It should come as no surprise that navigating the Grand Canyon is a serious undertaking even in today’s GPS age. So before I embarked on a self-support kayak trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, I made sure I was prepared with the most up to date, accurate navigational data and tools. My […]
GPS and Mapping are some of my favorite topics, and you’ll be hard pressed to ever find me out exploring without a GPS in hand. Ironically, I rarely ever use a GPS in the backcountry for navigational purposes. Most of the time, I simply use it to record where I’ve been so that I can do some armchair exploration months later.
This page will undoubtedly grow over time, but I currently use two GPS technologies to share my adventures with people on the web: Garmin Connect and SPOT.
My primary online repository for GPS tracks has become Garmin Connect. Although the site is primarily aimed at fitness activities, it is much more mature than its cousin, Garmin Adventures. I often link to individual activities in my blog posts, but my full collection of activities can be found on my main page.
SPOT Satellite Messenger
I have owned a SPOT since 2008 and originally acquired it as an emergency beacon. Fortunately, I have never had to use that feature, but I’ve used the Check-In and Tracking features all around Colorado, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and even up to the edge of space! When I’m out on a trip or launching a balloon into the stratosphere, you can follow along with frequent (as fast as 10 minute intervals) updates directly from the SPOT page that I’ve embedded below.
If you have trouble with the embedded SPOT Shared Page below, you can open it in a new window.
Although the SPOT Shared Page is the primary source of data for the device, it does a pretty poor job of maintaining and archiving the locations for more than a week. Fortunately, an enterprising individual has created a page called SpotWalla that let’s you create “Trips” of arbitrary length that can permanently store your SPOT locations. So you will typically see me embedding a trip map here or in a blog post so you can follow along.
Download my Google Earth network link, open it in Google Earth, and then save it to My Places in G.E. The next time you open Google Earth, my network links will automatically appear in the left pane under places and will have all the latest KMZ files that I have added!
Edit 5/21/2009: The G.E. plugin is killing performance on my PC and since it wasn’t too impressive, I have removed it from this post. It is now incredibly easy to embed Google Earth into a blog or website, with the results that you see (maybe) below. However, I’m not sure how effective of a tool […]
Geotagging is basically the process of associating location with photographs and can be accomplished in many ways. I have developed a process using a commercial product called RoboGEO that not only geotags the photos, but also creates KMZ files that allow the photos and associated GPS data to be viewed in Google Earth. Here is […]
Here is a nice procedure I have developed for concatenating several days worth of GPS waypoints and tracks into a single GPX file. The end result is a compact, neat file that hierarchically contains each day’s track and waypoints with appropriate descriptions. This file can be easily shared and viewed intuitively in most mapping programs, […]
After some trial and error, I have a nice method of recording GPS data on multi-day trips that is useful both during and after the trip. I typically use this procedure on backpacking, biking, and rafting trips when I will be sequentially moving from one location to another. In these case, I like to know […]
Another GPS based device I recently acquired (also thanks to my REI refund) is the SPOT Satellite Messenger. It is generally considered a sort of personal locator beacon (PLB), but those who know better quickly point out that it is based on completely different technology, so it is really in a category of its own. […]
I recently purchased a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS to complement my running training with Fastforward Sports. I’m training for the Bolder Boulder 10K and the Rocky Mountain 1/2 Marathon and thought this gadget would be just what the doctor ordered. It is feature-packed, GPS-enabled wrist-top computer that is designed to assist in training for running, […]