Memory Map – A User Guide

I’ve been a Memory Map user for several years now and I’ve helped quite a few people get to grips with the idiosyncrasies of the program, because although it’s a Windows application, it doesn’t behave like one in several important ways. The help I’ve provided has spawned a parallel user guide to the one that’s provided by Memory Map – one that covers some of the issues that first time users come across and struggle to find answers for in the MM Help files and on-line manual.

I’ve decided to publish the guide on this blog, as a series of posts that, taken together, create a user guide for Memory Map. Click the section headings below to jump to that part of the guide, or click number 1 and walk through them logically.

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13 thoughts on “Memory Map – A User Guide”

  1. This is a great reference document and far more user friendly than the Memory-Map official guides. Do you have a downloadable verion in something like PDF format as I find it easier to read a guide with Memory-Map open in front of me rather than skipiing between screen. Either way it’s a great piece of work.

    1. Mark, this is something I’ve been considering since I released the guide, but never quite got around to producing. Now you’ve reminded me, I may well buck my ideas up and get this done. I will let you know if and when it’s ready. Cheers, Stuart

  2. Hi there

    I totally agree with your comments on MM, having used it since 2004 I would have hoped it got better by now but the Android version and it’s user interface is dire. I have been forced into Android because Windows mobile is no more and it has been a fight all the way. Now using a Ublox GPS receiver and bluetooth transmitter in a homemade enclosure to overcome all the errors and poor performance of the phones GPS but my choice of an app to replace MM is hard. The issue is that MM and Locus can both use the phones Bluetooth as the data source with location services turned off and battery life is good. Os maps is a good product but uses location services and this really impacts battery life. There are some apps that take the bluetooth input and give it to location services as a mock location so the navigation app uses this data via location services as a so called get around but what a messy way of handling data. Why not just use the bluetooth input directly, it is a question I have yet failed to get a sound answer, do you have any thoughts or further explanation. I believe Viewranger uses this odd long winded approach, can you confirm?

    Thanks Roy

    1. Roy, I can’t really comment on using an external GPS device and connecting to it over Bluetooth – not used that approach for many years, back when I was using an HP iPaq handheld device. My feeling is that the Bluetooth connection is likely just as much a drain on the battery as using the GPS on the phone itself, but have nothing to back that up. I’ve been using ViewRanger for a few years now, on a number of different mobile handsets and it’s always worked flawlessly. If I’m out for a long day, or multi-day walk I switch the phone into flight mode and then switch GPS back on. On average VR uses about 15-20% battery even when it’s recording a track all day. For £25 a year you get all the UK OS maps at both 1:25k and 1:50k scale on up to 4 devices. The web version is not a patch on MM however and I still use MM on my desktop computer. When I need a route on my phone I export a GPX file from MM, send it to my phone over Google Drive and import it into VR. When I’m in the hills I use two phones, one in my backpack recording the route on VR and one in my pocket, also with VR but not recording. That allows for one device to fail and the other is a backup. To date, never had a device fail me, but I’d rather be safe than sorry!
      Hope some of that helps!
      Cheers, Stuart

      1. thanks for the reply, and at this moment in time I am still using an Hp Ipaq as it has never let me down and the Sirf lll Gps in it is fantastic plus the MM software is ok. I have tried taking the ipaq and this ruggex phone on a short walk not far from me at Crummock and the old Ipaq is just so much more accurate and fast at initial lock, this aspect of it I understand hence why the external GPS. I will experiment with Viewranger and see how I get on, it is incredable how the price of maps has fallen to just £25 a year, you can also probably remember having to spend a fair sum just to get a given area like the lakes. I am seeking someone now who is involved in the Android OS to give more info, Android is all new to me and the last OS I was actively involved in supporting was NT4, gives my age away!

        thanks Roy

        1. Good luck Roy, hope you manage to get this sorted. I’m a veteran of IBM OS/2 and Windows NT too – fond memories! The beauty of Android is that it’s pretty much a black box and all you need to worry about is configuring the app. I’ve found VR picks up a sat fix pretty quickly and once you start to record the track, it rarely drops out – sometimes I find accuracy can be a bit sketcky in trees, but it’s still accurate enough to navigate with. There is a free 7-day trial available I think, so maybe give that a go. Cheers, Stuart

  3. Hi Stuart, Many thanks for your excellent MM user guide. I wish I’d come across it sooner – the air might have been less blue as I struggled to get on with it. I’ve managed to womble my way through most of the functions I’ve needed, but found myself over and over wishing for a ‘print preview’ option. This is what I was searching for when I came across your guide. I am one of those people who choose to print a selected area onto a single sheet of paper (because my 7 – 9 mile circular walks usually fit nicely onto an A4 page) but want to see what I’m going to get before hitting the print button. I’ve wasted lots of paper and ink as my selected area mustn’t have fit the space available and my walk has been unhelpfully cropped by MM. I don’t think there is a print preview option is there?

    Thanks again for your guide, I’m planning to work my way through it for other nuggets to help me make the best of MM.

    1. Cathy – if you right click your route and select “Operations > Print Route” from the pop-up menu you will get the Print dialog box, where you can select your print options (map scale, relief shading, etc) – click the [Continue] button on this dialog and you now get to move the green box around the screen to select the area to print. At this point, in the toolbar you should get the Printer icon and beside it is the Print Preview icon. You can choose to print the preview, or drop out and start the print process again. I’ll update the guide to include this!
      Let me know how you get on.

      1. Thanks Stuart, have got it now. Ye-hey! I was being a dipstick and not recognising the Print Preview icon; saw the magnifying glass in the icon and thought ‘search’. That’s been a great help and will reduce my frustration levels enormously.

        Best wishes, Cathy

  4. Hi Chris & Stuart,
    This is because the “Eastings” that are drawn on an OS map (I assume you are using Ordnance Survey) are not actually lines of constant Latitude. If this seems a little surprising at first, then get out a paper map (assuming that you’ve still got some around) and have a look at the borders of the map – these mark both the latitude and longitude against the OS grid. For example, one sheet of OL 2 (Yorkshire Dales) has Lat 54 deg 18 min at Northing 4896 at the top left, and at Northing 4894 at the top right. You can see that there’s a Northing difference of 0002.

    So why is this? It’s because of the map projection used by the Ordnance Survey, which is Transverse Mercator. The distortion Chris noted increases the further east or west of the “true origin” of the projection, which is at 2 deg West. This true origin is the same across the whole of the OS grid and minimises the average distortion by being approximately midway between the east and west-most parts of the area mapped by the OS.

    None of this matters particularly to walkers because the track legs we use are relatively short and our compasses (and sometimes our skill sets) are not overly accurate. Aviators and mariners use much longer legs and use maps with different projections as a result (mariners use Mercator, and I guess aviators do also).

  5. Hi Stuart Could I ask a quick Memory Map V5 question? When using the track feature to do a bearing,when you draw a track along an Easting it reads 088 instead of 090 and 178 instead of 180 when running it down a Northing. This is with mode/ units/ magnetic variation set to zero. What am I doing wrong! Many thanks Chris Power

    1. Chris, bloody good question! I’ve never noticed it – mine is slightly different. Shows 89 for easting and 179 for northing, also with MV set to 0.
      If I set MV to 1.0 W I get 90 and 180
      If I set MV to 2.0 W (which is about what we should be at the moment I think) I get 91 and 181
      Don’t think that helps you very much, but interesting nonetheless 🙂

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