Poly9 FreeEarth is a cross-browser, cross-platform 3D globe using Adobe Flash to provide a WOW-ing experience. Check out the site as they’ve got plenty of impressive demos of what they’ve done.
One such tool still in development there is Reading Tracks/Waypoints using Garmin Communicator. Here’s what it looks like so far:
Notice the Communicator interface located above the globe. Yep, that’s right, you can view tracks and waypoints from your Garmin GPS device on this cool 3D globe!
Simply click on “Get Data” after the plugin finds your device and all tracks and waypoints will be read from your device:
Then select the track or waypoint you want to see. Here are the results after some automated and some manual zooming:
Perhaps the coolest part about this is being able to view and navigate the globe in full screen. To enable Full Screen mode, click the icon in the top right corner of the navigation area.
Also in the navigation area is a vertical scrollbar for zooming, and a horizontal bar for tilting.
At this point I’m sure you’re eager to play with it so I’ll say no more.
GPSies helps you find tracks for all kinds of fitness activities around the world. You can also contribute to the community by uploading your own tracks.
With the Communicator Plugin, Garmin fitness users can download their tracks of interest directly to the device from the site. Here’s how:
First, find a track you’re interested in. You can find a track by region and also by type of fitness activity. Each track is represented by a bubble icon representing the kind of activity it is (bike, shoes, car, and others). Click the bubble icon once, and then click “View” to see the track laid out on the map:
Once you’ve found and displayed the track, select “Garmin Course TCX” from the drop-down menu, and then click “Export to Garmin GPS”, displayed below:
A transfer window will popup. Click the “Send GPSies file to Garmin GPS device…” button shown below:
Now you’re good to go! The track will appear in the Courses menu of your fitness device.
Great news, Mac users! As promised, we’ve now made available the Communicator Plugin 2.2.0 for Mac. This plugin supports Firefox and Safari. Developers are advised to work with Firefox for this plugin. The plugin matches the features available in the Communicator Plugin 220.127.116.11 Windows beta version.
Such features include course, workout, and user profile fitness transfers, as well as GPX data transfers to SD cards.
Developers, we’ve provided a preview release of the Communicator API to support the Mac plugin. It is a snapshot release, so please play around with it and give us some feedback as we improve it for the official release.
8/9/07 update: This is an early release meant for developers, before we release the next version of the API to the public. The plugin will not work on sites using the older API, and this includes the Garmin Communicator Plugin Test Page that is typically used after the installer.
Instead of using the official test page to test the plugin, use our demos. The control demo is a good one, and more demos for the Mac plugin can be found on the 1.3-SNAPSHOT API page.
8/15/07 update: Also, for now it seems that the required OS X version is 10.4.10.
A new beta version of the Communicator Plugin is released at version 18.104.22.168. This version supports course, workout, and user profile fitness transfers, as well as GPX data transfers to SD cards.
Communicator API 1.2 currently supports course writing to work in conjunction with the beta plugin. Full fitness support in the API is in the works.
Mac plugin is on its way!
Mapicurious.com allows you to share your favorite points-of-interest (POIs) with friends. You can create your own map, search for existing ones, and display your map on your blog or site.
Mapicurious supports Communicator so you can easily transfer map points to your Garmin device by clicking the “Go to Garmin” link on the right side next to “Download to your Garmin GPS”. Here’s the Communicator in action:
Your Garmin device can do more than help you find places–it can help you find treasure! For those of you not already in the know, I’m referring to Geocaching.com by Groundspeak.
Geocaching is an adventure game in which GPS users hide and seek hidden treasures, or caches. One of the first caches was hidden in Oregon during 2005, and since then, the sport has grown considerably and is now a popular world-wide activity.
Geocachers can easily send cache locations to their Garmin devices using the “Send to GPS” feature that was recently added to the Geocaching site:
The “Send to GPS” icon, circled above, transfers cache destinations to the device with a single click of the mouse.
Transferring cache locations to Garmin devices is now much easier for both veteran and beginner geocachers. So whether you’re new to geocaching or list it as one of your favorite hobbies, use the the Send to GPS feature with your Garmin device and cache your heart away.
Great news! You can now download courses from the web to your Garmin fitness devices!
This functionality requires the use of our new release of Communicator API 1.2. Read more about the new send courses functionality. This version of Communicator works with Communicator Plug-in 2.1, however course download functionality requires Communicator Plug-in v2.2 Alpha. Feel free to play around with it and let us know what you think! Please note that the alpha version is not meant for production.
A friendly reminder for developers: Because modifications are made in each new release, we suggest linking to our specific versioned URLs rather than the unversioned one, as that ensures consistent functionality. For example, if you are using version 1.2, use http://developer.garmin.com/web/communicator-api-1.2/… instead of http://developer.garmin.com/web/communicator-api/…
Stick around for updates, as grabbing courses from the devices is also coming up.
Also, good news for Mac users: We are working on a Mac compatible beta version of the plug-in, for Firefox and Safari. Yay! I’ve actually been testing an alpha release here in the office. It’s not quite ready to share with you all yet, but stay tuned and we’ll let you know once it is ready for prime-time.
It seems like everyone else in the office is chattering about web services so I know they are working hard on getting a test server for developers to preview the upcoming Web Services release later this year. These web services should be a great compliment to the Communicator API for those of you that want to store GPS data on the web without having to write your very own MotionBased.
On the administrative front I’ve been battling the spam-bots on the forum to keep the conversations clean. We are also considering launching a bug tracker that will allow you to report bugs and browse bugs that others have reported while showing the road map. Even better maybe you developers out there may fix a bug or two and help out with the open source effort.
Here are some examples of the Communicator Plug-in used by sites we’ve found:
MotionBased is a web application that translates GPS data into functional analysis and online mapping for endurance and outdoor athletes. Some changes have been made recently to the interface to make activity transfer simpler for users, by turning off the Google Map feature as well as the Cancel Find Devices option. CSS customization allows the plug-in to fit into any site’s color and font scheme. Checkbox options allow visitors to turn specific options on or off themselves, such as allowing duplicates and selecting activities individually.
Like MotionBased, AllSportGPS provides fitness training enthusiasts with the ability to track their workouts and performance. It implements a simple, one-click interface for uploading data to Garmin devices. Again, CSS styling is used here to match existing color themes.
GeoTours is a web application that allows you to easily create media-rich GPS tours now supports importing tour locations with Garmin GPS devices. Visitors can import multiple locations from their Garmin devices for their own personalized tours.
More sites using Communicator (descriptions coming soon!):
If you know of a site that uses the Communicator Plug-in, go ahead and share it with us by commenting and we’ll post an entry on it.
Since the recent release of the Communicator Plug-in API, various sites have customized it to their sites in different ways. The plug-in allows data transfer between websites and Garmin devices, and plenty of options are available to developers to integrate the plug-in seamlessly into their sites.
Some ways developers can customize the plug-in:
- Use the CSS stylesheet to customize the look and feel of the plug-in to match their site
- Allow users to select individual activities to transfer
- Disallow/allow duplicate entry transfer
- Integration of Google Maps to display locations
- Progress bar status
- Route, track, and waypoint transfer
- One-click automated transferring
- Plenty more…
Options are easily turned on or off by setting variable values accordingly.