Monday, April 11, 2011

GPS Goodies

In my previous GPS post, I wrote about a Christmas present from my wife that is quite useful for those of us who have a propensity to get lost, but who won't ask for directions.  I fit in with most men on that last point, I'm told.  Technology came to my rescue in the form of a Garmin GPS.

I am working on the step-by-step instructions to get a route into the unit, and on getting the track made during a ride out of it, but meanwhile, here is a listing of useful goodies for the user of a GPS. 

These websites will answer almost any question you may have, and provide software to do almost anything you can think of. 


Basic Must-Have Software:

Your GPS may have come with some software.  However, according to Tom on his Random Connections blog, there are three other tools that "EVERYONE ought to have." ...and they are free!

I quote Tom's advice here:
  • EasyGPS - This is a great tool for creating and organizing GPX files.  In addition to being able to save these files, you can transfer selected locations directly to the GPS via cable.  You can view and edit POIs, tracks, and routes.  There is also a geocaching mode.  EasyGPS works with most GPS units, both automotive and handheld.
  • GPSBabel - If your GPS unit uses something other than GPX files, GPSBabel is essential.  It can convert just about any type of GPS file from one type to another.  It’s also very handy for converting Google Earth files into GPX files for GPS units.  More on that later.
  • Google Earth - Given the HUGE number of resources available for this program, it only makes sense to include it.  Google Earth can read GPX files so that you can view your tracks and locations on a map, however, the free version doesn’t write GPX files.  That’s where GPSBabel comes in.  You can take any placemark in Google Earth, save it to a KML file, then use GPSBabel to convert the file to something your GPS understands.
Other Resources: 

Other GPS Postings:

Route, Track, Conversion Tools, and Other Useful Goodies:
(Shamelessly stolen from DRZ Charlie's mashup over at the ADVRider Forum.) 

Data/Language conversion tools to convert from one format to another.
Address to Coordinate converter
POI Converters
GPX File Repositories
Route to Track Conversion Tutorials
Track and WayPoint Converters
The following Web sites allow you to plot your GPX data on a Web map:
Online Gpx Applications

Multiple Platform Support
Combine multiple mapsets into one file without the need to run MapSource.
  • GMAPTOOL Note* you will need to un-rar this file with an un-rar tool
Data in GPX form is available at the following Web sites:
Macintosh GPX Software
GPX-enabled software for Mobile Phones and PocketPC and Palm PDAs:
Online Route Planners
Free (legal) Map Resources
Flying Google Earth - How to
Books and resources



Saturday, April 2, 2011

Historic Anniversary

Most of us would have missed this historic anniversary.  Do you know what it is? 

Here are some clues:
  • It is today.  
  • It is not motorcycle-related.   
  • The event occurred four hundred years ago.  
  • It provided important information, first hand, to those who previously were without. 
  • It has changed lives.  
Give up?

Look below.  Read the whole thing (after you click on the pages to enlarge them).  I believe you will see that it is perhaps the most important and influential modern text in history.


Influential?  Absolutely.
Life changing?   It can be if you let it. 

Give it a try.  It will be the best decision you have ever made. 

Text credits:
Text of a copywrited article by Vicki Barker, associate professor of English at Carson-Newman College, in Life Words, Bible Study for Life, Volume 5, Number 2.  Published by Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, One Lifeway Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234.