In this post I'm going to focus on my favorite big-picture mapping application. I trip overseas quite often and don't appreciate the crazy prices charged by my mobile carrier for data roaming - so I looked for a mapping app that supports off-line content so the maps are actually on the device, not downloaded as you view them. My favourite app for my IOS devices (iPhone/iPad) is Pocket Earth and that's what I'll focus on this time. Unfortunately this app is not supported on Android devices, but we'll look at alternatives for Android later.
Get the AppPick up Pocket Earth from the app store or click here from your mobile device. The following steps will help you get started with this app, and show you how to load your route from MyCycleTour. I'm using an example route that I'll be cycling next month in France. You can display this route here: http://www.mycycletour.com/displayroute.php?RouteNumber=79
Download Regional Maps for Offline UseOnce you have the app you then need to pre-load the area maps of where you are going while you have data connectivity at home. Under "settings" go to the help menu and look at "Downloads". Click on the country or region you will be cycling in and tap the star icon to download the area (adds to your favorites). Repeat this to cover the area that you will be cycling. Once loaded you can see the map detail regardless of data connectivity, but I highly recommend you test this by turning off your device data and restart the app.
Download your Route from MyCycleTourDisplay the route that you want to download in MyCycleTour (e.g. select from the home page, from MyRoutes etc.). Above the map click on "Download GPX Track" and save the file to your desktop. To get the GPX file to your iPhone or iPad you can email it to yourself or, if you have Dropbox, you can also save the file there. (In future you may be able to email it directly from the Download GPX options box in MyCycleTour). In this example I have chosen the route at: http://www.mycycletour.com/displayroute.php?RouteNumber=79.
Import the Route to Pocket EarthOpen the file from your Email program or from Dropbox on your iPhone or iPad - it may open in a default app or it may ask you to choose an app. Select the "Open With" (top right of left image below) icon as shown below - then open it in Pocket Earth (click on the Pocket Earth icon below left). This will open the image on the lower right. Select "Import".
Display the Route in PocketEarthYou now have the route in Pocket Earth. To display it simply go to your favorites by clicking on the Star at the bottom of the map (left image below at the bottom). Select your route from the middle screen, and again on the right screen.