Check Your Elevation and GPS Coordinates With Your (Ricoh) Camera for Only $1,149

If you really, really, really want to prove you visited a highpoint, Ricoh has come out with the Ricoh Pro G3 GPS Camera which records your coordinates and elevation with your shot. It’s a little pricey for a 3.2 megapixel, 3x Optical Zoom Camera ($1,149 for the camera, gps card and software) but if you really want to prove something… You can use the software to come up with nifty maps with pop up photos from each location. Forum thread item.

The San Diego Tribune has an article on the phenomenon. It also notes that many people are using their own cameras and gps receivers and then synchonizing the EXIF and Waypoint data with free software tools including

Stuffware Photo Studio
Wideworld Media Exchange

Eyeballing the specs it strikes me that oziphototool is the easiest and simplest.

The article also notes that cameras and gps receivers are bluetooth wireless equipped could conceivably do this.

There are several programs that allow you to synchonize your GPS coordinated photos with maps.

Posted in Cameras, GPS, Technology by with comments disabled.

Hollywood Ending to Night on Mount Baldy

Hollywood is abuzz over the return of Clay Senechal, 23, (son of Designing Women Star Annie Potts) and and screenwriter Jonathan Lempkin, 43, whose credits include “The Devil’s Advocate” and “Lethal Weapon 4” from white out and ice conditions on Mount Baldy. They walked into the Mount Baldy Fire Station after a massive search for them (and there were 4 other major searches going on). This year started out in far less deadly fashion than last year on the area’s major peaks, with no reported hiking fatalities so far. Seven hikers on the peaks died in January 2004, including two on Mt. Baldy.

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Search Abandoned After 2 Weeks in Pemigewasset Wilderness

The Union Leader reports officials have abandoned thesearch Robert Sypek. Working from a brief note left in the car that said he was heading on a hike to the Galehead and Zealand huts, ground crews covered about 25 miles of trails Saturday while air searches flew over the White Mountains down to the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Sypek lived alone and apparently embarked on the 16-mile hike on or about Jan. 25. He has not been seen or heard from since then.

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Lahar False Alert on Rainier

KIRO-TV reports officials are investigating why Rainier’s lahar mud flow sirens went off accidentally Tuesday morning. The sirens are normally tested each month

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RMI Guide Airlifted Off Rainier After Problems on Ptarmigan Ridge Route

King5 reports Rainier Mountaineering Guide Chris Bamer was airlifted from Camp Muir after suffering from frostbite on the Ptarmigan Ridge route after running into chest deep snow and white out conditions. His companion Rob Montague accompanied by five rescuers was able to walk off the mountain.

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NASA Seeks Help Identifying UFO Over Haleakala and Mauna Kea

The astronomy obsessed Hawaii is buzzing over a UFO over Mauna Kea and Haleakala on December 17, 2004. A moving image of the UFO (380K) was published as NASA’s photo of the day today (Feb. 8). Officials ruled out known satellites or aircraft. Current candidates include a known satellite that was somehow missed by heavens-above, a recently launched rocket, and a passing space rock. NASA has set up a ***VERY BUSY*** discussion thread to discuss it. One poster wrote: “What is truly bizarre is that this object is visible for a good 55 minutes at Haleakala and close to 30 minutes at Mauna Kea. Usually, satellites take a few dozen seconds or, at the most, a couple of minutes to cross the entire sky. “If this object is a satellite, it is either very slow moving or at a very high altitude. I checked all the possibilities at Heavens-Above and no satellite passes seem to fit this observation. It is also impossible to be a meteorite.” For what it is worth the 16-foot asteroid that passed in December flew between earth’s manmade satellites and the surface and was the second closest recorded approach in history. It appeared with virtually no warning. At the risk of giving a spoiler, the conensus on the board was that it was a satellite.

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Microsoft Seeks Patent on Longitude/Latitude

Slashdot has got tongues wagging over what it considers in essence an attempt by Micosoft to patent latitude/longitude over the presentation of data. The problem Microsoft says is that latitude/longitude in URL’s can take up too many digits. In the example in its patent application it notes to get one meter accuracy, the URL would have to be 19 charcters (e.g., 122.12926,47.64932). As I understand it, Microsoft is proposing to shorten the notation to base-30 notations so that alphabetic characters could be used thus shortening the URL. Comments on slashdot note that Microsoft would have been better off to using base-60 notations (e.g., 60 minutes in a degree, etc.) to comments that if this was implemented Microsoft would have a proprietary method of interacting with maps.


Posted in Maps, Offbeat, Technology by with comments disabled.

