Maps And Legends

Posted on 18th January 2008

On the Birmingham LUG mailing list recently there was an announcement about the Birmingham Mapping Party, which is being organised by some of the guys at OpenStreetMap. Previously Alex has been over to to gives up a bit of background about GPS and mapping, and seeing as round where I live there is a distinct lack of mapping data, I thought it might be a good idea to find out how to get involved.

First off was to check whether I had the right requipment. I have a Nokia N95, and although it has GPS, I had no idea whether it could record data and allow me to upload to OpenStreetMap. Reading the notes, the N95 does indeed have the capability to record the mapping data, however it needs an additional (free) app to do it. I headed off to the Nokia Research Labs website and read up on Sportstracker, an app that allows joggers, etc to monitor their progress. As a by-product it also records the route you take in the GPX format, which can then be uploaded to OpenStreetMap. Using my local Wifi network, I logged onto the website and installed the software directly onto the phone. Having only had a quick look at the app, it does look quite cool.

So now I'm ready to record. However, I've previously mentioned to JJ about the GPS connection taking ages to triangulate my position when I switched on the GPS, and he mentioned A-GPS, which is also mentioned on the Nokia website, so I figured I ought to try and upgrade that too. Another download of the latest Software Updater, this time to the PC, and I'm ready to update. When I first tried a month ago, I had problems connecting to the Nokia website, this time around it connect without a problem. It also detected the phone and detected correctly that it has the 11.0.026 version of the firmware. The lastest version listed on the website is 20.0.015, and for A-GPS support version 12.0.013 or newer is required, so I was expecting a download and upgrade. Unfortunately, it would seem the Software Updater doesn't agree, as it is claiming that the firmware is up to date with the latest version 11.0.026. This is a bit annoying and have yet to find any way to update the phone to the latest firmware. I've now email Nokia customer support to see whether they can shed any light.

JJ did mention previously that I could go into any Vodafone shop and they would upgrade for me, but I doubt they would do anything that different from what I've tried, unless they complete wipe the OS and reinstall with the latest version. Just in case I do have to take this back to the shop, I've also downloaded the Nseries PC Suite to backup my data. I don't have too much on there, but the phonebook and messages I would rather keep, but then I should back them up every so often anyway.

Although I've had the phone for several months, this is the first time I've actually looked at it from a lower level. I'm starting to look at other possible applications, such as using as a laptop input controller, and really get the most out of the phone. Seeing as it has all these gadgets installed, it would be a shame not to use them ;)

Incidentally, I'm not planning to be at the Mapping Party, but I do hope to contribute to the mapping effort once I've figured out how to use SportsTracker. And maybe I'll be able to do a bit of Gloucestershire too seeing as I work there.


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