Polaris Navigation System Printable Directions

Most features of POLARIS NAVIGATION do not require an internet connection or phone service. With the exception of the integrated Google Maps module and land survey altitude reporting, all data is received directly from the U.S. GPS Satellite System, meaning the app will work anywhere you are! Also, there are no maintenance fees associated with the use of POLARIS NAVIGATION: all that is required is a view of the sky.

Special features include the ability to permanently store and manage waypoints and trails, navigational tools to help you find waypoints and trails and two customizable floating compasses: A directional compass and a waypoint-finding compass. In addition to standard coordinate reporting, there is an odometer, a speedometer, ETA and Bearing To Waypoint reporting for destination waypoints.

A preference menu allows you to customize coordinate reporting, unit reporting, proximity alerts and the appearance and functionality of compasses as well as several other aspects of the graphical user interface.

Compass Mode

When the application starts, it is in compass mode. Compass mode reports your current position, altitude, current heading, speed and distance traveled. The red line on the compass will always indicate your bearing as long as the top of your phone is facing the direction of travel. To reset distance, tap the resets item on the menu.


A waypoint is the coordinates of a location. There are several methods for storing a waypoint. You can save your current position, enter actual coordinates or an address, or move a marker on a map to the desired waypoint. These functions are all accesible from the menu of both the first screen and the Waypoint Manager Screen.

The application accepts the following coordinate types: Degrees, Deg/Min, Deg/Min/Sec, UTM and Military Grid.

For the first three types listed, the application uses the positive/negative convention rather than North/South/East/West.

Latitudes south are negative and latitudes north are positive.

Longitudes west are negative and longitudes east are positive.

For example, to enter latitude 33 degrees, 12 mins, 6 seconds South you would enter the following into coordinate entry screen:
Deg: -33 Min: 12 Sec: 6
For Longitude of 106 degrees, 34.5 mins West you would enter
Deg: -106 Min: 34.5
Note that the negative sign, if indicated, is added to the degree field.

To delete a waypoint, tap the Delete Waypoint menu item on the Waypoint Managers Screen, then tap the waypoint you wish to delete.

Navigate to a Waypoint

To navigate to one of your stored waypoints, tap the desired waypoint on the waypoint list and follow the pointer. The pointer is also customizable from the settings screen.

As long as you are moving, the pointer will be pointing to your destination when the top of your phone is facing the direction of travel. Your heading, bearing to target, distance to target and estimated time of arrival at your target waypoint are continuously updated. Note that this distance is the straight-line distance or the as-the-crow-flies distance.

The waypoint compass is controlled by your GPS heading which means that you must be moving in a forward direction to get meaningful results. Simply spinning the phone or rotating your body without forward motion will not produce useable results.

You can also navigate to a waypoint using any of the waypoint maps. To view a waypoint map you would do the following: On the first screen tap Menu, then tap Waypoint Manager then tap a waypoint on the list. When you arrive at the waypoint arrow compass tap Menu then tap View Waypoint. The map will show the waypoint a red pin and your position will be shown as a blue flashing icon. Your position is updated according to the GPS Sampling Frequency you choose in the app's Settings screen. The default is every one second.


Trails are stored and managed by the Trail Manager screen. To access the Trail Manager Screen press "Menu" You can save three trails (or an unlimited number of trails by upgrading to GPS Waypoints Navigator). From the menu on the main screen, tap "Record Trail". The recording light will start flashing to indicate that recording is in progress. Recording of the current trail stops when you Tap the "Stop Recording" menu item on the first screen. If you did not enable "Allow Background Trail Recording" at the time you began recording, recording will also stop when you begin recording another trail or when you exit the application. Recording on the same trail will continue if the application is killed by the system and then resumed and will continue if you change batteries without first closing the application.

If you do not select "Allow Background Trail Recording" from the Settings screen or at the time you start recording, recording will take place only on the following three screens: 1) The first screen, 2) the waypoint navigation screen (the one with the arrow/finger compass), and 3) the screen showing your trail on the map. You may view your trail grow as it is being recorded if the trail currently being recorded is selected from the Trail Manager Screen.

