Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Tracks for Android

In the past I have done some mapping of the various mountain bike tracks around the Central Coast. In a previous blog post I documented how I used my Nokia phone and a bluetooth GPS dongle to do mapping.

Now I have a HTC Desire this process has now become much easier to do and I only have to carry one device while I ride.

The key to using the HTC Desire for mapping is the My Tracks for Android application. This application was built by some Google engineers in their 20% time and the results have been open-sourced for the community to benefit.

The My Tracks application uses the GPS in your Android device to record your location as you walk, run or ride. The resulting information can then be exported to either Google Documents to record the details or Google Maps to visualise the route.

Here is an example of a map produced by the My Tracks application.

View 2GO Track in a larger map

An example of the data collected and archived in Google Docs is here
My experience so far with Google My Tracks has been very positive and I will continue to use it for both my riding and running.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

HTC Desire - Android Phone

Two weeks ago I got myself a HTC Desire. For the last couple of months I have been watching the release of various Android phones to decide which one I should get once my contract was up on my old Nokia. The winner was the HTC Desire. It was universally billed as one of the best Android phones available today.

I had decided to get an Android phone because as a developer I would like to be able to create applications for my phone. The other reason to get an Android rather than a iPhone (iOS) was that all the tools required to develop applications are freely available and run on Windows or Linux.

Over the coming months I will try to document my attempts at building some simple applications for the HTC Desire.