[Loadstone] Newby "before I begin" questions

Brett brett06 at tpg.com.au
Sat Oct 14 15:34:01 BST 2006


Hi Rusty, 

See my answers to your questions in the body of your email.

Hope this helps,
Brett.



-----Original Message-----
From: loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com
[mailto:loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com] On Behalf Of Rusty Perez
Sent: Saturday, 14 October 2006 6:50 AM
To: loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
Subject: [Loadstone] Newby "before I begin" questions


Hi folks,
I heard about loadstone two days ago. I bought a gps receiver this
morning and I'm waiting, with Nokia 6682 in hand, for it to arive at my
doorstep. OK, so I haven't installed the software just yet, but I'm
excited!!! I was tempted by wayfinder a few months back, but i wasn't
certain that it would work. Now I've heard of folks using wayfinder, and
with the discovery of loadstone, I'm asured that something will work.

Now the questions.

Q: It sounds like, as with a guide dog, loadstone requires the user to
know where he or she is going before loadstone can get them there.

A: Not necessarily, as long as you can mark the point where you want to
end up, you can still get there. Loadstone will tell you where the point
is on a clock face as you are navigating to it. So if the point is at 11
O'clock, you will want to keep walking straight ahead. When the point
gets to 9 or 10 O'clock you know you should turn left down the next
street.


Here's what I mean. From what I gather, in the US I can load a points
file in, but before loadstone will tell me anything as aI travel,, I
need to mark out a root. Is this correct? So, is loadstone's primary
function to give me confirmation that I am headed in the right
direction, or can I give it two points, starting and stopping, and have
it create a root and tell me where to go?

A: Loadstone cannot create routes for you, but in the US, you can go to
the point exchange and download points for your area. In the US I
believe they have all the street intersections marked. So this could be
useful for you. You can still mark your from and destination points and
again use the clock face directions to give you a good indication on
where to go. There are web sites which will give you the lat and long
coordinates of a street address, so if you haven't been there, you can
use one of these sites to get the coordinates to mark the point before
you go. The site I use for this purpose is
http://stevemorse.org/jcal/latlon.php
In my experience, if it finds coordinates, which it seems to do about 95
percent of the time, it's accurate with in 35 meters or less, good
enough to locate a place you haven't been to before.


Q: Also, how do loadstone and wayfinder differ? I know that wayfinder
automatically downloads map info, other than this, how do they differ?

A: I am not familia with wayfinder as I have never bothered looking at
it, as they don't have any maps for Australia. But wayfinder can
download maps and plan a route for you. If travelling on foot, it's
probably a bit more precise than loadstone, assuming that it takes in to
account that you are on foot. I did see a blindness GPS product, which
wanted me to walk 1KM down the middle of the freeway to get to my local
train station. Don't think I would have made it, Smile. Wayfinder is
probably good if you want to travel by cab and tell the cabby where to
go from start to finish. I find Cabby's are usually pretty good at
getting you to the correct suburb, but can muck around a bit trying to
find the actual street or street address. Once The cabby gets to the
area of interest, Loadstone can be used quite successfully at getting
the cabby to the correct location. Loadstone is also good for locating
train stops or bus stops. The other bonus to loadstone is that it is
completely free to use. Wayfinder requires you to pay a subscription for
usage, plus every time you use it, it needs to download data, so you
also have to bare the GPRS costs. While loadstone is free, it's worth
donating something to the developers if you find it useful, to ensure it
stays in existence. Now that I have my GPS receiver I need to keep my
promise and donate, Smile. I intend to donate annually, as I think this
prog is brilliant and it's being regularly improved.

Q: One final question, can loadstone distinguish between types of
points? Can it tell me, for example, the closest restaurants?

A: Not natively. You would need to mark them yourself, either by going
there or entering their address in to a web site like the one I
mentioned above. If you connect your GPs and then search for the point
you want to get to, then use the find point feature in loadstone,
loadstone will tell you the distance as the crow flies, but it still
will give you a good indication if it is with in walking distance, or if
not it still gives you a fair indication of how much a cab may cost if
you want to cab it there. You can also use it to get an indication of
how far the point of interest may be from a train or bus stop if you
have marked it. If not, again you can look up the street address of the
train or bus stop on the web and find out how far it may be from your
point of interest, so you will be able to determine if you can walk it. 


thanks so much for any help!

Rusty
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