follow up on navigation question

BH 's Avatar


30 Jun, 2020 07:04 PM

Thank you for your reply on my previous navigation question. In your reply you indicated that the arrow points toward the top of the phone. As I hold my phone and rotate it in the horizontal plane, the arrow or bearing line is always pointing somewhere toward the left hand side of the screen. The direction of the arrow changes as the phone is rotated in the horizontal plane, but it moves between the 9 o'clock to 11 o'clock position of the screen. I am having a hard time relating the direction of the arrow to either north or to the direction my phone is pointing. Can you tell me how the direction the arrow points relates to my direction of travel (holding the phone in front of me facing straight ahead) or how the arrow relates to north?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Julie on 30 Jun, 2020 07:53 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    The arrow doesn't point to the top of the phone, but rather shows what direction on the map the top of your phone is pointing. For example, if I am standing facing due east and holding the phone in front of me as I normally would to read the screen, the top of the screen would be north on my map, but the arrow should be pointing to my right, or east on the map.

    If you are trying to use it out of the plane of the phone being horizontal, I'm not sure how it will behave, though I suspect that the back of the phone (opposite the screen) would then become the "top" of the phone.

    CalTopo is using the internal compass on your phone. It's performance in the app will depend on how your internal phone compass is calibrated. Consider downloading a dedicated compass app for your phone (iPhones have a built in app, some android ones do, but you can also find lists of great compass apps by searching) in order to get a sense of what effects different motions and orientation you apply to your phone (ie how you are holding it) will do to the compass.

    Sometimes the phone compass needs to be calibrated. Sometimes the phone setup process handles this, but other times you have to initiate it, or re-calibrate it occasionally. The performance of the compass will also depend on the quality of the compass in your phone.

    The orientation of the map in CalTopo doesn't change. The top of the screen is always north. This includes if you turn the phone sideways and have auto-rotate turned on. The map will re-orient so that the long edge of the phone is now north on the map.

    Hope that helps!

  2. Julie closed this discussion on 30 Jun, 2020 07:53 PM.

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