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March 23, 2007

Kedrosky on business and mountain biking

Filed under: Riding and racing — mtbguru @ 2:11 pm

Everything Paul Kedrosky knows about business, he learned from mountain biking.

Excellent post by VC/blogger Paul Kedrosky in which he compares his two favorite pastimes. We couldn’t have said it better! Here’s our write-in candidate: when you’re catching air, don’t forget about the landing.

March 20, 2007

Mars on Earth

Filed under: Google Earth,GPS — mtbguru @ 2:42 pm

Shall we call this “In-flight Aerial Photo Geotagging”?
Or, how to make your boring ten hour transatlantic flight (slightly) more entertaining, using your GPS and camera.

Devon island

I was lucky to get a window seat on flight KL605 from Amsterdam to San Francisco, and that the weather over the Arctic was fairly clear that day. I had switched on my Garmin Edge 305 early on during the flight but didn’t get reception – two satellites and a reluctant third was all the GPS was seeing.

I tried again hours later, when I saw majestic glaciated fjords and cliffs tens of thousands of feet below me, and yes, this time I got decent reception, so I started tracking and taking photos.

Once home, I created this MTBGuru trip and started finding out what my photos were showing me, using the Google Earth file. Fascinating, the stuff you can learn this way: most of the photos below are of the south shore of Devon Island, Earth’s largest uninhabited island. Its coastline is characterized by steep glaciated cliffs, deep fjords and valleys. The main geographic feature of the island is the Haughton impact crater, in the west part of the island.

And, as the rocky polar desert around the Haughton crater is the closest thing on Earth to what most of the planet Mars looks like, it is also known as Mars on Earth and home of the Mars-Haughton scientific project…

Unfortunately I lost signal again, high above Canada’s Northwest Territories, but I did end up getting about a thousand miles worth of arctic GPS data!

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March 15, 2007

Track your ski trips

Filed under: General MTBGuru stuff,Google Earth — mtbguru @ 5:56 pm

When winter attacks, we head to the hills – to ski or ride them!
Skiing and snowboarding seem like a natural fit for mountain bikers and cyclists. Muscle groups are kept in shape and similar adrenaline rushes are generated – and you can throw in backcountry and cross country skiing or snowshoeing to obtain the equivalent of endorphin inducing climbs.

Trip Type Ski
You may have noticed the new trip icon on MTBGuru. Tracking your ski or snowboard days with a GPS can have entertaining results: you can count your runs and calculate how much a run costed you (hint: more than a beer), keep track of your vertical, check your top speed etcetera.


And I’ve been told some backcountry skiers seem to really love Google Earth to scout new runs or areas they plan to ski.

An example of what you can do with the MTBGuru/Google Earth combo: a ski trip in Sierra-at-Tahoe uploaded to MTBGuru and a Google Earth screenshot of it using the resulting KML file.

Earth ski

March 6, 2007

GPX file Howtos

Filed under: GPS,Howtos / tips / tricks — mtbguru @ 1:36 am

A quick recap and list of useful links related to uploading and using GPX files on MTBGuru:

When you create trips on MTBGuru based on GPX files you’ve uploaded, the resulting trip pages may not always look the same:

  • We’re scanning the GPX file for tracks – lists of waypoints or routes are currently not supported. If the GPX file doesn’t contain at least one track, you won’t see a map on your trip page. Read more here

  • Most GPX files that originate from GPS units will contain elevation data, but this is not necessarily true – some GPS devices or software tools won’t save the elevation data in the file. Unless the latter is the case, you’ll see an elevation profile (elevation versus distance) on your trip page.

  • Not all GPX files will contain timing information – timing info is needed for the automatic photo geotagging to work, as well as to create the distance versus time and elevation versus time graphs. Most GPS units and loggers do allow you to save the timing info though, check your unit’s manual for more information or experiment with the settings.

More information and details on downloading GPX files from your GPS device are given in this blog post.

Alternatively, read this if you want to use GPX files you find on the site and upload them to your GPS to retrace the given trip.

Finally, here we describe how we treat multiple tracks in GPX files.