HomeiOS usersAppendixGetting Started Guide (v4.5 of ViewRanger)

1. Getting Started Guide (v4.5 of ViewRanger)

ViewRanger runs on both the iPhone and the iPad running iOS 4.3 or above.
To obtain a position fix, Assisted GPS location service is required.
Where we refer to the iPhone in our documentation, the same applies to the iPad.
The iPad has a split screen where the Organizer occupies the left of the screen, the map occupies the rest.
ViewRanger is no longer supported on the iPhone 3G.

Software versions

There are three versions of the app; Open, Premium, and USA.  All versions of the software are exactly the same.  Premium comes bundled with initial premium map credit and USA with our premium USA Unlimited online mapping.  

Map screen

  1. Map screen
    Location bar: Showing coordinates and status infomation.
  2. Selection highlight: A red box is drawn around the selected object, in this case a POI (Point Of Interest), indicated by the gold dot.
  3. Offset handle: Use the offset handle to move a POI or a Route waypoint. If you need to modify its position then press and drag this button. If the POI/Waypoint is locked, then the handle will not be displayed.
  4. Navigation target range circles: Outer circle indicates where Arrival Alarm would sound. Inner circle indicates where next target would be selected (if following a route).
  5. Navigation hint: A dotted line is drawn between current position and next navigation target.
  6. Heading arrow: When you are moving a red arrow will be drawn showing your heading, with its length is proportional to speed.
  7. GPS Crosshair: The current position. Red indicates an accurate GPS fix. Grey indicates an out-of-date or inaccurate position (check titlebar position text for further information).
  8. Navigation arrow: Points to next Navigation target. Tap to access Navigation menu options.
  9. Track: Displays trip information and press to access track control and trip views (in the screen shot marked 8, on right side).
  10. Route: A route is a list of waypoints, which mark out a planned trip. It is blue when not selected and red when selected.
  11. Scale bar: Dynamically drawn scale bar based on current map zoom level.
  12. Compass: The compass shows the direction that is north.
  13. Zoom: Use the Zoom in button to zoom in on the centre of the map, or where you last selected. You can also zoom in by stretching (reverse pinch), or by double tapping. The Zoom out button zooms out to show more of the map. It may also change map scale. You can also zoom out by pinching or by doing a single two finger tap.
  14. GPS: Starts using the GPS. It moves the map to be centred on your GPS location. The map will follow your GPS location. If you move the map using the screen the map will stop moving with the GPS location, but the GPS location will still move across the map. In this example image, the compass is also displayed.
  15. Search: Search for nearby routes or places.
  16. Options: This button shows a context sensitive menu, which contains things you can do in the map window. With nothing selected it allows you to create a point-of-interest or a route; to search for routes; or download a map tile. If you select (outline turns red when you select an object) a point, route or track it contains commands that apply to the selected item such as Details (which shows a description of the item) and edit commands.
  17. Home menu: Press this button to access the Organizer where your data is stored and settings.

Pressing the phones home button put the app into background, keeps GPS on, recording the track and allows the screen to dim.

Map preferences


Options, Preferences gathers control of how the map appears such as Night vision, to hide the scale bar, and many others.

Retina Display

The retina display control for premium maps can be found under Home menu > (in top bar), Settings, Map settings, Magnification and for Online maps Home key > (top right), Settings, Online maps, Magnification.
Default magnification for Premium maps is 100% and 200% for Online maps as the labels on Online maps are too small to read at retina size.
When the slider is set to 100% this is retina size.
Magnification is not available on iPad, iPad 2 or iPhone 3 / 3GS. It is on iPad 3 and iPhone 4* and above.

200% magnification Default 100% magnification
(red square denotes 200%)

Map Interaction

To pan around the map drag it with your finger. You can zoom in and out of the map by pinching or using the zoom buttons (+ -).
You can also zoom in by double tapping, and zoom out by doing a single two finger tap.
As you zoom in and out ViewRanger will change the scale of map displayed to best match the current zoom.
Map view includes fixed visible cross-hair at the centre of the screen, together with numeric coordinate on display and an on-screen map scale bar.

