Where have you been? And, where did you go today? While words can aptly describe your daily activities, a picture can communicate around a thousand words, or something like that. Better yet, take that picture and wrap it around a fistful of GPS data and now you're really talking.
The GPS Logger V1.1 kit from Spark Fun Electronics (#GPS-00671) is a complete plug-n-go solution for logging every step you take during a day, a week, or, even almost, a month (in KML logging mode). Just pop in some batteries, flick the teensy switch, and within a couple of minutes you'll know exactly where you're standing when you flicked that teensy switch.
Based on the Lassen iQ GPS module by Trimble
, roughly every second is recorded with the Spark Fun Electronics GPS Logger V1.1. You can select between The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA
) data or Keyhole Markup Language (KML
) data. The latter has been uniquely massaged for assimilation directly into Google Earth coordinates format.
If you're a data miser, though, you'll probably opt for logging the NMEA data. As such, your GPS plate will be full; very, very full of data. Specifically, there are two lines of GPS data recorded every second with the GPS Logger V1.1:
- $GPGGA-Global Positioning System Fix Data
- 220536.00-Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
- 1-GPS Fix
- 04-number of satellites being tracked
- 3.70-horizontal dilution of position
- 00023,M-altitude above mean sea level in meters
- 026,M-altitude of mean sea level in meters
- $GPVTG-velocity/track made good
- 236.3,T-heading in degrees
- 235.2,M-magnetic heading in degrees
- 000,0,N-ground speed in knots
- 000.0,K-ground speed in kilometers per hour
Armed with your prodigious pile of GPS data, you can view your whereabouts inside Google Earth
. But getting the raw data into a brag-worthy picture could take longer than the trip you just logged. Some deft fingered text manipulation with an industrial-strength text editor (e.g., BBEdit
) and Microsoft Word can convert your NMEA data into useable KML coordinates in a matter of minutes.
So where can you carry this fancy GPS logger? Well, use your head, man; literally. The GPS Logger V1.1 will easily fit inside the top peak of a baseball cap. Just route the embedded antenna out through one of the cap's ventilation holes and you'll be loggin' in no time.
Ja, das ist der Noggin Logger.