As long as I can remember, I enjoyed maps. Maybe it is from when we went on family vacations when I was young and my parents would always have those AAA TripTiks (now online) that were custom put together for each trip with their map pages and routes defined by an orange highlighter that got me hooked? I used to enjoy being the co-pilot and figuring out where we were on old fashioned maps.
When mapping programs like Delorme Street Atlas or Microsoft Streets & Trips came out, I always had a copy installed somewhere to play with. Before my first standalone GPS I had an Earthmate puck GPS connected to a notebook I would sometimes run in the car. I even had a way to hook the puck up to my old Palm III and have it show maps on that.
I always wanted a GPS and got a Garmin GPS V back in the ‘old days’ before color units were more portable. As much as I enjoyed using the GPS in the car, I spent more time enjoying the mapping programs that came with them. After a couple years I moved from up to another high end GPS 76CS with color. I used that GPS for hiking/geocaching as well as turn-by-turn directions while traveling. I even have a small bluetooth GPS I can connect to my Blackberry and use on that device.
After getting my ham radio license I purchased equipment that allowed me to connect the GPS to the ham radio and transmit my position over the air to be picked up by other ham radio stations. They would take the info and submit it to Internet servers where web sites such as APRS.fi take that info and show your current location as well as historic info on Google maps.
I have spent endless hours playing with Google Maps and other online mapping sites as they matured and added features and satellite views. I have written some web applications that use Google Maps to show ham radio information. I was looking for graphical ways to work with existing data and I couldn’t find sites that did what I wanted, so I put these pages together. The pages now get many hundreds of hits a day from folks all over the world.
I just recently purchased another GPS to use in the car. All 3 of my GPS units have been Garmin’s and I think they are the best. The new unit is a Garmin Nuvi 1490T. Updating the maps on my existing GPS would cost about half of buying a new unit which comes with the latest maps and enough memory to store the entire US, so it made sense to upgrade again. Along with the new GPS, I installed the latest version of their mapping program on my notebook and spent a bunch of time playing with it mapping out routes, etc.
After all these years, I still love maps.