I often get asked how to get GPS tracks for the Way of St Francis set up onto a smartphone. It’s a pretty easy process, if you follow these steps:
- Download the GPS tracks to your desktop or laptop computer. You can download them via the guidebook’s Cicerone Press page (click on the “Downloads” tab) or you can get them from the Wikiloc website in two halves — one for the northern half and the other for the southern half of the route.
- Now you have to choose what platform to use on your smartphone. I recommend Guru Maps Pro, which is available for iPhones at the Apple App store and for Android phones at the Google Play store. Cost is $3.99 USD but the expense is well worth it since the maps are downloadable and can be used without a cell phone connection in Italy. Once you’ve chosen your map app, purchase it and install it to your phone.
- Back on your laptop or desktop write an email to yourself and attach the tracks. They’ll be in a file with a —.gpx suffix. Send it to yourself.
- Back on your phone, open the email you sent to yourself, click on the attachment, and then click on Guru to open the attachment. The tracks are now automatically downloaded to your phone and you can open them on Guru.
- Open the app and go find Italy on the world map. You’ll now see your track line. Zoom in, and when the option comes to download the regional map, click it. You’ll need the regions of Tuscany and Umbria for the northern half of the route and Umbria and Lazio for the southern part of the route.
- When you’re in Italy you’ll find your location on Guru as an arrow on the screen. Stick close to the line – your GPS track – as you walk and you shouldn’t have a problem with directions at all. Remember, the GPS function of your phone requires extra battery usage, so it’s not a bad idea to buy an external battery pack and bring it along for long days of hiking.