The Days to Come

Traveling aplenty await your fearless hero over the next week.

I travel to CERN on Wednesday for my tour Thursday afternoon then back to Waging for a 4th of July party and finally up to Munich Satruday morning for my return to the Deutsches Museum.There will pe pictures aplenty from CERN and the museum - as well as detailed accounts of my travels.

But while we're on the subject of traveling, adventure, and towels - who here has heard of Geohashing? Hands down if you think I'm talking about geocashing, though it is similar in many ways.

Geohashing is a way of generating a random set of GPS coordinates every day, all of which will fall in the rectangular "graticule" between the whole-numbered latitude and longitude lines containing your house. In English - it's a daily adventure generator. You can play with it here, just pick a location, enter the date, and boom! adventure generated. The idea is that you take your GPS unit, and run/bike/swim/drive/hike/take a derigible to the coordinates. There, you may find geeks - lots of geeks.

This was all started by Randall Munroe, author of xkcd and generally cool guy. The way it words is pretty nifty, too - your coordinates and the day's date are combined with the most recent closing price of the DOW. These are then run through a computerized meat grinder and out pop some GPS coordinates! Because it uses the DJIA, there is no way to predict the coordinates (unless you can predict/influence the stock market to a frightening degree). It also means that, because trading is suspended over the weekend, the coordinates for Satruday, Sunday and Monday are set on Friday afternoon. So, every week, the official xkcd meetup happens at 16:00 Saturday in every graticule.

There are lots of interesting things to use this for - I'm planning on using it to generate random bike rides next semester. You could use it for adventuring, for getting to know the more hidden/remote locations around your town, and for meeting fellow geeks tromping around the woods with GPS recievers in their hands.

I haven't been to a geohash yet - and I missed some prime opportunities. There were two within walking distance of the house in Waging. However, I'm going to keep an eye on it, and maybe be able to visit coordinates in Germany, Moldova, and Italy. If I do, I'll be sure to post my achievements on the blog.