Every year since 1926, Impruneta, a small town in the heart of the Chianti area of Tuscany, has it’s annual “Festa dell’Uva” or “Grape Festival” which I can only think to compare to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.
Before our trip, I poked around online to find out about any events that would be going on during our visit and found a random site that listed the festival, which from the looks of it seemed like just a fun thing to do on a Sunday. I envisioned something like an Italian farmer’s market, with perhaps a heavy focus on grapes. Boy was I in for a surprise…
As we followed a rural side road off of already rural SR 222, we noticed that the sides of the narrow back country twisty road were starting to fill with parked cars. There were no signs for any event, or any indication of what was up ahead.
After reviewing a bunch of options for “offline” GPS use on my Android phone, I settled on NavDroyd, a paid, albeit powerful looking application that didn’t need to be online for anything.
Using just the built-in GPS and offline Open Street Map data that you download and update from their servers for free from within the app, you can do all the normal GPS functions like look for points of interest, get driving directions, have it read out turn by turn directions while showing you on the map, etc…
There wasn’t a good way to test how it would work in Italy, so I downloaded all the maps and data for Italy (under 100MB in their compressed form), played around, simulated drives, and got comfortable with the interface.
After August’s 2 week trip to Africa and not having net access with my Incredible (running Android), I wanted to find a solution that let me pull maps and have them cached offline. With my upcoming trip to Italy, now seems like a good time to test a solution.
There are a ton of paid options, but I’m looking for a free offline map option. The best one so far seems to be MyDroid which is currently downloading maps onto my phone.
At first glance, the maps seem great, but there’s no search or routing options available. Seems good for finding yourself on a map and navigating the old school way, but not much more.
MyDroyd is their companion product that does some routing, but is limited to certain published cities. Boo.
NavDroyd, another companion product that is currently €4.99, that seems to offer turn-by-turn, offline, driving and walking directions. This might be the win.
Oddly, the apps don’t share the same map data, so you have to store multiple copies of maps for apps from the same company – and the map files are BIG! (Italy is 68MB alone)
After I return from Italy, I’ll post on how it all worked out. In the mean time, any suggestions for alternate apps?