Personalised Tour du Mont Blanc Offline Mobile Maps

Instructions on how to use

Now that you've chosen your itinerary and received the GPS file in the portal, it's time to load them onto your mobile phone so you are ready to go.  Don’t worry if this is the first time you are using a mobile map program, we’ve created the following step by step guide to to take you through the process and show you all of the great features to use when you’re on the trial!

Please note: it will depend on your phone whether it looks exactly the same as these, however, the steps remain the same.

mapsme.jpg

1. Download the Mobile Phone App

Download MAPS.ME on the Google Play App Store or Apple App Store for free. Maps.me is a mobile app that provides offline maps using Open Street Map data.

 

 2. download the GPS file

If you have received an email from info@tourdumontblanc.club with the GPS (.kml) file attached, open your email on your mobile phone and click on the attached file to download.

Otherwise, the map file will be in your My Hike portal. Log into your portal from your mobile phone and click on offline mobile map button (Image 1 and 2) to trigger the download it.

Image 1:  Select either the Imperial or Metric Offline mobile maps button in your portal

Image 1: Select either the Imperial or Metric Offline mobile maps button in your portal

Image 2:  The file will then download onto your mobile phone. Click open once downloaded.

Image 2: The file will then download onto your mobile phone. Click open once downloaded.

Image 3:  If the download bar at the bottom disappears, look where you normally find your downloaded files

Image 3: If the download bar at the bottom disappears, look where you normally find your downloaded files

 
Image 4:  Choose to open the file with Maps.Me

Image 4: Choose to open the file with Maps.Me

You will be prompted to identify the app to open the file with.  Select MAPS.ME. If you choose another map program, it may load the file if .kml format is supported, however, please note the following;

  • No field testing has been completed with an offline map program other than Maps.Me so I can’t guarantee the performance

  • The pin colours have been specifically coded for the Maps.Me design specification so may not present the same way on another application

 

In some cases, usually when you already have Google Earth or another trail mapping program installed as your default option on your mobile phone, the maps.me icon won’t show up in the first screen you see. If so, click on the ‘more’ button for Apple OS and scroll up on Android OS.

 
Image 5:  Example of Google Earth being the default trail map program. Select ‘More’ to find Maps.Me.

Image 5: Example of Google Earth being the default trail map program. Select ‘More’ to find Maps.Me.

 
Image 5:  Find Maps.Me (select ‘more’ again if necessary) and click to open the file

Image 5: Find Maps.Me (select ‘more’ again if necessary) and click to open the file

 
 

The MAPS.ME application will open and display a map at your current location (Image 6) with a comment highlighting that bookmarks have been successfully loaded.  This is referring to your custom route file.

The other notification you may receive is that bookmarks upload failed (Image 7). If you receive this message, uninstall the Maps.me application and complete the steps again. If it doesn’t work the second time, email me at info@tourdumontblanc.club

 

Image 6: Screen when you have successfully loaded the GPS file into the Maps.Me application

 

Image 7: Screen when it hasn’t worked correctly. If so, uninstall the Maps.Me application and start the steps again.

 

3. download offline maps

The mobile trail map works offline, which is necessary as there is no mobile reception on parts of the trail.  For international travellers that won't have internet or cell service, your location will still be visible on the map as GPS function on your smartphone does not require cell signal to work. The GPS receiver in smartphones use positioning satellites to identify your location which works in flight mode. 

Search or scroll to a location on the Tour du Mont Blanc to see the trail marked by a series of pointers. You will notice that there is no underlying map detail.  As you scroll along and zoom in on the route, MAPS.ME will ask you to download the maps for Haute-Savoie, Lake Geneva and Aosta Valley Region.  You must do this so you can use the maps offline.  There is no cell reception on some parts of the trail so without the underlying map downloaded, you will not be able to see the trail.

Image 8: You will be prompted to download the ‘Aosta Valley’ Map for Italy, ‘Lake Geneva’ for Switzerland and ‘Haute-Savoie’ for France.

4. Review detailed trail markers

After the maps have been downloaded, you will now see the detail of the trail with your route marked, as well as key points of interest such as bathrooms, water re-fill and restaurants. 

Your Location and Itinerary Information on Map

Once you start the Tour du Mont Blanc, your location will be marked on the map provided you have your smartphone GPS turned on.  Remember that your smartphone GPS runs independently of your smartphone signal, so provided you have downloaded the underlying maps for the entire route beforehand, you can use the app offline. The trail information for each section and day in your itinerary can also be found in the map.

 

Image 9: Your location will show up on the map provided you have your mobile phones GPS turned on

 

Image 10: Click on a yellow or red trail marker and drag this arrow up to see route details aligned to your specific itinerary.

 

COLOURED MARKERS

Map markers have been coloured differently so you can easily identify which to lead you on the trail and which are for services you may need. The colours represent;

  • Red & Yellow: Your daily itinerary alternates between red and yellow trail markers, and links back directly to your personalised itinerary. I.e Day 1 = Red, Day 2 = Yellow, Day 3 = Red .....

  • Pink: Toilet / WC

  • Blue: Water Refill

  • Brown: ATM

  • Purple: Food / Restaurant

  • Green: Shortcut Options with timetable and prices i.e Train, Gondola, Bus (these will be updated for 2019 timetables/costs at the start of Jun-19)

Image 11: Example of toilet located on map

Image 12: Example of Water Re-fill location on map

Image 13: Example of shortcut located on the map

Calculating distance & Elevation between two points

Maps.Me allows you to calculated the distance between any two points on the map. This feature works very well over small to medium distances and be great to see how long until the next water re-fill point or you reach your accommodation.

There are two limitations of this Maps.Me feature to be aware of;

  • It shows the net elevation change rather than the total gain and loss for the section you are mapping. I suggest using the itinerary or information in the GPS markers to estimate how much more total gain and loss you have.

  • Over long distances, it may not pick your route when calculating how far it is between two points. Rest assured that the trail combination I have selected for you to complete the Tour du Mont Blanc is the best way to go, so don’t follow where the Maps.Me algorithm wants to take you. In these circumstances, I would suggest waiting until you are further along on the trail and try again

 

Image 14: When you are on the trail, select the location on the map you’d like to calculated the distance to and then click ‘Route To’

 

Image 15: Maps.Me will calculate the distance between your location and the one you selected on the map

 

I would encourage you to have a play with the maps prior to starting the Tour du Mont Blanc so you are comfortable with the information contained in there and how you’ll use it for navigation. If you have any questions or issues with using the maps, please let me know at info@tourdumontblanc.club

For those that have come to this page but do not yet have your own itinerary, head over to our Get Started page now to fill in your form and receive your very own personalised itinerary and maps for the Tour du Mont Blanc.