25 September 2007

Links to Macintosh GPS tools

These are the links to the tools I used in my GPS for the Mac presentation at the Apple University Consortium Conference at the Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, on 24 September 2007.

  1. Graphic Converter
  2. MacGPS Pro
  3. GPSBabel +
  4. PhotoGPSEditor
  5. iPhoto + iPhotoToGoogleEarth
  6. Google Earth
  7. StuffitExpander
  8. BBEdit
  9. Safari

Here's the GPS Mac presentation in Acrobat format (.pdf, 668kB), and the paper in Word (.doc, 5.6MB).

16 September 2007

Canberra Nature Parks maps

Here in the ACT the local government has published a series of Acrobat maps of the the local Nature Parks. Download the maps and import them into MacGPS Pro (it will open the PDF file directly). The ones I've tried work with the Geodetic Datum set to GDA94; Map Projection to Transverse Mercator; and UTM Zone to 55H. Calibrate the map using Google Earth (see Calibrating NATMAP Raster Premium Maps for the technique). You should independently verify the calibration before relying on the maps for navigation.

15 September 2007

Google Maps to your GPS via MacGPS Pro

Last weekend we wanted to visit a local winery (Yarrh, pronounced yaar) to try their Sangiovese. From their website map I could see where to go, but thought it would be a good exercise to see if I could transfer the data from Google Maps to my Garmin GPS to guide us there.

Turns out it's quite simple with My Maps (make sure you are logged in to Google: the link takes to you to maps.google.com.au), together with TakItWithMe - Google™ My Maps Converter Beta, and MacGPS Pro.
Google My Maps line tool

Once logged in to My Maps, create a new map and use the line tool to draw a line from the beginning to the end of the route. 

Click at each intersection along the route to draw the route. Double click at the destination to finish the route.

Save the map.

Graphic of the Link to this page link

Click the Link to this page link, and copy the data in the text field under Paste link in email or IM heading.

Go to the TakItWithMe website, and paste the data you copied into the Paste in Your Google My Maps URL text field. Click the Download GPX button.

You can then transfer the GPX file to your GPS device, for example using MacGPS Pro. Open MacGPS Pro, open the gpx file you just created, select the route using the Route tool (select the route tool; click one of the waypoints on the route) and transfer the route file to the GPS using the transfer tool.

Another way to do it would be to create Placemarks (rather than a line) in My Maps, then transfer these to MacGPS Pro via a GPX file using this same method. Create a new route in MacGPS Pro between the Placemarks (which become Waypoints in MacGPS Pro). If you have named the Placemarks meaningfully in My Maps you should get a route with meaningful names for Waypoints on the GPS.

Help with My Maps

Google has added a couple of movies to help you with mashups using other people's data or adding your own content to Google Maps My Maps. Here's a featured example of Bo Majewski's personal experiences of Sydney using My Maps.

Google Australian Electoral guide

Not strictly speaking a Macintosh GPS subject, but Google has launched a site on the forthcoming Australian Federal election that includes a find your electorate feature using Google Maps My Maps feature (warning: doesn't work in Safari). You will need to log in to Google to see the option under 'Featured content' on the right ('Australian 2007 Election').

If you have Google Earth you can also download a kmz file to add a map layer for the electorates there.

05 September 2007

Mercedes (or BMW) for my next car?

At least for driving (if you are in the US and want to buy a new Mercedes) you can now transfer directions from Yahoo! Maps or Google Maps to you car's GPS: it's called Search & Send. BMW has been working with Google to do a similar thing for BMW as well. Watch the videos for Search & Send: it works through a browser so the platform doesn't come into it.