July 20, 2019

The Atopo map application for android

This was derived from my "gtopo" map application (written in the C language) for linux. Like any Android application, it is coded in Java, not that you are likely to care. I offer an "apk" file that you can download and install on your android. I don't put this on the Android Playstore because I don't distribute the necessary map files here (yet anyway). I don't want people downloading the application then wondering why it is useless.

How to install this

First of all, you are going to have to trust me and fiddle the setting in your android to allow "install from unknown sources". If you don't trust me, that is fine, I don't really care.

I am pilot testing this on my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone (running Android 4.4.2).

Find "Settings", then go to "more" -- "Security" -- "Unknown sources" and check the checkbox (you can go back and uncheck this after you install atopo).

Now, launch some browser (I use Chrome) and navigate to this very page you are reading right now and select one of the above links. Chrome warns me that this can damage my device, but I say OK (I trust myself).

Get out of the browser and find the "Downloads" app. Bringing this up should show you "atopo.apk". Tap it and it should offer to install it. Click "open" and you should be running it.

If the map looks microscopic, bring up the menu and select "Zoom 2.0". If this happens, it is because the default zoom of 1.0 is appropriate for a high resolution tablet, not a phone.

Installing from source

You don't even want to think about this -- this is really a cheat sheet to remind me how to do this.

Setting up the maps

This is a bigger job than installing the app by far. I have all of my map files on hard disk on my linux system, and wrote a ruby script to copy the files to an SD card in a USB card reader that I then transfer into my phone. Note that I completely rearrange the file layout and this requires moving hundreds if not thousands of files around.

Atopo on a phone without a card slot

If you have enough internal storage to hold the maps, there is no reason why this would not work. However, nobody (in particular not me) has done this yet, and this is a work in progress. The big hurdle is getting the maps onto the phone. An "app" called termux allows an sshd server to be run on the phone along with many other useful things.
Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Atopo / tom@mmto.org