Les Dolomites Italiennes

Quick Start Guide GPS

Do you want to use your Smartphone (or tablet) as a high performance GPS navigation digital map during your stay in the Dolomites ?

 Based on our long practice, here is a quick start guide 🙂 !


If your smartphone has a GPS, Follow these 4 steps:

     [1] Download a GPS navigation App and set it up:

1.1 Download a GPS navigation App

DiaporamaSite (15)Search for “GPS navigation” on Google Play Store, on Apple Store,  … (depending on the device OS) .

Among the results, you should select Apps dedicated to outdoor activities like hiking.

These criteria will help you:

  • price : free or small fee.
  • ability to install free maps: OpenStreetMap provides multiple high quality maps.
  • off-line navigation: mandatory to avoid roaming costs and lack of gsm signal.
  • user’s reviews: check for usability and stability comments on the app.

DiaporamaSite (65)       –> For Android Smartphone, we do recommend OruxMaps (Jose Vazquez).

Download and install the App: 

       –> Here is the guide for OruxMap:

1.2 Set the App parameters

Be patient, take your time, read the author website forums, the online help, the FAQ and the manual. Don’t give up !

       –> For OruxMaps, we have the first steps and settings documented:


     [2] Importing a Dolomites’ map

DiaporamaSite (24)The reference site for free European maps is OpenStreetMap.

Your favourite app 🙂 , should provide the maps download links.

       –> For OruxMaps, you will download maps from the partner site: 

Import a free Dolomites digital map


     [3] Downloading .gpx files into the smartphone

Offered with our books, the .gpx files contain: Traces + WayPoints.

To understand the concepts, read further the article WayPoints, Routes, Tracks.

       –> For OruxMaps, please read: Import our traces


DiaporamaSite (64)     [4] A navigation App, a map, traces to follow.. Your Smartphone-Tablet is ready for use as a high performance GPS on your vacation trails. 🙂 )

       –> For OruxMaps, please read:


A few hints :

  • Test several Navigation Apps, until it suits you. Don’t give up!
  • Continuous use of a GPS App, especially in recording mode, will dramatically drain your smartphone battery. Provision External Battery Packs.
  • You may have to install an external SDcard to fit the maps large size.
  • Be careful not to follow blindly your GPS on the trail, as it may fail due to the lack of signal.
  • For your safety, make also use of our choice of paper maps to pack with a compass in your backpack.

Suivez le guide !