Fri, 22 Sep 2006
In order to get going on the Openstreetmap project
I am having another go at using the Acer n35 PDA/GPS I borrowed before. I looked at various
dedicated GPS units, but they were either too expensive or too limited for my requirements.
I wanted something that would allow me to collect lots of traces whilst travelling, but also
give me navigation when I need it. I'm having to compromise on battery life, but I don't expect
to be out walking for hours with it. It has some advantages over my Palm, such as the option
to add wifi, but it may take a while to adjust to different applications.
So far I have submitted a couple of traces of Arlesey around my house. I'll venture further
afield as I get the time. I'll also be using it when out in the car, but this requires that I
find a workaround for the GPS opaque windscreen
on my Zafira. I'm hoping that an external antenna will work somewhere in the car. I may also
buy some extra software called GpsGate that will allow me
to log GPS traces even when using the navigation software. Their basic version is pretty cheap.
I'm still learning how to edit the traces to give the correct mapping information. There are lots
of options for the type of road etc. There's also the issues with mapping things like post/telephone
boxes, bus stops, parks, lakes etc. I'm hoping that I can build a useful map of my area that can
be used by local organisations without all the expense and legal complications of the commercial
There are a few other people in the area who are doing some mapping, so perhaps I will team up
with them some time to cover other towns and villages.
Thu, 14 Sep 2006
Herts LUG 20060914
Last night's LUG meeting consisted of a talk I
arranged by some guys from the OpenStreetmap project.
There were three of them and they did a grand job of telling us what the project is about
and demonstrating some of the tools they use. They planned their presentation on their
great wiki. The meeting was
well attended, with some new faces.
I've been looking this project for a while and would like to take part. To be honest,
I'd like a GPS just to play with. As mentioned before I am on the look out for a new
PDA and/or phone that should have some sort of GPS facility. Another possibility I've found is
the Mio P550. As well as a
built-in GPS unit with the latest chipset it also has Wifi. Price is reasonable too. I need
to find some more reviews first. Alternatively I buy a dedicated unit that will probably
be better for mapping projects, especially for battery life.
Fri, 01 Sep 2006
Zoning in on the phone
This week I met up with Rev. Rumble after his extended
trip around Europe and just before he returns to the southern penal colony. I checked out his
phone, a Nokia 6630. It seemed to
offer a lot of what I previously mentioned. No wi-fi, but that only seems to come with the
top end ranges anyway. He has used it for navigation purposes as I would like to.
Some on-line investigations revealed that is was superceded by the
6680 that fixed some of the issues
and adds a second camera. This may aso be a dead range, but that makes for good prices.
There's plenty on ebay. Then I just need a cheap Bluetooth GPS. Could be up and running for
well under my standard mobile device budget of £200, but I might need extras like memory
cards and some software.
Other news is that I had another week's camping, this time in
Croyde, Devon. Had a good time despite the rain
and managed a bit of mild surfing. That seems to be the main attraction around there, but
also did some walking and visited the tourist traps. Bought a painting by
As part of my on-going lust to do something for the open source world I contacted
one of the OpenStreetMap team about getting
someone to speak at the LUG. So we now have a group
of them coming along next month. Maybe they can recommend what I should buy.