More free GPS apps

Free maps with GPS marks and some marine park boundaries - no app installation required.

Test these apps out before relying on them.

For Android phones (big brother is watching)

Android device manager:

This is an app for finding lost or stolen phones. It comes pre-installed and should be active by default. It requires a google/gmail account associated with the device, GPS, location services and data on (mobile or wifi). You can access this from any other computer or device.

Google maps:

In google maps on your device, tap and hold any location on screen to view GPS mark. This does not appear to work when viewing saved route.

Google maps timeline:

Search for "google maps timeline" and click on the appropriate result rather than entering the URL above, otherwise you get a different (less useful) interface.

This only works on your device, however you can donwload the data from anywhere (see below). Requires GPS, location and location history on. Select the calendar icon at the top and choose a day. The map will display where you went on that day.

There is no simple way to retrieve GPS coordinates. The hard way is to download the data via google takeout. This can be done from your computer rather than your phone. Sign in with the google/gmail accunt linked to the phone. Go to:

  • select none to disable everything else
  • select location history and change the format to kml via the two dropdown menus
  • next
  • keep defaults (zip, email link)
  • create archive
  • a download button will appear once the archive is ready

Download the data, unzip it and find the kml file. You can inspect the file directly if you know how.

Next, use your computer to go to google's "my maps" app:

  • sign in (any account will do)
  • create new map (red button up top)
  • import
  • select file
  • wait for upload
  • zoom in to area of interest
  • add a marker (upside down water droplet icon)
  • click a location on the map
  • save

The GPS coordinates appear at the bottom of the information box.


Navionics have a free navigator app. It is similar to a commerical 'in boat' GPS navigator. The maps you get with the free version are very coarse. You can get deailed maps for what looks like a reasonable price. A lot of the features prompt you to buy something.

Install the free navionics app from google store or the navionics website.

Start the app. To get a GPS coordinate:

  • tap and hold any location to put a cross-hair on the centre of the screen
  • drag map so location of interest is under cursor
  • hit question mark to show coordinates and bring up more options
  • select add to favourites and add either selected point on map or current GPS position as a marker

Navionics will also track your movements in a similar way to google maps history (see above) but with much finer resolution. To start the tracking, hit the start button at the bottom of the screen, then hit stop and save when you are done. Note that this may drain your battery rapidly. To view your history:

  • menu
  • tracks
  • select track

Use the method above to show a particular GPS coordinate. To export data to google maps:

  • menu
  • tracks
  • select white/blue arrow to right of track
  • share
  • email (tick box)
  • share (scroll down)
  • select gmail
  • send to self

You will get a kmz file. This is a zipped kml file. There is no need to unzip it. Use the second half of the instructions above (for google maps timeline) to upload the kmz file into google's "my maps".