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8000 meters reached! CONTACT 3.0 brings positioning to Everest
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Feb 15, 2005 12: 17 EST
It has been a long-time dream of many mountaineers: Live positioning in Himalayas. With the launch of GEO for this year's Antarctica expeditions, CONTACT 3.0 is now ready to bring up-to-date positioning to Mount Everest.

Automated positions all over the world

Beta-tested by four-time Everest summiteer Michael Brown during the Newport/Bermuda race and Polar skier Hannah McKeand during her North-East Afghanistan expedition, Contact GEO was successfully used by several Antarctica expeditions this winter. For the first time, people around the world monitored South Pole expeditions with instant daily updates of positions, altitudes, pictures and dispatches.

And at this very moment, GEO is providing daily positions of the Siberia crossing expedition and Diego’s Himalayan traverse.

The crux

Contact GEO is also very simple to use when climbing. Your altitude is retrieved by GPS, or altitude meter. Just add it in the CONTACT 3.0 position field, and push 'send'. Your position is now instantly uploaded to the web and automatically plotted on a map over Everest (or other mountains) to be viewed by anyone visiting the expedition website.

Whilst the input is easy, the automated plot is exactly the crux. Expedition positions have been plotted on maps before, but usually done manually by webmasters during late-night shifts. Instead, GEO is done by the explorer from a 160 gr. (6 oz) iPAQ PDA, straight to the web.

The Everest 3D map

The Everest map is created from classic Everest pictures by the legendary Bradford Washburn. The maps are treated and projected on 3D models of the mountain by Swiss scientists. Finally, CONTACT 3.0 brings it all together with instant positioning systems.

The purpose of the map is very simple: To immediately display where the expedition is at that precise moment. A bright red dot shows where you are – click it, and the dispatch with image pops up.

Altitude profile, Personal Climbing data and Daily Weather

Below the 3D map, the climber’s altitude profile is shown. Each day’s final altitude is plotted - after reaching Base Camp until the end of the expedition.

Adventureweather’s expedition weather forecasts are updated daily on the website for 7 different altitude levels.

GEO calculates personal climbing data such as max altitude reached and average altitude during the expedition.

Cost and setup

GEO is an add-on to CONTACT 3.0, and costs $200. Maps are prepared individually for each expedition and are an additional $20 and up. Everest maps (North and South) for 2005 is included. Check example web-site at
Everest Dummy Website

Images:

1. Everest 3D tracker
2. Everest Altitude tracker
3. Antarctica Expedition tracker
4. Siberia Expedition tracke
5. Contact 3.0 positioning tab



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