One of my family gave me an old GPS a while ago. And since then it’s sat in a drawer. It just didn’t have that much appeal without the ability to connect to something else (ie no computer cable) and by extension everything else. An upcoming Snowkiting (and suana and stuff) trip to Are, Sweden, and the potential to map and photo the backcountry activated my motivation.

The GPS is a now discontinued Magellan GPS 320, but seems decent enough; it can store 1200 points in a track log. Found a PC Interface Cable online, and a USB-Serial Cable at the local The Computer Shop. Plus a new battery charger, this thing eats power.

To read the GPS, I downloaded gpsbabel and followed the instructions on openstreetmap. That was too easy.

Really it was, cause the timestamp on the tracklogs isn’t being transfered. Searching, it turns out it’s not just me. Grabbed the 320 firmware upgrade, but the process stalls; the GPS never goes into “Software Update Mode”. After a couple calls to Magellan tech support, and yes this is probably only useful to possibly one other person in the world, the solution was to turn on the GPS directly in Update Mode by pressing NAV-GOTO-PWR.

After upgrading to firmware 3.15, the downloaded tracklogs had the correct time, but still no date. Bugger, looks like I may have to script the correct date in when downloading.

So gpsbabel can conver the Magellan format to GPX. I wrote a quick perl script to generate geocoded RSS from that. And the result is worldkit map of last Wednesday. The GPS, coordinate system, or something is slightly off; I didn’t go biking through the English Channel.

I also find GPS Utility useful, since you can monitor the actual communication stream between computer and GPS. WWMX Location Stamper seems to be decent at stamping EXIF headers with location data from GPX track logs. So I’ll have to make mapping flickr support EXIF soon.