The Mammal Mapper App has been carefully designed and regularly updated to work as efficiently as possible. However, given the number of mobile phone devices and the various settings associated with them it is possible that some users may nevertheless encounter issues.
Please be aware that each device is slightly different, so the menu names and orders may not be identical to those described here, which are based on a Samsung Galaxy device.
Restart your phone and check that your location (GPS app) is on.
Mammal Mapper App update and hard reset
Many, but not all, mobile devices automatically update apps as they become available. Please check that you are on the latest build of the app. This information can be found in the “Information” menu under the “More” menu within Mammal Mapper.
The details should be as follows:
Version = 3.2.0
Build = 113
If you are not on the latest version search for the Mammal Mapper App on Google Play (Android) or App Store (Apple) and click on the update button.
If this does not fix the issue, you may need to try a hard refresh using the following steps:
- Uninstall Mammal Mapper from your phone
- Go to the app settings in your phone and clear the data cache from Google Play or the App store
- Restart your phone
- Reinstall Mammal Mapper
The main advantage of Mammal Mapper over many other wildlife recording apps is its ability to follow and record your track. This is achieved by using your mobile phones inbuilt GPS chip, although highly efficient, there can be times when the app does not record your track accurately. To improve GPS recording accuracy, please check the following settings.
If the Mammal Mapper App is not getting an initial location, and you are presented with a blue screen, that indicates that the app is still finding your position. Take the following steps:
- Check that your phone’s location device is switched on (Settings > Connections > Location) and that accuracy is set to high.
- Check that the Mammal Mapper App has permission to use your phone’s location device (Settings > Apps > Mammal Mapper > Permissions > Location)
- Once settings have been checked make sure that you have a clear view of the sky and give it some time. A GPS fix is achieved through signal acquisition from multiple satellites and it can take several minutes.
Spikes or “zig-zags”
During your survey, you may notice some sudden jumps in your GPS position, creating what looks like a spike in your track and exaggerating the distance travelled. This is caused by momentary loss of satellite signal acquisition, resulting in a low position accuracy point. This unfortunately is due to the nature of GPS recording and although code has been added to the Mammal Mapper App to help alleviate this situation, in extreme cases, it can still occur.
There are no settings that can be altered to fix this issue (except from ensuring that GPS accuracy is set to ‘high’ (see ‘Initial lock’ above)). However, all tracks and GPS points are double checked once they have been submitted and these “spikes” are corrected by us manually.
Gaps in track recording
During your survey you may notice that your track records accurately for periods and then there are gaps in recording that are connected by a straight line (example below).
This issue is often connected to your phone’s power saving modes or battery optimisation settings. For example, your phone may stop recording GPS positions when your phone screen turns off, in order to save battery, even where the app is still running in the background.
To fix this problem, turn the battery optimisation settings for the Mammal Mapper App off.
Go to Settings > Apps > Mammal Mapper > Battery and set the Optimise battery usage to “Not optimised”.
The background map does not show
Although the App has been optimised for low and no mobile reception or data coverage areas, in these areas the background map on the survey map screen and the sighting location screen may not display. This leaves you, the user, with only a map of your track and sightings.
Do not worry, as the App is still working and recording your track, and once mobile reception or data returns, the map should refresh in 5 seconds.
Still having problems?
Please get in touch with the Mammal Society for further support. It would be helpful to include the make and model of your phone, and its operating system.
Dr Frazer Coomber – firstname.lastname@example.org