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Loading maps to SD card on Android

In order to store maps on an SD Card on your Android device, it is recommended to use Memory-Map version 2.6.5 or later. Tap Menu, Settings, Help/About to see the version number. This version is currently in Beta release, but you can join the beta testing program HERE. It is open to anyone.

Before you proceed, please think carefully about whether the reliability of map storage is more important for you than the space it occupies. SD Cards are MUCH LESS RELIABLE than internal memory. Many people rely on Memory-Map for critical outdoor navigation, so if reliability is important to you, we strongly recommend storing your maps in internal memory.
 

Changing the Storage location for map downloads

  • In the Maps list, tap the Menu button (three dots), Map Storage.
  • If you have a suitable SD Card installed, one of the the options is External SD Card.
  • After you have selected this option, tap My Online Maps and Maps Everywhere. The map list now displays all the downloadable maps that you have purchased.
  • Any maps you download now, will be placed on the SD card.

There is no limit to the size of the map, as long as you have space on the card. Note that turning on the External SD Card option does not have any effect on maps that you have already opened. A map that is partially downloaded in internal memory will continue to be downloaded to internal memory. It is best to delete any maps that you have already partially downloaded and then start a fresh copy on the SD Card.
 

Copying Maps from PC

We do not recommend copying maps to the SD Card if they can be downloaded from the Digital Map Store, as above. The app uses a new file format designed specifically for SD Cards, so that is the best way to do it.

If you have some maps in the Memory-Map PC app that are not available for download, then proceed as follows:

  • First, check that the Map Storage, External SD Card option appears in the Map Storage menu. If not, you can't use the SD Card, but you can copy the maps to internal memory.
  • Close the Memory-Map Android app
  • Clear the Memory-Map all from the running apps list (swipe up the home button, then swipe away the app, or press and hold the power button to power-off the phone)
  • On a PC identify the files to copy. Maps are typically installed in the C:\Maps folder. The files you want to copy will have the *.qct, *.qc3 and *.mmi file extensions. The file type may be displayed on your PC as "Memory-Map QuickChart". *.qed files are not required.
  • Check the size of the files. SD Cards are typically limited to 4GB max file file size.

Copying Maps from PC to Internal Memory

  • Connect your phone to the PC with a USB cable and choose the option to allow file access
  • In Windows Explorer, open the connected device > Download > Memory-Map. This folder already exists if you have opened the app. Do not create a new Download or a new Memory-Map folder.
  • Copy the files to this folder
  • Disconnect your phone.
  • After disconnecting the phone, we recommend power-cycling again. Press-and-hold the power button.

Copying Maps from PC to SD Card

  • Mount the SD card on your PC (either connect the device to the PC with the USB cable, and select the option to access files, or power-down your phone, remove the card and use an adaptor to connect it to the PC)
  • Create a folder called Download in the root folder of the SD Card.
  • Create a folder called Memory-Map in the Download folder.
  • The folder names must be entered exactly as shown above. You must use upper case where shown, and a hyphen where shown. If you want to change the capitalization, you have to delete it and start again.
  • Copy the files to this folder
  • In Windows explorer, right-click on the SD card and Eject. Unplug the phone, or place the card back in the phone.

Finishing up

  • Run the Memory-Map app
  • Tap the maps button in the toolbar
  • Tap Maps on Device and Maps Everywhere. Your maps should appear in the map list (tap any -> arrows to open each section, if they are closed)

 

 

Troubleshooting

If the External SD Card option does not appear in the Map Storage menu, there could be several causes.

  • The Card is not formatted. Go to the Settings app, look for Storage, and set it up.
  • The card is set up as "Internal". In this case, it is used by the operating system as an extension to the internal storage, and no special action is needed to use it.
  • Your device classifies the card to be "removable", and not suitable for permanent storage of files by any apps. In this case it is not possible for the Memory-Map app to use it.

We do not recommend copying maps between internal memory and the SD card. The app uses a different format for newly downloaded maps in order to get around the 4GB file size limit. If you have a partially downloaded map in the old format it will stop working if you reach the file system limit.

 

 


NOTE: The information below applies to Memory-Map Android version 2.6.2 or earlier

Android's handling of SD cards is quite complex. Here we explain how to manage your map files on a secondary storage locations.

We will break this down into two parts: setting up the SD card, and copying the maps. If you want to copy a map to the device's internal memory, you can skip the section about SD cards.

