[OSM-talk] newbie needs hand-holding

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Thu Mar 30 10:48:55 BST 2006

Quoting RolyMo <rolymo at gmail.com>:

> At present, I am tempted to buy the Geko 201 because its the only one
> with documentation - but I get the impression that there may be better
> options.  (I'm looking to add tracks from within my car.)
> [...]
> I'd really appreciate suggestions.  Remember - I don't have the first
> clue at this stage about what hardware I need, how to connect it to my
> Mac laptop or Ubuntu/XP desktops or what software is required to
> upload something useful to OSM.
> Is a handheld appropriate for gathering data in a car?  Is it a better
> solution to add GPS harware to my PowerBook?

A Geko 201 is a good all-purpose solution, equally suitable for a car, 
a walking
trip or a cycle ride. My main complaints are the battery life (but you 
can power
it off a 12v cigar lighter socket in a car) and the tiny size of the buttons,
but these shouldn't be a major issue for in-car use. One plus is that the
rubberised base will sit nicely on the dashboard without sliding around.

To connect it to a Mac laptop, you can use a serial cable (available on 
eBay for
about £10, including 12v adaptor), with a serial-USB adaptor (Keyspan make

MacGPSBabel is simple, easyish-to-use software that will download the 
tracks in
GPX format, ready for uploading to OSM.

(Alternatively, I like the look of the Scytex NaviGPS
(http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/GPS_Reviews), but it's not clear
whether it comes with/needs a Mac driver.)


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