Hansel v1.5

You can get Hansel here.

Hansel is a simple application to help you remember a location; where you parked your car, where you need to meet back with a group of people later, or anytime you are at anyplace.

Recent Changes

Saturday, April 10th, 2010
v1.5.1 submitted to fixed issue related to iPhone OS 3.2 and the iPad.

Friday, March 26th 2010
v1.5 accepted to the app store.

The application takes advantage of the iPhone SDK's MapKit and CoreLocation frameworks for map and GPS services. It also utilizes a device's built in camera to help optionally retain a visual record of your location. Integration with the built-in Maps program gives users the ability to get directions from their current location back to their pin.

Major features include:

- Ability to remember a location.
- Snap a photo of the location for later reference.
- Add a note to help make the photo more memorable.
- Zoom map to reveal current & marked locations.
- Get directions from current to marked location.
- Enable HUD mode to show the map in full screen.


- Location Services must be enabled.
- A data connection must be available.
- A camera is required for the photo feature to work.

Features under consideration for future versions:

- Manage multiple locations.
- Share locations with other users.
- Allow video capture of location.


New in v1.5

For version 1.5, I wanted to add some minor enhancements to help make the app more useful and fun to use.

The first thing you'll notice is that the photo button on the toolbar has been replaced with a down arrow. This controls the new fullscreen HUD mode for the map view. The HUD mode allows you to observe the map with a full 320 by 480 px view. Note that this now means the photo/details screen is only accessed from the location pin's callout button.

The details screen is a bit more developed now. Instead of simply displaying a photo and a close button, it now allows you to set a note and retake your photo. There were many times using the app where I wished I could have saved the parking level I was on in parking garage. This forced me to use the notes application, which involved a lot of extra tapping. The note feature is meant for brief entries and not War and Peace. You can hide/show the details HUD by tapping on the photo.


This is a list of Hansel's features. For future versions, as features are added, this list will be updated appropriately.

- Pin your current location. You can mark your current location on the map. Using a process known as reverse geocoding, information about the location [such as city, street, etc...] is displayed on the pin's callout. 

- Snap a photo. Using your device's built in camera, you can snap a photo to help make the location more memorable. Capture a landmark, such as a street or parking garage sign, or take a picture of a building that you are near. It can be anything that helps you remember. Now in version 1.5, you can retake your photo.

- Set a note. Also new in 1.5, after a photo has been taken a simple note can be saved with it. The note is intended to be short and simple, something that adds context or meaning to the photo. For instance you may take a photo of your car in a parking garage, but you couldn't fit the parking level and your car into the photo.

- Zoom locations. The map can be zoomed and positioned so you can see both your current location and the location you pinned to the map. The pinned location's callout is displayed so you can see a thumbnail of any image that was captured.

- Get Directions. The iPhone's built in Maps application does a great job of giving directions. Hansel integrates with Maps to provide you with directions from your current location to the pinned location of your Hansel map.


If you are experiencing problems with your current location or setting a pin then first check the built in Maps application to see if it is accurately displaying your position. Most of the time problems with the map and location services are related to the iPhone or iPhone OS and not the Hansel application. If you have found a legitimate bug and it is reproducible please contact me or leave a post below.

Q: Does Hansel work on the iPod or iPad?
A: Both the iPod Touch and the iPad are supported by Hansel, however the photo feature will not work because the required hardware is absent. If a future version of either is released which has a camera, then it may be fully compatible with the photo feature. Note that the location services on the iPod Touch and non-3G iPad do not use GPS and can be extremely inaccurate.

Q: Why can't I set more than one pin?
A: Hansel only supports saving one location, the location you want to remember. It is meant to allow easy management of a single location. Supporting multiple locations would fundamentally change the purpose of the application.

Q: Can I retake a photo?
A: In the original version of Hansel you could not retake your photo after accepting it. Resetting the pin was the only way to do this. Now in version 1.5, the details screen has a camera icon on it that allow you to retake your photo.

Q: The map isn't showing my current location accurately, why?
A: The map and location services provided by the iPhone and Apple are only as accurate as A) your connection to GPS and B) the technologies of the iPhone operating system. In testing it was found that the iPhone GPS system is not always accurate. This was independently verifiable using the Maps application.


Known Issues

This is a list of known bugs and issues. Please review these before posting about them below.

No known issues.

Does not work on v3.2 (iPad only at this time). The application will appear and the loading screen will only ever  show.

v1.5.1: (Currently in review and not yet available)
No known issues.


Comments can be left below. You can help make Hansel better in future versions by identifying problems or making positive suggestions. I will make sure and respond to your issues and requests as soon as possible.

Please be constructive.

Even your worst day has a lesson to learn.