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Garmin Colorado 300 review | Wherigo Application

Published on: Friday, November 7th 2008                   Written by: Wim de Lange - Photography by: Mark Peters

Handheld navigation

Handheld navigation

Imageviewer application

The Colorado 300 has been equipped with an Image viewer that allows for viewing JPG files, and the Rock 'n Roller can be used for panning or zooming. It does, however, require patience, since it takes quite a while particularly with large files. The monitor however, is vertically orientated which means that only the middle part of pictures is reproduced on it. We won't be using the viewer that often for this purpose, nor is it the reason for applying this application. For the first time ever, this handheld offers a combination of geo caches, their description and the images that go with it. This new application is called: Wherigo.

Garmin test

Garmin test

Wherigo application

A beautiful enhancement on the already popular geo caching function, however, it goes a few steps further. This possibility alone would be enough reason to purchase the Colorado. The application has been released by Groundspeak, after a 5 year period of developing the function in cooperation with Garmin. The Colorado is the first GPS device with this built-in possibility. The expectation is that mobile phones and PDAs with onboard Internet and GPS will soon follow in supporting this technique. The new Garmin Oregon series is also equipped with this new function.

 

Garmin memory

Garmin memory

The Wherigo cartridge

A download has to be obtained from the Wherigo site, the so-called cartridge. A cartridge can contain different content. A quest for a treasure belongs to the possibilities (a more enhanced type of geo cache), a puzzle linked to locations; sightseeing in a city or a virtual adventure (the adventure will then take place in an area created by the device). Sometimes, you need to go to an actual location in the real world although there are also cartridges available that can be played anywhere as long as there is sufficient space.

Garmin handheld GPS

Garmin handheld GPS

Information on the cartridge

All the necessary data such as descriptions, waypoints and supporting media (images, sound) are inside the cartridge. Once downloaded to the device, nothing else is needed to carry out the experience and to go through it. Cartridges can be searched by country. At the moment of writing this review, we can download 150 different cartridges for the United States, for the United Kingdom there are 25 cartridges available.

 

Wherigo player

Wherigo player

Roll Playing Game tutorial

The Colorado offers a simple tutorial which offers you all the know-how of the basic features in a mere 10 minutes. It is a Roll Playing Game that gives us our own roll to play; carry out a simple task and our moves call up reactions from the device. The moment you reach a certain spot (that's where the GPS comes in), a message will appear on the monitor. Pocket PCs with built-in GPS functionality are also able to play the cartridge via a player. This player can also be downloaded on the Wherigo site.

Garmin GPS test

Garmin GPS test

Wherigo builder to built cartridges

To find out how it works, the Wherigo builder has to be downloaded and installed. This enables us to build our own cartridges, and in the "Tools" menu the emulator is found that allows for viewing the cartridges. A map of the experience area appears on the monitor and an image of a Pocket PC which shows what we will see while using it. When exploring the site, many ideas came into my mind and I predict this application to become a lot bigger than geo caching. Imagine going on holiday to an unknown region. It will become possible to plan trips at home and download the necessary tour guides beforehand. Of course, commercial possibilities are to be expected and at this moment, companies are already trying to find out how they can offer cartridges at certain prices.

 
 
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