One of the problems with using an Android-based smartphone such as the Droid, Droid Eris, or Droid X as a hiker’s GPS is that maps don’t work when there is no cell coverage, which is common in areas where people like to hike or bike recreationally.
Google Maps will pre-cache some maps but it’s unpredictable as to whether it will fetch the right maps or delete the cached maps altogether. The real solution is to use an offline GPS program instead of the Google Maps program, which still requires access to the Internet
For those willing to put the effort, a free program called OruxMaps can make use of GPS maps stored on a Android smartphone’s SD card. The process of getting the maps is actually very straightforward by using another program. For most people, it should take no more than a few minutes to begin downloading the correct maps for use on an Android device with just GPS signals.
Very cool stuff. I’m going to have to check this out for the next time we head to Vermont.
I am super impressed by Central Hudson, our local power company, for their interactive outage map. Really easy to figure out where the worst of the storm is. This is a great instance of exposing your data on the web to serve your customers better.
I was very happy to recently realize that you can put latitude and longitude directly into google maps, and it will give you a map with that marker. This is really useful if the address gives you a location that isn’t right, as you can manually adjust the latitude and longitude to put the marker in the right place.
My parents almost live on the 44 degree lat line (I think the GPS coords for our wedding were 43.9998), so it occurred to me to see where the closest integer Lat / Long was to them, which isn’t that far away, though it’s close to a mile off any of the local roads.
I was obviously curious where the closed one was to me, which I’ve actually been past before. It’s also only a couple hundred feet of a road, so easy to get to.
And that made me wonder. What an interesting experiment that would be, to get a photo from ever integer lat / long on the planet, and display it on a website. I’ve got too many sticks in the fire, so no time for that, but if anyone decides to do it, let me know. I’ll contribute a few pictures from the ones I can get to.
Updated: apparently this already exists, my search terms were just wrong the first time. It’s called the Degree Confluence Project.
A friend of mine pointed me at Live Maps last night, which is basically microsoft’s google maps. It looks basically exactly like google maps, so I wasn’t sure why he sent me there.
Then he said “Find your house, and click Bird’s Eye view.”
Ok. The results are impressive. It’s a lot higher res than the aerial, and more current. I wish they told you the date o nthis things, as I’d find it facinating. I have some ideas by what’s laying around in our yard that this is late March / Early April last year.