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September 17, 2005

North Fork and Middle Fork of Swan River

Yesterday evening, I rode from Park County Road 58, across Webster Pass, up Radical Jeep Hill, down the North Fork of the Swan River, and returned up the Middle Fork of the Swan River. The entire trip was about 48 miles.

I captured the GPS tracks from my Garmin Summit eTrex GPS unit using a serial cable and the ExpertGPS software application. I saved my tracks as a .GPX file and uploaded it to GPS Visualizer and overlayed my route on top of the USGS topo maps. This is nothing new, as I've described this process previously, in painful detail.

What's new, however, is that some astute reader of my miserable website clued me into the Magnalox website. This website displays your route with a little animated movie. So, I uploaded my GPS tracks from last night and you can view them here.

This website is pretty cool. It allows you to post comments, stories, photographs, etc. Also, you can look at other GPS routes, rate them, etc. So, it has a lot of promise. But, it does need some work. It was obviously coded by a techie. The user interface is abysmal. It's hard to figure out when to save, and site navigation is excruciating. The elevation is in meters and speed is in km/hr, which sucks. And you can't control the transparency on the USGS topo maps, so the map overlay is pretty horrendous. However, I like the idea. It's pretty clever, IMHO.

Update: After studying the velocity graph of the magnalog, I've concluded that I was running at about 30 km/hr, or 18 mph when I lost control of the ATV and dove off. 18 doesn't sound too fast, but when you're flying through the air, trust me. It feels very fast.

Update 2: After some feedback from the developer of the Magnalox website in Germany, I downloaded the USGS topo map background, modified it in Photoshop Elements and uploaded it. It's more aesthetically appealing now, IMHO. I asked him to support feet, mph, etc., and he said it would be a lot of work, but he understands there is a desire for this funcitonality. So, we'll see what happens.

Update 3: After playing with my Magnalog on the Magnalox website a little bit, I now see that you can click on the elevation or the speed chart and it moves the trip cursor to the corresponding point on the topo map. So, this is pretty slick. You can easily find the highest and lowest points on the trail.

Update 4: Magnalox website has been updated to show feet and mph, so it's more USA friendly now. Thanks, Volker!

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Posted by Peenie Wallie on September 17, 2005 at 01:22 PM


... and I thought magnalox was USA-friendly by not offering the imperial system.... ;)

But anyway...

Posted by: Volker on September 29, 2005 at 04:10 AM

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