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Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Random Geocaching Thought - Crossover GPS Units with Internet Hook Ins

I was sitting in a local establishment today enjoying a warming bowl of soup when another of my random geocaching thoughts came to mind. It regarded what the next big technology for handheld GPSr units and what it may be. Things like better accuracy would be nice but that is already down to 3ft or less now a days. I jokingly thought that it would be easier if we just received that magical GPS chip that all we had to do was plug it in the back of our heads and be done with it. A little futuristic for now but I bet we come up with a workable concept in the not too distant future. What else?

Then it dawned on me that maybe a GPS / Smart Phone crossover would be cool. How about having a handheld GPS unit which is rugged and durable for outdoor use having the ability for limited (or unlimited) internet connectivity? Think of it. One of the best reasons we use geocaching applications on our smart phones is the ability to be anywhere and can pull the nearest geocache to us on a whim. That is key functionality right there.

Why not have that ability on a GPS unit? Simply pull out your GPS handheld, press a button and it automatically shows the nearest X number of geocaches to you. It can plot them on the map and maybe a bare bones description of the geocache you point to. How difficult can this be? There are already auto GPS units out there that have limited internet accessibility why not this? I am sure there are plenty of interesting ways small programs could be incorporated to show "near to you" points of interest besides geocaches that would be useful to hikers, bikers and outdoors related folks. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to go to a state park for example and instantly download all the trails and point of interest right from your GPS? Sure you can do some of this from your computer but to have it built in would be that much better.

What do you think and oh if someone does invent this I want some royalties off of this one, hokay?


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Peter said...

IMHO this era has already arrived. My Blackberry Bold 9000 operates as well as top of the line GPSr units and has the ability to connect to the net to download that vital cache info when needed. Thrown into an Otterbox keeps it safe and at the ready.

The Hekawi Tribe said...

There were many times I wished my Garmin was able to connect to the internet and download some caches in the area. I don't think we are far off from seeing this happen and would be a big step forward in caching. It would also be cool to log your finds in the field.

PZ Dude said...

Garmin already has a phone it is the nuvifone.