September 28, 2008

WWFM IV - 11/08/08, 10:00 AM (PST)

Well, the votes have been cast, and the date set for the next World Wide Flash Mob Event (#4). It is scheduled for Saturday, November 8th, at 10:00 AM (PST). As you may recall, the WWFM's are the inspiration of Sonny and Sandy, the dynamic Podcaching duo.

The basic idea behind these Flash Mob caching events are that they all start at the exact same time all around the globe, and that they only last for 15 minutes. Here's a recap of a WWFM III event I attended last May. For more information, see this fourm post.

To find the nearest WWFM IV event scheduled near you, keep an eye on this bookmark list. If you don't happen to live in the Pacific Time Zone, check here to find out the exact time the event will begin in your area.

Enjoy, and Cache On!

September 21, 2008

Build Your Own GPS Unit

From MakeMagazine, Bre Pettis teams up with Hardware Hacker Joe Grand to show you how to integrate LCDs and GPS into your electronics projects.

Watch these two self-described "smooth and efficient electronics podcasting ninjas" show you how to build your own portable GPS device, and then use it to go geocaching:

Cache On!

September 9, 2008

Biking + Caching + Sierra Foothills = Heaven

Last weekend I had the privilege and pleasure of attending a most excellent geocaching event: the MET Downhill Bike Ride: Let's Try This Again, held in a beautiful area nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. You can click on the first link above to see the detailed event description, but to summarize, this was simply a 20-mile downhill bike ride (4,200 feet of total descent, to be exact), with stops along the way to look for the 27 or so geocaches hidden along this stretch of the Mormon Emigrant Trail (aka, Iron Mountain Road).

And the event (which went off without a hitch thanks to the tremendous work of the hosts; Scoobert, Bahb, and Cold Springer) was a complete and total blast. If you enjoy caching by bike half as much as I do, then you would have loved this event. Here are some pictures taken along the way. More photos, and other peoples' recaps, can be found in the cache logs.

We all met at the bottom of the hill in the morning, where the event hosts were well prepared to load and carry our bikes 20 miles, and 4,000 feet, up the hill to the start of the ride:

The event log book, plus a travel bug, all in one:

At the top of the "hill", getting ready to roll:

Typical view of the Sierra foothills on the way down to the bottom:

Needless to say, a great time was had by all. I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for similar, upcoming future events.

September 7, 2008

Getting Lat/Long Coordinates From Google Earth

As you know, you can do a search in Google Maps or Google Earth using latitude and longitude coordinates. But sometimes the coordinates are just what you're looking for, so here's a quick tip on how to find them.

In Google Earth, browse over to the location for which you'd like to find the coordinates, then click on the "Add Placemark" button in the toolbar. This will automatically put a placemark in the center of the screen and open a dialogue box that shows you the coordinates for that spot. You can also move the placemark to be able to pinpoint the exact coordinates of a specific location. To do so, click and drag the placemark; you'll notice that as you drag it, the latitude/longitude coordinates automatically update.

Here's a nice little video that shows you exactly how it's done: