Manual smartphone on the camino

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Smartphone on the Camino

Apps, routes and accommodations on your smartphone

 

If you bring a smartphone on your Camino, you can download several apps that will help you find your way while walking. On this website of the Dutch Confraternity of Saint James (NGSJ) you will also find files with tracks of Caminos that can be opened with a number of apps, allowing you to walk or bike the Camino without a hardcopy, should you decide to do so. There are also files with information regarding accommodations in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

How does this work?

Apps

 

First of all, you need to install an appropriate app which can open these files. There are several: Maps.me, Here, OSMand, Oruxmap, GPX viewer, and Viewranger. All of these apps have their own pros and cons.
For the sake of clarity, we will focus on one particular app which we think is very useful: Maps.me. This app is free, easy to use, requires relatively little memory and - once downloaded – can be used completely offline. Once installed, you can download (Open Street)maps from all over the world for free. This app is available for Android and for iOS (IPhone)

 

How to install the app?

Step by step:

  • Go to: Play store (android) or Apple store (IOS)
  • Search for: Maps.me
  • Select: Maps.me
  • Accept the accessibility
  • After downloading and installation: open the app
You will see a global map. You can now download the detailed maps of regions or countries you want. That can be done in two ways:
  • Zoom into the country or region you want. At some point, a screen appears asking if you want to download that particular region. Click on ‘download’.
or:
  • Click the menu at the bottom of the right-hand icon (the vertical bars). Go to 'downloaded maps' and search for the country of your choice. This way you can load a complete country at one time.
The app is ready for use!

Now you can use the map but you will also want to get the Camino trackfiles and maybe also your Caminos’ accommodations!


Route and Accommodations

 

At santiago.nl (the website of the Dutch Confraternity of Saint James) you will find KMZ and GPX files that show all the pilgrim routes in different countries. From the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal and the Spanish Camino Frances and the Invierno there are also files that show you where you can sleep. Maps.me and Google Earth use KMZ file, most other apps and devices use GPX files.

 

But before downloading, you can also check these tracks and accommodations on this webpage. You can move, zoom and enlarge the map. If you click exactly on any route, you will see the name, start- and ending place and distance of that camino. For the accommodations you can tick the boxes below the map.

 

If you are looking for more tracks, there are many other sites with GPS tracks like www.wikiloc.com and www.gpsies.com

 

For downloading and installing tracks from the website of the Dutch Confraternity of Saint James (NGSJ), follow these steps:

For the routes

  • Take your smartphone and browse to the download page of this website. This page is in Dutch, but on the top you can (google)translate it to English or any other language.
  • Scroll down to the country from which you want the file. Then in the top (with green) bar you see ‘Pelgrimswegen’ or ‘Pilgrim Routes’ in English. For Maps.me choose the KMZ or KML file, for other apps the GPX file.
  • Some GPX file might be zipped. Your phone might not be able to unzipp the file. In that case you will first need to download it to your computer, unzipp it and then transfer (e.g. mail) it to your phone.
  • The download will take only a few seconds. Then pull down the menu from the top of your smartphone and click 'download completed'. The first time, your smartphone will ask you to complete 'action with' or 'open with'.
  • On almost any smartphone, you'll see the 'Maps.me' logo. (and/or any other app which is installed) Click on the app of your choice. For an Iphone or Ipad it is possible that you first see a text. Press the bottom right of the three dots above each other. A menu with ‘Open in Safari’ (or any other browser you use) appears at the bottom. Click this and the text ‘Open with (your app)' appears. Click on it.
  • It is important to install the app before downloading these files!

Now go to the app Maps.me (or other) and to the country of your downloaded route, then you'll see all the Caminos in that country. If you zoom, you'll see every route up to street level.

 

For sleeping accomodations

So far there is a file for the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugese coastal route, the Spanish Camino Frances and the Invierno which contains accommodations. Check the version date of these files regularly. Regular updates will appear. These files are also in GPX and in KML format.

 

So: (I repeat part of the steps from above)

  • Take your smartphone and browse to the download page of this website. This page is in Dutch, but on the right top you can (google)translate it in English or any other language.
  • Scroll down to the country from which you want the file. Then in the second (with red) bar you see ‘Overnachtingen’ or ‘Overnight stays’ in English. For each app you can download here a specific file. You will also see a version date.
  • The download will only take a few seconds. Then pull down the menu from the top of your smartphone and click ‘download completed’. The first time, your smartphone will ask you to complete 'action with' or 'open with'.
  • On almost any smartphone , you'll see now the 'Maps.me' logo. (and/or any other app which is installed) Click on the app of your choice. For an Iphone or Ipad: you may see a text. Press the bottom right of the three dots above each other. A menu with ‘Open in Safari’ (or any other browser you use) appears at the bottom. Click this and the text ‘Open with Maps.me (or any other installed app) appears. Click on it.
  • It is important to install the app before downloading these files.
  • Now go to the Maps.me (or any other app) and zoom in to the downloaded country. You will see many coloured dots or flags. Each one represents a place to stay, if you click on it you will see more information about that accomodation. Except from the Spanish and Portuguese files, all the information is only available in Dutch. Once you translate some of it,  most of the text will become clear.
  • Also possible: Download the PDF version of these files. These can be printed or taken as a file in your phone.
We hope you're as enthusiastic about these files as we are. Please help us to improve and to update! We would like to see your feedback, additions and improvements through the ‘feedback’ button you will see inside the app or by email at overnachtingen@santiago.nl (can be in English, German of Dutch).
 
 
Buen Camino y buenas noches!