Saturday, 25 September 2010

#268: Potential: Maximise.

While my years in the Scouts have given me a knack for reading a map at a glance, it just wasn't handy and kinda dangerous to be messing about with paper maps while riding on a motorcycle. Especially on midnight rides.

So with my trusty hand-me-down Sony Ericsson k810i (released: 2007) and my even trustier TomTom Mark II bluetooth GPS receiver (released: 2005), some free online tools and Google Maps, I turned my non-smartphone phone into a navigation unit complete with waypoints and markers:

- I went to and downloaded their wicked awesome gps tracking app.
- I used Mobile Atlas Creator to create the entire Google Maps of Taiwan (including a bunch of zoom levels) into a handy zip file and copied to TrekBuddy's atlas folder.
- I used Google Maps to plan my original route.
- Since Google Maps doesn't actually have an option to export directions, I used GMapToGPX to create a directions file for TrekBuddy.
- Hooked up the TomTom to the phone, strapped the phone to the front of my bike. Ready to roll, simple as.

Despite my reputation for being a bit of a techy person, I very rarely have the latest and greatest hardware. Most true tech people don't. We just know how to use what we have to beyond their intended abilities.

I like to think of it as the less-greasy version of bodging something together. =)

There are those who'd think it's a lot of bother for a bit of extraneous convenience... but that'd be missing the point completely.

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