Coordinate Entry

Coordinate entry

To enter coordinates manually, press the top location bar that displays the current map location coordinates.
Tapping on the active coordinate type displays a selection list of coordinate types
When creating a POI or a Route Waypoint, you can use Enter coordinates button option to specify the coordinates manually.
To modify the location of existing POI(s) and Waypoint(s), use the Edit, Manual location view and the Set position option.

Action bar 

When you select a route, point of interest (POI), waypoint or track, a 'action bar' appears at the top of the map screen.
This contains the name of the item, and a few other details such as the name of a route (if the item is a waypoint), the length of the route or track, or the coordinates if it is a POI.
It also contains a number of buttons, which access actions like edit and details. These replace the previous menu button or press and hold. Tap 'More' to see further buttons.
To hide the action bar deselect the item by tapping the map in space, or drag the grey handle up the screen.

Action Bar Lists 

To see lists of all your items drag the grey handle, on the action bar, right down the screen. Swipe left to right to switch between lists of tracks, routes and POIs. Tap an item to jump to it on the map.

Action bar Action list


The Maps section of the Organizer lists all your maps, grouped by country.
If you select a map you can see a summary of its details. Press View to see the map in the map view.
Use this list to change country.

Initial Overview Map

When you first start ViewRanger it will start in free online OpenMaps. You can swap to premium mapping and download a free overview map via the Home key > (in top bar), Store. Just tap on a country and download a free overview map.
You can download more maps using the Store.

Store – Downloading Maps

The Store section of the menu is where you can download additional maps and other content. Some of the content, such as the overview maps, are free.
To download a map go to Home menu > (in top bar), Store. When the category list appears go into your chosen country. Tap on a map to see a preview, then press Download if you wish to purchase. Click OK to confirm. The maps will download automatically and you'll see a progress panel. Once the map has downloaded press View to see the map. Additional map purchases are charged to your google account.

Premium map tile download

You need a basic overview map before you can download map tiles. You can download a free one via Home menu > (in top bar), Store.
To download detailed map tiles tap go into Home menu > (in top bar), Store, then your country, and tap on one of the grid items. Alternatively from the map view press Options and choose Get tiles, then select a scale.
You'll be transferred to the map view with the download grid shown. Red tiles have not been downloaded to the phone, green tiles have. Use the zoom + if you cannot see the grid.
To download a tile tap a square so its border is bold red, then press Download. Once the tile is downloaded its square will go green - zoom in + to see the map.
To download all the map tiles currently on screen with a solid border press Tile and choose Area then Download. If too many tiles are on screen the server may tell you the area is too large – in that case zoom in to download fewer tiles.

Select tile to download Zoom in on downloaded tile

Online mapping

ViewRanger can display free online mapping from Open Street Map and Open Cycle Map.
The maps are downloaded automatically as they are needed and are then cached on the phone. If the mobile network is not available, or if you choose to work offline, then ViewRanger will display as much of the map as it can using the cached tiles.
You can pre-save an area of Open map, for later use offline, using the Create saved map feature.
Choose Home menu > (in top bar), Organizer, Maps then select Online maps. You will be presented with a list of online map sources to select from. (If you do not see the list of Online maps, go first to Home menu > (in top bar), Store, allow the list to update, then go back to Maps.)
To use the maps simply pan and zoom, map tiles are downloaded as you need them.
Choose Home menu > (in top bar), select Settings and then Online maps for the Online setting – when switched on, ViewRanger downloads map tiles as they are needed using the wifi or mobile internet connection. When switched off, ViewRanger will only display maps that are already found within the Map cache.

