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SmartPhones



Many free apps are available for moving-map topos on Apple and Android MartPhones. Here are few that will allow Topo maps to be downloaded (from AppStore/MarketPlace) for offline use with movnig-map GPS.
    - GAIA GPS for Apple and Android. Offline myTopo/MapTech topos. Paid version imports GPX files. Custom maps can be created.
    - PDF Maps from Avenza on iPhone/iPads will load the standard PDF files from Incident Command GIS teams and provide GPS moving map. Goto the NIFC site, find your fire and drill into find the standard PDF published every morning. Click it to start loading the PDF, but right go to the address bar of the browser and copy the URL address. Kill the browser, and go to Avenza PDF Maps. Click the + to add a map, and paste this URL. The Geo PDF loads and allows live moving map using the internal GPS. 

Download these from Apple AppsStore or Android Market Place. There are others, look around. It is usually worth paying a little extra beyond free to get advanced features. No one yet provides symbolized GIS overlays. 

Try Google Latitude for tracking ground firefighters with SmartPhones or vehicles with Tablets.


AerialFireTech is working with a team of Silicon Valley developers to create a fire specific Android app for the following:
- Offline detailed Topo maps based on MapTech/MyTopo
- Moving Map using integrated GPS
- GIS overlays with correct symbols
- Interface to request GIS by fire name
- Auto download, symbolizing & overlay daily GIS 
- Easy operation for air and ground field use

Android or Apple SmartPhone?
iPhone is first choice. Same as PC vs Mac: both are great with lots of apps, reasonably easy and similar pricing. Apple is simpler and restricted. Androids are more powerful, flexible and less restricted (sometime chaotic and battery draining). Better apps are currently available for Apple

Verizon vs AT&T vs Goldenstate for data service?
Verizon is faster, more reliable and better coverage everywhere except Tuolumne & Calaveras counties where data roaming is slow. Goldenstate has quality similar to Verizon only in Tuolumne & Calaveras, and everywhere else data roaming is at the slow Edge speed.

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