Where have you been? And, where did you go today? While words can aptly describe your daily activities, a picture can communicate around a thousand words, or something like that. Better yet, take that picture and wrap it around a fistful of GPS data and now you're really talking.The GPS Logger V1.1 kit from Spark Fun Electronics (#GPS-00671) is a complete plug-n-go solution for logging every step you take during a day, a week, or, even almost, a month (in KML logging mode). Just pop in some batteries, flick the teensy switch, and within a couple of minutes you'll know exactly where you're standing when you flicked that teensy switch.Based on the Lassen iQ GPS module by Trimble, roughly every second is recorded with the Spark Fun Electronics GPS Logger V1.1. You can select between The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) data or Keyhole Markup Language (KML) data. The latter has been uniquely massaged for assimilation directly into Google Earth coordinates format.If you're a data miser, though, you'll probably opt for logging the NMEA data. As such, your GPS plate will be full; very, very full of data. Specifically, there are two lines of GPS data recorded every second with the GPS Logger V1.1:$GPGGA,220536.00,3024.9664,N,08849.1198,W,1,04,3.70,00023,M,-026,M*52$GPVTG,236.3,T,235.2,M,000.0,N,000.0,K,A*21 Where:
Step 1: Build the Noggin Logger
Time: 30 minutesCost: $153.70Difficulty: Easy
Step 2: Assemble the Logger
The folks at Spark Fun Electronics have made the assembly of the GPS Logger V1.1 kit pretty much foolproof. Slip in the coin cell battery, insert the blank SD memory card, snap four AA-size batteries into the holder, and attach the battery holder plug to the PCB battery connector.
Step 3: Cap It
Route the embedded antenna through one of the small eyelet ventilation holes in the top of the baseball cap. Plug the antenna into the bottom of the Lassen iQ module. Snap the module onto the PCB connector.
Cut an oversized round piece of scrap fabric for the liner of the baseball cap. This piece of fabric should be big enough to cover the entire GPS Logger V1.1, plus add a seam allowance of 5/8-inch around the perimeter of your scrap. Slowly roll this seam allowance toward the inside of the fabric swatch, press it with an iron, and stitch it down.
Line the inside of the cap's peak with some Velcro Brand tape hooks. Make sure that you have ample hook pieces for holding the GPS Logger V1.1 and the fabric liner. Attach Velcro Brand tape loops to both the underside of the GPS Logger V1.1 battery holder and the bottom of the fabric liner. Press the logger into place, then install the fabric liner.
Step 4: Get Goin'
Pull the fabric liner aside and flick the power switch on the GPS Logger V1.1. In about 2-5 minutes, you'll be logging NMEA GPS data. Don't just stand there, don your chapeau, and get loggin'.
Step 5: Data Crunching
At the conclusion of your journey, pull the fabric liner aside, turn off the power, and remove the SD media card. Use any SD media reader to transfer the files onto your computer. The data is platform independent so you can read and massage your GPS content on any computer that can read an SD media card. You should have at least two files on your properly logged card:
Step 6: This is Where I've Been
Write a KML shell for holding your coordinates, altitude, and other pertinent GPS data. Consult the KML 2.1 Reference for adding appropriate tags. Insert the data, fire up Google Earth, and open your KML file.Now, THAT'S, where I've been.