Openstreetmap (OSM) is a great project – real “grassroots remapping” of the world, created mainly in response to the restrictive pricing and licencing of mapping companies, such as the Ordnance Survey. People go around with GPS units and basically walk, cycle and drive around, recording where they go, they then upload these tracks to the OSM website and edit them into the map. Here’s a great step by step guide to the whole process.
There are a number of options for capturing GPS tracks. I’m using a GlobalSat BT-308 which is a blue-tooth receiver – it doesn’t store anything on it. Using VisualGPS running on my windows laptop, I can store and record tracks, but lugging that heavy laptop around turns a nice stroll into an arduous hike! So i needed to use my phone.
I’m using a Nokia 6230i, and have looked at two programs so far… (watch this space for more info, as I find more, or get exasperated and do the coding myself!)
1. Spot: from Skylab Mobile Systems.
I tried the demo version of this j2me product – the demo version only runs for 5 mins.
It connected successfully with the GPS unit, displayed nice satellite positions, and location information. However it crashed, and made the whole phone crash and reboot when I tried to save the waypoints (.gpx) to the phones memory card. Sent them an email, will see whats going wrong.
2. GETrack:This looked more like it. The demo version recorded 50 waypoints. Every 5 seconds it tried to record a waypoint from the gps unit, the full version is 2000 units. I went for a walk to the shops and back, and saved a couple of runs. However, there’s no way to save the file to the phones memory, just the option to send via Bluetooth.
Sending via bluetooth to the laptop wouldn’t work. nothing happened. An email will be sent (after ive read the manual again!)
EDITS:16 july: got it working, read the manual! Had to set up bluetooth on laptop and mobile to get it to work. Heres a sample, in kml format taken walking around in Headingley, Leeds, UK, and below is image of combined tracks
3+ I’m going to try GPSWatch, and read OSM Mobile