrando, it's kinda like the French equivalent of the OS app. It's not free, but there is an initial free trial period. Only does the French Alps though plus a few km over the border.

> It'll mainly be used for running, and making sure my 3 young children don't wander into a crevasse! 

I think this is just a bit of a tongue in cheek comment? But just in case, you can't rely on a mapping app to avoid crevasses. They move from year to year and no map will be sufficiently up to date. The IGN maps mark areas that are generally crevassed though. If you're taking young children onto a glacier make sure you know what you're doing 

2
 DaveHK 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

I'm just back from 3 weeks in France where I used the IGN app extensively. I really like it and I actually think it's a better product than the OS app.

 cham4807 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

I have downloaded various countries from this website to use on my Garmin Fenix 6X and they are free.

I think you can use them on any garmin device.

I am using the section that covers the Alps at the moment, France, Switzerland and Italy.

I have just us the Italian section of the Alps on my Fenix 6xto navigate while fast packing the Alta Via 1 from Gressoney-Saint-Jean back to Courmayeur.

The maps have lots of detail on them but I'm not sure if it's what you are looking for.

But it's worth a look.

https://www.freizeitkarte-osm.de/garmin/en/regions.html

In reply to Herdwickmatt:

I've just got back from a couple of weeks away in the Alps and used Fatmap throughout.

You've got to sign up for the year, but it seemed worth it - not least because you get UK and European mapping as a part of it. 

In reply to Herdwickmatt:

If you know you will be near the Swiss border then swisstopo will cover a reasonable amount of the French side. It’s also completely free.

In reply to Herdwickmatt:

iphigénie app is what I use and most of the other Guides and instructors I work with. To get the IGN maps (same as on the blue standard walking maps) there is a yearly subscription of around  €15. it gives you a GPS pointer (obviously only as accurate as your phone), 3D, the option to merge different versions of maps, If you view the  map are you plan to uses online it saves it for offline use, plus quite a few other features.

 GrahamD 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

The subscription version of Outdoor Active has OS and IGN maps.

In reply to GrahamD:

> The subscription version of Outdoor Active has OS and IGN maps.

I haven't used it, but have avoided it due to the fact that each and every person I've heard mention it saying that it was terrible - hence going with Fatmap.

1
 The Norris 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I've read a lot of bad reviews too, but as someone that never used viewranger, I wasn't tainted by all that stuff. I used the free trial version of outdoor active when I went to slovenia for 2 weeks. I was very impressed with it, found lots of via ferrata routes with it, and it seemed much more intuitive to me than osmand, which I had used previously. 

On the whole, I liked OA and have taken up a subscription. Can't say I've tried all the functions with it, but it does what I want it to do, ie tells me where I am using gps location overlaying a detailed map. 

In reply to Herdwickmatt:

When I did the TMB a few years ago, I just used OpenTopoMapping in OruxMaps (which is my usual mapping app).

 deepsoup 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I think quite a lot of that is probably disappointment from people who looked at Outdoor Active (or had 'premium content', purchased tiles and the like, migrated across) after they bought out Viewranger. 

I wouldn't say that it's terrible, but it isn't nearly as good as Viewranger was.  (And given that they're the ones who closed down Viewranger, that obviously isn't easy to forgive.)

In reply to The Norris:

Ok, that's interesting to hear. For what it's worth I never used Viewranger either, so may well have been in the same boat as you, but was put off by the strength of opinion against it. Would be tempted to have given it a go if I hadn't just signed up for 12 months on Fatmap....

 JonnySchofield 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

Geoportail is the app I use for free IGN maps. They also have a good free website too. 

https://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/carte

 lukevf 28 Jul 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

+1 for swisstopo if you close to the border. Otherwise, I use OSM (downloaded for offline via the GPX viewer app, which cost a fiver to unlock)

 kylo-342 29 Jul 2022
In reply to ecrinscollective:

Agree iPhegenie very good . 

 k_os 04 Aug 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

Gaia GPS app is another that you can pay for IGN maps (worked well when I was in France) or use for free with their standard mapping (also good, but depends on where you are as the quality does differ between places)

 RX-78 04 Aug 2022
In reply to kylo-342:

Slowly working out how to use this app, but on a cycle trip it did not seen to keep some of the detailed maps i had viewed off line, downloading seems to be automatic and can't see any way to download 'tiles' or sectio s as one could in viewranger.

In reply to Herdwickmatt:

Currently in France on a mini road trip.... I'm flitting between Outdoor Active and Fatmap

 rockcatch 06 Aug 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

I’ve just finished a 10 day holiday in Switzerland and used Outdoor Active. It worked well and the downloading maps at home saved on data when out and also prevented any problems on the limited occasions there was no signal. 

Previously I’ve also used Bergfax Touren. They also allow map downloads and when I got the app they had a free trial. It was good enough for me to subscribe and I still use it occasionally. 

 Guy Hurst 06 Aug 2022
In reply to rockcatch:

OA is actually quite good, just not quite as easy to use as Viewranger. I was annoyed by OA's cavalier appraoch to existing Viewranger customers but stuck with it because the disadvantages v Viewranger aren't that great, and I haven't had to pay very much for it.

OP Herdwickmatt 07 Aug 2022
In reply to Herdwickmatt:

Cheers for all the replies. I've ended up using a mix of paper ign, the basic Topo version from OS and the Garmin popularity heat maps. 

 kylo-342 07 Aug 2022
In reply to RX-78:

I used it in Pyrenees last year. Downloaded the Spanish, French and OSM maps for our route.

no you don’t download tiles, but instead the areas you view get automatically saved.  This does mean viewing each of the maps you actually want.  
 

it’s not a super intuitive app - feels like it’s made by developers for developers!  Sometimes had to go to the instructions to work it out.    But when worked out it does work perfectly.  We were doing hikes with complex navigation and it it worked without a glitch.
 

on the positive side - the app doesn’t collect any data about you unlike all of the others.  I feel that internet privacy important and object to my data being harvested. Also, I like the fact that it doesn’t try to be a social media app, no advertisements, no constant reminders to pay for premium version etc etc.  and I like the way it can slide betweeen two different maps (e.g. ign and open cycle map)


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