Geocaching with a Mac and a Garmin GPS 3 Plus

I’ve written before about geotagging photographs. This has become super easy since Flickr has added a geotagging function in the last few months. Sometimes, this may not be enough though. Tomorrow, my family and I are headed to Maine and plan to do a little boating (cold boating). I was interested in the idea of taking my GPS and my camera and finding a way to link waypoint data from the gps with photos that I take. I found that a program that I have used before, JetPhoto, will do this and I was off to trying to make it work.

First, I needed to find a way to connect my GPS (an old Garmin GPS 3 Plus) to my macintosh. I found a data cable for the GPS, but USB was just finding its way onto the first iMac when my GPS was made, so it has a PDA-like serial cable. I figured that I could then maybe use a Palm USB Connect adapter to convert the serial to USB, but there weren’t appropriate drivers available for it. So, I found a similar adapter by Dynex at Best Buy that said it was OS X ready. I plugged it in, installed the software and… nothing. I went to the Dynex web site to see if they had a newer version of the drivers, but they didn’t. Viewing the readme for the drivers told me that Dynex actually had a company called prolific make the drivers. I downloaded those and things were starting to look up.

Since JetPhoto only seems to match up GPS data with a list of photos, and doesn’t actually connect to the GPS itself, I needed to find a way to connect to the unit. I downloaded GPSBabel, which seems to be the current GPS transfer application of choice for the Macintosh, but my GPS proved to be a little too old (I think) for GPSBabel to deal with it. So, I did something that I almost never do, went looking for older software. I found GPS Connect, a discontinued GPS connection tool for OS X and Garmin receivers. Finally, I had something that could see my GPS. I was able to download content from it and put things on to it. With this running, I was also able to effectively use LoadMyTracks which put my GPS information directly onto Google Earth and Geocaching menu which makes it easy to put coordinates from directly on to your GPS.

All of this done, I’ll see if I can’t do the photo/gps thing on wednesday when we head to Casco Bay.

This entry was published on November 6, 2006 at 6:56 am and is filed under Technology, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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