Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Big Brother is watching.... Closely!

Going out and about for a simple walk or bikeride could involve more technology than you think.... Here's why

I came across this novel little website at the Google Earth blog.

Its called Magnalox, and it allows anyone with a compatible GPS system to upload the GPS files from the unit and then create an online recreation of the trip itself.

If that wasn't cool enough, you can use Google Earth or Google Map overlays so that you can 'instant replay' your trip from Google's impressive 'Eye in the Sky'. You can even download the trip as a 'KMZ' file and view it in Google Earth itself! Could this possibly get any better? Actually yes it does!

Not content with just allowing you to re-live your 40 mile bike ride, you can even upload pictures and text from your trip. Its almost like blog based on your journey! The pictures and texts even 'trigger' at the appropriate places along the way too.

As soon as I saw all of these impressive web-based features, I dusted off my Garmin GPS III+ unit and nipped to Scan in Bolton to buy a Serial to USB converter and then downloaded a little Mac util called 'LoadMyTracks' which can download the information from my GPS handset. I was all set then, any GPS data that I logged was readydy to be used in Magnalox.

So after I was all set to go I nipped out in the car and drove round a small route just to record a small journey for me to upload. I also took a few piccies along the way for good measure and after a few mins fiddling with the website, by Jove! It works!


I'm going to use this to plot some of this summers bike rides as my GPS unit acts as my speedo on board (I have the only PC compatible push bike in Wigan!)

So watch out for some pretty nifty blog articles on my biking trips, including GPS data, pictures and text... If I've any energy left to type!

No comments: