Identify Mountain Peaks, Navigate In Real Time With ‘ViewRanger’ App

Smartphones are powerful navigation tools right out of the box. But an app called ViewRanger can make them all the more useful.

Viewranger app discover mountain peaks
Taken with ViewRanger Skyline – Compass Heading: 151°, Version: 7.6.2(309), Field of View: 59.0, Device: iPhone9,1(10.3.2); photo by Sean McCoy in Homer, Alaska

Have you ever stared at a mountain peak or lake and wished you knew its name? Well, with ViewRanger and the integrated Skyline mode, now you can identify more than 9 million points throughout the world.

The app is a navigation tool that uses the GPS, compass, gyroscope, and other sensors in your smartphone to provide tons of information about your location. As the brand claims, it “augments your outdoors experience.”

Skyline: Identify Peaks & Places Around You

Something of a sub-app, the Skyline mode allows the user to hold up their phone and see the names of surrounding peaks, lakes, and points of interest in real time.

Viewranger app discover mountain peaks
Scottish Highlands; photo Paul Brett

It displays labels on these points of interest, so the user sees them on the phone. You can even capture a photo of the labeled peaks for later referral.

This concept took years of development, said ViewRanger marketing director Kris Wagner. He explained it required complex programming to integrate the camera phone, GPS, compass, and accelerometer.

With the kinks worked out, it now provides remarkable real-time information on the world as you see it through your phone’s camera.

Real World Navigation

“We turn standard smartphones into full GPS navigation devices,” said Wagner. “Our tech taps into the chip that’s in the phone. We allow people to download maps for the places they are going.”

And ViewRanger works off the grid as well. Through collaboration with mapping agencies in 22 countries, users can download detailed topographic and terrain maps for outdoor navigation.

The app also offers street and aerial maps for the whole world. Plus, ViewRanger works with 650 publishers to provide guidebook-style route content.

Viewranger app discover mountain peaks
Austrian Alps

Once offline maps are saved on a phone, the user can go off-grid and have full map navigation on the phone.

And while this isn’t the only app that provides off-grid navigation, ViewRanger goes a step further. It allows the user to pre-plan routes with software and drop waypoints. These features, usually found in GPS, are now accessible on a smartphone.

Viewranger app discover mountain peaks
Taken with ViewRanger Skyline – Compass Heading : 358°, Version : 7.6.2(309), Field of View : 59.0, Device : iPhone9,3(10.1.1)

And for those who like to have the info right on their wrist, the app works with Casio, Android Wear, and Apple smart watches.

For the curious explorer, learn where you are and what’s around you with the ViewRanger app. It’s available for iOS and Android devices for free on Apple App Store and Google Play.

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