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Enhancing Navigation

We bought ourselves a Garmin eTrex Vista C GPS this weekend from REI and got a pretty good deal on it.

Being an Eagle Scout and having gone through Boy Scouts of America as a usually attentive learner I was tought basic and advanced orienteering. I’ll always carry a topographical map and a decent compass – a Suunto M-2 – but a GPS surely offers many advantages.

When we opened it we found a kitchen sink included, and while the GPS was finding and tracking satellites it was busy reprogramming our TV.

Okay – so it didn’t do all that, but it does provide a trip computer, a route tracker and projector, a compass with options to point to true north or magnetic north, storage for hundreds of waypoints – allowing us to map our path prior to leaving, uploading it into the GPS, and having it guide us on our travels – and much more. It even has GPS-enhanced games like a virtual maze or "memory" which you can play while getting exercise running from point to point.

While Parks and Recreation does ask that you stay on marked trails, the occassional side trip will be made easier and we can track our progress and know our elevation at all times. Not only is this a very handy device outdoors and while driving, it will be a lot of fun.

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Categories: Travel
  1. Nick
    May 16, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    Sweet, you just need to figure out a way to extract the data when you post to your blog and include your location in your posts now.

  2. Heath
    May 16, 2005 at 5:58 pm

    Only problem with that is that indoors the signal is not good or non-existent. That would be a cool idea, though.

  3. John.the.editor
    August 31, 2005 at 6:30 am

    Are you involved with troop now Heath? I’m a trained scoutmaster and I have three boys in a troop. We’re havin’ a great time. Re. extracting your location data, couldn’t you call up the locations you’ve been to recently or waypoints you’ve programmed, and enter those along with your blog posts. For example, on the Mt. Si entry, you could put your starting coordinates and your ending coordinates. And can you plot those on msn.virtualearth.com or some other mapping site? I’m just dreaming up ideas here, I don’t own one of those devices. In terms of plotting your location at work, just step outside the nearest building and put that in here. 🙂 Are you into geocaching?

  4. Heath
    September 11, 2005 at 5:46 pm

    Leaves_no_trace, I have considered doing something like that but when I write my blogs I’m typically either at home or at work (mostly at home for this blog, as opposed to my work blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/heaths) so the coordinates wouldn’t serve much purpose. I’m also a privacy buff.I have tried Geocaching but a few caches seem to be missing, even after searching the surrounding area.

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