Sunday, June 21, 2009

GPS Mapping

Over the last 10 years I have ridden many of the trails in the Central Coast area, often more than once. Recently, I have started to map these trails using a GPS with the aim to document them so other riders may enjoy them.

To do the mapping I use the following hardware and software.



An example of the embedded map produced by this technique is below. It shows the various information available from the file produced from Nokia Sports Tracker.

View Larger Map

Capturing the Data Points (GPS Track)

To capture the data used for the KML file I use my Nokia mobile phone connected to a bluetooth GPS Module. Nokia have released an application called Nokia Sports Tracker which allows you to record a GPS track. For further information on the use of Nokia Sports Tracker visit the Nokia website.

The Nokia Sports Tracker application has the option to output the file of data points to a variety of formats (GPS, CSV, or KML). We are most interested in KML here because it allows us to import the track into Google Earth or Google Maps.

Viewing the Map

Now that we have a KML file we can open this file directly into Google Earth to check that it looks correct. If you have Google Earth installed, double-clicking the KML file in Windows will open the path and display.

To use the path in Google Maps is a little more involved as you need to host the KML file somewhere on the web. I use a folder on my hosting provider.

Once you have the KML file hosted on the web you can now use it within Google Maps. To use within Google Maps copy/paste the URL into the Google Maps Search Bar and press 'Search' button.

Google Maps will now display the path on the map with some additional information about the path from the KML file.

Embedding the Map

Once you have the map displayed you can now Print, Send, or Link to this map. To embed this map into a blog or another web page use the 'Link' menu and paste the HTML in the second box into your website code.

You can use the 'Customise and preview embedded map' to change the settings of the embedded map.

For more information refer to the examples on the Google Maps site.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Google IO 2009 - The Myth of the Genius Programmer

An interesting talk given by Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman on the 'Myth of the Genius Programmer'. Brian and Ben talk about some of the collaboration issues that people experience on open source software projects.

Although the talk centres around open source projects and particularly fledgling projects with only small numbers of developers, some of the points about collaboration can apply to teams working on software projects within larger organisations.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kariong Hieroglyphics - More Photos

Here are some additional photos taken of the Kariong Hieroglyphics. Refer to my previous post for more information on the carvings.

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