Archive for September, 2006

Back from hols

Just a note in case anyone is wondering why I’ve not replied to email etc. - I’ve been on holiday. Yay! :-) Am back now. Boo! :-( I’ll try and deal with email over the next few days - please bear with me.

Garmin Geko 301 - USB driver problems

Well my Garmin Trip and Waypoint manager software arrived this morning, along with my USB cable to connect my Geko 301 GPS to my computer. I was hoping to download my tracklogs off my GPS and onto my computer so that I could (a) take a look at the data, and (b) look at geo-tagging the photos I took on Sunday.

Alas things are never straight forward. The USB drivers fail to install, and my device manager shows an error:

Device manager error

If I double click the USB-Serial Controller and reinstall the driver, it eventually fails giving me the following error message:

Cannot Install this Hardware

The hardware was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary siftware.

This is dispite me using the USB drivers on the CD, and trying with the latest drivers from Garmin. Most annoying.

To confuse me even more, I can’t even get it to work on the serial port! Don’t know why that is, and haven’t got time to find out why now, but if I ever get an answer I’ll let you know the solution. In the meantime, if you’ve experienced similar problems and have solved them, do let me know!

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GeoBlogging: Geo-tagging your blog posts

Over the weekend I picked up a little GPS device (a Garmin Geko 301). There has been a lot of talk about geo-tagging your photographs so that you can overlay them on maps (e.g. Google Earth) and so that you can find other photos taken at the same location as your (e.g. flickr). This GPS can be accurate down to 10 feet or so (it is WAAS enabled), and it’s very small and waterproof so seems like the perfect companion for this sort of thing.

Anyway, geotagging my photos is something I want to have a play with, and while I was thinking about this the idea of GeoBlogging popped into my head. It’s often said that you’ll never hav an original idea, and this is one of those occasions. Still, I thought it would be a great idea to geo-tag your blog posts so that people can find posts from people near them, or blogs from events or holiday destinations etc.

This is something we’ve been trying to do with BritBlog, and are in the process of dropping postcodes in favour of GeoURL-style metadata in a blog template:

< meta name=“ICBM” content=“51.2327,-0.3309″ />
< meta name=“DC.title” content=“Mark Sweeting’s Blog” />
< meta name=“geo.position” content=”51.2327;-0.3309″ />

If you could do this on a per-blog-post basis rather than just on a blog basis then you’re half way there. I was thinking microformats would be the correct approach for this, but you’d need better blogging software support for wide adoption. You’d also need to think about how you mark up RSS feeds.

As I mentioned above, it turns out this isn’t a new idea. If you’re interested in this sort of stuff then you probably want to do a google on the topic, and take a look at GeoRSS. I’m in a bit of a rush at the moment, but if anyone has any useful tips/links or thoughts on this, I’d be interested to hear them.

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