“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”
OnXmaps Mobile App Review
I’ll start by giving you a little backstory and history. I have been a Garmin fan and user for many years now. Probably since one of my best friends from college and hunting partners started working for them shortly after the turn of the millennium. I now spend regular time hunting Colorado with a few of the Garmin employees and needless to say, we all have Garmin units in our possession. Earlier this year I decided to invest in a new unit and started researching what Garmin had to offer. Obviously my first call was to my friends in the office.
During my research time I caught a Podcast episode on Randy Newberg’s Hunt Talk Radio with Eric Siegfried and Rob Hart. This is when my research and planning took an unexpected hard left turn. I was familiar with cards by state and recognized the OnXmaps name, but knew just enough to be dangerous. What I wasn’t ready for was all the R&D that was going into their mobile app. Immediately I shifted gears and started thinking about all the advantages and benefits of such an effective product. Recognizing the major advancements that smart phones are continually undergoing I was intrigued. Though I did recently hear that “dumb phones” (yes, they have officially titled the devices we all grew up with before Steve Jobs brought us out of the dark ages and into the light) sales are on the rise and Iphone sales are declining. I started my investigation online with their site, tutorials, and customer reviews. I followed that up with a call to customer service to get the “warm & fuzzy” that the mobile app was the way to go vs. the card and GPS unit. The team member that I spoke with was very informative, helpful and aided in mapping the path I was already on (pun intended).
With an upcoming KS spring turkey hunt to a new area, I decided this would be a perfect time to burn my 7day free trial. As the trip was only a couple days, I download the product a few days early to familiarize myself with it before my travel. Prior to my trip I had secured some private ground to hunt on and had researched some of the Kansas Walk In Hunting Area nearby in that section. I also downloaded the ArcGIS app by ESRI that was recommended by the state of Kansas for mapping information.
Once I made it to the field, I put the app to work. I will start with the pro’s. First off, the private ground I was hunting on was not uniform or continuous so the app was worth its weight in gold mapping the properties and providing me with the knowledge of where I could and could not hunt. I was very specific in validating it at some gates, road crossings, and property corners. I wasn’t questioning the gps location as much as I was questioning the boundary lines that OnXmaps displayed in association with my gps and known location. In all cases, OnXmaps was spot on! The other positive I found was the imagery that OnXmaps uses was very good imagery. Being a new location for me, this was beneficial to help me plan and execute my hunt.
I always prefer to get the negative first, but in this case I felt it was well shadowed by the positive and deserved a very back seat on the bus. More for information, the ArcGIS coverage and display of the KS WIHA kicks their butt, but that didn’t surprise me being that KS recommends them as their map provider. For all I know, they may provide the state of KS with all their electronic mapping. The other negative I experienced, one time for just a couple minutes the OnXmaps froze and said no service was available. To be fair, I did not “download” the maps and figured that even in north central KS, Dorthy and Toto could provide service. The only reason I mention this is because the ArcGIS map worked in that short window of cyberspace travel.
With all that said, again I am very pleased with the product. As an RMEF (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) member you get a free 12 month membership of OnXmaps premium hunt app for mobile devices and I will be utilizing this on my upcoming CO elk hunt. For more information on this great offer, here is the link.
Hunt Hard or Stay in Bed