Tag Archives: GPS

Reverse Geocaching?

Geocaching is a really cool hobby where somebody hides a container, sometimes so small it only fits a tiny bit of paper for a log all the way up to ammo cans (sometimes larger). They then post the coordinates of the container on a geocaching website where other people then try to find it.
One would think a hobby using GPS like that would be easy, but it can be a real challenge.
Anyhow, there is a new take on it called Reverse Geocaching. In this case you are given the cache up front, but it has a special device on it to keep it from opening until it is in the correct location.

Rethinking Which GPSr to Get and Garmin and DeLorme Announce New GPSrs

I have decided to either go for a DeLorme (yes, the same company that makes the large street atlas you may have in your car or elsewhere) PN-40 (noted below) or the PN-20

$349.99 at Amazon (link above), but that includes topographic maps of the country, which can be used for full road routing. 1GB SC card and the usual complement of other stuff.
However… Factory refurbished units can be had for $199.99 from places like Tiger GPS and a few others. I have read the forums, and it seems factory refurbished units are just as good as (sometimes better than) new units. (May be better as the factory tests them more than new units.)
This makes it cheaper than the $234.09 Garmen Vista HCx (which by most accounts isn’t nearly as good)

and far cheaper than the equal model on the Garmin side, the one I would like to have of the Garmin’s the $299.99 60CSx (price dropped from last time I looked, perhaps due to the fact Garmin has a new GPS coming out soon)

But… there is always a “but.” But, there is a new DeLorme coming out called the PN-40, which by the looks of things is amazing… This is the one I would most want to have… but given economic realities, I’ll probably have to take the PN-20.
Continue reading Rethinking Which GPSr to Get and Garmin and DeLorme Announce New GPSrs

A MySpace, Facebook Application for the Google Android Phone

I talked how I was wanting to learn Java, so I could start making programs for the Android mobile phone platform.
A project that I thought of, but is perhaps beyond my ability for any time soon, is an application that will tie in with MySpace, Facebook and expendable to other social network websites.
Basically, it searches your friends lists, and if they have an Android phone as well and the location tracking feature turned on, you can see which of your MySpace/Facebook friends are nearby by using the Android’s built in GPS. There are variants I saw of this out there, but none I know tie in directly with the current social network, rather they setup their own networks.
Bes I can figure it, each user who has an Android device, sets up an application on their MySpace/Facebook page that detects when they enable the location feature on their Android. For privacy reasons, all it shows on the webpage itself is that location tracking is on. The back end of the application that the Friends can’t see, but the user can, allows them to block certain friends, or allow only certain friends to see their location.
If two friends have their location tacking enabled, then when they look at the application on their Android, it shows where they are via Google Maps. You can see in an instant if your friends are running late to meet you at the movie theater, or see when a friend arrives in town and a host of other cool features.
At the same time, there are the normal security concerns if some pervert is using a fake MySpace account to find young girls or something like that. I haven’t figured a way around that, but in all honesty I don’t know as if one does need to, since if they already got friended, they are already in, and as I said, the back end allows you to add only select friends to the location tracking, so hopefully that added level of security will be enough. Still the end user license would need to be written in a way so that the developer would assume no responsibility for abuse of the system. Personally, I would add a warning when they add friends to the location tracking that reminds them to be extra careful of whom they allow to track their location (this would be a dialog box that pops up each time, but would probably have a check mark so you could avoid the message next time). By default, it wouldn’t have any friends listed in the allow column.
Anyhow, that is the basics of it. I have more details floating around in my head.
Some of the variations out there currently (well, currently may not be the right word since Android itself isn’t out yet, but these are the ones that I know of in active development) that I know of:
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Locked Down on a GPS Choice

I have decided on which GPSr to get.

This costs $234.09. (Not sure why they don’t show the price on the front, perhaps it is too cheap to advertise on the picture since everyone local sells it for $299.99… so see, were getting a deal here.) I am also willing to toss in some on my own cash to help, though I would rather use my money to get some of the accessories, such as the street maps….or getting the 60CSx below which sounds like it would be better for turn by turn directions.

A few notes. Notice the HCx added to the name, this is an important feature over the regular Vista… Also notice is a Vista not a Legend.

Father’s Day is coming up, and I’ll remind people that I spent over $80 on Mother’s Day. 😉
Perhaps people can team up together to get it. Mother… father… Sara… Perhaps some still owe something for my Birthday (LOL).
Of course we need a few accessories to go with that:
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