Digital Planet - 27/01/2009 - Geoweb Special (Open University)

This week a special edition all about 'geoweb', internet applications which are based on your location. This programme has been produced in association with the Open University. GOOGLE MAPS IN LATIN AMERICA Google is adapting its web-based mapping application to cell phones and other portable devices. Marcello Quintella is geo project manager at Google's Brazilian Headquarters in the city of Belo Horizonte. He shows Gareth some of the latest features bringing maps to your mobile. Using an Android-powered handset, he walks Gareth through some of its latest geo-features. GEOCACHING - 21ST CENTURY TREASURE HUNTS Gareth joins Gill Clough, a PhD student at the Open University in England for a day of 'geocaching’. This outdoor activity is a technological twist on the age-old pastime of treasure hunts – where players swap compasses and cryptic notes pinned to trees for GPS devices and geo-enabled mobile phones to track down hidden treasure. the treasure is called a 'cache', hence the term ‘geocaching’. Gareth goes on his first geocache to find out why its becoming so popular around the world. TRAVEL BUGS On a Geocache, each 'cache' contains different pieces of treasure. Once a cache is found, a Geocacher will add a new object or exchange old for new. But some objects are a bit different and have a task set for them. Called 'travel bugs', their job is to go on the move. Reporter Beth Rose goes to Dartmoor to meet the children who are releasing their travel bugs with a mission to travel to a school in Kathmandu, Nepal.