HomeAndroid usersGetting StartedGet started guide

5.1. Get started guide

Discover thousands of inspiring trail guides, download detailed maps, and navigate your outdoor adventures with ViewRanger’s integrated navigation system. Share your adventures and inspire others to discover new places! Perfect for exploring mountain peaks or simply days out in the countryside. The app is free!

Here is how to take your first steps with the ViewRanger app!

My account

The app will prompt you to create a free 'My.ViewRanger' account profile. An account gives you access to advanced features of the app. It collects together all your track and route data. Purchase history is all in one place so you will find it much easier when it comes to changing or adding devices, as you can just download your maps from your account.

Sign up!

Map choice

There are a choice of maps available to suit your needs. Some are free and some paid. The free maps work well when you are staying near roads and built up areas but you will need premium maps when venturing out into the countryside.

Press Menu tab (in green bar), Map Shop.  Here you will see Premium maps to purchase and the Free maps at the bottom. Tap on the Free maps and you will see all the free maps you can download.

Tab bar

Along the top of the screen is a Tab bar where you can access different areas of the app.

Tab bar

Left to right;

Free online map

The app is free and comes with free online maps.

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

There are several online maps available. You can switch between maps using the menu tab, My maps, MY MAPS tab (right hand tab), Online maps.

Menu tab

Most of our online maps can be saved for offline use. While viewing the map, press Layer button in the top right, Save for offline use. (Options button, Create saved map in older software).

Layer button

Premium online map

These detailed topographic maps are more reliable than the free maps which may lack detail away from built up areas.

We have premium online maps available for US, Canada, France and Belgium. These maps cover the whole country and areas can be saved for offline use. They can be purchased in-app using the Menu tab, Map shop.

To save a map for offline use, view the map and press Layer button in the top right, Save for offline use.

Premium online map (Belgium)

Premium map

We also have detailed topographic maps for many countries. The difference with these maps, over the premium online maps, is that you just purchase the sections you need, rather than have access to the whole country. They are available as map packages, for example Lake District National Park, or as individual map tiles. If you wish to purchase a map package, press the Menu tab, Map Shop. They are installed on the device and available offline.

Premium map (Austria)

Download premium map tiles

You can download premium map tiles for most available countries. Choose Menu tab (in green bar), Map Shop. Find, download and open the free overview map for the country.

Free overview map

Move the overview map to an area of interest and press the Layer button in the top right, Get more tiles. (Options button, Get tiles in older software). Tap the grid to select a tile. The selected tile appears bordered in red. Downloaded tiles are filled in green. Press Download button to download the tile. If you have no ViewRanger credit you will be guided through the process of buying some.

Zoom into downloaded tile

Zoom in on the tiles you just downloaded to see the map detail. Press the 'X' to close the download grid.

'X' to close tile download grid

ViewRanger credit

Maps can be purchased in-app with your Google Play Store cash account. But some items, such as individual map tiles and routes, are too small value to be purchased this way. So this is why we have ViewRanger credit. Credit can be purchased using Menu tab (in green bar), Map shop and tap on credit balance in the grey bar.  Here is a list of the possible ways to purchase items;

If you have enough credit to purchase an item then the price is displayed in credit. If not, it is displayed in cash. Credit and cash cannot be mixed together toward a purchase.


Now that you have selected a map you can show your location on the map. In the Android device settings, enable location and set the mode is set to 'High accuracy'. While outside, with a clear view of the sky, press the GPS button at the bottom of the map screen.

Press GPS button

After a short time a red GPS crosshair will appear on the map at your location. The map will remain centred on your location while you move or until you move the map with your finger, at which point you can press the GPS button again to re-centre the map.

Record track

A track is a record of your trip. It shows where you have been and statistics about the trip such as length, altitude and speed. You can review the track once it is finished, share it and, if you wish, convert it to a route and publish it for others to follow. Tracks can be exported to other website and apps via .GPX files.
To record a track press the GPS button, wait till you have a red circle at your position, then press the New / plus button > Record.

New button

Change the category of the track, if you wish, then press the green and red record button in the centre of the Track Control screen.

Track Control Screen

As you travel along your track is shown as a black line. Your location is the red GPS crosshair.

Track shown as black line

On the map screen the trip button will show the accumulated trip time so far. Press the trip button to access the track control screen where you can change the track category, start, stop or pause track recording. You can swipe to access the trip screens.

