Kids stole my iPhone…

 Google Earth, GPS, mobile, Neogeography  Comments Off on Kids stole my iPhone…
Nov 042008

… and ran around school with it. The rest of the class watched live on the interactive whiteboard while demanding their turn.

We used My Moving Map for this activity (mentioned in a recent post), which was designed as a quick 5 minute demonstration of some of the differences between paper and digital maps.

download the GPS track for Google Earth

Sep 192008

I can’t actually afford an iPhone however if / when I eventually acquire one, the first application I’ll install is Johan Nordberg’s Seismometer.

Seismometer records vibrations using iPhone’s built in accelerometer to “measure movements in two axes, calculate the resulting energy and draw the results on a rolling logarithmic scale.” There are many favourable reviews on the iTunes store and at 59p it’s somewhat cheaper than the classroom alternative.
In fact Seismometer would be perfect to use with my Shaker Maker – do it yourself earthquake table.

Other iPhone Apps that I’d like to try out include:


Earthscape is a virtual globe, though resolution outside the US is fairly poor. It’s currently available as a free download. (iTunes link)


GPS kit looks like an indispensible application to make the best use of the phones GPS. (iTunes link) It costs a few pounds though. I guess I just want to be able to replicate as many features of my Garmin Etrex as possible.

Aside from the three geography-related applications, I suppose I’d get some kind of Twitter client since my current phone is rubbish for that kind of thing. I also love the idea of the free WordPress application to be able to add and edit posts on my blogs rather more spontaneously than at present.

WayFinder Earth beta

 GPS  Comments Off on WayFinder Earth beta
May 022006

A virtual globe for your phone..
I’ve just downloaded Wayfinder Earth to my mobile phone. It’s a beta version, mapping application that zooms from a globe overview down to city street level, and links to a GPS to provide a phone-based satellite navigation system.

The globe is nicely rendered and pans smoothly. I was quite impressed. Providing that you have an internet connection, the transition from globe to the maps (provided by Tele Atlas) is seamless and rapid. The maps themselves are hardly beautiful, but are nevertheless functional and detailed. It can be a little disorientating at certain zoom levels with a lcak of named locations with which to get your bearings. The maps are rendered very quickly, especially by phone standards, and they take up very little memory.

If Wayfinder Earth remains free to use, then I’d say it’s an essential mobile application. I noticed that when I tried to link Wayfinder Earth to my GPS it wanted to go to an internet shop and upgrade. At this point you are buying into the existing Wayfinder Navigator sat-nav system. I’ve used Wayfinder Navigator for a while and really like it. It’s has just been improved with a nice visual makeover. As a sat-nav program it’s quite easy to use, has a postcode look up, gives very good directions and clear visual instructions and even warns of some (but not all) speed cameras. The Wayfinder website gives more information, and there’s a generous free trial period. You need a suitable phone and a bluetooth GPS.

What WayFinder Earth is not, is any kind of mobile Google Earth. As a mapping program for your phone, it’s brilliant and will work all over Europe and North America. You will want to buy a GPS and upgrade once you’ve tried it! I don’t know how much it is to purchase and use as a fully featured sat nav program , however I’m guessing it will be the same as Wayfinder Navigator, (99 Euros).

Thanks to Ogle Earth for spotting the release of Wayfinder Earth today

Juicy Geography mobile

 Google Earth, GPS, ICT, Photographs  Comments Off on Juicy Geography mobile
Apr 232006

I have added the first of my Yellow Arrows to two locations in North Devon that are important to me. The others will be used in a Geography/Art collaboration

This is the very first arrow:


There are lots of surf shops in North Devon, the arrow is placed on the window of the only shop manufacturing surfboards locally. If you’re in Braunton, text the code on the arrow to the SMS number provided, for a personal message!

This arrow has been placed somewhere on a beach. I’m not saying which beach, or where the arrow is located, but it’s not hard to find!

There’s a message for weekend / London surfers to be discovered.

Tomorrow I will be moblogging directly from a GCSE fieldtrip on Exmoor, (providing there’s an Orange signal!) I will also be testing some handheld GPS units and Phone2GEarth as well. The idea is to use the the phone to locate and photograph the fieldwork sites. The phone images will be geotagged in the evening.

The moblog link is here

The handheld GPS units will be used in conjunction with a traditional gun clinometer to measure the gradient of the river bed and the valley sides. The results will be available on this site in .gpx format so that they can be viewed in GPS Visualizer. It will be interesting to evaluate the accuracy of the traditional method compared to the modern.

Apr 172006

I’ve tried out a little mobile phone application called “Phone 2 Google Earth” The program communicates with a bluetooth GPS and records your position at regular intervals for as long as required. You can also record placemarks. The data is saved as a KML file, which can be transferred from the phone to a PC. Here is an example google earth file .

llamasclick to enlarge

The llamas featured as a placemark can be seen on my moblog.

The colour and opacity of the track can be modified once it has been imported to Google Earth via the advanced tab. It would be nice if there was an option to output the data as a GPX file which would preserve other aspects of the GPS log, such as speed and altitude, giving you the choice as to whether to use Google Earth or GPS Visualizer to view the data. As a basic tracking program however, Phone2GEarth works very well, and I’ll use it for fieldwork.

Experiments in moblogging

 ICT, Photographs  Comments Off on Experiments in moblogging
Apr 122006

I’m having a break from this blog for a few days while I investigate the potential of moblogging for geography fieldwork.

I have set up a sandbox moblog here, and I’m using a Blogger site to post about my progress. When you think about it, the ability to travel somewhere, take a picture and write a few words, then in seconds, publish on the internet is pretty amazing. Well it is to me anyway!