I have decided to get involved in OpenStreetMap.
When asked a little while ago by someone at WYLUG I poo-pooed it, thinking that it was too big a task and seeing the little progress they had made. I am glad to say I was wrong, it is taking shape nicely now. I guess Wikipedia, GNU and Linux all must have looked like quixotic endeavors in the early days; though the people with the vision, that seemed to be tilting at windmills, were proved right. I thought it a shame that we would have the skill to put together sat-nav software but no free access to map data. These slides helped convince me as well as a recent WYLUG talk.
The Leeds mapping is OK now, but some folk from WYLUG are going to get together and plug a few gaps next weekend. So obviously I need a GPS… … in a smartphone. Regardless of what some people claim, a GPS enabled S60 nokia is totally essential for the enterprise. Seriously though, I had been considering a new phone with a half decent camera and saw the N95 8G with its built in GPS and nice big screen. I went for the N82 though as it was slightly lighter, cheaper, has better GPS reception, has a xenon flash and had a lens cover (I cannot stand the thought of the lens not being covered when not in use). I think convergence has basically happened, that will give me better pics than the 2.8Mpixel camera I carried round for 3 years and will be an OK sat-nav device in the car, a phone and a reasonable mp3 player (with a normal size headphone socket on the phone). The downside is a smaller screen. S60 has a Python implementation too so I will be able to play with that a bit.
I have some friends that did 120,000 KM in a round the world trip , I hope they kept traces on the way as they may be incredibly useful.
In other good news, I am the 4th Tom Hall on google. I think I can get to 2nd as I should be able to beat a county and western singer from Texas.