Getting the gear sorted out

[Update: Some of the process is now changed due to enhancements in Everytrail and the Garmin plugin – look at the Trails Page for an up-to-date description of how this blog is currently being serviced.]

The facts are these. I bought a Garmin nuvi 255w GPS device to accompany #duettovan on its travels. [Note to self, next camera must have in-built GPS.] Since then, when time has allowed (and not much of that just recently – that’s another story), I’ve been looking at how the device stores its GPS tracks and how I can surface them on a blog. First attempts were with the Garmin GoogleMaps connector, and I still haven’t given-up on that, but lets say, it hasn’t been that straightforward. In fact … I’ve yet to see a map produced that way, but I will persevere. Since then I’ve been poodling around and it wasn’t until I found this excellent resource page at topografix that I began to make progress.

From the list of resources, I came across GPSVisualizer which validated the GPS files I had been trying to upload, having previously downloaded them to the #MBP. This is a really cool site, and for anyone interested in digital mapping it’s worth a long hard time looking at what can be done. To save the map you’ve created, or display it on your blog/website requires some further coding to be done and you need to get an api key from Google Maps. I could of course do that, but that’s a retirement task :-). So for now, an easier and Web2.0 way had to be found.

Having created the map with GPSVisualizer by uploading the current.gpx track on the Garmin – connected as a USB-device to the computer, I was able to save it to EveryTrail which allows you to upload and save a GPS track, to upload photos to go along with the track, to then embed the map and statistics inside a blogpost and re-play the track! You can keep tracks private if you want to as well, which is a good idea while you’re working out how to use all the apps together.

The only thing I haven’t got to work yet is the EveryTrail GPS Connector for Garmin. This may be because I was running it as a Windows app from the Parallels desktop on the #MBP. However, I note from the EveryTrail site that they appear to be having problems with uploads at the moment and are recommending going through GPSVisualizer, so perhaps its not virtualisation on the #MBP that was the problem.

Finally, all you need to do then is cut’n’paste the code from the EveryTrail site into the blog, I’ve re-sized the frame to 750px by 504 px. You might also note from the EveryTrail site that you are able to replay the trip on Google Earth by pressing the Download KML link. Great fun!

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