GPS Study for Hiking Blogs

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(:title GPS Study for Hiking Blogs :)

I do quite a bit of backcountry hiking, and occasionally take along a GPS. Notably, the GPS is ill-designed for the things I actually want to do with it. It made me think about whether it would be interesting to do a study of GPS as used by skiers and hikers, not so much out in the field, but how they would like to use it in terms of generating trips / blogs / location-dependent photos, etc. Somewhat narrow, but may be interesting. Some obvious uses are to document trips, and to post them.

For example (just retrieved through a quick search)

  • http://spanring.eu/blog/2007/08/28/gps-hiking-tours/
  • http://brt-insights.blogspot.com/2007/01/hiking-with-gps-at-cache-creek-jan-3.html
  • http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2005/08/arizona_hiking.html

For example, my pet peeves with my GPS.

  • in the field, its hard for me to annotate a description onto a particular spot, although its easy to save a waypoint
  • my camera and GPS are separate (although personally I am not big on location-based photography), but it may be nice to link photos to a map
  • its tedious to create a blog entry (I don't bother), e.g., a map, a description, photos, etc. While all the bits are produced by my unit, creating a blog-type entry that I can easily edit is hard.

Outcomes:

  • a study of a new social use of GPS via blogging / hiking web sites
  • some recommendations on designing GPS units and on-screen software so they are suitable for amateur trip recording.