I’m going for a hike in Abisko late this summer. As a gadget freak I just had to purchase a new gadget for this adventure – a Garmin eTrex Legend Cx. I have owned other GPS units before, but this one is so small, waterproof and straight forward to use (yeah I know it’s a sales pitch, but what the heck). What enticed me the most was not the possibility to see my position on a map at all times, but rather to have a very accurate trace of our hike afterwards.
I have not owned this gadget more than 24 hours, and I have already found several exiting GPS-related activities that I haven’t thought so much about before:
- Track your every move and look at Google Maps later
- Create personal GPS maps
- Generate nice graphs and stats from track data and waypoints (read Python scripting)
Soon I will have completed a set of scripts for working with the GPX-files produced when tracking is enabled. After that, my goal is to create a small Python app for mapping a track to any raster image (for instance aerial photography, scanned map etc) and showing graphs and stats from the track suitable for publishing on the web.
Pirates and treasure maps – Geocaching is playing pirates for adults (without the cannons and looting). While searching for information on how to create custom Garmin GPS maps I stumbled over the concept of Geocacing. Well, I have heard about it before but never spent time understanding what it is.
The short version can be described as:
- Person A takes some interesting items and puts them in a weather proof box (items + pen and a log)
- Person A finds a good place to hide the box anywhere in the world
- Person A marks the location with a GPS (lat/long) and registers the “cache” at http://www.geocache.com (or some other site)
- Person B browses http://www.geocache.org (or some other site) and finds the “cache” hidden by Person A
- Person B downloads the location info into a GPS unit and sets of for a hunt for the “cache”
- Person B finds the cache, replaces an item in the box and logs the visit
- Person B logs the cache finding at http://www.geocache.com (or some other site)
I have already found some “cache-sites” around the area where I live and will hunt them down soon. I also plan to plant my own “cache” later so stick around, I will probably write some more about this new hobby of mine. Arrr!