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Experience Colorado

January 28, 2008 Leave a comment
Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you. – Aldous Huxley

Wow!

The best I can do with what I recently experienced is to be happy with what I have and not be envious of others.  Yes I am talking about the new Garmin 400t GPSr.

The 400t

Saturday the Troopster and I went to a Garmin and Groundspeak meet and greet at the humoungous REI in Seattle.  Garmin was showing off the new Colorado 400t GPS.  Jeremy talked about the history of Geocaching and his latest invention WHEREIGO.  I participated on the beta for Where I go over a year ago.  It is a pretty cool gaming idea.  If you combine the mental interaction of an adventure game such as Zork, the human interaction of the Wii, add in the outdoor enjoyment of Geocaching, you have an interctive experience called Where I Go.

REI Event
I see me!

The Pocket PC + GPS gives you a platform for building games that know where you are, when you enter areas, and where you are going.  Create a script and some nice images and you have the "Choose Your Own Adventure" book that puts you in the driver seat and gets you off the couch and into the real world.

Gadget Envy

If you know me, you know I am slow to upgrade and even slower to open my wallet.  The good news is that I have moved beyond my first free GPSs, and even past the second and third GPS’s I bought.  I now have the Garmin 76CSx which is its own masterpiece.  For better or worse in this case, the 76CSx is an awesome GPSr and works so well that I won’t be able to justify moving into the more advanced hardware for quite some time.  I have no doubt that I will be able to live vicariously through friends pretty soon.

Links

 

 


Categories: GeoCaching

World Wide Flash Mob

November 11, 2007 Leave a comment
When the theater gates open, a mob pours inside, and it is the poet’s task to turn it into an audience.Franz Grillparzer
 

This morning GeoBlank picked up Bob (leader of Team Kaneko – and a better blogger.) and hit the road in search of the mob.
 
Now that I have your attention (meaning you are my audience), I guess I am your poet…

DATE : Saturday, November 10, 2007
TIME: 9:00 AM to 9:15 AM (only 15 minutes!)
WHERE: Seattle Center, Seattle, WA, Under The Needle

First a few world wide stats (link to details):

  • Concurrent Events – 83 at last count (concurrent meaning on the same day…)
  • 5 continents
  • 9 countries
  • 33 states

The specific event we went to was located at the Space Needle (link to detailed description).

Typically Geocaches are not temporary, the intent is that they stay around as long as possible for hundreds of people to find.  Event caches are a special type that are scheduled at a certain time for people to "meet and greet".

These specific events were only 15 minutes long.  The organizer took signatures of the finders that were present.  No one will be able to log it as a find if they did not sign in. 

It was fun to show up early and walk around the Needle and other areas near by.  Many of the cachers could be picked out as they were hanging out close by, most of them in small groups.  I am no profiler, but some cachers are easier to spot than others…

When 9am hit, what looked like a hundred people started closing in on one specific area.  We did our business, posed for a picture and then at 9:15 scattered. 

 

It was a fun event.  Thanks intolerable  for setting up this event!

 

 

 
 
Categories: GeoCaching

In the Beginning…

April 14, 2007 Leave a comment
"A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid." – J. R. R. Tolkien
 
If I am going to talk about it then you better know what it is. 

Consider this a brief history of the sport…

 
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little monetary value. Today, well over 350,000 geocaches are currently placed in 222 countries around the world, which are registered on various websites devoted to the sport.
 
GPS Users get an Instant Upgrade
 
Based on excerpts from the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Geocaching …
On May 2, 2000, at approximately midnight, eastern savings time, the great blue switch* controlling selective availability was pressed. Twenty-four satellites around the globe processed their new orders, and instantly the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold. Tens of thousands of GPS receivers around the world had an instant upgrade.
The announcement a day before came as a welcome surprise to everyone who worked with GPS technology. The government had planned to remove selective availability – but had until 2006 to do so. Now, said the White House, anyone could "precisely pinpoint their location or the location of items (such as game) left behind for later recovery." How right they were.
 
London, Paris, New York, Beaver Creek?
For GPS enthusiasts, this was definitely a cause for celebration. Internet newsgroups suddenly teemed with ideas about how the technology could be used.
 
On May 3, one such enthusiast, Dave Ulmer, a computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the "Great American GPS Stash Hunt" and posted it in an internet GPS users’ group. The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.
The finder would then have to locate the container with only the use of his or her GPS receiver. The rules for the finder were simple: "Take some stuff, leave some stuff."
 
On May 3rd he placed his own container, a black bucket, in the woods near Beaver Creek, Oregon, near Portland. Along with a logbook and pencil, he left various prize items including videos, books, software, and a slingshot. He shared the waypoint of his "stash" with the online community on sci.geo.satellite-nav:
N 45 17.460 W 122 24.800
 
Within three days, two different readers read about his stash on the Internet, used their own GPS receivers to find the container, and shared their experiences online. Throughout the next week, others excited by the prospect of hiding and finding stashes began hiding their own containers and posting coordinates. Like many new and innovative ideas on the Internet, the concept spread quickly – but this one required leaving your computer to participate.
 
Within the first month, Mike Teague, the first person to find Ulmer’s stash, began gathering the online posts of coordinates around the world and documenting them on his personal home page. The "GPS Stash Hunt" mailing list was created to discuss the emerging activity. Names were even tossed about to replace the name "stash" due to the negative connotations of that name. One such name was "geocaching."
 

The original stash (pictures taken by Geoblank)

 
 

Categories: GeoCaching