Setting up the SD card

If you are using Android version 6 or later, we recommend using Adoptable Storage, if your device supports it. This allows you to format the card as an "Internal" to device. When you do this the card is no longer removable, and you must keep it installed in the device. There are some disadvantages, but this does overcome most of the difficulties associated with using Memory-Map from an SD card. You can copy the maps to the card by plugging the device into a PC.

Always power-off the device or tell the device it to unmount (or eject) the card before you remove an SD Card. This is true for Windows as well as Android. Never just pop out a card without asking the operating system to flush any unsaved data to the card.

If you are using a removable SD card (not adopted as internal), be aware that the maximum file size supported by the card is most likely limited to 4GB. You may be able to format the card with a different file system, but this is not supported on many Android devices. The large seamless topo maps in Memory-Map are up to 30GB in size, and so clearly these are not going to work on a regular FAT32 format SD card. You can use the Memory-Map PC app's "Export Map Area" feature to export a number of regions, making sure the output is under 4GB.

Note that when incomplete QC3 map file is stored on SD card, the Memory-Map app is not able download more data to add to that map. So make sure you have the complete map or have downloaded the area of map you need on your PC before moving the map files to the SD card.

We recommend creating a folder called "Download" in the root folder of the card, and creating a folder called "Memory-Map" within the Download folder. On some devices Memory-Map app is able to automatically find maps stored in the /Download/Memory-Map folder. The folder names are case-sensitive.

 

Copying the Maps

First make sure you have the free Memory-Map app installed on your Android device (from Google Play Store),

Run the app to initialize the free basemap.

On a PC, maps are typically installed in the C:\Maps folder

The files you want to copy will have the *.qct, *.qc3 and *.mmi file extensions. The file type may be displayed on your PC as "Memory-Map QuickChart". *.qed files are not required.

The default location for all maps being downloaded from within the app is in the Memory-Map folder which is in the Downloads folder on the device default storage ( /Download/Memory-Map ). This location in the built-in storage is the best place for your maps. If there is enough space in the internal memory, copy the maps from the PC to this folder.

If there is not enough space in the internal memory, copy the maps from the PC to the /Download/Memory-Map folder on the SD card.

There are many ways to copy files from a PC to an Android device or SD card. You can use Windows File Explorer, or a remote access app on the phone...  Contact your device supplier if you have problems physically copying the files.

After copying the files, insert the SD card in the Android device (if you removed it), and reboot the device (press and hold the power button, and Restart)

 

Did Memory-Map automatically find the maps?

After rebooting, run the Memory-Map app on the Android device

Tap the Maps button on the toolbar at the top, or tap Menu, Maps

Tap Maps Everywhere.

Tap Map Types, and enable all the listed types.

If the maps now show up in the list, Yea! You have successfully copied the map!

 

Setting the "map folders" setting so Memory-Map can find your maps.

We have found that changes in the way Android opens files is now just giving the app an internal copy of the map, instead of opening the file in-place. There is, however, a fallback: You can create a text file call "map_folders.txt" in the internal Download/Memory-Map folder.   This file should contain a list of the additional paths that the app should search for maps. When you have created this file, restart the Memory-Map app.

Detailed instructions:

  1. Close all apps (or press-and-hold power button and restart)
  2. Install the FX File Explorer app from the Play store (free)
  3. In FX file explorer, navigate to the folder containing your qct files on the SD card.
  4. Tap the three dots menu button at top right, and tap the info symbol (top right).
  5. In the Info page, tap another three dots menu button at top right, and tap Copy Path
  6. Now, tap the Back button and, still in FX File Explorer, tap the Home button, Download, Memory-Map.
  7. Tap the Menu (three dots), and Under NEW, tap File.
  8. enter the file name "map_folders" and tap Text (the name changes to map_folders.txt) then Done
  9. This opens the empty file. Tap the Edit icon (pen)
  10. Tap-and-hold on the empty blue part of the screen and Paste (this enters the full file system path to your qct folder)
    The path should start with a / and contain a sequence of folder names separated by /. For example "/storage/AAD4-5B25/Download". It should not end with a /.
  11. Tap Menu, Save. Back to exit the editor. You now have a text file call "map_folders.txt" in the internal Download/Memory-Map folder, containing the paths that the app should search for maps.
  12. Launch Memory-Map (it must have been previously stopped, not just put to sleep)
  13. Tap Maps, Maps Everywhere, then Map Types, enable all types.

If you are having trouble copying the path, try this:

  •  In FX file explorer, navigate to the folder containing your qct files on the SD card.
  • Go up one level and tap-and-hold on the folder containing your qct files.
  • Tap Copy at the top