Trip button

Trip view

Under the trip button you will find the track control screen. Swipe to access the trip view screens which shows statistics from the current track record such as average speed, altitude gain and many others. There a dozens of different types of data that can be displayed. Long press any item on the screen to change the displayed field.

Trip view

Review track

After you have stopped recording your track you can review it by pressing the Profile tab and select tracks tab.

Profile tab > Tracks

Tap on the track to find all the statistics.

Track summary and graphs

Discover routes

Get inspired by finding routes authored by publishers and ViewRanger user community users. A route is a plan of where you be going. It is made up of waypoints joined by straight lines. You can ask the app to follow a route, navigating you toward your destination.
Press the Discovery tab to see nearby routes.

Discovery tab

Routes that are found nearby are shown on the map and in the list below. The start point of each route is marked with an icon.

Discover routes

Tap on the route to see a summary or download it.

Route summary

It you do not already own maps, where the route is located, you will be given the option to buy maps to cover the route. Swipe the screen to make your choice then press download button.

Choose maps or route only

Once downloaded, tap the route and press the three vertical dots at the top of the screen and choose Show On Map and the route is displayed on the map.

Route on the map

Routes are listed on the Profile tab, Routes.

Profile tab > Routes

Create your own routes

You can plot your own routes in the app or on the website. To create a route in the app press the Map tab, New button, Plot.

Map tab

Tap the screen to drop waypoints. Re-position the waypoints by moving the handle icon, to the South-East of the selected waypoint.

Plot routes

Switch between adding waypoints and moving the map using the Add point/Pan map toggle icon.

Add point/Pan map toggle

Follow route

The app can navigate you along the route to your destination. To follow route, tap the route on the map screen and select Follow route.
The navigation panel will appear at the bottom of the map. In the panel the navigation arrow indicates the direction to go relative to your current direction to reach the next point.

Navigation panel

The panel shows the name of the waypoint before, and the waypoint after your current location. The distance to the next waypoint is shown, description from the previous waypoint, which usually gives the instructions to reach the coming waypoint and a section of graph, showing the altitude of the previous 0.5km and the coming 2km of the route. The navigation uses the device's compass. If the navigation arrow box is yellow with a warning triangle, the compass is inaccurate - move the device in a figure of 8 so the compass can re-align. When the navigation arrow box is green the compass is aligned and accurate.


You can search on Places, Routes, People or Coordinates. To start a search press the Search tab. When you first do a search a country specific gazetteer file will download so later you can do the search offline.

Search tab

Use the category icon to swap between the type of search you wish to perform.

Category icon

Points of Interest

You can mark a spot on the map by creating a Point of Interest. Later, you view the point by using My Points Of Interest list under the menu tab. You can also navigate to a Point of Interest by tapping it on the map. To create a Point of Interest tap the map tab, New / plus button, Add Point of Interest.

Add point of interest

Important Settings

Just a few settings you may wish to change under Menu tab, Settings, Display;

And you may wish to download maps to the SD card; Menu tab, Settings, Storage, Maps folder. Restart device after making any changes to storage.


You can share your location, tracks and even publish routes. Your data is uploaded to our servers where you can control if it is private or public.

Location Sharing with BuddyBeacon

BuddyBeacon reports you location to our server over a mobile data connection allowing others the ability to query your location and display it on our website or in the app. While connected to GPS, from the map tab, press New / plus button, BuddyBeacon, Send beacon now.

ViewRanger App

You will be asked to enter a four digit PIN on first send. Pass your ViewRanger account name email and PIN to those who you wish to locate you via the ViewRanger BuddyBeacon web page.


They can also locate you in the app by adding you to Options button, BuddyBeacon, Locate now.

Track and Photo Sharing

Let others see your adventures by sharing them on Facebook or Twitter.
Photo setup; upload any photos you took to Flickr or Picasa then log into my.viewranger.com and use My account, Plug ins, and enter your Flickr or Picasa credentials. To share the track, tap Profile tab, tracks, tap the track and use sharing buttons. Photos will automatically display on your shared track.

Tweet your track

Route Publishing

Inspire others to download routes you have created. Upload your track to my.viewranger.com website using Menu tab, Sycronize content. Log into the website and convert your track to a route. Edit the route and add text directions, pictures and even audio. Set a category, difficulty and price and publish the route to the community of users.

Publish routes

We hope this has helped get you up and running. Any specific questions, please email support@viewranger.com

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