July 26, 2008#

Magellan Triton & OpenStreetMap. Perfect Duo?

000095 I’ve recently been doing some research on current GPS devices since I broke my own about year ago. I used to use a Magellan Meridian which I’ve been extremely satisfied with. Still, it’s probably not worth a repair intent as it’s the display that is damaged. Besides, the map material available for the device is of course totally outdated as is the hardware itself. So I currently looking for a new device.

getProdImage.asp Long story short, I’ve never been to fond of the Garmin devices and as I’m looking for an outdoor GPS for hiking, mountain biking, etc., I found the Magellan Triton series to be particularly interesting. Color touch screen, rugged, nice interface, support for Geo Caching and depending on the model flashlight, camera and many more features make this device really interesting. BUT it has one very large drawback! Magellan doesn’t seem to interested in Europe too much, meaning, there’s only country boundaries and large streets on the device’s integrated base map and no detailed maps available to buy and / or download (besides some special maps like waterways and topographic maps for Norway). Since I’m planning to use this thing mainly in Europe that would be an absolute no-buy reason. Continue Reading

June 1, 2008#

Update: What OpenStreetMap doesn’t have…

I didn’t actually think about this when I “rediscovered” OpenStreetMap the other day and wrote my blog post about it; there’s yet another feature that OpenStreetMap doesn’t offer… routing! I didn’t really notice that as I’m hardly using this feature on Live Maps or Google Maps, but in fact, there’s no from-to route finding service on OSM.

BUT luckily there is OpenRouteService, a free routing service that is based on (as you may guess) OpenStreetMap. Another great example of what to do with a free worldwide street database ;-)

May 26, 2008#

OpenStreetMap! A great idea!

Mag_map-120x120I’d like to help and spread the word about a project I actually came across quite a while ago but which I’ve rediscovered recently: OpenStreetMap (German version here). In short, this project is a community effort to create a copyright-free world map.

The look and feel is basically the same as with Google Maps (without the satellite coverage of course) but the big difference is, that OpenStreetMap maps are completely free. Not like Google’s maps which are “free” as in “you can do this and that with our maps BUT YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO …………………. <LONG TEXT FOLLOWING> …………”.

osmOf course they don’t have all the features of the big players like Google or Microsoft; there’s no Street View, no Bird’s Eye View and sadly but understandably¬† no satellite coverage but the maps (and the data behind them) are completely free and you can use them for practically anything. You can even download the world database which the maps are based on onto your computer and use it for whatever you like. Besides, in some of the more crowded areas, OpenStreetMap maps are even more accurate then Google’s version, as you can see in the following picture. Continue Reading

April 16, 2008#

Wow, Google! I’m so impressed now!

Just read the news that Google released a new beta version of it’s planetary explorer Google Earth which now includes 3D models of some of the bigger German cities, too. Among the Berlin and much to my liking Munich.

I gave it a try a few minutes ago and decided that this is definitely worth a quick (almost) real-time post. I activated 3D  buildings while having the map centered to Munich and all I could say was “Wow!”. Nothing more to say!

Have a look for your self:

munich 1

munich 2

munich 3

Get it here.

April 10, 2008#

ADS-B – Next Gen Air Navigation

This is nothing really new but something that is definitely overdue!

Given the background of my experiences at AENA and my studies, the video below (Source) which I found through Pogue’s Posts wasn’t actually much of a surprise for me but I think it gives a really good overview for non-pros! Besides, for me, it’s at least been a short update on the American state of the art and future plans as my personal knowledge tends to be a bit focused on the European on-goings.

For those among you who want to know a bit more then “ADS-B = AIRPLANE + GPS + COLOUR DISPLAY = COOL” and may be wondering how GPS with it providing a downlink only is to provide every airplane with other planes’ positions, have a look at the Wikipedia article on the topic. There you’ll find the details!