Savage Summit: The Fatal Lifes of the First 5 Women to Summit K2

The New York Times in reviewing Jennifer Jordan’s book about the first five women who climbed K2 (and had unhappy ends) notes the women also had unhappy lifes. The book is entitled “Savage Summit : The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, the World’s Most Feared Mountain.” For instance there’s Wanda Rutkiewicz who climbed 8 of the world’s 14 peak over 8,00 meters. She had three husbands, few friends and fellow climbers stole her sleeping bag on Everest and her fellow male climbers claimed she never summited Annapurna until she produced the pictures to prove it. Chantal Mauduit was derided for using sherpas –which most climbers use. There was Alison Hargreaves who is believed to have perished on K2 as an attempt to safe her flagging fortunes. There other woman are Julie Tullis and Liliane Barrard .

Posted in Asia, Books, Continents, Culture by with comments disabled.

Sumatra 9.0 Quake Set Off Quakes a Record 7,000 Miles Away on Mount Wrangell in Alaska

Sitnews reports that the 9.0 Sumatra earthquake that touched off the Boxing Day Tidal initiated 12 tiny earthquakes on Mount Wrangell, the 14,163 foot volcano in Alaska. Authorities believe this would be the longest documented reported of related quakes (7,000 miles). Wrangell heated up after the Good Friday 9.2 Alaska Quake in 1964 but ironically the 7.9 Denali fault quake in 2002 caused the mountain to calm down. Other Alaska volcanoes were not affected by the 2004 quake.

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Kilimanjaro Porters Protest Working Conditions

The London Times reports porters who carry bags up Mount Kilimanjaro to alert the world to horrible conditions including as many as ten porters being forced to sleep in tents designed for four, no sleeping bags or mats and not providing adequate cold weather clothes (usually what they have is provided by tourists). The group is supported by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG) started work on a new medical post and shelter at Machermo in Nepal. Previously porters were forced to sleep in caves there.


Posted in 7 Summits, Africa, Continents, General by with comments disabled.

NPS Reeling From Plan for 2,200 Home Development INSIDE New River Gorge National River Boundaries

The Charleston Gazette reports that Land Resource Companies of Atlanta wants to build a 2,200-home development along the banks of New River Gorge on 4,300 acres including 600 acres within the park boundaries. If built, the development would be visible from Diamond Point and Babcock State Park. The NPS had thought it had an agreement to buy the land from Rush Creek Land and $2 Million was allocated to work on the deal.

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Couple in India To Tie Knot 2,000 Feet In the Air Coming From Different Mountains

Mumbai News reports that an Indian couple plans to get married suspended by ropes between mountains 2,000 feet off the ground. Harnessed to a rope, the groom (Ashriwad Ayre) will move towards the centre of the gap from Duke’s Nose while his bride will (Bharti Patil)come from Duchess Peak. A Hindu priest, suspended from another rope, will conduct the 45-minute ceremony in Lonavala. This site has info on Duke’s Nose This place is named after Duke Wellington whose pointed nose this cliff resembles. It also looks like a hood of a snake, which is why it is also called as “Nagfani” (Hood of Snake). This point can be approach from INS Shivaji and Kurwande Village. Watching the nature’s beauty here is an unforgettable experience. There’s a lot of beautiful pix available via google search.

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Concern for Horrific Fire Season as Mount Hood Snow Pack is Third Worst in History

KGW reports hydrologists are very concerned about a horrific fire season this summer as the snow pack on Mount Hood (and the Northwest in general) is the third lowest in recorded history. Snow packs in the Willamette basin went from 37 percent of normal on Jan. 1 to 30 percent of normal by Jan. 31; the Malheur basin went from 78 percent of normal on Jan. 1 to 59 percent of normal by Jan. 31; and in the Klamath basin in southern Oregon, the snow pack retreated from 68 percent of normal to 48 percent of normal on Jan. 31. The area has never totallay recovered from the 2001 drought.

Posted in Oregon, Snowpack by with comments disabled.

Hiker’s Body Found Month After Getting Off Commuter Train at Breakneck Ridge in New York

Here’s an update on February 3, 2005:
WNBC reports the body of Myung Geuk Choi has been found at the base of a 100 foot cliff at Breakneck Ridge in suburban New York City. had noted the Breakneck is the most popular map downloaded from its site. Locals note that in addition to the usual cliffs rising off the Hudson, it also has cliffs dropping unexpectedly from a massive quary at its base. Choi had been missing since Jan. 2 and was searched for by more than 100 people.

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How to Ice Climb in Iowa? Use a Silo!

The Los Angeles Times reports that Don Briggs at the University of Northern Iowa has a way for Midwesterners to ice climb by using grain silos. This is accomplished by pouring water from a hose down a concrete (not metal) silo. Climbers will be competing this weekend to climb four silos — 55 to 70 feet high. Course record for a 65-foot silo is 23 seconds.

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