While I’m on the topic of GPS watches (I wrote about the new Casio GPR-100 GPS watch last week), Suunto just released software that allows you to plot your hikes on Google Earth. From what I can tell, it looks pretty straightforward to use.
The Suunto X9i has an “activity mode” which records data to what it calls a log file (aka, the watch’s memory). The frequency with which it records location information is configurable, and, more than anything else, determines battery life (4-5 hours with a 10 second track log interval, and 12 hours with a 1 minute track log interval). You can then transfer your track log to your PC using a USB cable and an application called the Suunto Trek Manager (PC only, naturally). And now, using a new application called the Suunto Track Exporter, you can export data from your watch directly into Google Earth, which allows you to visualize your route with actual satellite imagery. Very cool.
You can find out more information on Suunto X9i and Google Earth integration, as well as download the free Suunto Track Exporter software, on Suunto’s new Google Earth page.
I have a brand new Suunto X9i sitting on my desk right now waiting to be reviewed. I think this announcement just bumped it up in priority. As part of my review, I’ll do some trekking through the wilderness of San Francisco and let you know how it all works.