This is a truly amazing piece of software. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder how people occupied their time before the invention of the Internet, GPS, GPRS etc… Just what did people do? I have spent the last two hours delighting in having mapped my first adventure via satellite. This does not happen every day and I will be telling everyone who I meet in the next week or so about it so if you are planning to see me soon, be prepared to suppress a few yawns. For those of you who I won’t be seeing, I’ll write about it here instead.
The map says it all (the original one is on my new Sanoodi profile here). It was a big adventure as you can see, dodging the dive-bombing Canadian geese by the canal, risking my life sneaking past the criminals of Reading prison, fighting through the rush hour of pedestrians as they escaped their offices for a bite to eat and then suffering the scorn of the woman at the automated checkout who repeatedly told me about my unauthorised items in the bagging area. My pain and Boursin in tact (I’m not joking here – Boursin is on offer at only £1; that’s a 92 pence saving!), I made a hasty retreat back to the flat just before the rain started. Quite a series of epic dramas as you can imagine.
And all of it is now mapped for posterity. As it said in the downloadable instructions from the Sanoodi website, it did take quite a few moments for the GPS signal to be registered but once it was, I just walked into town and back. Initially I had the phone in my hand but after a few minutes put it in my pocket. That doesn’t seem to have affected the mapping process. Sainsbury’s in Broad Street, Reading is one of those long, thin shops where you can never get a phone signal let alone a GPS signal at the back and you can see on the map how there is simply a line from where I entered at the back of the building to where I reappeared on the other end. My supermarket meanderings are hidden from view. The return trip seems a little bit less accurately mapped than my trip into town – notice the kink on the lower blue line. A piece of space junk crashing into the satellite? The enlarged section in the bottom corner is just to show how accurate the system is; my actual route is in green, the Sanoodi track in blue. Stop! What am I complaining about? We are talking a few metres, perhaps ten at the very most. On a cycle from Reading to Brindisi, the least of my worries will be being off course by ten metres.
The Flickr photos add a bit of on-ground reality to the spy in the sky. Presumably most of them were taken in the recent spell of snowy weather.
The whole thing is bloody amazing. I have a few questions that still need answering for example how heavy is the GPS on the battery life of the phone, when does the signal get sent via the mobile phone network (continuously or just at the end of the journey; if the former then it could cost a fortune on the continent) and what happens when the break in the GPS signal is more than for just a short shopping trip in Sainsbury’s? Do the people who use the system for their round the World adventures just leave it on all the time? I’ll use it again on Wednesday when I go down to London and that might answer a few of my questions. This really is fun!