Avenza Maps provides several different ways of using your device to navigate, create tracks, and orient yourself on a map. Several of these tools and resources, along with how they can be used are discussed below.
Bearing Compass Heading Course
The Bearing value is strictly used in conjunction with the navigation activity. This means the bearing value will not populate until the user is in an active tracking activity such as walking. Unless a placemark, line or track map feature is under navigation, a bearing value will not be calculated. When navigating a line, track or placemark feature the bearing value is calculated by measuring the angle between your current location and the feature being navigated. This makes the bearing relative to your current location. The image above has been overlaid to demonstrate this.
By using your current location to produce this value, there is no dependence on whether Magnetic North or True North is selected in the Avenza Maps settings menu.
The compass widget can be found in the center of the location and tracking panels, and also on the navigation panel while running a navigation activity. The compass presents a heading readout value in the center of the dial. The compass heading uses the magnetometer within your device to determine which direction the top of your device is facing relative to North. By default, the app uses True North as a reference point, but this can be changed to Magnetic North via Avenza Maps Map View Settings. The compass heading value is independent of either of the values in the Bearing or Course fields. For best results, first, calibrate the compass and place it on a flat level surface when taking readings. The image below highlights where the compass heading is presented. As an example, the outlined value of 240° would indicate the top of the device was facing in an approximate Southerly direction, in the image above.
The course field found to the right of the compass widget uses device location fix updates to report your current direction of travel. As your position changes and you continue to move in any direction, the course value continuously updates to report your current travel direction. Like the Bearing field, this value is relative to your position. When stationary, the course value will remain blank. The course value does not require an active navigation or tracking activity and will populate as long as you are receiving location updates and changing locations.
For navigation purposes, you will reach your destination as quickly as possible by aligning your course value (i.e. changing your direction of travel) to match the Bearing value. This may not always be possible due to geographical obstructions in your local surroundings. From the image below, the course value signifies the user is currently traveling at 91°, an East North-East direction.
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