Realtime Walks Navigation

What is it and why should I use it?

Mobile walking at Boscastle

Using the GPS and mobile data (3G) features of your smartphone or tablet, your position is displayed on a map of the walk and directions and points of interest are displayed in order as you move around the walk.

That means no more getting lost, going through the wrong gate to be greeted by an angry farmer or doubling back after 10 minutes of walking in the wrong direction.

Watch a video demonstration

How do I use it?

Direction markers displayed
Map options menu open on google map
POI marker text displayed
Realtime tracking mode using OS map

Use your web browser to visit one of our walks pages on your smartphone or tablet and click the "Start realtime tracking" button to begin. Your browser may ask you to allow the page to share your location or allow it to store content offline - if this happens, you must allow the page to do this for tracking to function correctly.

When the page has finished loading, the map will be displayed with the route of the walk appearing as a pink line. At the bottom-right corner of the screen a green "plus" sign will be displayed, clicking which opens the options menu.

Once your device has determined its location using GPS, your position on the map will be displayed as a bright red crosshair. As you move around the walk, you will see the crosshair moves across the map to indicate your position. Should your device lose its GPS signal, the crosshair will turn dark red to indicate that your position is not currently being updated. When the GPS signal returns, the icon will turn bright red again and update to your current position on the map.

Due to the varying quality of mobile phone signal strength in the rural parts of North Cornwall, we highly recommend you preload the walk onto your mobile device by clicking "Start realtime tracking" while you have a Wifi or strong mobile data connection. This will enable your browser to store the walk details so if, when you arrive at the start of the walk, this is no mobile data signal, the walk is already loaded into your browser. So long as your device has a GPS signal, your position will be updated and relevant directions and points of interest displayed, although the map may not display new areas if you pan or zoom or walk off the edge of the current view until the mobile data connection is restored when your device gets a mobile signal again.

Options menu

Clicking on the "plus" symbol in the bottom-right of the screen opens the walk options menu. The "plus" changes to a "minus" symbol and the options below are displayed. Clicking the "minus" hides the options menu again. The menu contains the following options:

  • View full webpage - Opens the full webpage for the walk which lists the walk summary, points of interest, directions, highlights and photos, but doesn't display the map on smartphones.
  • View directions only - Opens a simplified page displaying only the walk directions.
  • Direction markers - When this box is checked, a numbered marker will be displayed on the map for each direction on the walk. The number indicates the order of the directions on the walk. Directions that are ahead of you have brown markers, and directions you have already passed have grey markers. If you click on a direction marker, it will popup a box displaying the instructions for that direction. A link will appear below this that says "Show directions from here". Clicking this link will show directions from that point. Click the X in the top-right corner of the box or click the marker again to close the box.
  • POI markers - When this box is checked, Points Of Interest (POIs) along the walk will be displayed as blue markers on the map. Different types of POI will have different icons. Clicking on a POI marker will display the information about that point of interest. Click the X in the top-right corner of the box or click the marker again to close the box.
  • Autocentre on location - When this box is checked, the map will automatically scroll to keep your current location as the centre of the map. If you want to scroll around the map then uncheck the box otherwise it will recentre when your location is next updated.
  • Show next direction - When this box is checked, the next relevant direction on the walk is displayed at the top of the map. As you move around the walk, this is updated so you always know which direction you should be following.
  • Show next POI - When this box is checked, the next Point Of Interest along the walk will be displayed below the next direction text at the top of the top, once you are within a relevant distance of it. Note: Unchecking "Show next direction" also hides the next POI text. If the text of the next direction and POI combined are too long to display, the text will be cut off and you'll need to scroll down to read the rest of it.
  • Show OS map - When this box is checked, Ordnance Survey (OS) maps will be displayed instead of Google satellite maps. Unchecking the box displays the Google maps. Note that the OS maps are only available up to a certain zoom level, after which Google maps will be displayed even in the box is checked. Also note that some browsers do not support the mechanism which is used to display OS maps (such as the Android 2.X browser), in which case this option will not be available and the Google map will always be displayed. If the browser you're using doesn't show this option, you could try using another browser on the same device (e.g. use Firefox browser on Android 2.x devices).

How does it work?

Mobile walking at Buckator

We're using the latest techniques in mobile mapping technology to bring you what we think is the easiest and most enjoyable way to do our walks. For the more technically inclined, here's some of the methods we're using:

  • HTML5 caching - This feature, available in most modern web browsers and particularly on mobile devices, allows us to store the components of the walk web page offline. That means if you lose your mobile data connection during the walk to due poor mobile signal quality, the page will still continue to function, although new map areas map not appear when you pan or zoom until the data connection is restored.
  • Tracking loss recovery - If your device should lose its GPS signal during a walk and so miss a few directions, we'll attempt to figure out where you are when the GPS signal returns and which direction you are up to.
  • Navigational error recovery - Should you go a bit wrong on your walk and stray off the route, or even start part way around a walk, we'll try to figure out where you are and what direction and point of interest to show you next.