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Spot and Spotwalla Trackers
Old 10-03-2013, 11:57 AM   #1
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Spot and Spotwalla Trackers

Hey, are there any forum folks using Spot GPS devices and Spotwalla for tracking their travels? I'm trying to learn how to use the data in Google Earth to plot our distances covered on a recent trip and it is more than a little confusing.

Has anyone ever messed with the gpx data or something like it? I'm also trying to figure out how to input some missing waypoints, too.

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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I recently bought the Delorme InReach SE (similar to Spot).

Haven't used it much, but very pleased with its performance so far, both in terms of operation and ability to send/receive text messages to/from anyone.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Heard good things about that device and it is definitely friendly with the Spotwalla site. Here's my latest tinkering with the Spotwalla, but I can't quite get the image I want.
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File Type: jpg Shore to Shore Spotwalla.jpg (287.3 KB, 31 views)
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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You might try over here:
Spot Satellite Tracker - ADVrider

This board is for adventure motorcyclists, many of whom use spots on every trip they take. Many are way into it and fit the "geek" category.

Post #4 mentions what looks like an alternative to Spotwalla.

I use one but only to assure my wife that all is well and I am at the green maptack...
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Thanks, Bld!

Definitely agree with the first poster on that thread about the lithium batteries. We carried a 1st gen with us, that used AA ones, so I had a big supply of those. But, that one got nicked in UK, so we bought a 2nd gen in Germany, which had the AAA ones. I spent the rest of the trip searching without luck for the Lithium ones, to no avail. We used the best alkaline we could find, but it ate 'em like snack crackers.

I found a way to download the Spotwalla data in csv, so I've set my Excel guru boss to the task of creating my perfect route map using the data. I will definitely roam around there and you reminded me I should look at the HUBB forum as well.

And hey, we just checked in in Seattle--do you see a big yellow bus nearby? Probably not, she's still stuck at the port of Tacoma waiting for a bug inspection.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Sounds like you are heading on a nice venture, send us some pictures! [Seattle was a lot more fun a couple of weeks ago in the nice fall weather.]

Right..HUBB...now those people are serious!
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:28 PM   #7
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Yeah, they were a HUGE help to us in a sticky situation getting the bus temporarily imported to Japan when we were coming from Vladivostok. Most folks have a Carnet for Japan, but we couldn't get one, so just hoped to wing it. One of their mods was an absolute lifesaver with his help, on short notice, to get us the right forms.

Actually much of the trip is done, as you can see from the track--the bus left for England in June and just arrived in Seattle yesterday. Long way round. But there is still adventuring to do. I think we might go to the Overlander Expo in Flagstaff in May next year. It looks like fun and would fit in with our timetable for closing the loop on the circumnavigation.

Sadly, I'm back home in Chas, but DH is out there imbibing those fine local beers in Seattle as we speak!
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Good stuff...Is there a blog or something that I am missing?
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:15 PM   #9
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I sent you a PM with the link.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:26 PM   #10
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I've been active on both advrider and expeditionportal for several years, lately on the latter. I have a SPOT for emergencies but don't use it for tracking. Would love to read your blog! I love road-trips, especially the off-the-beaten-path variety.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:17 PM   #11
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bld, I thought you'd appreciate that a guy who works at the Tacoma port sent us a Tweet with a photo of our bus parked at the port. Nice to see her after so many weeks of anxious waiting while she crossed the North Pacific. Now if we could just get them to turn her loose!
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvalley View Post
I've been active on both advrider and expeditionportal for several years, lately on the latter. I have a SPOT for emergencies but don't use it for tracking. Would love to read your blog! I love road-trips, especially the off-the-beaten-path variety.
Any suggestions you have for our cross-country return from Seattle via Alaska to SC in May would be welcome. I'm thinking Hwy 93 down from Dawson Creek all the way to Las Vegas after heading up the Cassiar to Alaska from Snohomish, where she's spending the winter.

We've got a month, and we want to make it to the Overlander Expo in Flagstaff May 16th or so.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:10 PM   #13
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Any suggestions you have for our cross-country return from Seattle via Alaska to SC in May would be welcome....
My suggestion: Buy a map and rethink. (You did ask for any suggestions.)

That route sounds more round about than the one from Uneasy Rider (old Charlie Daniels song) going from Jackson (Mississippi) to LA via Omaha.

Seriously, I am envious of this whole trip. It sounds like quite the adventure.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
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My suggestion: Buy a map and rethink. (You did ask for any suggestions.)

That route sounds more round about than the one from Uneasy Rider (old Charlie Daniels song) going from Jackson (Mississippi) to LA via Omaha.

Seriously, I am envious of this whole trip. It sounds like quite the adventure.
Haha, maybe you didn't notice that I managed 16 or so countries and 12000 miles or so, lol. Maps I got.

Our goal is to start from Alaska so that's why we want to do the Cassiar and then Alcan. Always wanted to make that run. Hwy 93 runs pretty straight to Las Vegas from the look of it, and it is a standard North/South route for overlanders, from my research.

Then we want to do some visitations down there in AZ UT CO and NM before coming across on Hwy 40 back to SC.

C'mon, it doesn't seem all that many miles to make in a month. Not after what we've done already in the two other continents. This is the little part, lol.

But talk to me: what am I missing here? Seems pretty straightforward except a bit of up an down in Canada. But we will get by Banff on our way to Kalispell. .
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:13 PM   #15
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Are you going up the Fraser canyon [Canada 1] northbound? Just a nice little jog if so is to go up 12 at Lytton and then 99 at Lillooet back to the main. Detail, but worth it. Either way is stunning.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:42 AM   #16
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I would be most appreciative of getting a link to your blog as well. Look forward to reading it.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #17
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You sure have some great adventures.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:58 AM   #18
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Eeek, okay, it is Team Dixie Chickens But there are no commercial links, I promise. And I don't even know how to tell how many visitors I've had. I swear (to my fellow mods)!

We are definitely planning on going up the TransCanadian, Hwy 1, then back down the Alcan to Dawson Creek, then 93 straight down. I'm sorta torn, as we really want to mark off Alaska as our topmost point. But is that Skagway, or Anchorage, or Juneau? Ferries are a pain in a 23 footer. Decisions, decisions.

What's Fraser Canyon like?
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:33 AM   #19
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Very scenic and wild. No hydro dams, so it runs free. The country is so big, that without buildings or other scale elements in the view, it's hard to tell how big.

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Old 10-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #20
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Yowza, bld, that is beautiful! I see that Hwy 1 travels along the river a longish way, that is cool. And that there is a gondola ride across the river in Boston Bay. Have you done that? Any other good ideas or campgrounds for the area?
Thanks for the tips!
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