Monday, May 21, 2007

Short update on BlackBerry 8800 GPS software

I have multiple connection challenges at the moment - am in England and only have access to a PC with dial up connection, and a slow GPRS connection on my BlackBerry (compared to EDGE back home) which I have to pay for by the kB rather than having unlimited bandwidth. So just a short update on my previous BlackBerry 8800 posts for now. I have found out that Telenav, the navigation software which I really like as I've said previously, only does road navigation in the US and Canada. At the same time I had a comment on my earlier posting which suggested I should also try Wisepilot, and they happen to offer a 5 day free trial with European data, so I'll give that a try later this week and report back. In addition to navigation capabilities, they also offer functionality which warns you when you are approaching a speed camera (in Europe) ... not that I will have any need to use that, I hasten to add, in case there are any traffic police reading this!

The second piece of news is that Skylab Mobilesystems, who produce the Spot for BlackBerry software which I reviewed previously, have announced a new product called MobileTracker for BlackBerry, which creates GPS tracklogs in the background, which was one of the top things I was after. It saves these in KML so you can directly display them in Google Earth and Maps (and elsewhere). The software I have been using to geocode photos, RoboGeo, expects a GPX file as input rather than a KML file I think, so may need to mess around a little bit to overcome that, but I'm sure I can work around that.

And finally for now, the technical support team at Mobile GMaps, which I also mentioned in my previous post, tell me that they have an update which they think will enable the use of the BlackBerry 8800 GPS, which didn't work for me before - again, haven't had a chance to try that yet but will do so soon. Also, I did try the "phone positioning" used by the underlying Navizon software, which uses some sort of signal triangulation, on my travels, and that did locate me in Chicago airport, though not in Calgary or in the UK.

So some promising indications, will report back as I am able to try each of these out.

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