Maps in screen grabs © 2010
CloudMade or Open Cycle Map
Map data CCBYSA 2010
OpenStreetMap.org contributors
Terms of Use

Premium Online Maps

USGB map

Online topographic mapping is now available for USA, Canada, France or Belgium. These are included with the USA edition and for other versions must be purchased and activated before use.
Choose Home menu > (in top bar), Organizer, Maps then select Online maps.
You will be presented with a list of online map sources to select from.
To use the maps simply pan and zoom, map tiles are downloaded as you need them.
You can pre-save an area of Unlimited online map, for later use offline, using the Create saved map feature.


Create Saved Map (for Open and Premium online maps)

Create saved map

Some online maps can now be saved as user defined areas at the required zoom layer levels. Once created, they can be accessed from the My saved maps.
To activate map selection, choose the Create saved map option from the Options button.
The grid will enable you to choose single tiles or mutlitple tiles by dragging an area on the screen. Once you are satified with the selection then press the green-tick button.
This will download and cache the map area for later off line use.

View maps offline

Choose Options and toggle to offline. ViewRanger will now display as much of the Unlimited map as it can using the saved maps you have created.

Upgrading to Premium Maps

You can purchase premium maps, such as Ordnance Survey, and Premium Online USA, Canada and France maps with Home menu > (in top bar), Store.


First of all, check that the Location Services is set to On for ViewRanger in the app list on the iOS device Settings. You only need to do this once.
Press the GPS button GPS.pngto start using the GPS. The map will jump to be centred on the current GPS location. A circle and cross Reticle stopped small.png are shown to indicate the GPS location, which is red when the GPS is giving an accurate position, and grey when the GPS position is not accurate.
The map will move with the GPS location, keeping the GPS indicator central. If you pan the map by dragging it, the GPS lock will be disengaged. The GPS position will still be shown and recorded. To reengage the GPS lock press the GPS button again.
The GPS can be disconnected by pressing Options button and choosing GPS Off, using the switch in settings or by closing the app. Not just by putting the app into background by pressing the home button.
When you are moving an arrow will be drawn showing your heading, with its length is proportional to speed. Control this in settings.

Power save modes

Switch between continuous and power save modes. If you are making a longer trip and you need to maximize the battery life, switch to Power save.  Found in Home menu > (in top bar), Settings, GPS settings.
The battery will last around 60% longer with the default settings, though track points will be spaced a bit further apart, every 1 minute. For shorter journeys, or where you need more detailed tracks, switch back to Continuous.
If you are navigating - following a route or navigating to a point - then power save can't be used.

GPS Mode (Continuous / Power save)

GPS modes

Continuous - where the GPS is in continual use, giving the most detailed tracks but using the most power.
Power save - with power save enabled, ViewRanger uses the GPS intermittently, saving power but giving a less detailed track. BuddyBeacon will continue to work.

GPS Auto Disconnect
If the GPS is no longer needed, and the screen is locked or another app is in the foreground, ViewRanger will disconnect the GPS after a time interval. This slider controls how long the interval is.
You can switch auto disconnect off by moving the slider to zero, then the GPS will not auto disconnect.
If you are recording a track, sending the beacon, following a route or navigating to a point, the GPS is needed so will not be auto disconnected.

GPS Single Fix
If you are on a long trip without a power source and just want to check your position using the least possible power, enable the GPS Single Fix option.
When this is enabled, then after pressing the GPS button on the map, the app will get a position fix then disconnect the GPS.
If you are recording a track, sending the beacon, following a route or navigating to a point, this settings is ignored.

Track record

Track shown as black line

A track records a walk or ride, it's a list of points and times.
By default ViewRanger records a track whenever the GPS is connected, but you can stop this from the track list. The track is drawn as a black line (red when selected) with regular arrow markings. The arrows are spaced every 5 minutes. If it has been less than 60 minutes since the last track was being recorded, ViewRanger will ask if you wish to create a new track or extend current track.
If it has been more than 60 minutes since the last track was being recorded, ViewRanger will hide that previous track and start a new one.
All the values mentioned above can be controlled in Home menu > (in top bar), Settings, Track settings > Track split time.

