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Southwest Trails Mapset For Garmin GPS Receivers Available!

September 3rd, 2009 2 comments

For those of you living in Arizona and New Mexico, and who own Garmin GPS receivers, I have created a mapset called Southwest Trails that you may find useful on your outdoor adventures.

Southwest Trails is a transparent map overlay that you can put on your map-enabled Garmin GPS receiver. This allows you to see, and follow, trails using whatever maps you normally would on your GPSr…be it topo maps, City Navigator, or any other sort of map that you have on your GPS. Using data provided by The Trails Co-Op, as well as my own data and user submitted data, I hope to build an extensive mapset of trails across the Southwest. This should help make your outdoor experiences more enjoyable, and more safe.

Using Southwest Trails on your Gamin GPSr extends your ability to have a fun, safe time in the wilderness. No longer are you contrained to adding a few trails or tracks to your GPSr, limited by the design of the device. Since Southwest Trails is a complete mapset, you simply load it with all the other maps you want to have on your device, and any trail in the mapset is available for your use at all times. Now, the only limitation is the number of trails that come with Southwest Trails! It’s my hope that Southwest Trails will enhance your wilderness enjoyment, and keep you safe on your travels.

Southwest Trails is available for both Windows and Mac users. The current version, v0.51a, is available for download at Outdoor Resources.

Cool Google Gadget : gpicsync

March 21st, 2008 3 comments

Some of my Twitter pals showed me this today:

GPicSync automatically inserts location in your photos metadata so they can also be used with any ‘geocode aware’ application like Picasa/Google Earth, Flickr, loc.alize.us, etc.

Features:

  • automatically geocode your photos (in the EXIF header)
  • use a GPS tracklog in the GPX format or NMEA format (multiple selection possible)
  • Support elevation data if present in the tracklog
  • create a Google Earth KML file to directly visualize the geocoded photos and track in Google Earth
  • create a Google Maps file to publish your pictures and track on the web (more)
  • Automatically associate audio or video files in Google Earth and Google Maps
  • create a Google Earth KMZ file (containing your geolocalized pictures and tracklog).
  • add additional geonames and ‘geotagged’ metadata (for automatic tagging in Flickr for example) and create an automatic IPTC caption (more)
  • manually write latitude/longitude in a picture EXIF or a selection of photos
  • handy tools integrated (Time correction tool, EXIF reader, GPX inspector, rename pictures with date/location,)
  • supports Jpeg pictures and main RAW files format (more)
  • software available in English, French, German, Italian, traditional and simplified Chinese, Catalan, Russian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and Czech (see translations)

This looks pretty cool! The next time I’m out geocaching, or taking pictures in the wilderness, I plan on creating a track file with my GPSr, and then later merging them together. It’d be cool to come back to a location some years later and take a comparison picture.

Categories: Geocaching, GPS, Technology Tags:

GPS Receivers : Gadgets or Real Technology?

March 18th, 2008 No comments

I was thinking today about my Garmin 76CSx, and got to thinking about whether GPS receivers (often called GPSr), are more gadgets than real pieces of technology? As GPSr’s become more and more prevalent in the marketplace, they will mature to a point where we can do things wirelessly, accessing the Internet and getting data we need on the fly. Sooner or later something like the iGPS will debut, and we’ll have more GPS functionality in the palm of our hands than we ever thought possible before. At that point, is the GPSr just a cool gadget, or an honest-to-goodness piece of technology? I think my GPSr, in all it’s basic glory, is an amazing piece of technology that stands on it’s own with the basic functionality : showing me where I am on the earth. If you think about it, being able to know almost exactly where you are on the earth at any given time is pretty amazing. Couple that with something like Geocaching, and you get very cool technology helping you engage in a very interesting sport. It just blows my mind how cool it all is!

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Categories: Gadgets, Geocaching, GPS, Technology Tags:

Garmin Colorado 400t Updates

February 26th, 2008 6 comments

It looks like Garmin listened to the complaints from the Colorado 400t early adopters, and made some crucial changes to the latest 2.40 version of its software. Here is a list of things they have changed/fixed/added:

  • Improved acquisition time in certain circumstances.
  • Improved power on time.
  • Improved backlight support.
  • Improved support for NiMH batteries.
  • Improved Wherigo player.
  • Added ability to show and review geocaches on the map.
  • Added ability to log geocaches as found.
  • Increased maximum geocache count to 2000.
  • Added support for BlueChart currents.
  • Added ability to view extended information for custom POI’s.
  • Added ability for turn preview beep to reset the backlight timeout.
  • Corrected map to display road labels.
  • Corrected map to display small towns.
  • Corrected map to not change orientation when beginning pan mode.
  • Corrected metric nautical setting to display appropriate map scale.
  • Support for Colorado Field Notes, at geocaching.com.

If Garmin continue in this very positive direction, I think they’ll have a hit on on their hands! Great work, Garmin, for listening to your customers!

