I’m looking for an iPhone navigation app to fill a niche. I had planned on writing this app myself, but I haven’t had enough time and don’t expect to find it.

I’d like to be able to import my own maps and then track my progress across them. The iPhone camera is probably the most convenient way to get the map in if the resolution is good enough. You’d need two points for accurate display: the current location and a verifiable location some distance away, plus the ability to move/scale the map and/or the trail.

This opens up possibilities for any other kind of map (such as a guidebook map) and will really help when travelling away from data connections or where writing is in a non-Latin script. I’ll be in Japan in a couple of weeks and even when I can get wi-fi to cache some Google maps, all the location names are in Kanji. I’d much rather follow myself around a Lonely Planet map.

The navigation market is getting pretty competitive, but there’s a lot of ugliness in the current offerings. Track ‘n Trail and Trails both look good but neither does quite what I want. For me, tracking is nice but only a side benefit. I really want to know where I am without a data connection, in useful detail, and in a language I can decipher.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a hot new iPhone app, there you go.