Track control

Track Control

The track control can be found under Track Vrstatus.png icon, top left corner of the map screen.
Here you can start, stop or pause track record.  You may want to pause track record while you take a break.
You can also set track category before uploading to the community site, and display a list of previously recorded tracks.
You can access the trip screens from here by swiping the screen. 

Trip View

Trip View

Accessed from the Track Vrstatus.png icon.  Swipe the screen to enter the Trip' page. The Trip view, which can be configured to show a range of settings, including speed, distance, time and navigation.  The trip view contains multiple pages and rolling graphs.


A route

A route is a list of waypoints, which mark out a planned trip. A route can then be followed on the device. Routes can be searched for and downloaded from our server, created from scratch on the device or our website, or created from GPX files shared from other places.

Create routes

To create a route press Options button then Create route.
As you tap the screen a waypoint is added to the route, which you can drag to where it is needed. If you tap on the last placed waypoint you can move it, otherwise the next tap adds another waypoint.
Press the handle icon Movehandleimage.png to select and position waypoints.
To delete the last waypoint press the delete button . You can use this repeatedly.
When the route is complete press done.
If you need to pan the map without dropping a point, press the Pan map button Ic btn arrows.png.
You can then move the map as normal. To return to creating waypoints press the add waypoint buttonIc btn add point.png.

While a route is selected its name and length is shown at the top of the screen. If a waypoint is selected its name is shown too.
Use handle icon Movehandleimage.png to position objects.
The handle icon is offset from the route to allow you to position waypoints without obscuring the route with the tip of your finger.
You can alternatively plan routes on the big screen of you computer at My.ViewRanger.com then use Home meun > (in top bar), Organizer, Synchronize which will wirelessly download the route to the device. You can add text and pictures to make rich content for others to download, either free or paid for, your choice!

Use handle to position objects

Search for routes

The Routes list has a search for routes section, from where you can look for routes stored on theViewRanger server.
You can enter some text to search for routes that include that text. Or can search for routes around the current map location.
You'll see a list of routes. Tap on one to see its description. Some routes are free, others have a price.
If you'd like to download a route press the Download button at the top right of the Details screen, or at the bottom.
You can also search for routes using the map view's Search button, and see the results on the map.
In the map view press Search button and choose Search for routes nearby. A number of icons will appear showing route start points.
Select one by tapping on it. Its name appears at the top of the screen. To see its details select Details.
Once downloaded you see all the waypoints. For most routes each waypoint has a description and photo too. Select a waypoint and choose Details to see the description.
To clear the search results use the Clear button on the results screen.

Route search Route details


If your device contains an electronic compass, you can see the compass displayed in two ways.
If the compass arrow goes grey it means the compass reading is not accurate. Move away from any metal or electrical equipment.

Compass showing north

HUD compass

The compass can show the direction that is north. It shows this using a red arrow on the GPS button. To switch on this type of compass go to Home key > (top right), Settings > Map settings and switch on Compass.
The arrow points north, so you can use it like a clip on compass to orient yourself and the map.
When the arrow is pointing straight up the map is aligned with the real world.

Compass showing facing direction

Compass showing the direction you are facing.
The compass can show on the map the direction you are facing. It does this by drawing an arrow on the outside of the GPS location circle. If the arrow points east, it means the phone is pointing east.

To switch on this type of compass go to Home menu > (in top bar), Settings > Map settings and switch on HUD Compass. (HUD stands for heads up display.)

Auto Rotate Map and Compass

If the map is set to Auto rotate map in Home menu > (in top bar), Settings > Map settings, then as long as one or other compass is switched on the map will rotate by multiples of 90 degrees to best match the compass direction.

Point of Interest – POI

A point of interest, POI, is a single point Movehandleimage.png marked on the map.
To create a POI press the Options button and choose Create and Create POI. Then drag to place the POI with the offset handle Movehandleimage.png or press the numeric coordinate entry and enter the location co-ordinates (very handy for Geo-caching!). When happy with its position press the Done button.

