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Soon after Bernd Zeimetz joined our company, he infected me with the geocaching virus. In the meantime, I bought a GPS receiver, and am now endeavoring around the town and the nearby woods, searching for caches.

There's not that much free GPS and/or geocaching software around. gpsd works quite well, but I don't take my computer to the woods ;) Viking is very nice for visualizing waypoints and sorting them in categories, but is still somewhere between alpha and beta state. gpsbabel reads and writes a zillion different file format and talks to a vast array of receivers, but often needs several attempts to upload data to mine. Things are moving fast though and the GPS community looks active.

Last week I started looking into OpenStreetMap and already added a few roads in my neighborhood. Compared to commercial maps, there's still much to do, especially for smaller tracks and features like foot bridges or woods outside bigger cities. I'll keep collecting GPS data :) For the free software side, neither OSM's online editor worked here (flash), nor the recommended tool for local use (java), so I tried merkaartor (qt4) which works nicely. It also has some bugs, but feels very usable (though sometimes slow). Starting from upstream's debian/ dir, building packages was straightforward, and after some more editing, packages are now in unstable. (The svn repository is in collab-maint, contributors welcome.)

Posted So 02 Mär 2008 18:37:58 CET Tags: geocaching