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Viewranger mapping app

Viewranger mapping app

Today, I’m going to be using Viewranger route tracking app for Android.

Due to the limitations of Googlemaps, I’m going to find something which will store and record the routes that I’ve taken, does the maths, and plot the graph for me.

Maps has a limit for the online version. I can only add a certain amount of content before it tells me I’ve exceeded the given number of separate additions to the one map.

So, I’m trying something new, and tonight’s map will be done with Viewranger, (hopefully).

 

 

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Life behind the great firewall of China: VPN in China

Life behind the great firewall of China: VPN in China

Update China internet – January 2015

As of 1st January 2015, the Chinese government further tightened it’s grip on the nation’s internet access.
A rude awakening for many expats hoping to get on the ‘net – nothing worked.

Things have calmed down a little, but the fall-out is as follows:-

1) All foreign sites are throttled.

Regardless of CDN’s, font-libraries, supplementary elements, platforms etc.; foreign sites are subjected to government level ‘throttling’.

2) Mobile VPN’s don’t work.

Astrill, one of China’s largest VPN’s – no longer able to support mobile VPN access.
Hidemyass, the VPN I use, connection is intermittent at best.

This thread on Shaghai expat reports, some are experiencing more luck than others, depending on what VPN you subscribe to.

China’s Internet access – Life behind the great firewall

Since May of last year, when the troubles in Hong Kong first erupted, the Chinese government has been changing the way the internet works inLife behind the great firewall of China China.

We’re all aware of the ‘great wall of China’, the system by which China monitors and prevents sites it doesn’t wish it’s residents to view.

Previously, this would have been Facebook, Twitter, certain searches or selected content would be blocked.

Also Youtube.

Not really a massive problem, you could still update your phone, look at maps and do a quick translation. At home, sites were slow to download, but acceptable.

Since May 2014, that’s all changed

China internet restrictions since May 2014

The following sites have been blocked wholesale.

Twitter, Facebook, Google (all sites), Soundcloud, Instagram.

New York Times, Bloomberg, selected international Wikipedia pages, Wikileaks, BBC news and radio.

Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, iStockPhoto.

Flickr, Change.org and most VPN sites.

China now throttles all foreign websites

Something the government does now is ‘throttle‘ foreign websites. ‘Throttle‘ it, makes elements ‘timeout’ and leaving you with an improperly rendered and unreadable page.

This maybe due to font libraries, or CDN (content distribution networks), such as Google font libraries or Edgecast respectively.

Many sites access these services to serve content in a more efficient manner. When this content is blocked, the whole site fails to work.

As a foreign speaking resident, this causes you problems.

The only way to get around this is –

China VPN

There are a number of companies offering VPN, or Virtual Private Network services

**A VPN is a protocol executed to access the internet through a tunnel, a tunnel where your real IP address and location is never revealed.

to get round these restrictions, and be able to go on the websites and access the services you would at home.

I won’t trawl through them, there are sites which tell you how much and the relative features etc.

I picked the one with the largest network of servers. Hide My Ass!

It’s got services in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

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Renting a bike in Sanya

Renting a bike in Sanya

Found a website. Visited the sites they recommended. Turns out none of them existed… whatsonsanya>

I’ve made my own map of the places you can hire

Mangrove Resort - Sanya
View of the bay

a bicycle in Sanya.

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Angelina Jolie – Locations of Children

Angelina Jolie – Locations of Children

Done an update following the conception of twins 1st of July 2008.

The new additions are called Knox and Vivienne (below).

angelina-jolie-twins
Knox Leon & Vivienne Marcheline Jolie Pitt

Seems Mrs Jolie Pitt was carrying her GPS device at the time of conception as these fixes appear more accurate.

You can check these baby’s locations and the previous ones below.

View Larger Map

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Etrex Garmin GPS to Google Maps

Etrex Garmin GPS to Google Maps

This post describes how to create Google Maps from a GPS devise.

Your Etrex will output two lots of data available from the GPX files.

The two types of data allow you to create.

A Google Map of Waypoints

A Google Map of Tracks

There is a process you need to follow:-

Plug in your GPS unit.

Access Ozi Explorer.

Use the interface to import your waypoints..

A Google Map of Waypoints

1) Ozi Explorer
Get Waypoints from GPS

File > Save Maps to File > Export to GPX – Save to Desktop

2) GPS Visualizer
You’ve got a selection of options.

In order to get them into Google Maps, they have to be in a web accessible format. So choose Google Earth format.

Once your file is uploaded you should be given a link to download your file which looks something like this 1211203282-21568-82.37.19.123.kmz.

Click on it get it to your desktop.

3) Googlemaps
Go to Googlemaps.co.uk

Go to My Maps

On Create New Map > Import > KML File

A Google Map of Tracks

… lifted straight from previous blogs on the subject.

1) Ozi Explorer
From the interface > Get track from GPS

If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll get a tally in the toolbar.

Wait until this has finished.

File > Save Maps to File > Export to GPX – Save to Desktop

2) GPS Visualizer
Again, you’ve got a selection, choose Google Earth and your file will convert to a web-ready format.

From your link, 1211203282-21568-82.37.19.123.kmz, save to desktop.

3) Googlemaps
Go to Googlemaps.co.uk

Go to My Maps

On Create New Map > Import > KML File.

If the file is a large one Maps will split it up over a number of pages.

That’s it! Google plots your waypoints/tracks then zooms to center the map.
It’s as simple as giving your waypoints/tracks some names and you can share this map with the world.

Hardware

Garmin Etrex GPS

Garmin PC interface cable (RS232 serial port connector) – not applicable to Geko 101

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666 the number of the beast.

666 the number of the beast.

as iron maiden used to sing.
My fave was the ace of spades ‘gamblin’s for fools, but that’s the way i like it honey..’

Without a spade in sight or an ace. Here’s 6 stories from 6 authors in 6 weeks. It’s called ‘we tell stories’.

It uses a map to illustrate how a story progresses, the narrative being provided by 6 successful UK authors.

* Charles Cumming
* Toby Litt
* Kevin Brooks
* Nicci French
* Matt Mason
* Mohsin Hamid

Each week you can tune in and read a little. The stories are quite long, longer than a coffee break, so if social networking is getting you down, this may be the ideal distraction.

Visit the site here and click through each story until the devil arrives to reprimand your computer and sack you for wasting office time.

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remove line break characters

remove line break characters

preg_replace to get rid of those pesky line break characters.

Particularly for Google Maps bubble’s which take an aversion to non-ASCII chars so as to stop a map rendering altogether.

Non-ACSII characters
This piece of code should be applied when generating a Google Map using any quantity of user generated material.

function removelinebreaks($string)
{
return preg_replace(‘/[\r\n\t]/e’, ‘ ‘, $string);
}

Also make sure you trim your bubbles, and if you’re particularly nervous check the htmlentities and CDATA[ declarations also.

Makes for happier bubbles 🙂

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