A couple of years ago, we reviewed the Trimble GPS Pack for Sprint Nextel phones and found the mobile GPS solution a great way for outdoor enthusiasts to navigate and track their trips from their cell phone. Well, Trimble Outdoors is expanding its footprint and has brought its application to Verizon Wireless phones.
The application is available on a number of the carrier's handsets (you can check for supported phones at Trimble's Web site ) and costs $5.99 per month or $1.99 per day (for 24 hours). However, unlike Sprint's version, you only get one application, Trimble Outdoors, and not the whole GPS Pack, which also includes AllSport GPS and Geocache Navigator. While the last two programs cater a little more to a niche market, we still missed them and enjoyed having the capability to record workouts and access caches.
Of the three, however, Trimble Outdoors provides the most useful set of tools and to the broadest set of users. The navigation program offers maps of your location in various formats--street, aerial, topographic, or marine--and tracks your movements like a breadcrumb trail with the capability to mark waypoints along the way. You can then navigate to any marked points or run your route backward if you need help getting back to your starting point. A digital compass is also available with coordinate readings, speed, and heading.
Aside from the phone application, there's a Web component to which you can upload any trip information that you recorded and then view your tracks on Google Earth, or add photographs, video, or audio notes to your trip summary and share them online with friends. In addition, you can plan trips from your PC and send routes directly to your cell phone.