Place name search

HUD compass

You can search for place names and post / zip codes.
Tap Search button then Search for places to show the search panel.
Enter some text to search for, or choose one of your recent searches from the list shown. If you are searching the local gazetteer you only need to enter the first few letters - so "cam" will find "camden" and "cambridge".
When ready press the Search button. A list of results will appear. Tap on one to see it on the map.
ViewRanger gazetteer files have the extension .VRG. Copy them into the ViewRanger folder, and they will be searched. The UK, USA and New Zealand gazetteers should download automatically and are also available to download for free from our web site. (The gazetteers for other countries are provided when you purchase maps.)
ViewRanger will also search online using a search service. Post and zip code search is only available through the online service.
To get back to the search results use Search button and Search for places. To clear the search results use the Clear button on the results screen.
Only the first 250 results are shown. If you don't see the result you want, repeat the search with a longer search text.


ViewRanger will help you navigate to a point or follow a route.
To follow a route or navigate towards a specific point of interest or waypoint, either:
Go to Home menu > (in top bar), Organizer, find the item and tap on it. Choose Follow route or Navigate to, or
Select the item on the map and choose Follow route or Navigate to.

Map Display While Navigating

Navigation off course!

While navigating an arrow is shown in the top left. The arrow indicates the direction you should travel relative to your current direction of travel. Aim to keep it pointing straight upwards.
Tap the arrow to see a menu of commands that control navigation.
The colour of the arrow varies:

A dotted line is drawn between the GPS position and the target point.
Circles are drawn around the target which are the alarm trigger points. The circle size showing represents the alarm trigger distances.
An visual and audio alarm is triggered when you reach your target point or the next waypoint or go off track.


Vertical red line indicates progress

Altitude, distance, speed and GPS altitude graphs are available for your tracks and routes.
To see a graph, select a route or track from the list and go into its Details. The graphs can be accessed using the buttons at the bottom of the details view.


BuddyBeacon web page

The buddy beacon allows you to share your location with other people.
They can see your position by entering your user name and your PIN number on a web page.
You are asked to create a PIN when your first send your location using Options button, BuddyBeacon, Send beacon now
The buddy beacon also allows you to watch/track other people on your device. You can see their last reported position by entering the user name and PIN number. You can also watch multiple beacons simultaneously.
To use the buddy beacon you need to have registered and entered your account details. Do this using Home menu > Settings, Account.

Control the buddy beacon by going to Options, then BuddyBeacon.
Beacon repeat on – The switch at the top switches the buddy beacon on and off. When it is on the beacon reports your position regularly, as long as the GPS has a position fix. The frequency controls how often the beacon is sent.
Watch / track – watching mode, where ViewRanger will regularly poll for the server for the latest position of the selected buddy(s). Use Add buddy or tracker to enter the name and PIN of a buddy to watch.
Send beacon now – this sends a single immediate beacon report, using either the centre of the map, or the GPS position, as the beacon location.
You can combine Twitter with your BuddyBeacon but you must register with my.viewranger.com and set your My ViewRanger account > Plug ins option.

Get social


Find friends and see their adventures.
Home menu > (in top bar), Favorites, and Find Friends in the my.viewranger community. See their routes and tracks. Add comments, follow, and see how many people are following you.


Our community web site my.viewranger.com is our web based customer zone designed to work alongside our mobile app, to allow you to use the convenience of your computer to:

Synchronize (upload/download Routes & Tracks with My.ViewRanger)

The addition of synchronization feature with the new my.ViewRanger.com web site. This allows you to send your tracks to the site, and share your routes between the site and ViewRanger on your mobile devices.
You need to have registered your account at my.ViewRanger.com before you Synchronize.
To synchronize go to Home menu > (in top bar), Organizer and use the button Synchronize at the top. New and changed tracks are uploaded. New and changed routes are downloaded from the server. The license key list is updated.


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