Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What's Your Vector, Victor? Part Deux

The wonders of modern GPS systems are a huge part of this project. We're using Google and Microsoft Mappoint for our tracking software. (No, we didn't spend huge $$$ to get Mappoint. I got it free with my work volunteering for the National Girls' Collaborative Project, a pretty worthy cause that you should check out.) Google rocks, but we needed some sort of software that we could access without a connection to the Internet for map updates (like Google Maps needs).

Daniel took it out and drove around in his car the other day to see how the software works, and he was able to draw out a track (not shown here). Tonight, while we were waiting for Alli and Dale to come back from the store, Daniel came out front with the laptop and I rode off on my bike. (Kids, don't try this at home! Especially not after dark, in dark clothes, without a headlight. I should have been wearing sunglasses, too.)

Unfortunately, the antenna on the receiver wasn't powerful enough. We switched out the antenna (more power!) and then Alli and I went for a walk around the neighborhood.

Success! Here's a copy of the track we walked after it was imported to Google Earth. (It was actually dark out when we went walking.) We didn't actually walk *through* those houses, but it's pretty good for a homemade tracker system.

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