By Jamie Ferguson
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
GB Locate allows conversion to and from Latitude/Longitude to OS National Grid reference for Great Britain (OSGB36). This application can also display your current grid location, latitude/longitude and altitude by using the built in GPS services.
This application proves useful if you have found somewhere on an OS map and want to input the location into a satellite navigation system, or if you are lost and trying to locate yourself on a plain old fashioned map. Most navigation systems only support Latitude/Longitude format which can be difficult to use, by converting to national grid it makes the process easier with most maps showing the national grid scale along the axis, a must for the avid walker.
Conversion is simple, enter your latitude/longitude or national grid reference, hit calculate and your done. The conversion process uses the OSTN02* database consisting of over 300'000 waypoints, to provide accurate results. No network connectivity is required for the conversion so this can be used in the most isolated of locations.
Alternatively select the current location tab and within seconds your location will be displayed in both formats including an estimated altitude (for altitude data you will need an iPhone 3G and a clear view of the sky).
It is possible to customise the number of digits used for the national grid reference and the following latitude/longitude formats are supported:-
For more information on the National Grid Reference system for Great Britain take a look at the Ordinance Survey guide: http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/gps/information/coordinatesystemsinfo/guidetonationalgrid/index.html
This application only supports the National Grid Reference for Great Britain and therefore positions outside this area cannot be converted to a grid code. However it is still possible to use the current location screen to display your latitude/longitude and altitude.
Location information may not always be available and will require network connectivity on 1st generation iPhone's. iPod touch's require wi-fi connection and the local routers to be listed in the Skyhook database.
* This software is using the OSTN02 transformation, this is (c) Crown copyright 2002. All rights reserved.
Great app but can you add SMS out capabilities
I have been using the app today while out walking with our Scouts, to keep the support car up to date with our location. It would be great if you could set up either a way to send to SMS by presetting a recipient. Obviously to protect privacy this should not be an automatic send, but one requiring action, but it would save having to remember the reference, or try to write it down while walking. It is however the most polished grid ref app out there.
Brilliant Addition to iPhone
This app is so simple, yet adds so much to the iPhone if you are a hillwalker or rambler, as you can see precisely where you are, in co-ordinates that can transfer to an OS map. I've checked its features against another GPS device, owned by my husband, and it's even more accurate than that device (as it gives more decimal placings)! This is not an app for mass appeal, but sits comfortabley in its niche.
At last, Grid Positions! There are some excellent Apps. here that track your location etc. but all display in Lat/Long. Unless you are a mariner this is useless! For mountaineers/Fell walkers this App. is just what is needed! I hope others follow suit and provide Grid Positions. Have found this APP. to be excellent, well done Jamie!