HTC HD2 Footprints and Google Maps Integration
When I got my phone I installed the WWE 1.66 firmware. As default this has an old version of Google Maps installed as well as a trial edition of CoPilot 8. There is also an application called Footprints that lets you take pictures with the phone and it automatically geo-tags them. Once you’ve done that you can then choose to “Show on map” which opens CoPilot and does as it suggests. What’s wrong with that? Well CoPilot isn’t free and I for one don’t intend to pay for navigation software I’ll rarely use. Rarely does not mean never though and so I thought it would be nice to switch from CoPilot to Google Maps. Turns out this isn’t so straight forward. There isn’t a simple dropdown list of choices. I had to do a bit of googling but eventually got it working using a combination of techniques I found. I thought I’d condense them all into one place for any other happy go trotters ?
- The first thing to do is update Google Maps. This is easy to do, just visit http://m.google.com/maps, click the download link and then click OK when it asks if you want to download the file.
- Once the installer starts it will tell you that it will replace your old version of Google Maps, this is fine so OK it. When prompted, I chose to keep my old map stars and that seemed to work fine.
- This bit is very important, you must install it to your phone memory, not your storage card. I installed it to my storage card the first time and it totally failed to register with Footprints. I re-downloaded it and installed it to my phone memory and it worked a treat.
- Fully power off the phone by holding down the End Call button and choosing Power Off from the menu. Once it’s off then turn it back on.
That’s it for the google maps side of things. Make sure to enable the hardware GPS in the Maps application via “Menu->Settings->Use GPS”. It should have a green tick next to it. I noticed it’s quite slow to get a lock if you’re inside. Upstairs in my house is fine, I lock onto 6 or more satalites, downstairs in my house I can rarely connect to any. You can find the Google Maps application in your start menu. I chose to add it as a favourite on my Today screen.
Now it’s time to switch from CoPilot to Google Maps. This involves editing the phones registry. I should point out that this is totally up to you, if things go tits up then it’s not my fault, I didn’t force you to do this. Well if my super slick disclaimer didn’t scare you off then I’ll assume you want to proceed. The first step is to get a registry editor you like. I use PHM RegEdit. It’s a bit fiddly to use as it’s not very finger navigation friendly but as long as you’re careful it’s fine. Once it’s installed you can find it in your start menu.
The first thing to do is make a backup of the registry via Tools->Backup, I saved it to my storage card. There are only three registry keys we need to check and change.
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / HTC / HTCFootprint_Engine / Information / has_googlemaps = 1
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / HTC / HTCFootprint_Engine / Information / has_navisw = 0
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / HTC / NaviSW / SDKModule = windowsalksdk.dll.old
After those three are set as above then power off the phone and then boot it back up. Now when you go to footprints and select a picture when you click the icon next to the co-ordinates it should open Google Maps and jump to that location.
A lot of people talk about the “Show on Map” menu option. I don’t see that in Footprints but I do if I take a GPS Photo using the Camera application. That doesn’t work for me, it opens Google Maps but doesn’t show the location. I need to tinker with that a bit more. A nice thing to do in Footprints is to do “Menu->Settings->Save a large photo in Albums during capture”. That was disabled as default for me. Once that’s enabled I also see the “Show on Map” option in the camera photo album for the footprint images but again, it doesn’t actually show it on the map. I haven’t copied the images to my machine to inspect the meta data more closely but it looks as if it might not be embedding the positional data.
The final tip of the day is to make sure you properly close Google Maps. If you click the top right X it will minimise it, to properly close it choose “Menu”, scroll down and then choose “Exit”. If you’re taking a photo using the camera application then click the menu button in the bottom right, you will then see a X in the top right. If you click that it will properly close the camera.