Results tagged “GPS” from kwc blog

garmin.jpgGarmin has just opened up developer.garmin.com, which is now their warehouse for Garmin Web APIs and toolkits. Under Device Communications you can find tools for transferring data to and from your Garmin GPS device. Under Web Services you can find APIs for interacting with MotionBased.com, using its Activity Player as your own, and transferring Garmin data from your Web site to a device. There's also stuff in there for SmartPhones/PDAs, Fleet Management, and location-enabling your Java app.

I'm most excited about the Activity Player API. As cool as the MotionBased site is, I would like to gain a little more control over my data.

Garmin-related MotionBased.com lets you upload your GPS-indexed workout data to the Web for online viewing and dissecting (I use it with my Garmin Edge 305). While I wish Garmin could provide an all-in-one solution (the PC Training Center software is better in some regards, the MotionBased Web site in others), the MotionBased site is taking a nice step forward with its new "Beta" Player software.

The Player supercedes the "Map Player", which is an SVG-based visualization that shows you some of your based workout data on a map and lets you playback your ride (a dot moves along your path and reads off your workout data at that time/point). But the map was kinda klunky and zoomed poorly: you couldn't view local roads, which are the roads that cyclists predominantly ride on. The Map Player also only worked in Internet Exploder and required an Adobe plugin.

The Player swaps out the SVG map with a great Google Maps mashup, which makes sense given that they already use a Google Map on the summary page. This map is much larger and adds interactivity: you can click on any location to select a particular data point. The readout of the data is cleaned up as is a summary graph that lets you show two data series (elevation, speed, pace, total distance, etc...). Its a lot more useful and less klunky than before.

As the Player is still in beta, it only appears from time-to-time. If you're lucky enough to see a "Player" tab next to the "Map Player" tab, be sure to give it a try.

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Cheap Garmin Forerunner 305 until May 15

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garmin.forerunner.305.jpgThere's a whole lot for Garmin going on under my roof: I'm having a blast with my new Garmin Edge 305, d has a Forerunner 305 on the way, and my dad likes his Nuvi 305.

With all this Garmin happiness, I feel like pointing out that you can get a pretty good deal on the Forerunner 305 on Amazon: $257.06 - $50 rebate = $207.06. The rebate ends on May 15. Garmin's own Web site lists these for $376.91, so that seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Why get a Forerunner 305? From my Edge 305 review you can get the gist of what it does, just subtract all the cycling features (e.g. cadence). The Forerunner 305 is like an iPod + Nike kit, except you don't have to get Nike shoes. In fact, you don't have to wear shoes. It gives you fairly accurate GPS maps and combines these with heartrate data for improved training. If most of your running is done on treadmills, something like an iPod + Nike kit is the better choice*, but if your running is in the great outdoors, you might want to consider something that doesn't tie to a particular brand of shoes. In fact, you could even use it cycling, snowboarding, or any other type of workout.

* You can get a footpod with the Forerunner, but that adds more $$$ obviously

Two items of lust from PMA 2007

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The ELPH-en Canon Powershot TX-1 may be replacing my master plan to acquire a Sony HDR-SR1. My YouTube and Google Video efforts are clear: my ELPH digital camera is a terrible video camera. But my ELPH doesn't shoot 720p HD. The TX-1 isn't an 'ELPH' but it sure looks like an ELPH replacement: it shoots 7.1MP and it's got the same boxy, deck-of-cards size of the old CompactFlash-era ELPHs.

The Sony HDR-SR1 is one of the hottest HD video cameras on the market, but it's not the type of camera that I carry around in my pocket; nor is it a camera that escapes notice if you're trying to sneak it into an event. One other big advantage: the TX-1 will be $500; the SR1 is over $1100. I know its not the only small HD video camera on the market, but I have a bit of brand loyalty for all things ELPH and ELPH-en. I say this without actually having seen any photo or video samples yet, but the Gizmodo TX-1 hands-on promises samples soon.

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The Jobo PhotoGPS unit is intriguing. I already have a GPS unit, but having a unit that snaps to the top of your SLR hotshoe is attractive even if a bit frivolous. Hopefully the included software that geotags your photos will help justify the $149 pricetag.

Wireless Caltrain in September

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It looks like September is the target date for wireless on Caltrain. This isn't as tempting as it once was as my Caltrain commute is a lot shorter nowadays, but there does appear to be a benefit for even those that don't crack open their laptops:

One side benefit is the technology may help Caltrain and commuters track trains using Global Positioning System, Caltrain spokesman Jonah Weinberg said.

I've always been annoyed that the digital announcement boards at Caltrain rarely tell you anything useful about the train schedule. Most often they show ads for Caltrain service; rarely they tell you when Caltrain will be late. If this would allow Caltrain to more frequently provide time estimates for trains, or if it would allow me to have an online tracker that could tell me when I needed to leave the office, that'd be fantastic.

Caltrain aims to bring the office on board - Examiner.com

A few links

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Photo albums with GPS

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The World-Wide Media eXchange: WWMX group at Microsoft has released a demo application that lets you create a photo album that interweaves photos, GPS coordinates, and text so that you can view your photos geographically as well as chronologically. Not too useful of an app for today's cameras, but could be a portent of things to come when GPS becomes an inexpensive add-on. Something like this would have been really cool for my Europe backpacking trip.

Example travel log:
Melbourne xmas 2003 (only works on IE due to invalid Windows-only paths)
(via The Scobleizer -- Geek Aggregator)