Trail recording does not take place if the application is paused ie by a phone call or if you switch to another app UNLESS you select "Allow Background Trail Recording" from the Settings Screen or at the time you begin recording. If you did select "Allow Background Trail Recording" recording will take place on any screen and will continue even if you switch to another app or make a phone call and will even continue while your phone is asleep. You must remember to return to the first screen and select "Stop Recording" to end background trail recording.

Navigating A Trail

To navigate a trail you do the following: On the first screen tap Menu, then tap Trail Manager. Next, select one of the trails you recorded from the list on the Trail Manager screen. The trail is shown in red and your position is shown as a blue flashing beacon. When you begin moving outdoors, GPS tracking will begin. When tracking begins a rotational heading arrow will appear at the top right of the screen indicating your direction of travel. Use the heading arrow, the blue beacon and the trail tracing to stay on the trail. Your position is updated according to the GPS Sampling Frequency you choose in the app's Setting Screen. The default is every one second.

Editing Options

Waypoint Names and Trail Names can be edited. Access the editing functions from either the waypoint or trail list screens or from the main screen. Waypoint coordinates are final and cannot be edited. If you need to change the coordinates you will need to construct a new waypoint with the new coordinates.

Offline Maps

With the exception of the Google Maps, all maps can be made available for offline use. Any portion of a non-Google map that you view on line will be stored to your device's SD card for 30 days. You must have an SD card in your device to use offline maps.

Additionally, you can create your own custom offline maps ahead of your planned excursion. To learn how to create your own maps for offline navigation with Polaris Navigation System please refer to this video:


The Odometer

The odometer keeps track of distance only when the directional compass, waypoint finding compass screens or trail map screens are showing, so it is not recommended that you travel when the options or other maps screens or showing.

Database Operations

Waypoints, odometer readings, time elapsed and your last position are saved to a database. Odometer, times and coordinate values are saved when you leave either compass screen and when the application closes or is destroyed by the Android system. This means that if the application gets killed while you are making a phone call, the data is not lost. In rare circumstances, a database can become corrupted. If this occurs, the waypoint list on the green screen will not appear or function properly or the application will crash. If this occurs, you will need to reset the application database. To reset the database from the opening screen tap the menu -> Waypoints -> tap the Menu -> Delete Waypoint -> tap the menu => Restore Database.

Waypoint Photography

If your device has a camera and external storage, such as an SD card, you will be offered an option to take a photograph when you create a waypoint from your current location. Photographs are stored in Polaris_Navigation/Waypoints/Waypoint_Photos in your device's external storage.
You view a photograph of a waypoint from the waypoint navigation screen. For example, to view the photo you created when you made the waypoint "Home", you would do the following: from the first screen, tap Menu >> Waypoint Manager >> Tap "Home" >> You will now be on the Waypoint Navigation Screen. Tap Menu >> View Photo.

Trouble Shooting

Q. Why are all fields stuck at "Waiting"?
A. Make sure your device's Location Services is turned to on and that you have a view of the sky. Location Settings on your phone should be set to "Standalone GPS Services". Four satellites are needed for a fix and more are required for continuous tracking. If you do not see your location's coordinates within 2 minutes, restart your phone. Some users have experienced a loss of GPS services if certain apps that run a background GPS service are also installed. If you think that another app may be blocking access to the GPS service, consider deleting that app to see if access to GPS is restored. If you are still having difficulty, contact us at:

Q. Why is the magnetic compass incorrect?
A. By default, the magnetic compass will show the offset from true north. You can change this setting in the app's setting screen so that the compass shows the deviation from magnetic north instead. If the magnetic compass is misreading after attempting to correct the issue with the figure-of-eight procedure, then restart you phone to try to reset your device's magnetometer. If your phone was exposed to a strong magnetic field it can take a while for the magnetometer to normalize. In extreme cases, the magnetometer may be irreversibly corrupted by a strong magnetic field.

Q. Will I lose my data if I change the battery?
A. You will not lose your data or your application state if you pull the battery out while the application is still open (or after the battery dies).

Q. The app is not behaving like it should.
A. This can usually be resolved by restarting your phone. In some cases deleting the app and reinstalling it will fix the problem. If you are still having trouble, send us an email at support@discipleskies.com and we will do our best to solve your problem!