I have long time had a GPs in my car, making it easy for me to find my way through towns. While paddling kayak, I thought that a GPS device would be very handy for doing the same thing, and for being able to know exactly where I am. So I needed a portable GPs device, and it should be waterproof. After looking around, I decided for the Oregon 550.
The Oregon 550 is a toy, exactly the toy I was looking for. But, as so often we you buy a toy, you also find it can do other things. That the Oregon 550 is able to show my location on a map,or to point me to how to move from one spot to the spot Iwant to, that was expected.
What I had not expected was the possibilities that came from its tracking capabilities combined with the built in camera, combined with google earth.
This amased me. I can take the Oregon 550, without a map in it. Then I have it on me or on the kayak, and paddle around. Whenever something interesting is seen, I take a photo, and when back home, I update the track and the photos to google earth, and suddenly I have a map, a satellite picture, with a track and photos placed on it.
Actually I take a photo with the Oregon 550 for defining where I am, and another one with my Olympus 8000 to get a good picture. Then I upload the track using mapsource, and add the pictures using RoboGeo, and then using Robogeo places it in Google Earth. Robogeo does this a lot easier than doing it myself (it reads and traslates all GPS coordinates to placeholders in Google Earth).
I do a little editing afterwards, removing some phots, and placing some text where I want it, also if I have more phots taken with the ordinary camera then I copy some of the ones created by Robogeo and changes pointers to the additiona photos. Anyway, it is very little job to do something that is so much better than I could have done using a map.
There is a slight problem with the Oregon 550. When it is in use, and I change to take a picture, it happens that this not only takes a long time (that is the normal happening), but that it never goes on. If that happens, the whole Oregon 550 remains dead. There seem to be no button to push to get it working again, only remedy I have found is to take out the batteries.