Written by Nathan Cloud on Wednesday, 12 Oct 2005.
First off, Exploding Servers
Yeah. We were gone for a few days. The server Crankfire was hosted on crashed hard. Apparently complete hardware failure. From what I can tell, our intrepid 'hosters' did a great job recovering and we are, in theory, running once again and back to normal.
For all you GPS users... New features UNLEASHED!
Some of you might be aware that one of the goals of this website is to build an open library of GPS data (trail tracks, waypoints, etc.) for all to enjoy (not to mention contribute to).
So here is what we found and did:
On the user end of things, I found that downloading waypoints for a specific trail on an individual basis was not terribly ideal - but downloading ALL the waypoints for a specific trail in a single GPX file... now we're cooking! Look on the waypoint list page for each trail and you will see a button in the top right. Clicking it = Hot times. That's right, all the waypoints for that trail in one GPX file.
Conversely, on the contributing side of things, I found that uploading a GPS track was fine, but then having to pull out specific waypoints from your track and entering them one by one into the system was really really tedious. Now things are much nicer: when you upload a new GPX track, you will now see a 'Bulk Waypoint' entry page. This page will provide a listing of all the waypoints in your GPX file along with some information and map links for each waypoint. If you feel any or all of the waypoints should be entered, you simply click an 'Enter Waypoint' button and you are taken to a (mostly) prepopulated waypoint entry screen.
You want more? Ok, I also wrote up something I cheesily named the QuickMapper. It is simply just a small popup map showing you waypoints on a topographic map or aerial photograph. I put it to use on the 'Bulk Waypoints' feature above and on individual waypoint pages.
And another thing: When downloading GPX trail files, you should no longer have to right click and save them. Upon click, your browser should prompt you to download and save the file. And this time around the filename is more appropriately named instead of something like '42ed632a186b6.gpx'.
By why stop there? On the GPX track list page, I added a download icon to speed things up for you as well.
So I hope at least some of you find these features useful. And maybe these new features will generate enough excitement that you will want to run out and buy a GPS yourself.
That would be awesome.