Categories: Geocaching, GPS Tags:

Geocaching Is About…

February 14th, 2008 No comments

On this Valentine’s Day, I whipped up a video to give you an idea of what Geocaching is really about.


Geocaching Is About…Click here for another funny movie.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Keep on caching!

Categories: Geocaching, GPS, Videos Tags:

Horizon : What On Earth Is Wrong With Gravity?

February 8th, 2008 No comments

I just spend shy of 50 minutes watching a very interesting BBC show about gravity. Think you know everything there is to know about gravity, just because you understand that it keeps us from flying off the planet, and because you know about Newton? Did you know that time is slower in orbit around the earth than it is on the ground…because of gravity? Did you know that light gets bent over long distances because of gravity? Did you know that both Newton and Einstein were wrong? If you’re interested in science at all, I think you’ll find this quite interesting. There’s even a segment about GPS for all you geocachers out there!


Categories: GPS, Humor, Science Tags:

5 Reasons I Won’t Buy The Garmin Colorado 400t

February 1st, 2008 2 comments

Here are five reasons why I’m not rushing out to buy the new Garmin Colorado 400t.

  1. No display of nearby caches on mapview. If you’re going after a cache, and watching the map while doing so, you have no idea if other caches are nearby.
  2. Unable to mark caches as found. Makes no sense to me, but that’s the case.
  3. Unable to edit existing caches. So, if you have a cache in the Colorado 400t that is the first waypoint for a multi-stage cache, there is no way to edit the listing for any additional waypoints. Makes doing puzzle caches and multi’s very difficult.
  4. Unable to add a new cache in the field. Must be done through the use of gpx files, so there is no way to create a new cache with coordinates in the field.
  5. Too expensive. At $550+, for the level of geocaching features on the unit, I’ll wait until version two.

I’ll be the first to admit there are some way cool features on the Colorado 400t, like the sweet display, the nice topo maps, and the ability to have the unit connect as a data device, enabling drag-and-drop. However, the fact that the unit seems to have taken a few steps back with respect to geocaching functionality makes it a no buy until they improve that very important aspect of the software.

Categories: Geocaching, GPS Tags:

Icenrye’s Geocaching Videozine Episode 29

January 28th, 2008 No comments

Icenrye has posted Episode 29 of the Geocaching Videozine, and it’s a pretty darn good one! Done in his new wide screen format with a shorter episode, Icenrye presents and outstanding video review of the Garmin Colorado 400t done by DarrylW4 of Cache-A-Maniacs. The review is superbly done, and unfortunately ends with an accomplished geocacher taking his new GPSr back to REI for a refund. Why? Check out the videozine and find out!

Episode 44 A – Garmin Colorado 400t Review

January 23rd, 2008 No comments

There is an awesome review of the Garmin Colorado 400t done by xpunkx and Darrylw4 on Episode 44A of the Geocaching Podcast. Darryl has significant time on the Colorado 400t, and walks listeners through the good and the bad of the new unit. Unfortunately, despite all the cool new features it has, it sounds like it’s not quite there yet with respect to geocaching features. I’ll probably wait for v2 of the unit, and keep using my 76CSx…and maybe pick up a 60CS since I hear the prices are going down! If you are at all thinking of getting a Colorado 400t for use in geocaching, I highly recommend you give this podcast a listen.

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Your GPSr Belongs to Who?

January 21st, 2008 No comments

Stop reading this post. Immediately go to your GPSr and put your contact information either on or in your GPSr.

Go. Do It. Now.

Tonight I was attempting a First To Find on a new micro cache in the area. The listing actually came through around noon, but nobody had logged it by the time I got home from work. The rest of the family was out and not expected back for a couple hours, so I loaded the coords in my GPSr, grabbed a flashlight and my keys, and was out the door.

To sum things up, here is my log entry for “What is that buzzing?”

Well, nobody had claimed FTF in the logs when I got home, so I ran to give it a shot. NWFlyCaster beat me to it, but I got his GPSr as a consolation prize! Imagine my surprise when I hit the area and find a sweet GPSr just laying there waiting for me! After fumbling around in the dark, cold night, looking for the nano, I made the find, signed second place in the log, and then headed to the car to figure out who my great swag belonged to. Fortunately NWFlyCaster has his name and address in his unit, so I was able to track him down and return the unit. All in all a very eventful night! TFTH!

I have yet to leave my GPSr at a cache, but I can see it happening someday. With all the things going on when we look for and find a cache, especially if it’s in the dark, leaving the tool of our trade somewhere doesn’t seem all that improbable. Hopefully the person who finds it is another geocacher, or at least somebody honest. If you have your contact information available, you might just get it back!

If you’ve gotten to this point in the post, and you still haven’t put your contact information on or in your GPSr…seriously, what are you waiting for?

Categories: Geocaching, GPS Tags: